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Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
03-13-2017, 09:28 AM (This post was last modified: 03-13-2017 09:31 AM by rako17.)
Post: #1
Question Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
There are two common views about Daniel 9: One is that Daniel was making a prediction about the future, and the second is that the book was really written in the 2nd c. BC and described contemporary events. The questions below rely on the premise that Daniel was making a prediction.

Question 1. What led Daniel to conclude 490 years were given for the Redemption and the Anointed One? Or, why were specifically 490 years given for the apocalyptic, apparently Messianic events?

A simple answer is that the angel told him. However, Maimonides suggested that an angel being did not literally fly down from the sky while Daniel was praying and fully conscious, but that the prophecy came through his "active intellect":
Quote:All this passed in a prophetic vision. Do not imagine that an angel is seen or his word heard otherwise than in a prophetic vision or prophetic dream, according to the principle laid down:–“I make myself known unto him in a vision, and speak unto him in a dream” (Num. xii. 6)... it was in a prophetic vision that the angel spoke to him and “set him upon his knees.” Under such circumstances the senses cease to act, and the [Active Intellect] influences the rational faculties, and through them the imaginative faculties

https://madlik.com/2016/12/09/its-just-a-dream-vayetze/

In any case, it appears that there is an inner meaning to the years. The Lord had previously decreed through Jeremiah seventy years for Jerusalem's captivity. Those weeks were based on the number of years Judah had not left the fields fallow, in violation of the commandment on following a seven year cycle for leaving the fields empty one year out of the cycle. And at the period's end, Jerusalem was blessed with an end to its captivity.

When it came time to determine the number of years until the apocalyptic events of Daniel 9, a seemingly related figure was given - seventy weeks of years. It looks like there is an analogy with Jeremiah's weeks that led to a blessing for Jerusalem.

I thought of one answer: Jeremiah prophesied his 70 years of desolation because Judah had violated the Lord's commandments by not leaving the fields fallow. The 70 years seemed to be a time of punishment, after which Judah's sins were cleansed. The number 70 could refer to completion, based on the meaning of number 7 as completion (eg. 7 days of the world's creation).

If an analogy is drawn with Daniel 9, then it might seem that there was also some punishment involved. Had Judah also committed some sin for which the 70 times 7 years was imposed? Nothing like that is mentioned in the text directly. But it's also questionable - if Judah had been scattered during Jeremiah's time for failing to leave the fields occasionally fallow, perhaps they had been doing the same during the time Daniel counted for his 70 weeks of years, and thus the same issue of leaving the fields fallow lay unresolved?

To sum up: Daniel was contemplating Jeremiah's 49 year prophecy about Jerusalem's desolation that ended with its restoration, and then Gabriel came and gave a prediction about 490 years involving Jerusalem's rebuilding and Messiah/"Anointed One" the Prince that ended with the Temple's and city's desolation. So the "490 years" does not look like a totally random number, but seems to have an important meaning and relationship to the "49 years". It's also curious how the two prophecies have a kind of converse symmetry regarding Jerusalem's and the Temple's fates: Jeremiah predicts the city's captivity and return, whereas Daniel predicts the city's rebuilding and desolation.

Question 2. How to explain that the prophecy starts out by saying that it's a prophecy of extreme blessings, but then says that the "Anointed One" will be cut off and the Temple desolated, which sounds quite negative?

It appears to be a promise of blessings, since eg. Maimonides says it predicted Messiah's arrival. The angels says that the prediction includes: sealing up of prophet, anointing of holy places, "an end of sin, ... to forgive iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness". If one sees an analogy with Jeremiah's weeks that led to a blessing for Jerusalem, it looks like Daniel's prophecy should result in blessing too.

Normally, with a promise of blessing, one would expect that if one acts rightly and fulfills the promise's conditions to receive its blessing, that the blessing would be a positive one. Yet strangely the promise of eternal righteousness, sealing up prophecy, and reconciliation of sin ends in seeming misfortune, like the Temple's desolation and an anointed one being cut off.

One possible explanation could be that reconciliation of sin could involve suffering or misfortune. For example, Isaiah 40 talks about how in the case of the Babylonian captivity, the captivity removed Israel's sin guilt:
Quote:Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is made amends for: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.

Another answer could be that the ultimate blessing could be bittersweet. The Temple could be destroyed because of the national sins, but God could give spiritual, mystical blessings to those who like Daniel remain righteous and faithful.

Question 3. What makes Daniel conclude that the "Anointed One" or "Messiah" will be cut off and "be no more"?

The word "Messiah"/"Anointed One" does not necessarily mean the Davidic Messiah, since Cyrus was called an Anointed One, but the term is commonly used to refer to Davidic kings, like the Messiah would be.

Daniel 9 appears messianic because the 490 years are given "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." It also talks about "Messiah the Prince" and an "Anointed One". Daniel is in the section of the Tanakh/Old Testament called Ketuvim/Hagiographa, and it's the only place I know of where a date for the Messianic era is given. Talmud says:
Quote:"And the (voice from heaven) came forth and exclaimed, who is he that has revealed my secrets to mankind?.. He further sought to reveal by a Targum the inner meaning of the Hagiographa, but a voice from heaven went forth and said, enough! What was the reason?--because the date of the Messiah was foretold in it!"

Targum of the prophets, in Tractate Megillah 3a

Maimonides wrote in his Letter to Yemen that Daniel predicted the Redemption:
Quote:In your letter you have adverted to the computations of the date of the Redemption and R. Saadia's opinion on the subject. First of all, it devolves upon you to know that no human being will ever be able to determine it precisely as Daniel has already intimated, "For the words are shut up and sealed." (Daniel 12:9). Indeed many hypotheses were advanced by scholars, who fancied that they have discovered the date, as was anticipated in Scripture, "Many will run to and fro, and opinions shall be increased." (Daniel 12:9). That is, there shall be numerous views concerning it.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Epistle_t...Complete#3
Later in the letter he explained that this was "the reckoning of the period of the advent of the Messiah".

To be "cut off" is a term used in Tanakh to mean that someone is excluded or excommunicated. To "be no more" is a very rare term to be said of a person's fate in the Tanakh. The only place I found it was when it says that God walked with Enoch and then God took him away. This implies that God had a close relationship with Enoch, and that taking him away did not necessarily mean that he died, but that he vanished from the earthly realm, as if he was brought to heaven where God continued his relationship with him. This parallel with Enoch's fate seems to suggest a very close relationship between God and the anointed one mentioned in Daniel 9.
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03-15-2017, 12:30 PM
Post: #2
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
Hi Rako. I take the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel 9 literally. It's not 490 years, it's 490 days. It begins with the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem and ends with the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Isaiah confirms that prophecy is "sealed up", and not meant to be understood until it happens. Isaiah 29:11-12. "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned".
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03-15-2017, 01:26 PM
Post: #3
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
(03-15-2017 12:30 PM)susanblange Wrote:  Hi Rako. I take the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel 9 literally. It's not 490 years, it's 490 days. It begins with the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem and ends with the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Isaiah confirms that prophecy is "sealed up", and not meant to be understood until it happens. Isaiah 29:11-12. "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned".
Susan,
The context when Daniel made his prophecy was his meditation on Jeremiah's 7 weeks for Israel's captivity. Weeks in that context meant 7 year periods. Based on that, it appears that Daniel's weeks are also 7 year periods. The rebuilding of the Temple occurred in the 5th c. BC. 490 days after that, Messiah did not arrive, at least no such known contender.
Christianity, Talmud/Targums, Rashi, and Rambam all agreed that this time passed centuries long before the Talmud/Targums were written.

Isaiah did not say that he was talking about the same book as Daniel. Daniel's Book says to "know and understand" the prophecy. Rashi and the Christians both propose basics for understanding this prophecy in Daniel 9. Even if the prophecy of Daniel 9 were sealed, it does not mean that it could not become unsealed after the events transpired, since Rashi and the Christians proposed their own interpretations.

I didn't find any rabbinical commentaries, but I did find some Christian ones:

Quote:The verse concludes with the words, "and to seal the vision and the prophet and to anoint the Holy of Holies". From this we learn that G-d will confirm this prophecy (vision) by means of the Messiah.
http://www.torahclass.com/archived-artic...bbi-baruch

Quote:When the Messianic age begins, God will, by accomplishing all that was promised through visions and prophecies, stamp His seal on what His servants had spoke.

Some scholars believe that the end of this 49 Year Period (the first seven weeks) also brought with it the end of Old Testament vision and prophecy. The prophetic book of Malachi was written in this general time frame and ushered in around 400 years of prophetic silence. This period between prophecy from the Old Testament and the New Testament is often referred to as the Inter-testament Period.

To fulfill the promised prophecy.(3)

Sealing up vision and prophecy is sometimes interpreted as the end of revelation. On the short term fulfillment there was no more Old Testament prophets after the Messiah was cut off or crucified.
Vision and prophecy will be sealed up (Their functions will be at an end, for all will have been fulfilled).(4)

English versions follow the meaning “seal,” which may be understood in the sense of “ratify.”
God will seal up vision and prophecy. All that God through the prophets said He would do in fulfilling His covenant with Israel will be fully realized in the millennial kingdom. Until they are fulfilled, prophecies are “unsealed.
http://www.jewishroots.net/library/proph...phecy.html
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03-18-2017, 05:08 PM
Post: #4
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
With this section of Daniel -- some believe that all of the 470 years have been completed and some believe that the last 7 years have yet To be fulfilled -- thus the 7 yrs of tribulation yet ahead for the Jewish people. And that would take place after the 'church' has been raptured out of the world and with Christ. That is what I believe. And a rebuilding of the temple is part of what will be happening before that.

Yes, they are 7 yr periods of time.
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03-21-2017, 02:39 PM (This post was last modified: 03-21-2017 04:25 PM by Splendor.)
Post: #5
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
(03-18-2017 05:08 PM)Sue D. Wrote:  With this section of Daniel -- some believe that all of the 470 years have been completed and some believe that the last 7 years have yet To be fulfilled -- thus the 7 yrs of tribulation yet ahead for the Jewish people. And that would take place after the 'church' has been raptured out of the world and with Christ. That is what I believe. And a rebuilding of the temple is part of what will be happening before that.

Yes, they are 7 yr periods of time.

( Daniel 9:24, NIV ) “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place."

(Daniel 9:25, NIV) “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

(Daniel 9:26, NIV) After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed."

(Daniel 9:27,NIV) " He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

Daniel's 70-sevens prophecy fulfillment begins with the edict of Persian emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to rebuild Jerusalem sometime during the Hebrew month of Nisan in the 20th year of his reign, or around 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

The 7-sevens refers to the time span of ( 7*7 = 49 ancient calendar years ) from the time in 445 B.C. when Longimanus' decreed that Jerusalem be rebuilt until the time Jerusalem was fully restored around 397 B.C. to her former glory before having been destroyed around 587 B.C.

The 62-sevens refers to the time span of ( 7*62 = 434 ancient calendar years that Jerusalem was fully restored in 397 B.C. until the time Jesus Christ presented Himself as the Messiah to the nation of Israel on Palm Sunday around 32 A.D.

The final time interval of the 70th-Seven may soon come in order to completely fulfill Daniel's 70th Week Prophecy!

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts" - William Shakespeare
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04-14-2017, 10:15 AM (This post was last modified: 04-14-2017 10:51 AM by rako17.)
Post: #6
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
Dear Sue D.:
(03-18-2017 05:08 PM)Sue D. Wrote:  With this section of Daniel -- some believe that all of the 470 years have been completed and some believe that the last 7 years have yet To be fulfilled -- thus the 7 yrs of tribulation yet ahead for the Jewish people. And that would take place after the 'church' has been raptured out of the world and with Christ. That is what I believe. And a rebuilding of the temple is part of what will be happening before that.

Yes, they are 7 yr periods of time.

Daniel 9 (KJV, but I know that JPT is different) says that after the 483 years end (after which only 7 years are left):
Quote:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
If one takes a Christian view, then Jesus was excommunicated (cut off) from official Jewish society, the Romans destroyed the city and Temple back in AD 70-135, so I don't see a need to reinterpret this passage as referring to Tribulations of the City and Temple happening centuries after Jesus' time.

Lopuhin's Bible commentary notes that the term "flood" is used by Daniel in other places to refer to an army's destruction of something (eg. Daniel 11:10, 22, 26). The Roman soldiers would attack in waves like a flood on earth (compare Isaiah 28:2). This is also something that happened in AD 70-135, and so we don't need to think about it as referring to a modern Tribulation of the city.

The last week is seen by Lopuhin as referring to Jesus' week of service in his mission. In the half of his last week (3.5 years of Jesus' missionizing), Jesus was killed and his sacrifice effectively abolished the Old Testament atonement sacrifices.

I am giving you a traditional Christian reading of the passage.
(SOURCE: http://bible-teka.com/lopuhin-bible/27/9/)


Dear Splendor,
Thank you for your reply.
I would like to make some suggestions for you.
First:
(03-21-2017 02:39 PM)Splendor Wrote:  Daniel's 70-sevens prophecy fulfillment begins with the edict of Persian emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to rebuild Jerusalem sometime during the Hebrew month of Nisan in the 20th year of his reign, or around 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

The 7-sevens refers to the time span of ( 7*7 = 49 ancient calendar years ) from the time in 445 B.C. when Longimanus' decreed that Jerusalem be rebuilt until the time Jerusalem was fully restored around 397 B.C. to her former glory before having been destroyed around 587 B.C.

The 62-sevens refers to the time span of ( 7*62 = 434 ancient calendar years that Jerusalem was fully restored in 397 B.C. until the time Jesus Christ presented Himself as the Messiah to the nation of Israel on Palm Sunday around 32 A.D.
Consider that Daniel 9 may be making its starting point of the "word to restore and rebuild" Jerusalem not in 445 BC as some people guess but actually about 10 years earlier (c. 454 BC) when Ezra received an order to restore the city's government and Ezra interpreted this as also an order by God to build the city, at which point the Israelites in fact began rebuilding. Thus it was a single order to "restore and rebuild" the city.

This makes it more likely to calculate out to Jesus' time, BTW, pointing to c. 29 AD when Jesus began his public mission.

Quote:The final time interval of the 70th-Seven may soon come in order to completely fulfill Daniel's 70th Week Prophecy!
I also recommend that you consider what I wrote in my message to Sue D. about the last week.
If we consider that the 484 years ends with the beginning of Jesus' ministry and that the ministry was about 3.5 years, it makes sense that the middle of the week could be referring to the events at the end of his ministry. The events of Passion Week could be referring to making the Temple sacrifice cease in their effectiveness.
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04-14-2017, 03:58 PM
Post: #7
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
The 70th week of Daniel -- is referring to the 7 yrs of tribulation --3 1/2 years into That is when the Great Tribulation takes place. The Anti-Christ comes to be known and takes over.
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04-14-2017, 08:25 PM
Post: #8
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
(04-14-2017 03:58 PM)Sue D. Wrote:  The 70th week of Daniel -- is referring to the 7 yrs of tribulation --3 1/2 years into That is when the Great Tribulation takes place. The Anti-Christ comes to be known and takes over.
I've gone back and forth on Daniel 9:25-27 for years. It's one of the most difficult passages in the bible. There is in my view, more evidence to suggest that it refers to the first coming of Christ and his sacrifice etc. One reason is I have difficulty accepting the "gap theory." The other is that in verse 25 we have Messiah the Prince, in verse 26 we have the Messiah being "cut off', and in the same verse "the people of the prince." In other words, that's where the 2,000 year gap is, right in the middle of verse 26. So in my view, the antecedent should remain "Messiah the prince. And I'm a futurist.

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.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolation's are determined.

Verse 27 has a clue. For the most part, Daniel 11 is directed toward Israel. The "overspreading of abominations" is due to Israel's rebellion and refusal to repent.

"the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(70AD) and for the overspreading of abominations."

That would leave the Temple area DESOLATE from 70AD when the sacrifices ceased, until the consummation almost 2,000 years in the future when Christ returns. That's how I understand the later part of verse 27.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
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04-14-2017, 10:09 PM
Post: #9
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
I agree -- it IS one of the most difficult passages in the Bible.

The 7-yr period of tribulation is meant for Israel -- God isn't finished with His people. There will be 144,000 Jewish people going amongst their people to bring them to Christ. Look at Revelation 7: 9 and 14. And back up to vs 3 sealing of the servants of our God. The 144,000 are made up of 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Yes, because of Israel's rebellion and refusal to repent. A person would think that God's chosen people would accept Him with no problem. They didn't accept the arrival of baby Jesus. They were expecting an adult king to come to them and they still are waiting -- some of the Jewish people Do accept Jesus as the promised Messiah. But apparently a majority don't.
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04-16-2017, 12:41 PM
Post: #10
RE: Three Questions for Understanding Daniel 9
Dear Sue D. and Trump-it,

Thank you for your replies.

First, I wish to ask if either of you could please try to answer the three main questions in the thread's OP.

Second, regarding verses 26 to 27, I invite you to check the New Testament explanations and the parallel verses in the Old Testament. The Gospel explains that verse 26 is talking about the Temple's destruction in AD 70, not 2000 years later:

Daniel 9:26 says:
"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined."

Here is where Jesus talks about the Temple being destroyed, which happened in AD 70:
Quote:Matthew 24:2
"Do you see all these things?" He replied. "Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be toppled."

Mark 13:2
"Do you see all these great buildings?" Jesus replied. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be toppled."

In Luke, Jesus also talked about the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70 AD and again in c.132-135 AD.
Quote:“If only you [Jerusalem] had known on this day what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes.
43For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side.
44They will level you to the ground—you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”

Now let's look at Daniel 9:27:
Quote:"And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
Now let's check the gospel verses:
Quote:Matthew 24:15
So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination of desolation,' described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand),

Mark 13:14
So when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Indeed in 70 AD the Temple was made desolate and it would have been a good idea to flee away to the mountains because of the Roman armies. And in c.130 AD the city was destroyed, as per Daniel 9.

Would you agree that Bar Kokhba, the leader in c.130 AD, was like an "anti-Christ" or "False Messiah" figure?

Sure D,

You write:
Quote:The 70th week of Daniel -- is referring to the 7 yrs of tribulation --3 1/2 years into That is when the Great Tribulation takes place
Don't you see how it can make sense chronologically that the 70th week refers to Jesus' time. If you count 483 years straight and continuously, then you get to c.AD 30 as the start of the last week. And Jesus' ministry was 3 1/2 years.

Did I make clear enough for you how this would work?


Daniel 9 says that it's a prophecy of 490 years, not a prophecy of 483 years and then sometime later on a 7th year. So if you count the 490 years straight, you get to 30 AD and the 3 1/2 years into That is when the New Covenant with Many (the Biblical term for the gentiles) is confirmed with the events of Passion week.
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