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S. Lewis Johnson: It is undoubtedly true that this is one of the great prophecies of the Old Testament, perhaps one of the most important in all of the word of God. So, Edward Denny, a student of prophecy once called it “the backbone of prophecy.” Some interesting things have been said about it by some of the older commentators as well. John Owen, one of the greatest of the Puritan theologians said that “Because this prophecy sets forth the time and coming of the Messiah, it justly has esteemed the racks and tortures of the rabbis.” And an old interpreter of the prophecy said that “It is a passage of a great importance containing such a prediction of the time, the purposes and consequences of the coming and death of the Messiah, his rejection by the Jews and the destruction of their temple, city, and nation as cannot be equaled in the Old Testament.”

The purpose of the “seventy sevens” is to show what will take place before Israel is restored to her status in God’s plan. “Seventy sevens” or four hundred and ninety years Daniel is told must elapse before Israel is to enter into the promises that belong to them. They have four hundred and ninety years of discipline to undergo, and four hundred and ninety years of discipline to undergo within the broader amount of time of the times of the Gentiles, which began in six hundred and five BC when Nebuchadnezzar took the city of Jerusalem, and will continue according to earlier prophecies in the Book of Daniel, such as chapter 2, until the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who will establish the kingdom of God upon the earth.

But four hundred and ninety years are taken out of the times of the Gentiles in order to accomplish certain things for, as Daniel is told, “your people and your Holy City.” So the four hundred and ninety years are carved out, so to speak, of the times of the Gentiles, which now have been going on for twenty-five hundred plus years, but the four hundred and ninety years are designed to deal with Israel and the Holy City.

Tremper Longman III: Interest in this chapter has usually bypassed the prayer for the more enigmatic prophecy of the seventy weeks. This is unfortunate, for the prayer contains much rich theology and important practical application to those of us reading it today.

David Cooper: Thus the prophecy of Daniel 9 shows clearly

– the period of reconstruction under Zerubbabel, a period of forty-nine years;

– the next era reaching from the restoration to the execution of Messiah;

– the third epoch extending from the crucifixion of Messiah to the Tribulation Period–the Christian Era.

– The last of this 490-year period is the seventieth week, the Tribulation. Here the prophecy concludes;

– but from related passages we know that the great Millennial Era of our Lord will follow immediately the seventieth week of Daniel.

Stephen Miller: Although the message revealed to Daniel in this chapter is called a “vision” (mar’eh) in v. 23, Daniel did not see animals here rising out of a sea or rams and goats as in the previous two visions. Neither did Gabriel appear in vision but in bodily form. Therefore the “vision” of chap. 9 may be thought of more as a prophetic revelation (cf. Prov 29:18; Obad 1; Nah 1:1; Hab 2:2).

Daniel 9 contains a record of the prophet’s prayer on behalf of the covenant people, Israel, and God’s response to that prayer. Primarily for this reason the covenant name, Yahweh, appears in this chapter (seven times), although it is not found elsewhere in the book.


A. (:1-2a) Timing of the Prophecy

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans– 2 in the first year of his reign”

Stephen Miller: Daniel received this revelation in the first year of Darius the Mede (ca. 538 B.C.). Thus the events of this chapter transpired approximately twelve years after Daniel’s second vision recorded in chap. 8. If taken captive about age fifteen in 605 B.C., he would have been over eighty years of age in 538 B.C.

Bob Deffinbaugh: Verses 1-3 have set the scene. With the death of Belshazzar came the end of the Babylonian empire. The rise of Darius to power commenced the Medo-Persian empire. Daniel realizes that the time of Israel’s chastening has ended, and the time for the Jews’ return to the land of Israel is imminent. So he begins to pray for the restoration of the nation Israel. His prayer, recorded in verses 4-19, may be typical of the prayers he faithfully offered up three times a day.

John Whitcomb: Darius the Mede – appointed by Cyrus to reign over the Chaldeans, the Fertile Crescent, the eastern section of which was the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, the bottom of which section was none other than Daniel and his three friends.

B. (:2b) Terminus of the Seventy Year Judgment on Jerusalem

“I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years

which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet

for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.”

John Whitcomb: Jeremiah was God’s appointed prophet to observe and explain the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. and the subsequent destruction of the temple in 586 and the awful things that would happen under the wicked sons of Josiah. Jeremiah had reported that the Jewish nation would endure 70 years of captivity in Babylon. Daniel is now wondering when these 70 years of captivity were going to come to an end and what would happen subsequently.

Stephen Miller: “According to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet” is a strong affirmation of verbal inspiration. The writer of Daniel believed that the sacred Scriptures, in this case the prophecies of Jeremiah, were the very words of God delivered to the world through a human
instrument. . .

Since 605 B.C. was the year when the first captives were taken to Babylon (Daniel and his friends), the year that Judah came under Babylonian domination, and the year the prophecy was first given, it is reasonable to assume that Jeremiah intended this as the beginning date for the seventy-year captivity period. Cyrus issued the decree releasing the captives in 538/537 B.C., and the exiles returned shortly thereafter. Considering that the seventy years is a round number, the sixty-eight or so years of the exile is an amazing fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy. Even R. A. Anderson acknowledges: “As a ‘round figure’ prognostication Jeremiah’s prophecy was quite accurate.” As Daniel studied Jeremiah’s prophecy, he came to realize that the seventy-year captivity period was now drawing to a close.

This passage illustrates that Daniel believed in the reality of predictive prophecy. Jeremiah had foretold the end of the exilic period seventy years in advance, and Daniel fully expected this prophecy to be fulfilled. Neither did Daniel “symbolize” these seventy years but took the prophecy literally. This is the safest procedure for believers today as they study prophecies of future events.

Paul Lederach: From the fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.) to the fall of Babylon (539 B.C.) is 73 years. From Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat of Egypt (605 B.C.) to the decree for return (538 B.C.) is nearly 70 years. Since Jeremiah refers to “Babylon’s seventy years” (29:10a), they are best taken as an imprecise reference to the period of Babylon’s domination over surrounding nations. It is about a lifetime, such as Daniel’s (Ps. 90:10; Ezra 3:12; Hag. 2:3), and certainly much longer than the false prophet Hananiah’s 594 B.C. prediction of two years! (Jer. 28).

Iain Duguid: In these oracles Jeremiah announced that the Lord’s plan was to subject his people to Babylon for seventy years for their sin, but at the end of that time God would act to judge the Babylonians and to bring his people home. What triggered Daniel’s interest in this prophecy was likely the overthrow of the Babylonian empire by the Medes and the Persians, and the death of King Belshazzar at the hands of Darius, the new ruler. Evidently, God was now judging the king of Babylon and his nation, just as he had promised. Therefore, even though it wasn’t quite seventy years yet since the destruction of Judah, Daniel began to pray with greater intensity for the fulfillment of the second half of this prophecy: the gracious restoration of God’s people to his land. . .

This increased intensity in prayer is marked by Daniel’s decision to fast and pray in sackcloth and ashes, signs of intense mourning and repentance for his people’s sin. . .

Daniel’s prayer essentially consists of three elements: invocation, confession, and petition. Daniel began by recognizing and acknowledging who God is (invocation); then he confessed the sins of his community and acknowledged the rightness of God’s judgment upon them (confession), and finally, he pled with God to fulfill his purposes for his people (petition).

Tremper Longman III: Rarely do we see such an explicit reference from one biblical book to another as we see here with Daniel’s appeal to Jeremiah. Some scholars are unwilling to speak of a closed prophetic canon or an authoritative Scripture at this point, but it is certainly hard to avoid the implication of the latter. What Jeremiah has written, after all, is referred to as the “word of the LORD.” Here we see the equation between the prophet’s words and the word of the one who commissioned him.

S. Lewis Johnson: So, here is Daniel having received two great visions and the great revelation concerning the future. It is near the end of the seventy years of the captivity and so far as Daniel knew at the end of the seventy years of captivity Israel would be restored to the land, and they would enter in to the blessings of the covenant of God. But he has been told here that he lived under the reign of Babylon, he has been told that there are going to be three world empires before the final consummation of things. And so you can see how he was perplexed over this because with only 18-20 or 24 months left, Daniel so far as he understood from the perspective of prophecy that he had there would have to rise three more great world empires in that shorter time. So, he was very much puzzled by that. He knew that the seventy years of captivity was drawing to an end, he thought that at that time Israel would be restored to their prominence and blessing, but he also now has been told there would be four world empires before the coming of the kingdom of God. So, Daniel to put it in our terms, has a problem.

Now, in answer to that problem, we have the revelation of the prophecy of the seventy sevens. For in this prophecy now Daniel will be given some temporal information, which will enable him to understand that the rise and fall of the empires is not within the next 18 months to two years, but rather is going to take place over a rather lengthy period of time.


A. (:3-4) Invocation — Seeking the Covenant Lovingkindness of Israel’s Great and Awesome God

1. (:3) Attention Aided by Outward Expression of Contrition

“So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him

by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”

Stephen Miller: His appeal was directed toward “the Lord [’ădōnāy] God.” The name ’ădōnāy means “owner, ruler, or sovereign” and identifies Yahweh as the owner and ruler of the universe. Not only was he able to hear Daniel’s prayer, but he had the power to direct the affairs of world history in order to answer his prayer.

Andrew Hill: The combined ritual acts of fasting and donning sackcloth and ashes (v.3c) were a sign of mourning and repentance in the OT (cf. Ne 9:1; Est 4:1–4; Jnh 3:6). The discipline of fasting is sometimes a part of the preparation process for receiving revelation from God (cf. Ex 34:28; Dt 9:9). Here the two acts of mourning and seeking revelation merge as Daniel prays “to comprehend God’s purpose in the destruction of Jerusalem” (Lucas, 236). According to Wood, 234, all three actions (fasting, wearing a coarse sackcloth garment, and sprinkling ashes on one’s head) demonstrate the degree of the burden Daniel carries for his people and are “customary for the day when genuine contriteness of heart was felt.”

2. (:4) Adoration Expressed

“And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, ‘Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who l
ove Him and keep His commandments,”

Stephen Miller: This prayer is a model for believers today as they approach God. After a brief introduction (v. 4a) it proceeds with adoration of the Lord (v. 4b), is followed by confession of personal and national sin (vv. 5–14), and concludes with the prophet’s petition (vv. 15–19). Here is the proper order, for only after the Lord is praised and sin confessed is the believer qualified to offer requests to the holy God.

Iain Duguid: The contrast could not be starker between the faithful and holy God, who is true to all of his promises, and the faithless and unholy people, who had broken all of their commitments and rebelled against their overlord. Under the terms of the covenant that God made with his people at Mount Sinai, such a combination could only ever have one result: the destruction and exile of God’s people from the land of promise (see Deut. 28). Because the Lord is righteous and faithful, he had to follow through with this threatened judgment, pouring out his fierce wrath on Jerusalem, his chosen city and dwelling place (Dan. 9:16), making his people the object of deserved scorn among the nations all around them. So Daniel confessed the sin of his people and acknowledged the justice of God’s judgment, severe though it had been. There was no effort on Daniel’s part to make excuses for Israel or to challenge the fairness of God’s dealings with them. Israel fully deserved the fate they had experienced for their rebellion against such a holy and kind God.

Andrew Hill: The word “love” or “lovingkindness” (NASB) is used as an expression of “a relationship of mutual loyalty and faithfulness” between the parties bound by a covenant (Lucas, 237). Daniel affirms that God has fulfilled his covenantal obligations. But Yahweh’s ḥesed or covenantal love is contingent on Israel’s loving obedience in response to his commands (Heb. miṣwôt), since they express his will for his people. The final clause of v.4b echoes the Decalogue, in which Yahweh promises to show “love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Ex 20:6; Dt 5:10). The context both in the Pentateuch and Daniel’s prayer “makes clear that what is called for is not so much an emotional as a moral commitment” (Lucas, 237).

John Goldingay: This prayer begins with an ascription of praise to God (v. 4), a motif that recurs in the body of the prayer (e.g., vv. 7a, 9a, 15). The recognition that right is on Yahweh’s side is of key importance to the prayer, which in this connection can be described as a Gerichtsdoxologie, an act of praise at the justice of God’s judgment. The central feature of the prayer is thus an acknowledgment of wrongdoing (vv. 5–14). It makes a statement in general terms of what Israel did and failed to do (vv. 5–6, 9b–11a, 11b, 13b, 14b) and of God’s acts in response (esp. vv. 11b, 12–13a, 14), and it contrasts the consequent moral positions of God and people (esp. vv. 7–8a). It incorporates some description of the afflicted state of the people for whom Daniel prays; the description corresponds to the lament in a protest psalm. This second section of the prayer is the longest, yet it does not express its main aim. The prayer is not just an acknowledgment of wrongdoing and acceptance of responsibility for it, like Josh 7:20–21; 2 Sam 12:13a; and the Deuteronomistic History as a whole. The acknowledgment of being in the wrong is designed to open the way to a plea for mercy, as in Judg 10:15; 1 Sam 15:24–25; Ps 106;17 contrast—among the communal prayers of confession—Ezra 9. Thus the third element in the prayer’s form is a plea for God to turn back to his people in forgiveness and restoration (vv. 15–19). The transition to the plea is marked by the emphatic particle “but now,” which recurs in v. 17: for the repetition, compare 2 Sam 7; 1 Kgs 8. It is both a conjunction and an interjection; it expresses an outburst of emotion. The plea is dominated by motive clauses and phrases that indicate the reasons why God should forgive and restore (vv. 15a, 16a [two phrases], 16b, 17b, 18a, 18b, 19b).

B. (:5-14) Confession of Sin – Surrendering to the Righteousness of God and Soliciting the Mercy of God

1. (:5-6) Aspects of Israel’s Iniquity Confessed

a. “we have sinned,” [not “they have sinned”]

Stephen Miller: The Hebrew verb ḥāṭā’ (“sinned”) basically means “to miss the mark.” For example, Judg 20:16 says that there were seven hundred Benjamite soldiers who “could sling a stone at a hair and not miss [ḥāṭā’]” the target. Ethically speaking, sin is missing God’s mark or goal of holy living that is required for human beings. Israel as a nation had fallen short of God’s design to be a holy people.

John Goldingay: does not imply that people had been seeking to live in accordance with God’s expectations but had not managed to achieve what they were aiming at. It implies that their failure was willful.

b. “committed iniquity,”

Stephen Miller: Hebrew ‘āwâ (“done wrong,” NIV, NRSV; “committed iniquity,” NASB, KJV) seems to be derived from a root that means to “bend or twist.” It appears to emphasize the fact that sin is “something twisted or perverted” or that one who sins has veered from the straight and narrow road and “made his paths crooked.” Words that express righteousness in the Old Testament generally have the primary meaning of “straightness”; thus to make one’s paths crooked is sin. This veering from God’s prescribed path is condemned because it is deliberate.

c. “acted wickedly,”

d. “and rebelled,”

Paul Lederach: Twice Daniel confesses the evil of acting wickedly (raša‘ 9:5, 15c). The word signifies the opposite of doing good; in the Psalms it frequently describes wrongdoing or acting unjustly. Twice, too, the list includes the evil of rebellion (marad) (9:5, 9). A classic instance of defying authority is Israel’s refusal to move into the land at Kadesh-barnea (Deut. 1:25-26). Twice, too, Daniel points to iniquity (‘awon), essentially perversity and waywardness (9:13, 16). There are two references to Israel turning aside (sur), stepping off the correct track (9:5, 11). . .

Thus Daniel catalogs evil and gathers together all sin, every kind, to its full extent. In light of Israel’s sinfulness resulting in captivity, and in memory of Solomon’s prayer, Daniel’s prayer of confession and repentance indicates that he takes Scripture seriously.

e. “even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances.”

f. “Moreover, we have not listened to Thy servants the prophets,

who spoke in Thy name to our kings, our prin
ces, our fathers,

and all the people of the land.”

John Whitcomb: Jeremiah had been beaten and thrown into prison. The people got exactly what they deserved.

2. (:7-10) Surrendering to the Righteousness of God

a. (:7-8) Deserving of Open Shame

“Righteousness belongs to Thee, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day– to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which Thou hast driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against Thee. 8 Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.”

Stephen Miller: Daniel contrasted the righteousness of the Lord with the unfaithfulness of Israel. The contrast between Yahweh and Israel is emphatic in the Hebrew, which reads, “To you, O Lord, is the righteousness, but to us is shame of face.” That Yahweh was punishing Israel for their unfaithfulness to him was evident to all who observed the nation’s present deplorable condition. Israel’s shame was a result of their sins. This “shame” was the disgrace of the captivity and the destruction of the land of Israel.

b. (:9-10) Desirous of Compassion and Forgiveness

“To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets.”

Paul Lederach: Early in the prayer, Daniel acknowledges that God is forgiving; at the end of the prayer, he appeals for God to exercise that forgiveness toward his people.

Tremper Longman III: The prophets were sent, according to Daniel, to all strata of society—from kings to common people. None of them, however, responded. Rather, they persisted in their foolish and dangerous rebellion. . .

Between the Law of Moses and the Prophets, God’s people had no excuse. They knew what the consequences of their actions would be. But somehow they rationalized it. Perhaps they grew presumptuous because of God’s long patience with them. They would sin without immediate punishment, so they began to doubt that God would really follow through with his threats. Jeremiah 7:1–29, the so-called “temple sermon” of Jeremiah, charges Israel with presumption because of the presence of the temple in the city. They wrongly reasoned that if God’s residence was the temple, there would be no way that an enemy, even one as mighty as Babylon, could defeat their city. They were safe as long as God lived in Jerusalem, and since the temple was immovable, they were safe forever.

What they did not consider was the possibility that God would abandon his temple (Ezek. 9–11). They further did not reckon with the possibility God himself would turn against them and lead the Babylonian army into the streets of Jerusalem (Jer. 21:3–7). Indeed, the horror of the resulting destruction of Jerusalem reverberates through the biblical literature of the exilic period, as seen in Lamentations 2:2–5.

3. (:11-14) Soliciting the Mercy of God

a. (:11) Deserving of God’s Curse –

This Curse Has Been Poured Out

“Indeed all Israel has transgressed Thy law and turned aside, not obeying Thy voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.”

b. (:12-14) Deserving of God’s Calamitous Judgment –

This Calamity Has Been Brought upon Us

1) (:12) Uniqueness of Israel’s Calamity

“Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.”

Stephen Miller: Daniel’s statement regarding the uniqueness of Jerusalem’s destruction strikes us as surprising. Certainly other nations had gone into captivity, and other cities and temples had been destroyed. Other nations had experienced defeat and deportation, but their gods were idols of lifeless wood, stone, and metal (cf. Ps 135:15–17; Isa 44:9ff.). Now the people of the true God were in exile, and his city and temple were in ruins. Truly nothing like this had ever happened in history.

Andrew Hill: Daniel’s prayer moves from communal confession to theological reflection on God’s justice (vv.11b–14). The “curses and sworn judgments” (v.11b) are the covenantal curses recorded in Leviticus 26:27–45 and Deuteronomy 28:15–68. . .

Surely other cities and temples had been razed and other nations had been taken into exile, but “the destruction of Jerusalem was in a category apart from the destruction of any other city because in no other had the Lord deigned to dwell” (Baldwin, 166).

2) (:13) Stubbornness Despite Clear Warnings

“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Thy truth.”

3) (:14) Justification for Divine Punishment

“Therefore, the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.”

C. (:15-19) Petition for Deliverance

1. (:15) Appealing to God’s Redemptive Power

“And now, O Lord our God, who hast brought Thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and hast made a name for Thyself, as it is this day– we have sinned, we have been wicked.”

Andrew Hill: The adverb “now” (Heb. ʿattâ) marks the transition from confession to supplication or petition in Daniel’s prayer (v.15).

Stephen Miller: Daniel began his petition by calling on the Lord as the God of the exodus from Egypt (cf. Josh 24:17). The reference to the exodus apparently was intended to call attention to Yahweh’s role as the covenant-keeping God who deli
vered Israel from Egypt in order to fulfill his covenant promises to Abraham and to establish his reputation (“name”) among the nations. Now in spite of Israel’s sin the prophet was pleading with God to remember these promises and reestablish the nation of Israel.

Paul Lederach: Daniel returns to God’s acts in the Exodus. The deliverance from Egypt was one of the great events in forming Israel’s faith. References to the Exodus are made to emphasize God’s grace and to encourage obedient response to this gracious act (cf. Exod. 20:2; Deut. 6:21-25). Here it provides the backdrop for confession of sin and a plea for mercy. . .

Daniel’s reference to the Exodus also suggests that the present calamity is so great that another act of salvation in the magnitude of the Exodus is necessary, a similar manifestation of God’s mighty hand (9:15, 19). As the Lord glorified himself in rescuing his people from Egypt, so now God should act, for your own sake, O Lord (9:17, 19).

2. (:16) Appealing to God’s Mercy and Righteousness

“O Lord, in accordance with all Thy righteous acts, let now Thine anger and Thy wrath turn away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people have become a reproach to all those around us.”

Stephen Miller: In vv. 16–19 the prophet reached the crux of the prayer. Verse 16 declares that the basis of Daniel’s plea was the righteousness of God (“in keeping with all your righteous acts”). “Righteous acts” here refer to Yahweh’s “just actions.” The point is that justice had been served. Israel had been punished for their sins, and now it would be right (“just”) for God to restore the nation (cf. Isa 40:2; Lev 26:41).

3. (:17) Appealing to God’s Covenant Commitment

“So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplications, and for Thy sake, O Lord, let Thy face shine on Thy desolate sanctuary.”

4. (:18) Appealing to God’s Great Compassion

“O my God, incline Thine ear and hear! Open Thine eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Thy great compassion.”

John Goldingay: The concrete descriptions of this trouble are twofold.

First, it involved the desolation of city and sanctuary (vv. 17, 18). Desolation suggests the wasting of a place, the devastation and ruin of what is built and the consequent emptying of what is inhabited. That a place should be wasted is a standard threat (Lev 26:22, 31–43; Jer 4:27; Amos 7:9); that the land has been wasted is a standard element in the depiction of Judah’s position (Isa 59:8, 19; Ezek 36:34–36; Zech 7:14; Lam 1:4, 13, 16; 5:18; 2 Chr 36:21) and of the Antiochene period (1 Macc 1:38–39; 3:45; 4:38).

Second, “trouble” took the form of banishment (v. 7) from Judah and Jerusalem to countries near and far away. That phrase is characteristic of Jeremianic prose. There is a pathos about the phrase “all the countries where you have driven them”; it features prominently in promises that Yahweh will restore the people even from all these countries (Jer 16:15; 23:3, 8; 29:14; 32:37; 46:27; also Deut 31:1, where in this context the exiles are coming to their senses).

5. (:19) Appealing to God’s Honor and Reputation

“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.”

John Whitcomb: Making reference to the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant.

Stephen Miller: In v. 19 the prayer reaches a passionate crescendo as the prophet concludes with short staccatolike sentences reflecting the emotion that filled his heart. God is addressed “O Lord” three times in this verse, emphasizing his sovereign power and ability to answer this prayer.

Daniel pleaded with the Lord to “listen,” “forgive,” “hear,” and “act.” God was being entreated to direct his attention to the Jews’ situation and to do something about it. Quick action was requested (“do not delay”) because the Lord’s own reputation was at stake. Each day that Jerusalem lay in ruins and the Jewish people were in exile brought more shame to Israel’s God. Therefore Daniel reminded him again that “your city and your people bear your Name.”

Paul Lederach: There is hardly another prayer in the Scripture so urgent. God is called upon to relieve Daniel’s people burdened by sin and afflicted by merciless oppression. God is to act without delay—for his own sake (9:17, 19), to bring salvation to the city and to his people, who bear your name.

To act for your own sake suggests that since God has punished his disobedient people, thus showing to the whole world his righteousness and justice, he should now reveal to the world his steadfast love (9:4), mercy, and forgiveness (9:9) by restoring his people. In acts of restoration, God would reveal himself more fully. For Daniel, the present crisis is a discredit to those who bear God’s name. The present crisis is also a discredit to God’s own name. Thus Daniel prays that God would restore his people and his city, for your own sake (cf. Ezek. 20:9, 14, 22; 36:20-22).


A. (:20-23) Mediator of the Prophecy Relating to Jerusalem and the Temple

1. (:20-21) Appearance of the Angel Gabriel

a. (:20) Context of Confession of Sin and Petition for Deliverance

“Now while I was speaking and praying,

and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel,

and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God

in behalf of the holy mountain of my God,”

John Whitcomb: praying not for all the world; not for Gentiles; but for the Jews and the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

b. (:21) Contact Initiated again by Gabriel

“while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering.”

Stephen Miller: Gabriel is called a “man” because he appeared in human form. Daniel pointed out that this was the same angel who had visited him in his “earlier vision” (cf. 8:15–16). Apparently Gabriel was the chief angel for divine communication. He seems also to have appeared in bodily form to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19), and to Mary (Luke 1:26–27).

2. (:22-23) Assignment Given to Gabriel

a. (:22) Provide Insight and Understanding to Daniel

“And he gave me instruction and talked with me, and said,

‘O Daniel, I have now come forth

to give you insight with understanding.’”

b. (:23) Promote Reception of God’s Privileged Prophecy to His Beloved Servant

“At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed;

so give heed to the message

and gain understanding of the vision.”

John Whitcomb: Daniel greatly beloved by God for his commitment and love and obedience. We should long to be like Daniel.

Iain Duguid: Daniel was praying for the fulfillment of these promises of the transformation of the people of God. He longed to see them changed from sinners to a holy people with God dwelling in their midst, and to see Jerusalem restored through the coming of the messianic king. In Daniel’s day, the covenant relationship between God and his people had been broken by the sin and transgression of Israel and Judah. Yet his hope and prayer was that the ending of Jeremiah’s seventy-year period of judgment would usher in the time when that prophet’s words of restoration of the covenant relationship would be fulfilled. As the people repented, Daniel hoped to see the renewal of God’s favor, the rebuilding of the temple, and the ushering in of the promised new covenant which would transform the people from rebellious sinners who hated God’s law and spurned his prophets into a holy people who loved God’s law. According to Jeremiah, this change would also be marked by the arrival of the messianic Branch of righteousness, whose reign would issue in a state of justice, righteousness, and peace for Judah and Jerusalem (Jer. 33:15–16).

Bob Deffinbaugh: What vision? What vision was Gabriel’s appearance and announcement going to help Daniel to understand? No new vision is given to Daniel in chapter 9. Therefore, the vision Gabriel came to further explain and clarify was the vision of chapter 8. Daniel told us he did not understand it after Gabriel’s first explanation (8:27). Now we are told that Gabriel has come to give Daniel insight to understand it. It is therefore now necessary for Daniel to understand the vision which eluded him for 12 years; Gabriel appears a second time to give a more complete explanation of its meaning. . .

We are told three times in chapter 8, that the vision pertains to the end times (8:17, 19, 26). The return of the captive Jews to their own land was not a part of the events of the end times. The return and restoration of Israel was not the commencement of the kingdom of God. And so Gabriel’s announcement to Daniel focuses on the vision of chapter 8 to show that the events in the near future were not to be viewed as the beginning of the end. . .

Another prince will arise, the counterpart of the Messiah. While the Messiah-Prince is “cut off” and His ascent to the throne of the kingdom seems thwarted, the other “prince” appears to prevail and to possess the earth and its peoples. The holy city and the sanctuary (the temple) will be destroyed by followers of this “prince.” The holy place seems to come to an end much like that of the Messiah. Like a flood, the destruction and desolation of the city and the temple come upon it. There is a time of war, and desolation is inevitable.

The “prince” then makes a firm covenant with the masses for “a week” (or 7 years). This covenant seems to put men at ease and give them a false sense of confidence and security. In the middle of this time period, however, the “prince” breaks his covenant, putting a stop to the regular sacrifices and offerings. This prince comes “on the wing of abominations” and makes everything he comes into contact with desolate. He will bring about destruction. This destruction comes about by divine permission because it is a part of the divine plan.

In the fewest words possible, Daniel speaks of the sudden destruction of this evil prince. It is a destruction that has been divinely decreed. It is a complete destruction. The “one who makes desolate” is suddenly destroyed. . .

What Gabriel has to say in these few verses is not really new. It is but a further explanation of the vision Daniel received in chapter 8. Both Daniel 8 and Daniel 9:24-27 speak of the same events related to the last days, the end.

Gabriel is the interpreter in chapters 8 and 9. In both chapters, events concerning the end time are described—the same events. The little horn of chapter 8 is the “prince” of chapter 9, who concentrates his attention on the “beautiful land” of Israel (8:9) and who opposes and destroys some of the “host of heaven” (8:10) and the “holy people” (8:24; 9:24). He is the one who opposes even the Messiah, the Prince of princes, and by means of whom the Messiah is “cut off” (8:25; 9:25-26). He is also the one who “removes the regular sacrifice” (8:12), who puts a stop to “sacrifice and grain offering” (9:27). In the end, he is “broken without human agency” (8:25), as this one who makes desolate is suddenly and completely destroyed (9:27)

The end times and the coming of God’s eternal kingdom were not imminent for Daniel or his fellow-Israelites. Certain necessary events had to precede the coming of the kingdom, and these things were not to take place for many years. Sin had to be atoned for and put away. Righteousness had to be provided for those who would enter into God’s kingdom. This was to happen many years in the future through the substitutionary death of the Messiah, who would bear our sins on the cross of Calvary. In order for the Messiah to die, He would have to be opposed and even appear to have lost the struggle. Only after this preparatory work could God’s kingdom come to the earth for His people.

In addition to this, God’s purpose of bringing the good news of salvation to the Gentiles would have to be fulfilled. During the past 2,000 years, the gospel has been proclaimed, and many Gentiles have come to faith in Jesus as the Savior. Soon, when those Gentiles whom God has chosen have been saved, the times of the Gentiles will end, and the events of the last days will commence, leading up to the defeat of God’s foes and the establishment of His eternal kingdom.

B. (:24-27) Substance of the Prophecy

1. (:24) General Parameters of the Prophecy

a. Period of Time in View

“Seventy weeks have been decreed”

Stephen Miller: “Sevens” (traditionally “weeks”) is a literal translation of the Hebrew and refers to periods of seven without specifying what the units are. These may be sevens of years, days, months, or indefinite periods of time. Sevens of days or months would not meet the requirements of the text in any sense. As previously noted, some scholars consider the sevens to be indefinite time periods, but most hold that they refer to periods of seven years each.

First, years fit the context well.

Second, the Hebrews were familiar with the concept of sevens of years as well as of days because the Sabbatical Year was based on this premise. Every seventh year there was to be a sabbath of rest for the land (cf. Lev 25:1–7). God promised that if Israel did not keep these sabbath years, they would be driven from the land and scattered among the nations (cf. Lev 26:33–35; cf. Jer 34:12–22). According to 2 Chr 36:21, one result of the seventy-year Babylonian captivity was that the land was allowed to rest in order to make up for the sabbath years, which the Jews had failed to keep. Therefore in Scripture only two types of weeks or sevens are mentioned—sevens of days and sevens of years. All agree that days is not a valid option in this context; only sevens of years remain. The burden of proof rests squarely upon anyone who would take the sevens in any other sense.

Third, those who contend that the sevens are symbolic must account for the fact that specific numbers are used and for division of the seventy sevens into units of seven, sixty-two, and one. Why would such definite numbers be employed to represent periods of indefinite length?

Fourth, if the numbers are symbolic, they should at least be proportionate to the length of the period represented. Montgomery rightly insists, “The denomination must remain the same: ‘week’ cannot be a variable quantity, as now a septennium and now some other quantity of time.” Yet this is not the case with the symbolic views as has been noted.

Fifth, if the seventieth seven is the future tribulation (as this commentator holds), there is evidence in other Scriptures that the duration of that period will be seven literal years.

Therefore “seven” is best interpreted to represent seven years, and “seventy sevens” would equal 490 years. Daniel was told that these “seventy sevens” had been “decreed.” The verb translated “decreed” (ḥātak) occurs only here in the Old Testament but is used in later Hebrew and Aramaic to mean “cut, cut off, decide.” This meaning fits the context well. God had “cut off” or “cut out” a certain period of time (490 years) from the remainder of history for a specific purpose.

J. Sidlow Baxter: And now, what kind of years are we to reckon? We are not left in doubt. The interrelation of Daniel’s visions and those of John is patent to all; and a comparison of the two will settle it that the prophetic year is a lunisolar year of 360 days. Both Daniel and John speak of “a time, and times, and half a time” (that is three and a half “times”); and both make it clear that three and a half “times” are three and a half years (Compare Dan. vii. 25; ix. 27; Rev. xii. 14; xiii. 5). But John goes further and splits up the three and a half years into days (compare Rev. xi. 2, 3; xii. 6, 14), showing us that the three and a half years equal 1,260 days. This settles it that the prophetic year is one of 360 days.

b. People and Place Targeted = Israel and Jerusalem

“for your people and your holy city,”

Stephen Miller: Gabriel told Daniel that this time had been set apart “for your people and your holy city.” The identification of the people and the city are clear from the context. Daniel’s people were the Jews, and his holy city was Jerusalem. Some scholars (e.g., Young, Keil, Leupold) symbolize “your people” to refer to “spiritual Israel,” the church, and the “holy city” to mean the heavenly Jerusalem. Yet such a view is not supported by the text. Gabriel’s words in vv. 24–27 contain specific references to Israel, the temple, and the city of Jerusalem. Moreover, this revelation was an answer to Daniel’s prayer, which concerned the Jewish people. For these reasons the majority of scholars rightly understand this prophecy to refer to the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

c. Purposes Decreed – Descriptions of Coming Millennial Kingdom

Andrew Hill: Baldwin, 168, has observed that the six verbs divide neatly into two sets of three: the first three address (negatively) the grounds on which God forgives human sin (in response to Daniel’s prayer), and the second three focus (positively) on the fulfillment of God’s righteous purposes in human history.

1) Grounds for Forgiveness of Sin

“to finish the transgression,

to make an end of sin,

to make atonement for iniquity,”

S. Lewis Johnson: “to finish the transgression” — What he means is that at the end of the 490-year period of time, Israel’s rebellion will be finished. . .

“to make atonement for iniquity” — The application of the cross to Israel awaits the future. It’s the event spoken of in the Bible, “When they shall look upon him whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son.” And therefore 13th chapter of the book of Zechariah, just after saying that the text reads, “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and impurity.” Well that fountain was opened 2000 years before the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it’s in the future that they see the fountain that has already been opened. So, when he says to make atonement, he is talking about the application of the atonement to the nation Israel.

Stephen Miller: In the Hebrew “transgression” (peša‘) is definite, which may indicate that a particular “transgression” was intended. If so, it probably would refer to Israel’s rebellion against God. It occurs elsewhere in Daniel only in 8:12–13, but the semantically related verb ’ābar (“transgress”) occurs in 9:11.

2) Fulfillment of God’s Righteous Purposes in Redemptive History

“to bring in everlasting righteousness,

to seal up vision and prophecy,

and to anoint the most ho
ly place.”

S. Lewis Johnson: The fourth thing, to bring in everlasting righteousness. Now our millennialists have a great deal of problem with this because it’s very difficult for them to explain this period of time now as a result of our Lord’s First Advent being a period of everlasting righteousness, and rightly so because it does not refer to the present period, it refers to the future to bring in everlasting righteousness is a reference to the coming of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus which he will bring at his Second Advent. In Jeremiah chapter 31, verse 33-40, is the explanation of the details of it.

Stephen Miller: “To seal up vision and prophecy” may be interpreted in two ways. Hebrew ḥātam means to “seal, affix seal, seal up.” “To seal” may refer to the closing up of a document, for in ancient times a scroll was rolled up and sealed shut for preservation (cf. Jer 32:10ff.; Dan 8:26; 12:4, 9). A seal was additionally employed as a mark of authentication by a king or other official (cf. 1 Kgs 21:8; Esth 3:12; Dan 6:17[18]).

In the first case “to seal up vision and prophecy” would signify that these forms of revelation would be closed, and in the second the idea would be that God will someday set his seal of authentication upon every truly God-given revelation (“vision and prophecy”) by bringing about its complete fulfillment. The result would be the same in either case. Whitcomb observes: “Since Christ, in all His glory, will be present with His people, there will be no further need for visions and prophecies.” “To seal up vision and prophecy” must include revelation concerning both Christ’s first and second advents. Therefore this promise cannot be fulfilled until the end of the age. . .

The phrase “the most holy” (lit., “holy of holies”) almost certainly refers to “a most holy place” (NRSV), as Keil recognizes. . . Archer interprets this “most holy place” to be a literal, future temple. If a future temple is intended, which seems the best view, then it would be the edifice described in Ezek 40–48. Daniel would have assumed that his readers were familiar with the prophecy of their contemporary, Ezekiel. This temple will be built and consecrated for service at the onset of the millennium.

S. Lewis Johnson: In other words, the temple that is rebuilt will be anointed as the central place for the worship of the Lord throughout the period of the kingdom age. Thus right here in the beginning now of the prophecy of the seventy sevens, we are told that there are 490 years severed off of the times of the Gentiles, six great things will take place as a result of that 490 year period of time. Then of course, the Lord Jesus will come and establish his kingdom upon the earth. . . Now we shall see in our next study that this 490-year period of time is divided up into three sections, seven weeks, sixty two weeks, and then one week. Or 49 years, 434 years and seven years. . .

At the end of 490 years, Israel is going to have all of these blessings. Well, he would ask. First of all, when do the 490 years begin? When do they end? And are the 490 years consecutive years? Or is there perhaps a gap within them? These are the questions that would surely come to the prophet’s mind.

John Whitcomb: The temple will become the focus of worship and instruction in God’s law throughout the 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom.

2. (:25) Initial Period of 69 Sevens (483 Years)

a. Starting Point

“So you are to know and discern that

from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem”

b. Ending Point

“until Messiah the Prince”

c. Duration

“there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;”

d. Characterization of the Rebuilding Project

“it will be built again, with plaza and moat,

even in times of distress.”

John Whitcomb: Context must determine what unit of time is intended by the expression “seventy sevens”. Here it must be years. What was the starting point? 445 B.C. Cyrus had already given permission for the temple to be rebuilt; but this command was for the city to be rebuilt. Daniel did not live to see this beginning point.

Stephen Miller: The text divides the seventy sevens into three groups. Gabriel states that the first two groups (seven sevens plus sixty-two sevens) will conclude with the coming of “the Anointed One, the ruler” (9:25). . .

Other scholars have suggested the decree of Artaxerxes I to Ezra (458 B.C.) as the starting point of the seventy sevens (e.g., Archer, Wood, J. B. Payne). This decree permitted Ezra and other Jews to return to Palestine and concerned the establishment and practice of the proper services at the temple (Ezra 7:11–26). But again there was no specific command to rebuild the city of Jerusalem.

A second decree of Artaxerxes I issued to Nehemiah (445 B.C.) is a popular view (e.g., Walvoord, Whitcomb, Sir Robert Anderson, Hoehner). Actually, this does not seem to have been a formal decree but involved permission for Nehemiah to visit Palestine (Neh 2:5–8). Nevertheless, Artaxerxes’ words to Nehemiah probably meet the criteria of the dābār, which may mean “decree, message, or word.” This decree to Nehemiah specifically mentions the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh 2:5), which is the strongest argument in favor of it. . .

Other scholars (e.g., Archer, Wood, Payne) believe that the decree of Artaxerxes I to Ezra in 458 B.C. (or 457) is the beginning point of the seventy sevens. If this view is correct, 483 years after 458 B.C. would result in a date of A.D. 26, the time when many scholars believe Christ was baptized and began his public ministry as the Messiah. Jesus’ anointing for ministry came at his baptism (cf. Matt 3:16); thus he became the “Anointed One” at that time, an amazing fulfillment of prophecy.

Ron Daniel: Now we get the start date of this time period. It was going to start with the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. When was that decree issued? We know Biblically that this decree was given by King Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2:8. We know historically that he issued the decree on March 14, 445BC. . .

The prophecy clearly states that there would be 69 weeks (7 and 62) from the decree until Messiah entered Jerusalem as a ruler.

h prophesied that it would happen like this:

Zech. 9:9 …Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Did this ever happen? Remember what we have read in the gospels. In the town of Bethany, Jesus sent two disciples to get a donkey and a colt. Jesus then rode into Jerusalem, being hailed as Messiah the Prince.

Mark 11:8-10 And many spread their garments in the road, and others {spread} leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before, and those who followed after, were crying out, Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed {is} the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!

The date was April 6, 32AD. Now, this is where the math comes in. As we learned in an earlier study, all Bible prophecy is based on the 360-day year of the Babylonian calendar. Calculating 69 weeks of years results in 483 years (69×7). 483 years of 360 days results in 173,880 days (483×360). Looking at the calendar, if you started at the day of the decree, March 14, 445BC, and counted off 173,880 days, you arrive at April 6, 32AD, the very day of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry!

S. Lewis Johnson: So, notice, the Bible doesn’t say much about the seven weeks, it just says seven weeks and then sixty and two weeks or 69 and all. I don’t know really why that is so, why the seven weeks are distinguished from the 62, except to say this, that while it took Nehemiah only 52 days to rebuild the walls of the City of Jerusalem when he got there, it was a remarkable achievement, it must have taken considerably longer period of time to clear up the debris around the City of Jerusalem, which had been gathered, which had gathered there over a lengthy period of time. So, since nothing much is said about it, we will just offer that as a guess that the 49 years was taken to rebuild the City of Jerusalem and clean it up. So that was March 5th 444 BC. Now, the 69 weeks then cover a period of time from 444 to March 30, 33 AD.

3. (:26-27) Final Events Including the 70th Week (Tribulation Period)

a. (:26) Three Events after the Triumphal Entry of the Messiah

S. Lewis Johnson: Now after this, he says three things are going to happen. Look at verse 26 carefully. Three things are going to happen then after the sixty-two weeks [in the time of parenthesis between the 69th and 70th weeks].

J. Sidlow Baxter: As we have said before, the Church of the present dispensation is nowhere the subject of direct prediction in the Old Testament. It was the “secret” kept “hidden” during preceding ages (Eph. iii.). Again and again in the Old Testament we find both advents of Christ foretold in the same verse or passage, but with no light given as to the intervening of the present age between them (see Gen. xlix. 10; Isa. liii. 11, 12; Mic. V. 3; Isa. lxi. 1, 2, with Luke iv. 17-19; Zech. ix. 9, 10; Mal. iii. 1; 1 Pet. i. 10, 11).

1) Crucifixion of the Messiah

“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing,”

John Whitcomb: Messiah will look like he failed / defeated / crushed. Even his garments were taken from him and they cast lots for him. Where were his disciples? They all fled. He had nothing. The 70th week has not yet begun but the 69 weeks are finished. We are living in the gap. These are people of the fourth kingdom = Rome.

2) Destruction of City of Jerusalem and the Temple

“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;”

S. Lewis Johnson: Fortunately, from history we know when the destruction of the City of Jerusalem took place. Titus, Vespasian, with four Roman legions came and the City of Jerusalem was destroyed. Incidentally, Titus did not want the temple to be destroyed. But one of the soldiers threw some fire into the temple, caught some of the tapestries, and the result on fire, and the result was that the whole of the temple went up in flames. And the temple was a very, very expensively constructed temple with a lot of gold in it, and consequently when the fire of the temple became very hot the gold began to melt, and it melted and went down in between the stones of the temple according to tradition. And as a result of that, in order to obtain the gold, the soldiers and the others dug up all of the stones of the temple. And you remember, the Lord Jesus had prophesied in Matthew chapter 24 in the the Olivet Discourse that when the destruction of Jerusalem took place, “one stone would not be left upon another which would not be thrown down.”

John Walvoord: The same expression of an overflowing flood is used to denote warlike hosts who annihilate their enemies in Daniel 11:10, 22, 26, 40 and in Isaiah 8:8. This seems to be a general reference to the fact that from the time of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, trouble, war, and desolation will be the normal experience of the people of Israel and will end only at “the consummation” mentioned in verse 27, that is, the end of the seventieth seven. History has certainly corroborated this prophecy, for not only was Jerusalem destroyed but the entire civilization of the Jews in Palestine ceased to exist soon after the end of the sixty-ninth seven, and that desolation continued until recent times. The prophesied events of verse 26, like those of verse 25, already have been fulfilled and constitute clear evidence of the accuracy of the prophetic word.

3) Desolating Wars until the End of the Age

“even to the end there will be war;

desolations are determined.”

Stephen Miller: If the sixty-nine sevens (483 years) conclude with Christ’s first coming and the final seven (seven years) is terminated by Christ’s return, there must be an interval of time between the end of the sixty-ninth and the beginning of the seventieth seven. The text also indicates that the seventieth seven would not follow the sixty-ninth immediately. For example, Christ’s crucifixion (“Anointed One … cut off,” v. 26) and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (v. 26) would occur after the sixty-ninth seven, but not during the seventieth seven (v. 27), revealing a gap between these sevens. R. Gundry observes: “The possibility of a gap between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth weeks is established by the well-accepted OT phenomenon of prophetic perspective, in which gaps such as that between the first and second advents were not perceived.”

Not only are gaps between first and second coming events common, but the two thousand year span (at least) found here may also be explained by the nature of this revelation. God was answering Daniel’s prayer, which specifically concerned the future of the nation Israel. Shortly after Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah (after the sixty-nine sevens), Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the earth, and for almost two thousand years Israel as a nation did not exist. Therefore this period was omitted from the prophecy. Israel has now been reestablished as a nation (1948), suggesting that the seventieth seven may soon begin.

b. (:27) Description of 70th Week (Tribulation Period)

1) Initiation of the 70th Week = Establishment of a Treaty by the Antichrist

“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week,”

John Whitcomb: The little horn coming out of the final ten horns (Daniel 7); Christ said He came and was not received; but Antichrist is coming whom you will receive (John 5:43). Israelis are desperate for an impressive political leader to give them credibility on the world scene.

Stephen Miller: Antichrist, on behalf of his empire, will make a treaty with the nation of Israel. This agreement probably entails a promise of protection in return for certain favors (likely including those of an economic nature). It is easy to understand why Israel would enter into such an arrangement with the powerful forces of Antichrist. With such protection Israel will feel safe and secure. The term of the treaty will be “for one seven,” that is, seven years.

“In the middle of the seven” the Antichrist “will put an end to [šābat] sacrifice and offering.” This event takes place after three and one-half years. The seventieth seven is commonly referred to as the tribulation period, and the second half of this seven is known as the great tribulation (Rev 7:14; cf. Matt 24:21). It is in this last part of the tribulation that the Antichrist persecutes believers and commits other atrocities. The length of the great tribulation, three and one-half years, is spoken of several times in Scripture and should be taken literally (cf. 7:25; Rev 11:2; 12:14; 13:5). Whitcomb notes: “The clarification provided here is that the three and one-half years of 7:25 follow an initial three-and-one-half-year period at the beginning of which the Antichrist” will make a treaty with Israel. He will break this treaty at the midpoint.

2) Interruption of Worship at the Mid Point of the 7 Years

“but in the middle of the week

he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;”

John Whitcomb: How can these sacrifices (both bloody and unbloody) be terminated if they had not yet started? Presupposes that God will have re-inaugurated the temple under the jurisdiction of the two witnesses. Divine protection until the middle of the 7 years. (“abomination of desolation” spoken of in Matt. 24 – marking the beginning of the great tribulation)

3) Destruction Poured Out in the Final Three and a Half Years

“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.”

Stephen Miller: Daniel’s message of the seventy sevens is one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible. Leupold calls it “the divine program for the ages.” Regardless of disagreement over dates and some matters of interpretation, certain facts seem clear. The passage predicts the coming of the Messiah—Jesus of Nazareth. Messiah will die, and subsequently the city of Jerusalem and the temple will be destroyed. At the end of the age an evil ruler will arise who will persecute God’s people, but his wicked activities will not continue, for the same Messiah who died will come again. He will judge the Antichrist and all those who follow him. Then the period characterized by the great accomplishments set forth in v. 24 will ensue. Although this message was first given to the Jewish faithful, all believers will participate in the kingdom of God. Leupold comments that the “glorious victory” of Christ described in this chapter “should be in the forefront of the thinking of God’s people.”

Remember the timeline of the Pre-Wrath Rapture:

Pre-Wrath Rapture Timeline