The Determined Time - Daniel 9
He Shall Confirm The Covenant
“27a And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week”
Here we have the first mention of the final week, the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy, which follows immediately after the 69th week. I know what some of you might be thinking.
A small boy was standing in front of his class at school demonstrating his mastery of counting to 100. He was tooling along with the numbers, "67-68-69", then he stopped. The teacher asked him why he stopped at 69? He replied, "My daddy is a dispensational preacher and he told me there is a gap between 69 and 70. So I was just giving it a gap." The teacher responded, "Child, there is no gap between 69 and 70. I think your daddy might have been playing a trick on you."
If you've been taught there's a gap between the 69th and 70th week, someone has played a trick on you.
"No! There's a gap, there's got to be a gap! What have you done with my gap!?"
To be honest, I didn't do anything with it, because it never existed except in the minds of men who had an agenda to propogate. You see without the gap between the 69th and 70th weeks, dispensationalism, as a system, will breathe its last breath. There is nothing in this passage of Daniel that hints at a gap between the 7 sevens and the 62 sevens, or the 69 sevens(7+62) and the final seven.
I'm sorry but it is just not there. If you can be honest with yourself and the text in question, you will see that it just doesn't exist. If you are seeing it, then you are doing some good old eisegesis(reading into the text what isn't there), instead of what you should be doing, Biblical exegesis(reading out of the text what is there). So, let's continue, shall we?
Who is the “he” that shall confirm the covenant with many? It can only be the one person who is spoken of, the Messiah Prince, Jesus the Christ. What covenant is He to confirm? The Hebrew word translated, “confirm” is the word, "gabar", which means, to prevail, have strength, be strong, be powerful, be mighty, be great. In this case here, it means to “confirm, to give strength in covenant.”
What covenant did Jesus confirm and give strength to?
It should be obvious that the covenant confirmed, or made strong by the Messiah Prince was the covenant under which the Jewish nation operated. Jesus told His people, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” To ‘fulfill’ is to render complete, to fill up what is lacking to its fullest. Hence, if you fill up what is lacking, you are making it strong.
However, we cannot just regulate this "confirming" of the covenant to the Old Mosaic covenant, for contained within it, is the promise of a new and better covenant. This new covenant would be represented by and confirmed in the person of the Messiah Himself, the Servant of the Lord.
“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;”
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”
The Lord, whom they seek, is the same as the Messenger of the Covenant.
“By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
What does it mean that Jesus is “made a surety” of a better covenant?
The word 'surety' is a legal term used in contracts. It means guarantee. It points to one who accepts the legal obligation for the performance or payment of a legal action, on the behalf of another. Jesus, as the Engous, the guarantee, takes upon himself the performance and payment of the legal obligation required by the covenant.
It is in this sense that He makes or confirms the New Covenant, by being the guarantee of a better, literally a “stronger” covenant, based upon better, or stronger blood. We have here the witness of Scripture, that Jesus, the Messiah Prince, is made “a covenant for the people” (Isa. 42:6). He is the “messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1 - messenger means representative), who is the Lord Himself.
He is the One who comes to fill up what is lacking in the Law and the Prophets. What was lacking in the Law and the Prophets, but obedience and fulfillment? He fulfilled the Law by being the Perfectly Obedient Israelite.
Because of His Obedience and Sacrifice, He has become the guarantor of a better and stronger covenant, the eternal covenant in His Blood.
Notice the text of Daniel states that He would confirm the covenant with many for one week, not that the covenant would last for one week. It is the confirming of the covenant that would occur for one week. The "Messenger of the covenant" appeared at the beginning of the final week, was cut off in the midst of it, and this 'cutting off' was the cause of 'making the sacrifice and the oblation to cease'.
There is no event given that would mark the end of this week. However, when we look at the record given in Acts, it would appear to fit that the stoning of Stephen would have occurred about 3 years after the cutting off of the Messiah. The stoning of Stephen would have been a public witness to how the gospel witness was rejected by those who were not counted among "the many."