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The Determined Time

Daniel's Seventy Weeks

In Two Parts


What if there existed a prophecy in the Old Testament, that foretold the exact period, even the year in which the long-awaited Messiah would make his appearance? Would that not be a prophecy of major importance? Would you not think that it would hold special interest for the people of Israel?

Daniel chapter nine is such a prophecy. In this portion of the book of Daniel, he records for us an encounter he had with the angel Gabriel, who gives him a prophecy of Seventy sevens or heptads.

Within this period of Seventy sevens, God will accomplish many great and wonderful things regarding "thy people and thy holy city." He will do all this through the work of one who is called the Messiah the Prince.

Another important reason for studying the prophecy of Daniel 9, is understanding where certain prevalent teachings come from. For instance, do you know where the idea of a seven year tribulation comes from? Yes, Jesus spoke of a "great tribulation" in His Olivet Discourse, but He doesn't say it will last seven years. So where does that come from? You guessed it, right here in Daniel 9. However, Daniel does not mention a seven year tribulation. So how did it come about? Read on and you'll see.

One other common teaching that is floating around out there, is also taken from Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. This is the idea that a future personality known as the antichrist will make a seven year covenant or agreement with Israel, then in the midst of this seven years, he will break that agreement. Have you ever heard of this? Probably. This also is carved out of Daniel 9, even though Daniel never mentions anyone called antichrist or an agreement being broken in the middle of a seven year period. So where did this come from? Again, you'll see.

In connection with all this, you will also understand some basic rules of Bible Study. You will understand the difference between two methods of reading and studying the Bible. You will known the difference between eisegesis and exegesis. This will go a long way in helping you to truly rightly divide the Word.

So as you can see, Daniel chapter 9 is full of great and exciting things. So let’s get started.

 

Introduction

Daniel 1:1

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

The third year of Jehoiakim’s reign was 605 BC. This was the year of the first deportation of Judaic captives back to Babylon. I say back to Babylon because the great founder of the Israelites, Abraham, was a Chaldean by birth. As Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, so the Jews are sent back to the land of their forefather.

This is the year that Daniel, among others, was carried to Babylon as a captive.

1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.[Daniel 9:1-2]

The first year of Darius was 538 BC. This was the year that Babylon fell to the empire of the Medes and Persians. Daniel had been living as a captive for 68 years.

11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.[Jeremiah 25:11-12]

Judah was to serve Babylon for Seventy Years. After Seventy Years, God would judge Babylon.

10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. [Jeremiah 29:10]

Here God promises that after these Seventy years in Babylon, that He would visit them and cause them to return to the land of Judah.

 

Why Seventy Years?

20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
21 To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths:for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.[2 Chronicles 36:20-21]

The land was to rest for seventy years, each year representing a seven year period in which the land was not allowed to lay fallow. This signifies a period of 490 years in which they did not allow the land to keep its seventh year sabbath rest. For the Scripture says,

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord.
3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;
4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord:thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.[Leviticus 25:1-5]

God warned them that if they failed to obey His Voice and keep His commandments, He would remove them from the land and have them carried into foreign lands as slaves.

34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. [Leviticus 26:34-35]

So the Seventy Years of captivity in Babylon, represents 490 years of disobeying His commandments and not allowing the land to have its sabbaths unto the Lord.

We will see this 490 years shortly in the prophecy given to Daniel. Seeing the time of the end of the captivity was at hand, Daniel set himself to pray for the people of Israel and their restoration to the land. He asked God to forgive them for their rebellion against Him and their violation of the covenant. Gabriel is sent to give Daniel a further word concerning his people and their city, Jerusalem.

 

Seventy Sevens

9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

“Seventy weeks” (lit. seventy sevens) - The weeks or sevens here represent a period or week of years. This is validated by the use of the same word as found in Genesis 29:27-28.

We have the account of Jacob working for Laban, for seven years, in order to be able to marry Rachel. However, Jacob realized that Laban had tricked him by giving him Leah, instead of Rachel.

27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

Notice the word, “week”, here is equivalent to a period of seven years. This is the same word as we have here in Daniel 9.

Seventy weeks of years (70 x 7) = 490 years
“are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city”

The period of 490 years is said to be “determined upon thy people and thy holy city”. To ‘determine’ means to “cut out, mark off” and set apart as distinct, i.e., to be marked off with boundaries. That is, this 490 year period has been marked out of history and given the boundaries of these 490 years, for a final Divine dealing with the Jewish people and their city Jerusalem, which would also include the temple.

This 490 year period would be their final test to see if they would obey the Word of God or not. (See Luke 19:29-44 , “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” The word visitation has the base meaning of investigation, inspection, visitation. It is defined as “that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds, character of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad”).

As this would be their final test, they would either graduate and move forward into the Kingdom of God and His Christ through faith, joining the ranks of the Israel of God(Gal. 6:16) or they would miserably fail and cease to be the collective covenant people within the boundary of their land and city.

As is made clear throughout the New Covenant writings, being part of the people of God is about faith in Messiah, not your genetic constitution.

 

Accomplishments

God had determined 490 years and marked it out of history to deal with and accomplish six specific things in regard to the people and the city.

Those six things to be accomplished in the 70 weeks are as follows:

  • to finish the transgression
  • to make an end of sins
  • to make reconciliation for iniquity
  • to bring in everlasting righteousness
  • to seal up the vision and prophecy/prophet
  • to anoint the most Holy
“These six predicted events were to be accomplished within the “determined” (or limited, or “marked off”) period of seventy sevens of years; and that all six items were completely fulfilled at the first coming of Christ, and in the “week” of His crucifixion. For when our Lord ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit descended, there remained not one of the six items of Daniel 9:24 that was not dully accomplished.” (Philip Mauro)
to finish the transgression:

The Hebrew word for finish is kala (kaw-law). In most of its uses in Scripture, it carries the idea of to withhold or to restrain. However here, it is in the intensive form (Piel), and is given the idea to finish. The word translated transgression is pesha (pesh-ah), and its base meaning is defection or rebellion. Hence, this refers specifically to transgressing by rebellion.

Perhaps an extended translation could be something like, to restrain (to the point of making an end of) the transgression of rebellion (of Israel against God and His Word).

to make an end of sins:

The phrase to make an end is comprised of two Hebrew words, chatam (ka-tahm) and tamam (tah-mam). Chatam means to close up; especially to seal: - make an end, mark, seal(up), stop. Tamam means to complete, be finished, be at an end. Before Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross, He cried, “It is Finished!”. He very likely could have used this Hebrew word, pointing to the fulfillment of this part of the prophecy.

Sins, refer to the offense and its penalty. It can also include the idea of the sacrifice for or expiation of sins. Hence this word, chata’a, infers not just the sin and its penalty, but also it remedy.

Here, to make an end of sins, seems to be pointing to a final dealing with sins, its penalty and the offering which expiates. This is very near to what the writer of Hebrews tells us, in Hebrews 10:12,

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

And also in Hebrews 9:26b,

but now once (for all) in the end of the world(age) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Notice that Jesus appeared at the end of the age. What age did He appear at the end of? We will see later.

to make reconciliation for iniquity:

reconciliation is literally, atonement or to cover. Iniquity means, perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity. Literally here, we have to atone and cover iniquity along with its guilt and punishment.

This idea of atonement or covering is clearly set forth in the letter of 1 John 2, where John writes,

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The word propitiation, means “an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted.”

to bring in everlasting righteousness:

Righteousness is the most prominent feature of the kingdom of God. To show this we need only cite those familiar passages: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33); “the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). One characteristic of God’s righteousness, which He was “to bring in” through the sacrifice of Christ (Romans 3:21–26), is that it endures forever; and this is what is emphasized in the prophecy.

A work was to be done, and now has been done, which would bring in everlasting righteousness — everlasting because based upon the Cross, as foretold also through Isaiah, “My righteousness shall be forever” (Isaiah 51:8). Jesus Christ has now been made unto us “righteousness” (1 Corinthians 1:30); and this is in fulfillment of another great promise: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:5–6).

to seal up the vision and the prophecy(prophet):

The words are a Hebraism, and when the meaning is expressed in modern language signifies,

1. The accomplishing, and thereby confirming of all the ancient predictions relating to the most holy person, the Messiah the Prince, from His birth to His death, resurrection and accession to the throne of David, at the right hand of the Father.

2. To seal implies, to finish, conclude, and bring to an end. Thus also were the vision and prophecy sealed among the Jews. This period of 490 years would be a period of finality for the Jews as a people group to receive Divine communication via visions or the prophetic word.
[ Heb 1:1-2, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Here spoken has the sense of finality, i.e., God’s Word in His Son is His Final Word to His People and to the World.]
If anyone, regardless of their pedigree, rejects God’s Word as given and revealed in His Son, then He has nothing left to say to them.

to anoint the most holy:

This phrase is literally, “to anoint the holy of holies.” The holy of Holies was that part of the tabernacle and later the temple, wherein the presence of God resided over the ark of the covenant. The Holy of Holies was the dwelling place of God; where God would meet with man.

This can be no other reference but to the “fulness of the Godhead” dwelling in bodily form, in Jesus the Anointed One (Col. 2:9). It is also no coincidence that John in his gospel [Jn. 1:14], states that the Word of God, “dwelt among us”. The word translated dwelt, is literally ‘tabernacled’ or ‘tented’. This is a reference back to the time when the Presence of God dwelt with men in the tabernacle built by Moses.

This very likely can also signify the coming of the Spirit to the body of disciples on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. This is not just the bringing of the promise of the Father, but is also the dedication of His new dwelling place, the third and final temple if you will. God signified His acceptance of Solomon's temple as His dwelling place and where He would make His Name to dwell, with fire. When cloven/divided tongues of fire sat upon each of the disciples, this was a visible representation of His acceptance of His new dwelling place, the body of Christ, the Church (Ekklesia) [Eph. 2:21-22; 1Pet. 2:5]. This occurred in AD 30. Many signs were given, which I will speak of later, that demonstrated God had rejected the temple at Jerusalem beginning in AD 30.

 

Commandment Going Forth

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

“from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem”

A commandment, or literally ‘word’, was going to be issued to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. The word “restore” is literally, return; the word “build” is also understood to mean rebuild. So this commandment was for the "return and rebuilding" of Jerusalem.

Who gave such a command and when was it given?

Isaiah 44:24-45:4

24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things;that stretcheth forth the heavens alone;that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,whose right hand I have holden,to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

This prophecy found in Isaiah, was made about 200 years before the time of Daniel 9.

In this prophecy, God states that it will be a ruler named Cyrus who will say to Jerusalem, “thou shalt be built” and to the temple, “thy foundation shalt be laid.”

This prophecy by Isaiah was given at a time when both Jerusalem and the temple was still standing. This was a prophecy for a time when both city and temple would be laying in ruin.

God said it would be Cyrus, who He surnamed His “Shephard” and His “Anointed,” who would give the commandment to return and to rebuild.

This answers the who and so when did Cyrus give such a decree?

2 Chronicles 36:22-23

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
23 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.

See also Ezra, chapter 1, and Josephus.

Ezra 1:1-4

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

Josephus (Ant. 11.1.1-2)

(1) In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon, God commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people, according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the prophet, before the destruction of the city,
(2) that after they have served Nebuchadnezzar and his posterity, and after they had undergone that servitude seventy years, he would restore them again to the land of their fathers, and they should build their temple, and enjoy their ancient prosperity; and these things God did afford them;
(3) for he stirred up the mind of Cyrus, and made him write this throughout all Asia:-- "Thus saith Cyrus the King:-- Since God Almighty hath appointed me to be king of the habitable earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the Israelites worship;
(4) for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets; and that I should build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea.”
(5) This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies; for this prophet said that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision:-- "My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple."
(6) This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished. Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written; so he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, and the temple of God,
(7) for that he would be their assistant, and that he would write to the rulers and governors that were in the neighborhood of their country of Judea, that they should contribute to them gold and silver for the building of the temple, and, beside that, beasts for their sacrifices

The Biblical and historical record is clear and undeniable. It is in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, that the commandment went forth to allow the Judaic exiles to return and rebuild both their city and their temple. This would be reckoned as 536 BC, according to our traditional dating.

However, even though the Biblical record is clear, most interpreters do not chose this date for the beginning of the counting of the 490 years. We will discuss why a little later.

from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:

God has provided a starting point and a termination point. The beginning of the prophecy starts with the aforementioned decree of Cyrus. From this decree, it will be Seven sevens (49 years) and Sixty-two sevens (434 years), for a total of 483 years from the decree to the appearance of the Messiah Prince.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself

The Hebrew is literally, "after the threescore and two weeks." The definite article is pointing back to the just mentioned 62 sevens, just so there isn't any misunderstanding. The word translated as after, well, it means after. So upon the termination of the 62 sevens, which followed the 7 sevens, the Messiah the Prince would make His appearance.

At His baptism, Jesus was publically acknowledged as the Messiah, the Son of God. He then was "driven into the wilderness" by the Spirit. When He returned from the wilderness, He began preaching,

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:repent ye, and believe the gospel."

What time is fulfilled except the end of the 69 weeks, at the end of which, the Messiah would appear.

 

The People of the Prince to Come

“the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;”

Here we see that the “people of the prince that shall come” will be the ones who destroy the city and the temple.

To know who are the people spoken of here, we would need to know who this prince is.

Conventional wisdom states that this is likely a reference to the Roman general and future emperor Titus. However, is this the “prince” that this passage is speaking of?

The only Prince we see mentioned “that shall come” in this prophecy is the Messiah Prince, who comes after the 69 weeks. It is this Messiah Prince that the prophecy is speaking of and points to. This Messiah Prince can be none other than Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, the Messiah, the Prince.

If this is the case, then who would be the people of the prince? We would think that this is speaking of the Jewish people themselves. But, the Jewish people didn’t destroy the city and the temple.

Or did they?

Did the Jewish people destroy the temple? In a word, yes, they did.

Read Into or Read Out of

Here would be a good place to discuss the difference between eisegesis and exegesis. Eisegesis is a greek word which means, to read into. This is to read into a text something that really isn't there. You are reading your own thoughts into the text and making it say or read in a way that is not genuine to the original text. This is handling the word of God deceitfully.

Exegesis is a greek word which means, to read out of. To exegete is to read out of the text what is there. It is to dig into the text and pull out the treasures that are buried in it. You are allowing the text to say what it actually says, instead of forcing your own thoughts and preconceived ideas upon it. If you learn to practice exegesis, you will be handling the Word of God with care, love and learning to rightly divide and interpret it. If you read the Bible using eisegesis, you are forcing your own ideas upon it, and will never come to the knowledge of the truth.

What People?

It is the people of the Prince who are credited with destroying the city and temple, not the Prince himself. The people are connected with the Prince. It is the people who are related to or belong to the Prince, that destroy the city and temple.

The Hebrew word translated as people is ‘am and appears about 1,868 times in the Old Testament. It is translated “people” 1836 times. It is most often used to describe Israel and its tribes. It is used to show a personal or familial connection. Here is an Outline of its Biblical Usage.

  1. nation, people
    1. people, nation
    2. persons, members of one's people, compatriots, country-men
  2. kinsman, kindred

In researching the Hebrew word, ‘am, I found that one of the core ideas behind it is “to bind.” It points to what is bound together. In this way, ‘am refers to people who are bound together by a commonality, such as ancestry, or a common society, such as nation or citizenship. As stated earlier, this word is overwhelmingly used in the Bible for the people of Israel, as the people of God. They are bound together by a common ancestry and/or citizenship.

This cannot be referring to the Roman General Titus and his armies. Josephus reports the size of Titus’ army was 60,000 plus servants. Of this number, approximately 20-25 thousand were troops from his four legions. The rest of the army came from local auxiliary forces. To qualify as his people, this army would need to be of Italian descent and all Roman citizens. All legionnaires were Roman citizens, but few were true Italians like Titus.

Only about a third of his army were citizens of Rome and even fewer were of Italian descent, as he was. He shared neither citizenship nor ancestry with his army. Therefore, they do not qualify as being his people.

Apart from this, the people of the Prince are credited with destroying the city and temple. Never has an army been given credit for a military victory above their commander.

Corrupt To Destroy

The Hebrew word translated “destroy”, is shachath. This verb is in the Hiphil[causative] stem, and in the Imperfect mood. What does that all mean? This verb, 'shachath', in the Hiphil stem takes the meaning,

  • 1. Hiphil1
    1. to spoil, ruin, destroy
    2. to pervert, corrupt (morally)
    3. destroyer (participle)

So in the Hiphil stem, 'shachath' means to cause to pervert or corrupt a thing so that it is essentially ruined or destroyed. It is ruined so that its purpose is destroyed. When we apply the imperfect mood to this stem, it takes on the added meaning of this perverting or corrupting beginning at a point, and being completed in a process of time. The beginning of the perverting of the city and its temple was the cutting off of the Messiah Prince in the midst of the seventieth and final seven, or week of years.

We can see this "corrupting to destroy" illustrated very clearly in the first instances of its use in the Bible. In Genesis chapter 6, we read,

7 And the Lord said, I will destroy (mâḥâ) man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted (shachath) his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

In verse 7, God said He would “destroy” man. This word for destroy is the Hebrew, מָחָה mâḥâ, which means, to wipe out, blot out, obliterate, exterminate.

Why is God going to wipe out man? Because he has “corrupted his way upon the earth.” Here, corrupted is the Hebrew, shachath (שָׁחַת), the very same word used in Daniel 9:26. Man corrupted his way upon the earth, which means he corrupted the purpose for which God had created him. Because of this, “The earth was also corrupt (shachath) before God.” The earth had been corrupted so that it had lost the purpose God had given it.

Because both man and the earth had destroyed through corruption their purpose in God, God would destroy (shachath) them by blotting them out (mâḥâ).

When we move to the scene of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, we will see the Jews, by corrupting both the city and temple, destroyed their intended purpose, so that all that was left, was for God to lay both city and temple even to the ground by means of the Romans. As Josephus testified, “I venture to affirm that the sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition.”[Wars 5.6.1]

The Jews destroyed their city and their temple through the corruptions committed in it. The height of their corruption was to “cut off” their long awaited Messiah. However, they also were responsible for the corruption of the city and the temple, which resulted in its total destruction in AD 70 by the Romans.

Again, it is important to note, that the prophecy credits the “people of the prince that should come” with destroying the city and sanctuary, not the prince himself. However a very definite and viable argument can be made for Jesus, "the prince of the kings of the earth"[Rev. 1:5] for being the one who brought the final destruction upon the people, city and temple.

We see nothing in the prophecy that would cause us to think in terms of another prince, other than the one already mentioned. Therefore, it must be the same Messiah Prince, Jesus, who should be “cut off” after the 62 weeks.

An eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, Josephus, lays the blame for its destruction squarely on the shoulders of the Jews themselves, particularly the rebels.

“These men, therefore, trampled upon all the laws of men, and laughed at the laws of God; and for the oracles of the prophets, they ridiculed them as the tricks of jugglers; yet did these prophets foretell many things concerning [the rewards of] virtue, and [punishments of] vice, which when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own country; for there was a certain ancient oracle of those men, that the city should then be taken and the sanctuary burnt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews, and their own hand should pollute the temple of God. Now while these zealots did not [quite] disbelieve these predictions, they made themselves the instruments of their accomplishment.” (Wars, 4.6.3)

The "certain ancient oracle" mentioned above by Josephus is very likely this very prophecy in Daniel 9. There is hardly any other one that fits that which Josephus describes. Notice that it was by their own hand that the temple was polluted, thus destroying its intended purpose.

In one of his attempts to persuade the rebels to surrender to the Romans, Josephus says,

“You have not avoided so much as those sins that are usually done in secret; I mean thefts, and treacherous plots against men, and adulteries. You are quarreling about rapines (rapes) and murders, and invent strange ways of wickedness. Nay, the temple itself is become the receptacle of all, and this Divine place is polluted by the hands of those of our own country;”(Wars, book 5, chap. 9, sec. 4)

Notice the emphasized phrase above, where he plainly lays the charge of polluting the temple, hence destroying its intended purpose.

Again Josephus states,

“I suppose, that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, that the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom perished by, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.” (Wars, book 5, chap. 13, sec. 6)
“And who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them, and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city? For they foretold that this city should be then taken when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own countrymen. And are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God, therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.” (Wars 6.2.1)

This statement of Josephus, that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city, again sounds very much like the Daniel 9 prophecy. Did Josephus understand the "people of the prince to come" as being the Jews themselves? It could certainly be argued so.

Titus makes a plea to the rebels himself, to stop the madness that they were engaging in, to the hurt of their own people, temple and city.

“4. Now Titus was deeply affected with this state of things, and reproached John and his party, and said to them, "Have not you, vile wretches that you are, by our permission, put up this partition-wall before your sanctuary? Have not you been allowed to put up the pillars thereto belonging, at due distances, and on it to engrave in Greek, and in your own letters, this prohibition, that no foreigner should go beyond that wall. (10) Have not we given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, though he were a Roman? And what do you do now, you pernicious villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? and why do you pollute this holy house with the blood of both foreigners and Jews themselves? I appeal to the gods of my own country, and to every god that ever had any regard to this place; (for I do not suppose it to be now regarded by any of them;) I also appeal to my own army, and to those Jews that are now with me, and even to yourselves, that I do not force you to defile this your sanctuary; and if you will but change the place whereon you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; nay, I will endeavor to preserve you your holy house, whether you will or not.”(11) (Wars 6.2.4)

Titus speaks of the "partion-wall" [see Eph. 2:14]. This is that dividing wall between Jew and Gentile in the temple, which Christ symbollically broke down through His death. Although after His death, this wall still physically stood, in the Spirit and Kingdom of God, it was already demolished.

The editor’s note (11) states,

“That these seditious Jews were the direct occasions of their own destruction, and of the conflagration of their city and temple, and that Titus earnestly and constantly labored to save both, is here and every where most evident in Josephus.”

There is little doubt that it was the Romans, under the leadership of Titus and with divine assistance, who effected the actual demolishing of both the city and the temple.

However, it was the Jewish people themselves, or more correctly, the jewish rebels who were the constant “innovators of all manner of evil,” which was the occasion for the final destruction of the city and its temple.

Many opportunities were afforded the rebels to lay down their arms, surrender and save both their city and temple. However, they would not heed the reasonings and pleadings of sane men, but instead gave place to the spirit of rage and demonic self-destruction, which no doubt, was God’s judgement upon them.

Side Note: It was at Passover, AD 30, when a crowd of Jews demanded Jesus be crucified. It was also at a Passover, AD 70, when the Jewish nation was shut up in the city, awaiting destruction. Josephus records the fact that the Romans crucified so many, that they ran out of wood for the crosses and ran out of places to put the crosses. It was a rebel/zealot, Barabbas, that the crowd demanded of Pilate to be set free instead of Jesus, their King. It was these rebels/zealots whom they chose over their Messiah, who were the cause of their miseries and their ultimate destruction.

and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The end of the city and the temple shall be “with a flood.” The Romans with the assistance of God Himself, shall overwhelm the rebels as a flood overwhelms all in its path.

To the very end, or extreme ending point of the war of the Jews with their God through the Romans, “desolations are determined.” The word translated, ‘desolations’ not only means to make desolate, but also carries the idea to be appalled, stun, stupefy.

As a reminder, to make something desolate, is to make barren or laid waste, destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited. This determined desolation would also make those who see it stunned and appalled. They will be stunned that such a desolation has come upon such a glorious city and people.

In referring to the end of the Jewish war with the Romans in Jerusalem, Josephus says this concerning the city, its walls and its temple,

“It was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.”(Wars 7.1.1)

Josephus also reports that the area surrounding Jerusalem for 90 furlongs, or 11.25 miles, had become a barren wasteland,

And now the Romans, although they were greatly distressed in getting together their materials, raised their banks in one and twenty days, after they had cut down all the trees that were in the country that adjoined to the city, and that for ninety furlongs round about, as I have already related. And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down: nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change: for the war had laid all the signs of beauty quite waste: nor if any one that had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again; but though he were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it notwithstanding. (Wars 6.1.1)

Forty years before the destruction, Jesus had said,

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:43-44)

Jesus had prophesied that the city would be laid "even with the ground." Josephus states the matter in the exact same language, when he said concerning the city and temple, "It was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation".




1 http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/7843.html

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