Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Daniel
(Edition 1.0 20200930-20200930)
This chapter deals with an important prophesy of the Seventy weeks of years ending in 70CE.
Commentary on Daniel Chapter 9
The prophet Daniel deals with the Seventy Weeks of Years that cover the period from the command to build the Temple at Jerusalem to its destruction in 70 CE. The history is covered in the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013).
This prophecy was important both to the restoration of the Temple under Ezra and Nehemiah and to the survival of the church in Jerusalem when the Second anointed one (v 25) was cut off, in that James was martyred in the year 63/4 CE after the 69 weeks of years (7 +62). The church had been established by Messiah in 30 CE. However James the brother of Christ became bishop of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15). The church knew that it had to flee Jerusalem from the destruction that was to come. Clophas, husband of Christ’s Aunt Mariah, succeeded James but died the same year and his son Simeon became bishop and took the church north to Pella, which had requested a Roman Garrison and they were thus all safe there until well after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem (cf. War with Rome and the Fall of the Temple (No. 298)).
The “First Anointed One” after the Seven weeks of years saw Nehemiah appointed as governor to Jerusalem and the Restoration at the Reading of the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250) in Jerusalem occurred under the reign of Artaxerxes the Second. The text in verse 25 does not refer to Messiah as the KJV seems to assert (see below).
Daniel Chapter 9
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasu-e′rus, by birth a Mede, who became king over the realm of the Chalde′ans— 2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and terrible God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from thy commandments and ordinances; 6we have not listened to thy servants the prophets, who spoke in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7To thee, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us confusion of face, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those that are near and those that are far away, in all the lands to which thou hast driven them, because of the treachery which they have committed against thee. 8To us, O Lord, belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness; because we have rebelled against him, 10and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11All Israel has transgressed thy law and turned aside, refusing to obey thy voice. And the curse and oath which are written in the law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done the like of what has been done against Jerusalem. 13As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us, yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and giving heed to thy truth. 14Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15And now, O Lord our God, who didst bring thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast made thee a name, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16O Lord, according to all thy righteous acts, let thy anger and thy wrath turn away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy hill; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people have become a byword among all who are round about us. 17Now therefore, O our God, hearken to the prayer of thy servant and to his supplications, and for thy own sake, O Lord, cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary, which is desolate. 18O my God, incline thy ear and hear; open thy eyes and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name; for we do not present our supplications before thee on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of thy great mercy. 19O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, give heed and act; delay not, for thy own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name.” 20While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God; 21while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22He came and he said to me, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding. 23At the beginning of your supplications a word went forth, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the word and understand the vision. 24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. 27And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (RSV)
(Cf. P184) This section concerns verses 25-27.
God had spoken, through His servant Daniel, of the anointed ones of the building of the Temple. The prophecy in Daniel 9:25 is mistranslated in the KJV to refer to Messiah as the anointed one and the text is obscured. The text, in fact, refers to two anointed ones; one at the end of seven weeks of years and the other at the end of sixty-two weeks of years. The timing refers to the construction of the Temple and its cessation as the instrument of God.
Note the true text here refers to the seven weeks of years from the order to construct the Temple to the anointed one. This anointed one, which is what the term Messiah means and hence the application to Jesus Christ (Christ being the Greek form meaning anointed one), is actually Nehemiah. He is seen by Jewish history as a second Moses. He was a prince of Judah. He restored the law and the testimony. He finalised the canon and his work, with Ezra, is the last of the Old Testament canon in 323 BCE. The time of the construction commences not from the reign of Darius I or Darius Hystaspes but from Darius II. Artaxerxes I stopped construction on the Temple (Ezra 4:23-24). The construction commenced in the second year of the reign of Darius II (Ezra 4:24 to 6:12). The Temple was finished in the sixth year of his reign (Ezra 6:13-15).
Seven weeks of years from the decree of this king takes us to the year of the provisioning of Nehemiah by Artaxerxes II (not Artaxerxes I as is commonly taught).
This period saw the end of the Old Testament canon in this sequence of the construction of the Temple. This was the restoration of the law under the last Old Testament prophet of God. He was the last anointed one of the Old Testament system (with Ezra).
The sequence of the construction and the history are dealt with in the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013).
The next anointed one, referred to in Daniel 9:25-27, refers to the anointed one after the sixty-two weeks of years. Thus seven weeks of years plus sixty-two weeks of years equals sixty-nine weeks of years. This period ends in 63/4 CE. The anointed one cut off but not for himself was James, bishop of Jerusalem and brother of Jesus Christ. He was martyred in 63/4 CE for the faith and from this year the final week of years commenced, leading to the destruction of the physical Temple. The end of the seventy weeks of years coincided with the forty years allocated for repentance to Judah (30-70 CE). The nation did not repent and indeed, in this last week of years, the High Priests fought pitched battles in the streets for retention of power and the system was entirely corrupt.
(cf. P298) Referring to verses 25-27;
We know that the first anointed one was Nehemiah, governor of Judah, who constructed the walls and furbished the Temple with Ezra the scribe. That was in the reign of Artaxerxes II. Ezra died in 323 BCE, the same year as Alexander the Great, and the canon was compiled and closed by 321.
The end of the next sixty-two weeks of years saw another anointed one cut off and that was James, Bishop of Jerusalem and the brother of Jesus Christ. After the martyrdom of James in Jerusalem, the Church was placed in the charge of Simon (Simon Jose) the cousin of Jesus Christ and son of Mary and Clophas. Mary (or Mariah) was the sister of Maryam (Mariam), the mother of Christ. Clophas became bishop of Jerusalem seemingly between the reign of James the brother of Christ (d ca 64 CE) and the assumption of Simon, son of Clophas and cousin of Christ (see Hippolytus Appendix to Origin of the Christian Church in Britain (No. 266)).
(Cf. also in P298 above)
Man as the Temple of God
After the fall of the Temple in 70 CE and the closing of the physical temple was superceded by the church as the Temple of God in place of Judah and the priesthood (cf. Rule of the Kings Part IIIB (No. 282D)), from then on the church succeeded the priesthood and Judah was sent into dispersion.
Rabbinical Judaism destroyed the Temple Calendar, replacing it in 358 CE with the Hillel Calendar (cf. God’s Calendar (No. 156) and Hillel, Babylonian Intercalations and the Temple Calendar (No.195C), for which they finally faced the Holocaust in 1941 to 1945 and will face the last Holocaust under the Empire of the Beast and the Witnesses, before the coming of the Messiah (see chapter 12).
Bullinger’s Notes on Chapter 9
the first year: (Bullinger dates this as 426 B. C, Daniel being then eighty-seven. See App-50) (cf. Ch 2).
Darius. This is an appellative, and means the Maintainer or Restrainer: i.e. Cyrus. See App-57; and special note on 2 Chronicles 36:21.
Ahasuerus, an appellative = the venerable king Astyages. See App-57.
made king: i.e. Cyrus was appointed king of Babylon by Astyages his father.
understood = came to an understanding; perceived, or observed. Hebrew. bin, to separate or distinguish. Implying that he had not known this before.
by books = by the writings [of Jeremiah]. Jeremiah 29:1, Jeremiah 29:10, as well as Daniel 25:11. Note the definite Article in the Hebrew.
the number of the years. Which were now drawing to an end.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.
Jeremiah. The passage was doubtless Daniel 25:11-14; Daniel 29:10-14.
accomplish = fulfil [within].
seventy years. Note the bearing of this on Daniel 9:24.
the desolations of Jerusalem. (Bulinger dates: From 479 to 409 B.C. See note on 2 Chronicles 36:21. The "desolations" had therefore lasted 42 (6 x 7) years, and had yet 28 (4 x 7) years to run before they were "accomplished". We find the same subdivisions of the "servitude"; for from the first year of Nebuchadnezzar (496) to the decree of Artaxerxes (Astyages) (454) was forty-two years; and from the decree to the end of the servitude was twenty-eight years.
set my face. Knowledge of Jehovah"s words quickened his spiritual interest in them.
the LORD*. One of the 134 cases in which the Sopherim state that they altered "Jehovah" of the primitive text to "Adonai". See App-32.
God. Hebrew. Elohim.(with Art.) = the (true) God. App-4.
to seek = to worship, or to seek [information].
prayed. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:40). App-92.
my God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.
O LORD*, the great, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 20:6; Exodus 34:6, Exodus 34:7. Numbers 14:18. Deuteronomy 7:9). App-92.
GOD. Hebrew El App-4.
the covenant. Note the Art. = the covenant [made of old].
We. Note that Daniel associates himself with his People. Compare Neh 1; and Daniel 9:33-38. Ezra 9:5-15.
wickedly = lawlessly. Hebrew. rasha, App-44.
rebelled = revolted. Hebrew. marad. Usually of revolt against Deity or royalty.
spake in Thy name. Compare Hebrews 1:1. Compare Exodus 7:1 with Exodus 4:16, and see App-49.
Lord. Hebrew Adonai. App-4.
all Israel. See note on 1 Kings 12:17.
near, &c. Compare Deuteronomy 4:27. 2 Kings 17:6, 2 Kings 17:7. Isaiah 11:11, Jeremiah 24:9. Amos 9:9; and see Acts 2:36.
trespass . . . trespassed. Hebrew. ma"al. App-44.
God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.
obeyed = hearkened to.
transgressed. Hebrew. "abar. App-44.
therefore the curse is, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:14, &c. Deuteronomy 27:15, &c.; Daniel 28:15, &c; Daniel 29:20; Daniel 30:17, Daniel 30:18; Daniel 31:17; Daniel 32:19).
is poured upon = hath come pouring upon.
Moses the servant of God. See note on 1 Chronicles 6:49. Nehemiah 10:29. App-92.
confirmed His words: i.e. by His prophets since the giving of the law (2 Kings 17:13. Isaiah 44:26. Lamentations 2:17. Zechariah 1:6).
words. Hebrew margin, with some codices, and one early printed edition, read "word" (singular) Hebrew text, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)
evil = calamity. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.
As = According as.
it is written, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:14, &c. Deuteronomy 28:15, &c, as above). App-92.
watched. Compare Jeremiah 31:28; Jeremiah 44:27.
hast brought, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 6:1, Exodus 6:6; Exodus 12:41; Exodus 14:18; Exodus 32:11). App-92.
gotten Thee renown = made Thee a Name.
holy. See note on Exodus 3:5.
because for our sins . . . fathers. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 20:5). App-92.
become a reproach. Compare Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 44:8, Jeremiah 44:12. Ezekiel 5:14, Ezekiel 5:15; Ezekiel 22:4.
cause Thy face to shine. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 6:25, Numbers 6:26). App-92.
for the LORD"S* sake. Septuagint reads "for Thy servants" sake".
Thine eyes. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6.
which is called by Thy name: or, upon which Thy name has been called.
we. Others were praying with Daniel.
Gabriel. See note on Daniel 8:16. This prophecy is not given by a "prophet", but by an angel or hierophant (who shows sacred things) to a prophet. It is therefore a most transcendent prophecy.
about the time, &c. Compare similar important occasions: David (2 Samuel 24:15, note); Elijah (1 Kings 18:29); Ezra (Ezra 9:5).
oblation = gift or donation offering. Hebrew. minchah. App-43.
And he informed me. The Syriac reads "Yea, he came".
to give thee skill, &c. = to teach thee understanding, or to make thee wise as to, &c. Note the special emphasis as to the admonition for ourselves in the Structures below. It is not a vision that requires interpretation, but a direct prophecy given in simple words by the angel Gabriel, sent by God for the express purpose of making everything clear, and solving the most weighty problems that perplex the human mind. There is no "difficulty", as supposed. All that is required of US is to understand, and consider, and believe what is thus written for our learning.
Seventy weeks = Seventy sevens: i.e. of years. Not on any "yearday" theory. If "days" had been intended, it would be so expressed, as in Daniel 10:3 (compare Leviticus 25:8). Moreover, "years" had been the subject of Daniel"s prayer (Daniel 9:2). The last "seven" is "one", and it is divided in half in Daniel 9:27, and the half is three and a half years (Daniel 7:25; Compare Daniel 8:11-14; Daniel 11:33). In Revelation 11:2 this half is expressed by "forty-two months"; and in the next verse as" 1,260 days". See App-90. The whole period is therefore 490 years.
determined = cut off: i.e. divided off from all other years. The verb is in the singular to indicate the unity of the whole period, however it may be divided up. Hebrew. hathak. Occurs only here.
thy People: i.e. Daniel"s People, Israel, with which alone the prophecy is concerned.
thy holy city: i.e. Jerusalem (verses: Daniel 9:2, Daniel 9:7, Daniel 9:16).
transgression. Hebrew. pasha"(with Art.) App-44. Compare Daniel 8:12, Daniel 8:23.
make an end of. Hebrew. hatham, as below ("to seal up").
sins. Hebrew. chata". App-44. Hebrew margin, with four early printed editions, some codices, and Vulgate, read "sin" (singular)
iniquity. Hebrew. "avah. App-44.
seal up, &c. = make an end of by fulfilling all that has been the subject of prophecy.
the most Holy = a Holy of Holies. Never used of a person. This answers to the cleansing of the sanctuary (Daniel 8:14) which immediately precedes "the end". See App-89.
NB. In this text Bullinger is drawn in by the assumption that the Seventy weeks of years was centred on Messiah rather than the two Messiahs after the 69 weeks of years ending in 63/4 CE with the Martyrdom of James. He omits the seven weeks of years to Nehemiah in this view (Cox).
Know therefore and understand. Note this second admonition, as shown in the Structure ("25-") above.
from the going forth, &c. : i.e. in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes (= the great king: i.e. Astyages), 454 B.C. See notes on Nehemiah 2:1, Nehemiah 5:14, Nehemiah 13:4. Also App-50 and App-58.
commandment = word. Hebrew. dabar. App-73. Referring to the Divine word rather than to a royal decree.
Jerusalem. Not the Temple (as in Ezra), but the city (as in Nehemiah), which was the subject of Daniel"s prayer, and therefore the answer to it.
Messiah = anointed. Only priests and kings were anointed, lepers, and Elisha (1 Kings 19:16) being the only exceptions.
Messiah the Prince = "Messiah [that is to say] the Prince [of the People]". Messiah is a noun, and is connected with Prince by apposition: i.e. a priest-king. Only one such known to Scripture (Psalms 110:4. Zechariah 6:13. John 4:25).
the Prince. Hebrew. nagid = a leader and ruler of the People (1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Samuel 18:13; 1 Samuel 25:30. 2 Samuel 5:2, &c). Therefore not Zerubbabel (who was a prince but not a priest); nor Ezra (who was a priest but not a prince); nor Cyrus (who was a king but not a priest, and he only as a type of Messiah, who was both).
seven weeks = forty-nine years (454-405 B. C). See App-50, and App-91.
threescore and two weeks = 434 years (405 B. C-A.D. 29): the two together being 49 + 434 = 483 years; leaving seven years to make up the full 490 years of Daniel 9:24. See App-50, and App-91.
the street . . . and the wall = open place . . . and close street: implying the completeness of the restoration; which included the places of resort and the thoroughfares leading thereto, like our English "court and alley".
the street = the broad way or open space by the gates or elsewhere.
the wall. Hebrew. haruz. Whatever it may mean, it cannot be "wall", for that is homah (that which surrounds). Haruz = something cut in or dug out; and may well be used of what is narrow, and then that which is narrowed down to a deciding point, a decision or determination, as in Daniel 9:26; Daniel 11:36. Compare Isaiah 10:22. Job 14:5, &c. See the Oxford Gesenius.
in troublous times: i.e. the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. This covers the forty-nine years. We know this, not from history profane or Divine, but from the statement here.
after threescore and two weeks. The definite Article here marks this period, as the one just mentioned in Daniel 9:24, i.e. after the 483 years. How long "after" is not stated; but it must surely be either immediately or very soon after the Messiah was thus presented and proclaimed in and to Jerusalem as the Prince. The decree was issued in the month of Nisan, the same month as the events in Matthew 21:1, Matthew 26:61. Compare Zechariah 9:9. Luke 19:41-44 ("this thy day").
threescore and two: i.e. the sixty-two sevens (= 434 years). See note on Daniel 9:25.
cut off: i.e. in death. Hebrew. karath (Genesis 9:11. Deuteronomy 20:20. Jeremiah 11:19. Psalms 37:9). Compare Hebrew. gazar (Isaiah 53:8).
but not for Himself = but no sign of aught for Him: i.e. He shall be rejected and crucified, and shall not then enter on the kingdom for which He came. It will be rejected, and therefore become in abeyance. See Joh .
-26 the people: i.e. the Roman people. Compare Luke 19:41-44; Luke 21:20.
the prince that shall come = a prince, &c. This is "the little horn" of Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:24-26; Daniel 8:9-12, Daniel 8:23-25. See App-89.
shall destroy the city, &c. See Matthew 21:41; Matthew 22:7. This also was "after threescore and two weeks", but not within the last seven; which are confined to the doings of "the prince"s people, the people that is coming" ("the little horn") after the doings of "the people" in the destruction of the city, which ends Daniel 9:26. What "the little horn" will do is stated in the words which follow. Antiochus never did this. He defiled it, but left it uninjured.
the end thereof: or, his own end [come]: i.e. the end of the desolator looking on to the end of the last seven years.
and unto the end of the war = up to the full end of the war (i.e. the end of the last seven years).
desolations = desolate places. Compare Matthew 23:38.
determined. See note on "the wall", Daniel 9:25.
he shall confirm the covenant = make a firm covenant: i.e. the little horn will do this at the beginning of the last seven years. See note below on "one week". It may even be the beginning of the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14. Compare Daniel 11:21-24.
the covenant = a covenant.
many = the many.
one week. This is the last seven years which completes the "seventy" of Daniel 9:24; the time when action commences in connection with Daniel"s "city" and "People" (i.e. Jerusalem and Israel). These have been in abeyance since Daniel 9:26. Israel is "Lo-ammi" (= not my people, Hosea 1:9, Hosea 1:10). For the present interval between, Daniel 9:26 and Daniel 9:27, see Luke 4:18-20; Luke 21:24. App-50; also App-63. This fills the first half of the "week" (see Revelation 11:3-11).
the midst of the week = the middle of the week (i.e. at the end of the first three and a half years).
the sacrifice and the oblation to cease = sacrifice and oblation to cease. This is the action of "the little horn" (See Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:12, Daniel 8:13; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11). This belongs to the time of the end, and will be accompanied by the setting up of the abomination mentioned below and by our Lord in Matthew 24:15. See App-89and App-90.
for the overspreading of = on the wing, or battlement of; but Ginsburg suggests "al kanno (instead of "al kanaph) = in its stead [shall be]: i.e. in place of the daily sacrifice. Compare Daniel 11:7.
abominations he shall make it desolate = the abomination that maketh desolate. See App-90. This is certainly future. See Matthew 24:15. Our Lord tells us where it will stand "in the holy place": i.e. in the Temple at Jerusalem: and we have the same admonition to "understand" (compare verses: Daniel 9:23, Daniel 9:25, above). Antiochus, the type of "the little horn", defiled the sanctuary, but he did not destroy it. He cannot therefore be the fulfiller of this prophecy, though he foreshadowed him.
abominations. Jehovah"s name for an "idol", as being what he detests. Hebrew. shakaz = to be abominable. The "of" in this connection being the Genitive (of the Origin), App-17.: i.e. which causes the desolation. Compare 2 Kings 23:13. Isaiah 44:19, &c. Daniel 12:11 is conclusive.
until the consummation = unto a full end. The reference is to Isaiah 10:22, Isaiah 10:23.
shall be poured upon = shall come pouring upon. For the fulfillment, compare Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:2, Revelation 16:3, Revelation 16:4, Revelation 16:8, Revelation 16:10, Revelation 16:12, Revelation 16:17.
desolate = the causer of desolation. See Daniel 12:11. Then the consummation of Daniel 9:24 will be fulfilled.