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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2007, 01:09:32 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part V - Page 3 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Fifth, to say that the end of the seventieth week refers to Stephen’s death and Paul’s conversion in a.d. 33 is pure speculation.  There is no hint of this in the texts of Daniel 9:27 and Acts 8—9 to denote the fulfillment of the seventieth week.  Also, the dates of Paul’s conversion as well as Stephen’s martyrdom were more likely in a.d. 35.14

In conclusion, the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 b.c. serving as the starting point of the seventy weeks is highly unlikely.15

Conclusion

The third decree is clearly the beginning point for the countdown of the seventy weeks of Daniel.  Dr. Hoehner provides the following arguments in support of the final decree as the terminus a quo as recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8:

First, there is a direct reference to the restoration of the city (2:3, 5) and of the city gates and walls (2:3, 8 ).  Second, Artaxerxes wrote a letter to Asaph to give materials to be used specifically for the walls (2:8 ).  Third, the book of Nehemiah and Ezra 4:7-23 indicate that certainly the restoration of the walls was done in the most distressing circumstances, as predicted by Daniel (Dan. 9:25).  Fourth, no later decrees were given by the Persian kings pertaining to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.16

In this article I was able to demonstrate that the third decree is surely the starting point for the countdown of Daniel’s seventy weeks.  In my next installment, I hope to build upon this fact that the exact date of this decree can be determined as March 5, 444 b.c.  This provides a solid plank in developing a literal interpretation of Gabriel’s great prophecy to Daniel.  Maranatha!

Endnotes

1. Robert Culver, Daniel and the Latter Days (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1977), p. 149.

2. John F. Walvoord, Daniel:  The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1971), p. 224.

3. Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), p. 252.

4. J. Barton Payne, The Imminent Appearing of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), pp. 148-49.

5. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness:  Obsession of the Modern Church, (Power Springs, GA:  American Vision, 1999), p. 327.

6. DeMar, Last Days Madness, p. 327.

7. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion:  A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, TX:  Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), p. 313.

8. Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, p. 313.

9. Harry Bultema, Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids:  Kregel, 1988 ), p. 285.

10. Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1977), pp. 115-39.

11. Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 122-24.

12. See Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 29-44.

13. See Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 95-114.

14. See Harold Hoehner, “Chronology of the Apostolic Age” (unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1965), pp. 200-04; George Ogg, The Odyssey of Paul (Old Tappan, NJ, 1968 ), pp. 24-30.

15. Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 125-26.

16. Hoehner, Chronological, p. 126.

(To Be Continued . . .)
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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2007, 11:35:52 AM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VI - Page 1 of 3
by Thomas Ice

I believe that I demonstrated in my previous article that the starting point for the Daniel 9:25 prophecy was the decree of Artaxerxes (Neh. 2:5-8, 17, 18 ) to rebuild Jerusalem.  In this article, I hope to show that the decree was given to Nehemiah on March 5, 444 b.c.

The passage under discussion reads as follows:

“So you are to know and discern that 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. (Dan. 9:25)

Because there is no need to reinvent the wheel, I want to approach this issue by presenting the two best statements on this matter.  First, I will look at Sir Robert Anderson’s masterful presentation in The Coming Prince.1  Then, I will present Dr. Harold Hoehner’s insightful refinement of Anderson’s basic position from Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ.2

Sir Robert Anderson

Sir Robert Anderson, a British Brethren, developed a chronology that used a 360-day year, that he called a “prophetic year.”  Anderson bases this upon the Jewish calendar and the clear implication that the prophetic timetable of Daniel was derived from it as well (i.e., 42 months = 1260 days).  Anderson began the 483-year countdown with Artaxerxes’ decree that he said was March 14, 445 b.c. (Nisan 1, 445 b.c.) and it culminates in Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on April 6, a.d. 32 (Nisan 10, a.d. 32).  Here is Anderson’s explanation:

. . . According to the Jewish custom, our Lord went up to Jerusalem on the 8th Nisan, which, as we know, fell that year upon a Friday.  And having spent the Sabbath at Bethany, He entered the Holy City the following day, as recorded in the Gospels.  The Julian date of that 10th Nisan was Sunday the 6th of April, a.d. 32.  What then was the length of the period intervening between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and this public advent of "Messiah the Prince"—between the 14th of March, b.c. 445 and the 6th of April a.d. 32 (when He entered into Jerusalem)?  THE INTERVAL WAS EXACTLY AND TO THE VERY DAY 173,880 DAYS, OR SEVEN TIMES SIXTY-NINE PROPHETIC YEARS OF 360 DAYS).

From b.c. 445 to a.d. 32 is 476 years = 173,740 days (476 x 365) + 116 days for leap years.  And from 14th March to 6th April, reckoned inclusively according to Jewish practice is 24 days.  But 173,740 + 116 + 24 = 173,880.  And 69 x 7 x 360 = 173,880.

It must be borne in mind here that in reckoning years from b.c. to a.d. one year must always be omitted; for, of course, the interval between b.c. I and a.d. 1 is not two years but one year.  In fact, b.c. 1 ought to be called b.c. 0; and it is so described by astronomers, with whom b.c. 445 is—444.  And again, as the Julian year is 11 m. 10.46 s., or about the 129th part of a day, longer than the mean solar year, the Julian calendar has three leap years too many in every four centuries.  This error is corrected by the Gregorian reform, which reckons three secular years out of four as common years.  For instance, 1700, 1800, and 1900 were common years, and 2000 will be a leap year.3

As valuable as Anderson’s work continues to be, I believe that it does contain a few errors, even though this overall approach was a major breakthrough in understanding this part of Daniel’s prophecy.  The needed corrections have been pointed by Dr. Harold Hoehner of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Harold Hoehner

Dr. Hoehner has questioned the starting and ending times put forth by Anderson.  Hoehner advocates the time of Artaxerxes’ decree as 444 b.c. and not 445 b.c.  Dr. Hoehner explains:

The date of this decree is given in the biblical record. Nehemiah 1:1 states that Nehemiah heard of Jerusalem’s desolate conditions in the month of Chislev (November/ December) in Artaxerxes' twentieth year.  Then later in Artaxerxes' twentieth year in the month of Nisan (March/April) Nehemiah reports that he was granted permission to restore the city and build its walls (2:1).  To have Nisan later than Chislev (in the same year) may seem strange until one realizes that Nehemiah was using a Tishri-to-Tishri (September/October) dating method rather than the Persian Nisan-to-Nisan method.  Nehemiah was following what was used by the kings of Judah earlier in their history.4  This method used by Nehemiah is confirmed by the Jews in Elephantine who also used this method during the same time period as Nehemiah.5
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2007, 11:38:57 AM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VI - Page 2 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Next, one needs to establish the beginning of Artaxerxes' rule.  His father Xerxes died shortly after December 17, 465 b.c.6 and Artaxerxes immediately succeeded him.  Since the accession-year system was used7 the first year of Artaxerxes' reign according to the Persian Nisan-to-Nisan reckoning would be Nisan 464 to Nisan 463 and according to the Jewish Tishri-to-Tishri reckoning would be Tishri 464 to Tishri 463. . . .

In conclusion, the report to Nehemiah (1:1) occurred in Chislev (November/December) of 445 B.C. and the decree of Artaxerxes (2:1) occurred in Nisan (March/April of 444 b.c.8

Therefore, Nisan 444 b.c. marks the terminus ad quo of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24-27.9

Dr. Hoehner further objects to Anderson’s use of the solar year instead of the sabbatical year.  Dr. Hoehner also corrects some of Anderson’s calculations. Dr. Hoehner spells out his difference in the following:

First, in the light of new evidence since Anderson's day, the 445 b.c. date is not acceptable for Artaxerxes' twentieth year; instead the decree was given in Nisan, 444 b.c.  Second, the a.d. 32 date for the crucifixion is untenable.  It would mean that Christ was crucified on either a Sunday or Monday.10  In fact, Anderson realizes the dilemma and he has to do mathematical gymnastics to arrive at a Friday crucifixion.  This makes one immediately suspect.  Actually there is no good evidence for an a.d. 32 crucifixion date.

In previous chapters in this book it was concluded that Christ's crucifixion occurred on Friday, Nisan 14, in a.d. 33.  Reckoning His death according to the Julian calendar, Christ died on Friday, April 3, a.d. 33.11  As discussed above, the terminus a quo occurred in Nisan, 444 b.c.  Although Nehemiah 2:1 does not specify which day of Nisan the decree to rebuild Jerusalem occurred, it cannot have occurred before Nisan 1. . . . it could have occurred on some other day in Nisan.12

“Using the calculating method Anderson used, Hoehner comes up with the 476 solar years.  This is the difference between 444 b.c. and a.d. 33.  By multiplying 476 by 365.24219879 days, comes to 173,855 days, and Hoehner states:”13

This leaves only 25 days to be accounted for between 444 b.c. and a.d. 33.  By adding the 25 days to Nisan 1 or March 5 (of 444 b.c.), one comes to March 30 (of a.d. 33) which was Nisan 10 in a.d. 33.  This is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. . . . The terminus ad quem of the sixty-ninth week was on the day of Christ's triumphal entry on March 30, a.d. 33.

As predicted in Zechariah 9:9, Christ presented Himself to Israel as Messiah the king for the last time and the multitude of the disciples shouted loudly by quoting from a messianic psalm: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord" (Ps. 118:26; Matt.21:9; Mark 11:10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13).  This occurred on Monday, Nisan 10 (March 30) and only four days later on Friday, Nisan 14, April 3, A.D. 33, Jesus was cut off or crucified.

The seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.  When that is accomplished, Daniel's inquiry will be fully realized for Israel will be back in her homeland with her Messiah.14

Dr. Hoehner has put together an airtight case for his understanding of the beginning and ending of the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel’s prophecy.  Dr. John Walvoord notes, in support of Dr. Hoehner, that “the best explanation of the time when the sixty-nine sevens ended is that it occurred shortly before the death of Christ anticipated in Daniel 9:26 as following the sixty-ninth seven.  Practically all expositors agree that the death of Christ occurred after the sixty-ninth seven.”15

Conclusion

To date, no one has been able to answer the work done by Dr. Hoehner.  It is fully supportive of the literal interpretation of Daniel’s prophecy and is the only approach that has been demonstrated, thus far, to make the numbers work out.  This is why most all those who take this text literally have adopted Dr. Hoehner’s view.  Those taking other views, like preterists Gary DeMar16 and Ken Gentry,17 offer vague generalities when it comes to the number of the seventy weeks prophecy.
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2007, 11:41:14 AM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VI - Page 3 of 3
by Thomas Ice

A further value of the literal approach of Dr. Hoehner is that this prophecy provides an exact time in which Israel’s Messiah was predicted to show up in history. “And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, 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. . . . because you did not recognize the time of your visitation’” (Luke 19:41-42, 44).  How was Israel to have known the time of their visitation?  From a literal understanding of Daniel’s prophecy.  In fact, this prophecy, along with Christ’s fulfillment of every other first coming Messianic prophecy proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah.18  Many Jews have come to faith, over the years, as a result of being challenged by this prediction about the time of Messiah’s coming.  It is clear that a literal interpretation of this passage is demanded by the text itself.  Maranatha!

Endnotes

1. Sir Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, 10th ed. (Grand Rapids:  Kregel, 1957).

2. Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1977).

3. Sir Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, 14th ed. (Grand Rapids:  Kregel, 1954), pp. 128-30, as cited in Michael Kalafian, The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of The Book of Daniel (Lanham, MD:  University Press of America, 1991), p. 87.  I have been greatly aided by Dr. Kalafian in his outlay of the material concerning this matter.

4. Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (rev. ed.; Grand Rapids, 1965), pp. 28-30, 161.

5. S. H. Horn and L. H. Wood, “The Fifth-Century Jewish Calendar at Elephantine,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, XIII (January 1954), pp. 4, 20.

6. Horn and Wood, “Fifth-Century Jewish Calendar,” p. 9.

7. Horn and Wood, “Fifth-Century Jewish Calendar,” p. 4.

8. Richard A. Parker and Waldo H. Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology 626 b.c.—a.d. 75 (2nd ed.; Providence, 1956, p. 32; Herman H. Goldstine, New and Full Moons, 1001 b.c. to a.d. 1651 (Philadelphia, 1973), p. 47

9. Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 127-28.

10. J. K. Fotheringham, “The Evidence of Astronomy and Technical Chronology for the Date of the Crucifixion,” The Journal of Theological Studies, XXXV (April 1934), p. 162.

11. See Goldstine, p. 87; Parker and Dubberstein, p. 46; Fotheringham, The Journal of Theological Studies, XXXV, pp. 142-62; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, trans. By Norman Perrin (3rd ed.; London, 1966), p. 38.

12. Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 137-38.

13. Kalafian, Prophecy of the Seventy, p. 89.

14. Hoehner, Chronological, pp. 138-39.

15. John F. Walvoord, Daniel:  The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1971), p. 228.

16. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness:  Obsession of the Modern Church, (Power Springs, GA:  American Vision, 1999).

17. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion:  A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, TX:  Institute for Christian Economics, 1992).

18. For an explanation of the hundreds of prophecies fulfilled by Jesus at His first coming see Tim LaHaye, Jesus:  Who is He?  (Sisters, OR:  Multnomah Press, 1996); and Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 1999).

(To Be Continued . . .)
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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2007, 11:59:16 AM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VII - Page 1 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Last month I dealt with the starting and ending points for the first sixty-nine of seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27).  We saw that the time clock of the seventy weeks prophecy commenced about 100 years after Daniel received its revelation in 444 b.c.  As I continue in verse 26, it is important to note that God, through Gabriel the archangel, divides the seventy weeks into three sections:  “seven weeks,” “sixty-two weeks,” and “one week” (Dan. 9:27).  What is the significance of these divisions?

The Seven Weeks

Since the first seven weeks of years (49 years) is segmented from the whole, to what does it refer to?  Without belaboring this point, since it is not a point of significant debate, this first of three segments refers to time when “it [Jerusalem] will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress” (Dan. 9:25c).  This modifying statement connects the first seven weeks with the distressing days of Ezra and Nehemiah.  Thus, the first seven weeks refer to the time of the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple.  Dr. John Walvoord notes:

The best explanation seems to be that beginning with Nehemiah’s decree and the building of the wall, it took a whole generation to clear out all the debris in Jerusalem and restore it as a thriving city.  This might well be the fulfillment of the forty-nine years.  The specific reference to streets again addresses our attention to Nehemiah’s situation where the streets were covered with debris and needed to be rebuilt.  That this was accomplished in troublesome times is fully documented by the book of Nehemiah itself. 1

The fact that this prophecy divides the seventy weeks of years into three sections will come into to play later when examining the single week in verse 27.

The Sixty-Two Weeks

The next segment of time is the sixty-two weeks of years that are said to follow the first seven weeks of years.  The total of the two parts equal sixty-nine weeks of years or 483 years.  The sixty-two weeks follow consecutively the first seven weeks because there are no textual indicators or historical events that would lead to any other conclusion.  The sixty-two weeks will end with the arrival of “Messiah the Prince.”  Daniel 9:25 says, “until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.”  Messiah the Prince can be none other than the Jewish Messiah—Jesus the Christ.  As was noted in the previous article, Dr. Harold Hoehner has demonstrated that the seven and sixty-two weeks (that is sixty-nine weeks) ended on the day of Christ’s triumphal entry. 2  This is diagramed in the chart below, which was adopted from Dr. Hoehner’s book.3  The fulfillment of the seven and sixty-two weeks is recorded in Luke 19 as follows:

“And when He [Jesus] approached, He saw the city and wept over it, 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. . . . because you did not recognize the time of your visitation’” (Luke 19:41-42, 44).

After the Sixty-Two Weeks

We now enter the area of the greatest controversy concerning the seventy weeks prophecy.  The debate is focused upon whether the seventieth week follows consecutively the first sixty-nine.  I believe that the seventieth week is postponed until a future time we know as the tribulation.  Defense of a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks will be the topic of most of the material that I will cover in the rest of this series.

The issue now before us can be divided into two basic views, regardless of how a specific individual may handle the details.  The two views are whether all seventy weeks of years have already been fulfilled in the past, or whether the final, seventieth week is future.  Note what Daniel 9:26 says:

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.
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2007, 12:02:14 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VII - Page 2 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Textual Reasons For A Postponement

Before I look at broader arguments for a parenthesis, I want to point out reasons from the Daniel 9 passage itself.  Critics of our literal, futurist understanding of this text claim that there is no justification for a gap or postponement between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week.  Perhaps no one is more shrill in his criticism of a gap than preterist Gary DeMar, who says:

The ‘gap” that has been placed between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of Daniel’s prophecy was created because it was needed to make the dispensational hermeneutical model work.  Nothing in the text of Daniel 9:24-27 implies a “gap.”4

He later asks the following question:

Since there is no gap between the seven and sixty-two weeks, what justification is there in inserting a gap between the sixty-ninth week (seven weeks + sixty-two weeks = sixty-nine weeks) and the seventieth week?5

I believe that there are textual reasons for a gap of time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week!  First of all, the text says, “Then after the sixty-two weeks . . .”  In other words, after the seven plus sixty-two weeks, which equals sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years).  The Hebrew text uses a conjunction, combined with a preposition, usually translated “and after,” or better “then after.”  “It is the only indication given regarding the chronological relation between these sixty-two weeks and the cutting off of the Anointed One.  This event will occur ‘after’ their close, but nothing is said as to how long after.”6  Robert Culver clearly states the implication of what this text says:

There can be no honest difference of opinion about that: the cutting off of Messiah is ‘after’ the sixty-two weeks.  It is not the concluding event of the series of sixty-two weeks.  Neither is it said to be the opening event of the seventieth.  It is simply after the seven plus sixty-two weeks.7

Steven Miller summaries developments in the passage thus far as follows:

After the reconstruction of Jerusalem in the first seven sevens (forty-nine years), another “sixty-two sevens” (434 years) would pass. Then two momentous events would take place.  First, the “Anointed One” would come (v. 25), then he would be “cut off.”  Apparently his coming would be immediately at the end of the sixty-nine sevens, . . .”8

There is no real debate among conservative interpreters as to who is spoken of by the phrase “the Messiah will be cut off,” as a referral to the crucifixion of Christ.  Thus, it means that Jesus would be crucified after completion of the seven and sixty-second week, but before the beginning of the seventieth week.  For this to happen it requires a gap of time between the two time periods.  This is not the result of an a prior belief like dispensationalism, as claimed by some.  G. H. Lang notes, “it is here that the interval in the Seventy Sevens must fall.  This is not a matter of interference, but of fact.”9

DeMar’s Delusion

For interpreters like Gary DeMar, who advocate a continuous fulfillment view of all seventy weeks without a break, it is they who must put both the crucifixion of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem, some forty years later, into the final week of years which is only seven years in length.  Yet, DeMar accuses those of us who see a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week as exercising “’silly-putty’ exegesis,”10 of stretching out this biblical time frame in a manner not supported by the text itself.  DeMar argues that Christ’s death took place in the middle of the final week, which would then draw to a conclusion in a.d. 33 with the conversion of Paul (an event which in no way is even remotely alluded to in Gabriel’s prophecy).11  What DeMar fails to tell his readers is that while he rails against a gap, he is oh so silent about how to ram, cram, and jam two events separated by forty years into a seven year period.  Perhaps his approach should be called “shoehorn” exegesis!

A closer look at DeMar’s problem reveals a grave contradiction in his understanding of Daniel 9:24-27 and his view of Matthew 24:15 as having been fulfilled in a.d. 70.  “The abomination of desolation is mentioned in one Old Testament book (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11),”12 declares DeMar.  He then states that “[T]here was no doubt in the minds of those who read and understood Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:15 that the abomination of desolation prophecy was fulfilled in events leading up to the temple’s destruction in a.d. 70.”13  Clearly DeMar links the fulfillment of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 9:27, which will occur in the middle of the week, with the Roman destruction of the temple in a.d. 70, some 40 years later.  Sorry Gary, but even with the flexibility of new math, the numbers don’t add up.  There is no way to ram, cram, and jam events that occurred at least forty years apart into seven years.
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« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2007, 12:04:04 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VII - Page 3 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Conclusion

Randall Price notes that “the events in verse 26: ‘the cutting off of Messiah,’ and of ‘the people of the prince,’ are stated to occur after the sixty-nine weeks.  If this was intended to occur in the seventieth week, the text would have read here ‘during’ or ‘in the midst of’ (cf. Daniel’s use of hetzi, ‘in the middle of,’ verse 27).  This language implies that these events precede the seventieth week, but do not immediately follow the sixty-ninth.  Therefore, a temporal interval separates the two.”14  Only the literal, futurist understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel can harmonize in a precise manner the interpretation of this passage.  Maranatha!

Endnotes

1. John F. Walvoord, Daniel:  The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1971), p. 227.

2. Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1977).

3. Hoehner, Chronological, p. 139.

4. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness:  Obsession of the Modern Church, (Power Springs, GA:  American Vision, 1999), p. 325.

5. DeMar, Last Days Madness, p. 331.

6. Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), p. 255.

7. Robert Culver, Daniel and the Latter Days (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1977), p. 157.

8. Steven R. Miller, Daniel, Vol. 18 of The New American Commentary (Nashville:  Broadman and Holman, 1994), p. 267.

9. G. H. Lang, The Histories and Prophecies of Daniel, (Miami Springs, FL:  Conley & Schoettle Publishing Co., 1985), p. 135.

10. DeMar, Last Days Madness, pp. 332-33.

11. DeMar, Last Days Madness, p. 327.

12. DeMar, Last Days Madness, p. 101.

13. DeMar, Last Days Madness, p. 101.

14. Randall Price, Prophecy of Daniel 9:27 (San Marcos, TX:  World of the Bible, n.d.), p. 22.

(To Be Continued . . .)
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2007, 12:23:36 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VIII - Page 1 of 3
by Thomas Ice

It has been well observed by various writers that if the seventy weeks are to end with the death of Christ and the incoming destruction of Jerusalem, it is simply impossible — with all ingenuity expended in this direction by eminent men — to make out an accurate fulfillment of prophecy from the dates given, for the time usually adduced being either too long to fit with the crucifixion of Christ or too short to extend to the destruction of Jerusalem. — George N. H. Peters1

As I work my way through the various items to be tackled in the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27, I will continue my focus on issues related to verse 26.  We saw last time that verse 26 begins with the phrase “after the sixty-two weeks.”  The text goes on to describe three things that will take place at the end of the sixty-ninth week of years (i.e., 483 years).  Therefore, in this installment, I will deal with three important phrases in verse 26.  They are:  1) “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing,” 2) “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary,” and 3) “its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”

Messiah Will Be Cut Off

All evangelical interpreters agree that the cutting off of Messiah certainly refers to the death of Jesus.  This fits perfectly into my interpretation thus far.  Since the 483 years were fulfilled to the day on March 30, a.d. 33—the date of Christ’s Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-40) — and Jesus was crucified four days later on April 3, a.d. 33, then it was an event that took place after the 483 years, but not during the final week of years.  This textual point is recognized by many, including amillennialist E. B. Pusey who says, “Not in, but after those three score and two weeks, it said Messiah shall be cut off.”2  “As this relates to the chronology of the prophecy,” notes Dr. John Walvoord, “it makes plain that the Messiah will be living at the end of the sixty-ninth seventh and will be cut off, or die, soon after the end of it.”3  G. H. Pember further explains:

Now, His crucifixion took place four days after His appearance as the Prince—that is, four days after the close of the Four Hundred and Eighty-third Year.  Nevertheless, the prophecy does not represent this great event as occurring in the Seven Years which yet remained to be fulfilled.  Here, then, is the beginning of an interval, which separates the Four Hundred and Eighty-three Years from the final Seven.4

The next phrase “and have nothing,” literally means “and shall have nothing.”  To what does this refer?  Certainly Christ gained what was intended through His atoning death on the cross as far as paying for the sins of the world.  What was it that He came for but did not receive, especially in relationship to Israel and Jerusalem, which is the larger context of this overall passage?  It was His Messianic Kingdom!  Indeed, it will come, but not at the time in which He was cut off.  Dr. Charles Feinberg declares, “it can only mean that He did not receive the Messianic kingdom at that time.  When His own people rejected him (John 1:11), He did not receive what rightly belonged to Him.”5  It is because of Daniel’s people (the Jews) rejection of Jesus as their Messiah that the Kingdom could come in.  The coming of the Kingdom requires acceptance of Jesus as Messiah in order for it to be established in Jerusalem.  The Kingdom will arrive by the time the final week is brought to fruition.  Since Israel’s kingdom has not yet arrived, this means it is future to our day.  Therefore, we have just seen another reason why the final week of years is also future to our day.

The Prince Who Is To Come

Identity of the prince who is to come is a matter of considerable debate and discussion.  The full statement says, “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.”  Perhaps the best way to determine the identity of this prince is to first look at what he is prophesied to do at his arrival upon the stage of history.  The people of this coming prince will destroy the city, clearly a reference to Jerusalem because of the overall context, and also the sanctuary.  What sanctuary was there in Jerusalem?  It could be nothing else other than the Jewish temple.  Has the city and the temple been destroyed?  Yes!  Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in a. d. 70 by the Romans.  This cannot be a reference to a future time, since, as Dr. Walvoord notes, “there is no complete destruction of Jerusalem at the end of the age as Zechariah 14:1-3 indicates that the city is in existence although overtaken by war at the very moment that Christ comes back in power and glory.  Accordingly, it is probably better to consider all of verse 26 fulfilled historically.”6

The subject of this sentence is “the people,” not “the prince who is to come.”  Thus, it is the people of the prince who is to come that destroys the city and the sanctuary.  We have already identified the people as the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in a.d. 70 under the leadership of Titus.  Yet, I believe that the prince who is to come is a reference to the yet to come Antichrist.  Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost explains,

The ruler who will come is that final head of the Roman Empire, the little horn of 7:8.  It is significant that the people of the ruler, not the ruler himself, will destroy Jerusalem.  Since he will be the final Roman ruler, the people of that ruler must be the Romans themselves.7
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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2007, 12:26:18 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VIII - Page 2 of 3
by Thomas Ice

The coming prince cannot be a reference to Christ, since He is said to be “cut off” in the prior sentence.  This prince has to be someone who comes after Christ.  The only two viable possibilities is that it could either refer to a Roman prince who destroyed Jerusalem in a.d. 70 or a future Antichrist.

Why should we not see the prince who is to come as a reference to Titus who led the Roman conquest in a.d. 70?  Because the emphasis of this verse is upon “the people,” not the subordinate clause “the prince who is to come.”  This passage is apparently stated this way so that this prophecy would link the Roman destruction with the a.d. 70 event, but at the same time setting up the Antichrist to be linked to the final week of years to the first “he” in verse 27.  He is not described as the prince coming with the people, but instead a detached and distant description, as one who is coming.  This suggests that the people and the prince will not arrive in history together.  Dr. Steven Miller adds, “but v. 27 makes clear that this ‘ruler’ will be the future persecutor of Israel during the seventieth seven.  ‘The people of the rule’ does not mean that the people ‘belong to’ the ruler but rather that the ruler will come from these people.”8  Interestingly our amillennial friends agree that this is a reference to the Antichrist as noted by Robert Culver:

Neither is there any difficulty with our amillennial friends over the identity of “the coming prince,” . . . Keil and Leupold recognize him as the final Antichrist, said to be “coming” because already selected for prophecy in direct language in chapter 7 as “the little horn,” and in type in chapter 8 as “the little horn.”  Young thinks otherwise but is outweighed on his own “team.”9

Its End Will Come With A Flood

This final sentence of verse 26 also occurs during the interval between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks.  However, the first part, ”its end will come with a flood,” refers back to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70, while the final phrase, “even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined,” is being fulfilled throughout the entire period (2,000 years thus far) of the interval.

“The antecedent of ‘it’ is obviously Jerusalem,” explains Leon Wood.  “’Flood’ or ‘overflowing’ can refer only to the degree of destruction meted out.  History records that the destruction of Jerusalem was very extensive.”10  The war and desolations that began with the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 would continue throughout the interval leading up to the seventieth week.  In fact, this language appears to parallel that of Luke 21:24, which says, “and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”  Charles Feinberg agrees:

The final words of verse 26 sum up the history of Israel since a.d. 70: “desolations are determined.”  Surely the determined wars and desolations have come upon them (cf. Luke 21:24).  Such has been the lot of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, and such will be the portion, until the “time of the Gentiles” have been fulfilled.11

Dr. Pentecost adds the following:

But that invasion, awesome as it was, did not end the nation’s sufferings, for war, Gabriel said, would continue until the end.  Even though Israel was to be set aside, she would continue to suffer until the prophecies of the 70 “sevens” were completely fulfilled.  Her sufferings span the entire period from the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 to Jerusalem’s deliverance from Gentile dominion at the Second Advent of Christ.12

Conclusion

Once again we see that a plain, straightforward reading of the text of the Bible provides a clear and convincing understanding that there is a biblical basis for halting God’s clock between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks.  Robert Culver summarizes our findings as follows:

All attempts to place the events of verse 26 (the cutting off of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem) in either the period of the sixty-two weeks (Keil and Leupold) or in the seventieth week (Young and a host of writers in the past) stumble and fall on the simple language of the text itself.  It seems that a more natural interpretation is the one that regards the events of verse 26 as belonging to a period between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks, when God has sovereignly set aside His people Israel, awaiting a time of resumption of covenant relationship in the future, after Israel has been restored to the land.13

Thus, with each passing article, as we plod through the text of Daniel 9:24-27, we find that critics such as Dr. Kenneth Gentry’s complaints fall silent to the ground.
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2007, 12:29:24 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part VIII - Page 3 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Only hermeneutical gymnastics, a suspension of sound reason, and an a prior commitment to the dispensational system allows the importing of a massive gap into Daniel’s prophecy.  Such ideas interrupt the otherwise chronologically exact time-frame.14

Sorry Dr. Gentry, but the text of Daniel itself demands a gap of time.  Maranatha!

Endnotes

1. George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 3 Vols., (Grand Rapids:  Kregel, [1884], 1978 ), Vol. II, p. 659.

2. E. B. Pusey, Daniel The Prophet (Minneapolis:  Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1978 [1885]), p. 192.

3. John F. Walvoord, Daniel:  The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1971), p. 229.

4. G. H. Pember, The Great Prophecies of the Centuries Concerning Israel and the Gentiles , (Miami Springs, FL:  Conley & Schoettle Publishing Co., 1984 [1909]), p. 345.

5. Charles Lee Feinberg, Daniel:  The man and his visions (Chappaqua, NY:  Christian Herald Books, 1981), p. 132.

6. Walvoord, Daniel, p. 231.

7. J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary:  Old Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books, 1985), p. 1364.

8. Steven R. Miller, Daniel, Vol. 18 of The New American Commentary (Nashville:  Broadman and Holman, 1994), p. 268.

9. Robert Culver, Daniel and the Latter Days (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1977), p. 157.

10. Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), p. 256.

11. Feinberg, Daniel, p. 133.

12. Pentecost, “Daniel,” p. 1364.

13. Culver, Daniel, p. 157-58.

14. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Perilous Times:  A Study in Eschatological Evil (Texarkana, AR:  Covenant Media Press, 1999), p. 33.

(To Be Continued . . .)
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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2007, 12:48:25 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part IX - Page 1 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Our study of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy now moves to the final verse in the passage, which also deals with the final week of years.

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. (Daniel 9:27)

In this installment I will provide further reasons for a time-gap between the sixty-nine and seventieth weeks and note features from the text that support the interpretation that this seven-year period is the yet to come tribulation period.

Antichrist or Christ?

Right off the bat, the first question that arises in verse 27 is to whom does the pronoun “he” refer to?  I believe that “he” must refer to “the prince who is to come” in verse 26.  However, opponents of literal interpretation disagree.  Preterist, Dr. Kenneth Gentry says, “[T]he indefinite pronoun ‘he’ does not refer back to ‘the prince who is to come’ of verse 26.”1  Fellow preterist, Gary DeMar, insists “it is Jesus who ‘will make a firm covenant with the many,’ not the antichrist.”2  Yet, such an errant interpretation violates the grammar and syntax of the Hebrew text.

In Hebrew grammar, as with most languages, a pronoun would refer to the nearest antecedent, unless there was a contextual reason to think otherwise.  In this instance, the nearest antecedent in agreement with “he” is “the prince who is to come” in verse 26.  This is recognized by a majority of scholars,3 including a number of amillennialists such as Kiel4 and Leupold.5  Only a prior theological bias could lead a trained interpreter of Scripture to any other conclusion.  Robert Culver explains the correct meaning of this text as follows:

The ordinary rules of grammar establish that the leading actor of this verse is the Antichrist, the great evil man of the end time. . . . If the pronoun “he” were present in the Hebrew, a case might possibly be made for the introduction of an entirely new personality into the story at this point.  However, there is no pronoun; only the third masculine singular form of the verb indicates that an antecedent is to be sought, and that of necessity in the preceding context.  Usually, the last preceding noun that agrees in gender and number and agrees with the sense is the antecedent.  This is unquestionably . . . “the coming prince” of verse 26.  He is a “coming” prince, that is, one whom the reader would already know as a prince to come, because he is the same as the “little horn” on the fourth beast of chapter 7.6

Leon Wood provides a list of further reasons for taking the “he” in verse 27 as a reference to “the prince who is to come” of verse 26.

Second, as noted above, the unusual manner of mention in verse twenty-six regarding that prince calls for just such a further reference as this.  There is no reason for the earlier notice unless something further is to be said regarding him, for he does nothing nor plays any part in activities there described.  Third, several matters show that what is now said regarding the one in reference does not suit if that reference is to Christ.  (a) This person makes a "firm covenant" with people, but Christ made no covenant. God made a Covenant of Grace with people, and Christ fulfilled requirements under it, but this is quite different from Christ's making a covenant.  (b) Even if Christ had made a covenant with people during His lifetime, the idea of mentioning it only here in the overall thought of the passage would be unusual, when the subjects of His death and even the destruction of Jerusalem have already been set forth.  (c) The idea of the seventieth week, here closely associated with this one, does not fit the life or ministry of Christ, as will be shown presently.  (d) The idea that this one causes "sacrifice and offering to cease" does not fit in reference to Christ in this context.  The amillennial view holds that these words refer to Christ's supreme sacrifice in death, which made all other sacrifices and offerings of no further use, thus making them to cease in principle.  But, if so, what would be the reason for such a statement (true as it is) in view of the purpose of the overall prediction?  One could understand a direct statement concerning Christ's providing atonement for sin - though its placing at this point in the general thought order the passage would be strange - because that would be important to sin-bondaged Israelites.  But why, if that is the basic thought, should it be expressed so indirectly, in terms of sacrificing and offering being made to cease?7

It is safe to conclude that the immediate context of this passage and the book as a whole supports our understanding of this matter.  This interpretation would also support a futurist understanding of verse 27.
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« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2007, 12:52:29 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part IX - Page 2 of 3
by Thomas Ice

The Making of a Covenant

What is it that “he” will do?  The antichrist will “make a firm covenant with the many for one week,” that is seven years.  Non-literal interpreters of Daniel’s seventy-week prophecy usually attempt to make this covenant a reference to Christ’s covenant to save His people, usually known as the covenant of grace.  “This, then, is a confirming of a covenant already extant, i.e., the covenant of God’s redemptive grace that Christ confirms (Rom. 15:8 ),”8 claims Dr. Gentry.  Dr. Gentry and those advocating a similar view, must resort to a non-textual, theological interpretation at this point since there was no seven-year covenant made by Christ with the Jewish people at the time of His first coming.  They must back off from the specifics of the text in verse 27 and import in a theological interpretation, thus providing us with a classic example of spiritualization or allegorical interpretation.

If this is supposed to be a reference to the covenant of grace, then “it may be observed first that this would be a strange way to express such a thought,”9 notes Dr. Wood.  Christ’s salvation covenant is not limited to seven years rather it is an eternal covenant.  Daniel 9:27 says the covenant is to be made with “the many.”  This term always refers in some way to Israel throughout the book of Daniel (Daniel 11:33, 39; 12:3).  Thus it is a narrow term, used in a specific context.  It is not a broad term, synonymous with the language of global salvation.  Further, “it is evident that the covenant is subsequent to the cutting off of Messiah and the destruction of the City and the Sanctuary, in the twenty-sixth verse; therefore, it could not have been confirmed at the First Advent,”10 says G. H. Pember.  Such an interpretation does not fit this text and it does not account for the seven years that Gabriel says this covenant will be in place.  Dr. Wood further explains:

Since the word for “covenant” . . . does not carry the article (contrary to the kjv translation), this covenant likely is made at this time for the first time (not a reaffirmation of an old one, then) and probably will concern some type of nonaggression treaty, recognizing mutual rights.  Israel’s interest in such a treaty is easy to understand in the light of her desire today for allies to help withstand foes such as Russia and the Arab bloc of nations.11

Since a covenant as described in verse 27 has not yet taken place in reference to the nation of Israel, it must therefore follow that this will be a yet to occur future event.  This then, demands a postponement of the seventieth week with a gap of time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of years.

For One Week

This passage clearly says that the length of the covenant that “he” will make will be for one week or seven years.  I suppose that this could mean either that the covenant will be predetermined to last seven years or that it does not specify a length of time when made, but as it turns out, is only in existence for seven years.  Many of those who believe that the entire prophecy of the seventy weeks has already been fulfilled around the time of Christ’s first coming teach that the first half of the seventieth week was fulfilled by Christ’s ministry.12  “We know Christ’s three-and-one-half-year ministry,” says Dr. Gentry, “was decidedly focused on the Jews in the first half of the seventieth week (Matt. 10:5b; cf. Matt. 15:24).”13  G. H. Pember objects to such a view with the following:

if the Messiah could be the subject, and the time that of the First Advent, we should then be plunged into the greatest perplexity; for the Lord did none of the things that are mentioned in the twenty-seventh verse.  To fulfil that part of the prophecy, He must have made a covenant with the majority of the Jewish people for seven years, neither more nor less.  But there is no hint of such a covenant in the Gospels.  And, indeed, one of the prophets has intimated to us, that the Lord, just before His death, suspended all His relations with the Jews, and through them with the whole of the Twelve Tribes.  This exactly corresponds to the suspension of His dealings with the Jews at the close of the Four Hundred and Eighty-third Year, and to the facts of history.  Still further, the very next verse of Zechariah carries us over the interval, and brings us face to face with the Prince that shall come, the Anti-christ, who will make the seven years' covenant on pretense of being the Shepherd of Israel.  Lastly, Christ did not cause sacrifice and offering to cease, when He suffered without the gate: the Temple-services were carried on for nearly forty years longer.14

Conclusion

Once again we have seen in this installment on the seventy weeks that the text of this passage supports a gap of time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks.  It is becoming increasingly obvious that the seventieth week is still future to the time in which we now live.  “Israel has now been reestablished as a nation (1948 ), suggesting that the seventieth seven may soon begin.”15  Maranatha!
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« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2007, 12:54:23 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part IX - Page 3 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Endnotes

1. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Perilous Times:  A Study in Eschatological Evil (Texarkana, AR:  Covenant Media Press, 1999), p. 32.

2. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness:  Obsession of the Modern Church, (Power Springs, GA:  American Vision, 1999), p. 328.

3. According to Steven R. Miller, Daniel, Vol. 18 of The New American Commentary (Nashville:  Broadman and Holman, 1994), p. 268.

4. C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Daniel, 10 vols., (Grand Rapids:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), Vol. IX, p. 367.

5. H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, (Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1949), p. 431.

6. Robert Culver, Daniel and the Latter Days (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1977), pp. 161-62.

7. Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973), p. 257.

8. Gentry, Perilous Times, p. 32.

9. Wood, Daniel, p. 259.

10. G. H. Pember, The Great Prophecies of the Centuries Concerning Israel and the Gentiles , (Miami Springs, FL:  Conley & Schoettle Publishing Co., 1984 [1909]), p. 351.

11. Wood, Daniel, p. 259.

12. See for example, DeMar, Last Days Madness, pp. 326-27.

13. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion:  A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, TX:  Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), p. 319.

14. Pember, Great Prophecies . . .  Concerning Israel and the Gentiles, p. 351.

15. Miller, Daniel, p. 270.

(To Be Continued . . .)
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« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2007, 01:11:27 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part X - Page 1 of 3
by Thomas Ice

Gabriel divides his prophecy of seventy weeks of years to Daniel into three sections: seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week.  The final week of years - seven years - is detailed in Daniel 9:27.  Previously I dealt with the first part of verse 27, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week.”  This time I will be focusing upon the rest of verse 27, which says, “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.”  This verse tells us what will happen during the final week of years, which I believe to be a yet future seven year period often called the tribulation.

In the Middle of the Week

Since the week of years is a seven-year period, the middle of a week of years would be three and a half years into the seven-year period.  Interestingly, Daniel 7:25 and 12:7 both refer to a three and a half year period (time, times, and half a time).  The context of both passages speak of the future time of the antichrist or the beast.  This would support a futurist understanding of the seventieth week of Daniel 9:27. Daniel 7:25 says, “And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  While this passage was given to Daniel before he received the revelation of chapter nine, it seems clear that the logic for the chronology of Daniel 7:25 is drawn from the seventy weeks prophecy of chapter nine.  Daniel 12:7 reads as follows:  “And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”  Both Daniel 9:27 and 12:7 speak of the antichrist’s rule coming to an end at the conclusion of the same three and a half year period.  This supports the notion that they both refer to a yet future time that we often call the Great Tribulation.  Dr. John Whitcomb notes,

This important prophetic statement clearly refers to the same time units as previously described in the end-time activities of the Antichrist (“little horn”) of Daniel 7, where “he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they [the saints] will be given into his hands for a time, times, and half a time” (7:25).  The clarification provided here is that the three-and-one-half-year period at the beginning of which Antichrist “shall cause a covenant [with the many] to be made strong” (literal translation).  Then, for some unexplained reason, “in the middle” of this final seven-year period “he will put a stop to sacrifice [zebâh, bloody sacrifices] and grain offering [minhah, non-bloody sacrifices].”1

Allegorical Alchemy

This past weekend, I attended a conference in which my friend Hal Lindsey spoke.  He used a phrase that I think applies to non-literal interpreters like Gary DeMar2 and Dr. Kenneth Gentry3 who do not provide a textual interpretation of this passage.  They are rightly called “allegorical alchemist,” because they try to brew-up interpretations from out of thin air by just stating and then declaring them to be true.  In Daniel 9:27 they attempt a topical approach, selecting a word or two from the passage and declaring that “Daniel’s famous prophecy finds fulfillment in the first century of our era.”4  DeMar is even more bizarre in his alchemy when he teaches:

As the result of the Jews’ rejection of Jesus, they would lose their inheritance.  This would not occur for another forty years (Matt. 21:33-46; 22:1-14).  Similarly, Jesus pronounced the temple “desolate” when He walked out of it even though its destruction did not come for another forty year (23:38 ).  In principle, it was a “done deal” when He turned His back on the temple.  It is no wonder that Jesus described the temple as “your house” (23:38 ).  The temple’s destruction was a consequence, a result, of the apostate Jews’ rejection of Jesus (see 2 Sam. 13:32; Job 14:15; Isa. 10:22; Lam. 2:8; Luke 22:22). . . .

. . . The sentence is determined on one day while the sentence may not be carried out until some time in the future.  In similar fashion, we are told that the destruction of Jerusalem was “determined” within the seventy weeks while the sentence was not carried out until forty years later. 5

In response to Dr. Gentry’s claim that Daniel 9:27 refers to Christ’s salvation covenant see my previous installment of this series (Part IX).  Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost further explains:

This covenant could not have been made or confirmed by Christ at His First Advent, . . . because :  (a) His ministry did not last seven years, (b) His death did not stop sacrifices and offerings, (c) He did not set up “the abomination that causes desolation” (Matt. 24:15).  Amillenarians suggest that Christ confirmed (in the sense of fulfilling) the Abrahamic Covenant but the Gospels give no indication He did that in His First Advent.6
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« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2007, 01:14:37 PM »

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel - Part X - Page 2 of 3
by Thomas Ice

What Dr. Gentry says just does not explain Daniel 9:27 in context.  When one’s interpretation cannot explain the details of a passage, then an allegorical alchemist, like Dr. Gentry, will take words or phrases out of context and place them into a different context so that, to some, it appears that he has explained the passage.  Yet, he has nothing of the sort and this a clear example of his interpretative slight of hand.  The text of verse 27 is simple not explained by Dr. Gentry’s statements.

In a way, DeMar’s explanation is even worse than his partner in crime - Dr. Gentry.  While verse 27 clearly says that the events to which it speaks will take place within the seven-year period, DeMar changes the meaning to simply mean “determine.”  Verse 27 says that in the middle of the seven-year period “he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering.”  This is the language of something that is to actually take place.  This is not the language of something that someone is proposing to do later.  The final part of verse 27 says, “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.”  How is this just a proposal of what has been determined, when passage clearly says that this will take place within the time frame?

The Abomination of Desolation

Verse 27 says that in the middle of the week (three and a half years), “on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate.”  Here we have a reference to the Antichrist who will do something to desecrate the Temple.  This did not happen near the time of Christ’s first coming.  If it did, then what event was it?  If it happened in a.d. 70, as some might say, then it could not have happened within the time-span of the seventy weeks of years by anyone’s calculation.  Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 24:15, “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).”  Here we have the interpretation of Jesus concerning the event Gabriel describes to Daniel in 9:27.  The event has to be future to the time of Christ, and since nothing like it corresponds to within seven years of His prediction then we have to see this as a yet future event.  Thus, another reason for a gap or postponement of time between the sixty-ninth week of years and the seventieth week.  Posttribulationist Dr. Robert Gundry notes:

Moreover, to place the complete fulfillment of the seventieth week at a.d. 70 or before severs the obvious connection between Daniel 9, Matthew 24, and Revelation.  (Compare “in the middle of the week” [Dan. 9:27], forty-two month and 1,260 days [Rev. 11:2; 12:6; 13:5], and time, times, and half a time [Dan. 12:7; 7:25; Rev. 12:14].  Under the historical view, if the relationship between Daniel and Revelation were retained, Revelation, which was written probably a quarter century after the destruction of Jerusalem, would be history instead of the prophecy it purports to be.7

A Complete Destruction

The latter part of verse 27 says, “even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”  Once again, when did this happen in conjunction with Christ’s first advent.  It did not!  Therefore, another reason to see this as a yet future event when the Antichrist will be destroyed at the second coming of Christ, which will bring to an end the seventieth week of years.

In another interpretation put forth by Gary DeMar that violates the clear statements of the biblical text, he sees the abomination of desolation taking place in a.d. 70.

The abomination of desolation is mentioned in one Old Testament book (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). . . . There was no doubt in the minds of those who read and understood Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:15 that the abomination of desolation prophecy was fulfilled in events leading up to the temple’s destruction in a.d. 70.8

In addition to the problem that an a.d. 70 fulfillment does not fit into anyone’s scheme of the seventy weeks of years, none of the Romans, such as Titus, could be said to have been destroyed after performing the supposed deed.  Dr. Randall Price rebuts such an approach with the following:

However, historically, no known Roman leader ever “made a covenant with the Jewish leaders . . . for seven years, and so this awaits future fulfillment when seventieth week commences.

. . . However, if this is applied to the Romans in their crushing the Jewish Revolt in a.d. 70, then how was the Roman empire punished at this point, since the fall of the empire itself was still several hundred years away?9
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