Home > Radical Islam, Theology and Eschatology, Wars and Rumors of War > Daniel 9:27 Redux: Will Antichrist Make A False 7-Year Peace Treaty With Israel?

Daniel 9:27 Redux: Will Antichrist Make A False 7-Year Peace Treaty With Israel?


By ICA

Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Also see the complementary article titled “Daniel 9:27 And The Confirmation Of The Covenant – A Peace Treaty?” for an in-depth examination of Daniel’s 70th week …

BookOfDanielOne of the most commonly held positions by many premillennial Christians today asserts that the time leading up to the Second Coming of Christ will be immediately preceded by a seven-year “peace treaty” signed between Antichrist and Israel. While I had at one time held to this position myself, subsequent studies have lead me to conclude that there is no solid Biblical basis for this view, only interpretative assumptions. Years of personal study as it relates to Biblical eschatology has also made it apparent to me that, even though we’d all love to believe we have every aspect of the prophetic texts completely figured out, we still continue to see as through a glass darkly. With as many opinions regarding secondary doctrines as there are Christian denominations, one obvious reality is that there is not a single pastor or teacher or author who has a complete and perfect understanding of Scripture or that is free from error, myself included, indicating that one interpretative method or hermeneutical approach alone cannot provide all the answers that we so often seek as students of Scripture.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can vigorously debate secondary doctrines (these must never be allowed to divide us) yet remain united on the essentials of our faith. Recently, I had the pleasure of engaging in a spirited debate regarding the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 with Joel Richardson, author of “Mideast Beast” (which I highly recommend) and a brother in Christ whom I esteem highly. Following our debate, Joel felt it was necessary to defend the view which posits an upcoming seven-year peace treaty between Israel and Antichrist by writing a subsequent article titled “The Antichrist’s False Peace Treaty” and offering a number of reasons why he believed it to be a sound, tenable position. What I present to you, however, are reasons why I believe it is not.

In his article, Joel begins sharing reasons why he believes in a seven-year peace treaty by writing that:

The notion of Israel entering into a deceptive covenant with the Antichrist is inferred in several other passages, but is directly referred to by Isaiah:

Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, for we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’ … Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, then you become its trampling place. (Isaiah 28:14-16, 18)

One question we should ask ourselves when reading this portion of Isaiah is whether or not a seven-year peace treaty is mentioned in the text. From the passage itself, it is evident that no such peace treaty is mentioned. In order for one to see a seven-year peace treaty in this chapter, one must first assume a seven-year peace treaty to begin with and then superimpose it into Isaiah’s words. Given the context of Isaiah 28 itself, however, what can be ascertained is the fact that Isaiah is referring to the sin of Ephraim’s false “priests and prophets” who have rejected God and have stumbled in their drunkenness and pride. (Ephraim is completely left out of the list of the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7 because of their disbelief and idolatry, cf. Deut 29:18-21; Hosea 5:9, 11). Isaiah later describes Ephraim’s religious leaders in Jerusalem as making a “covenant with death” — a rejection of God that is in stark contrast to the “covenant of peace and life” made between God and the priests of Levi in Malachi 2:5 who revered and feared the Lord. The rebellion of Ephraim in Isaiah 28 would see them become like a fading flower, for in rejecting God’s covenant these so-called “priests and the prophets” deceived themselves through false visions and stumbling judgments into believing that the wages of their sin would not scourge them. The wages of sin, of course, have always been — and will always be — death.

Satan had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and for Ephraim’s religious leaders to reject the Father of Heaven was to embrace the Father of Lies (cf. John 8:44). Fortunately, God sent us His Truth. He sent Messiah — the Cornerstone that the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22) and the Rock of our Salvation (1 Corinthians 10:4) — who would swallow up death and be victorious over it, promising all those who believe in the covenant that He Himself confirmed with His blood (Matthew 26:28) to never taste the death of which He speaks (John 3:16; John 8:52). In my opinion, this appears to be the ultimate focus of Isaiah 28, not a false seven-year peace treaty with Antichrist.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “Death, where is your sting? She’ol, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (HNV).

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord” (HNV).

Elsewhere, Isaiah reveals that after being scourged and trampled, Israel will repent of their misplaced trust. No longer will they trust or rely on the Antichrist (which this passage in Isaiah refers to as “the Assyrian”) for their security. Instead “in that day” they will rely solely on the Lord:

Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 10:20)

Any imagined scenario of the future that is informed by Scripture must include the reality that Israel will come to “rely on the one who struck them.”

As before, there is no mention of a seven-year peace treaty in the text, only an assumed treaty that is once again superimposed into it. The emphasis in the above quote to “never again rely on the one who struck them” itself assumes that to “rely” on “the Assyrian” must somehow mean that a seven-year peace treaty had already been signed between Israel and Antichrist and subsequently broken. But the text says no such thing and need not be the case at all. In fact, for the sake of argument, it could very easily mean to rely or depend upon “the Assyrian” in the sense that they were hoping to make peace with him, not that they had already experienced a broken seven-year peace deal before. The Islamic nations and terror organizations surrounding Israel have repeatedly struck against the Jewish state time and again, and continue with plans to do so again this very minute, even after the Camp David and Oslo accords. Yet because of regional realities, Israel is today still being forced to rely on the surrounding “Religion of Peace” nations to actually agree to peace year after year. Israel has no other choice right now but to depend on genocidal enemies who wish nothing more than the complete and total destruction of the Jewish state. As these nations continue to grow increasingly hostile toward Israel, it is also becoming increasingly clear that they will never agree to peace with Israel. True peace will only be achieved when Christ returns as Deliverer:

Micah 5:2,5, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity… This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels …”

Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob‘”

Next, the article likens the punishing “flood” that Ephraim is promised to suffer in Isaiah 28 to the “flood” of Revelation 12:15 and Daniel 9:26, even though he agrees that words must be scrutinized more closely in their immediate contexts. While the “flood” of Daniel 9:26 could be equated with the “flood” of Revelation 12:15 contextually they cannot be equated with the flood of Isaiah 28, notwithstanding the fact that Ephraim is completely left out of the list of the tribes of Israel in Revelation 7.

So also does Paul refer to the misplaced trust Israel will place in the covenant with the Antichrist just before the time of Jacob’s Trouble (labor pains):

While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

If Scripture does not teach that Israel will engage in a deceptive covenant or peace treaty, then where did Paul get this idea that just before the birth pains (Jacob’s Trouble – the last 3.5 years) Israel would be saying, “Peace and Safety” (or alternately “peace and security)?

The quote above presumes that it is Israel who is saying “peace and safety.” In my humble opinion, this is a common misconception. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 is quoted, but it is the previous verse that identifies when the destruction happens, and thus upon whom the destruction comes. While “Allah” and his false “prophet” are themselves responsible for the never-ending death and destruction running rampant all throughout the Muslim world, the Muslim world blames Israel as the primary source of all the ills that plague them, a claim often echoed by Islamic clerics and Muslim leaders worldwide. They have deceived themselves into believing that in order for there to be peace and safety anywhere upon the earth Israel must first be destroyed. And “peace and safety” (or alternately “peace and security”) is precisely what Israel’s enemies expect to finally achieve as they are gathering together under “Allah’s” divine mandate to come up against Jerusalem, anticipating that Israel will finally be a nation no more in fulfillment of their own false Islamic “prophecies.” But it is not “Allah” that will be gathering them. It is Yahweh. And it is not Israel that will be destroyed. It will be them:

1 Thessalonians 5:2-6, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when THEY shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon THEM, as travail upon a woman with child; and THEY shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.”

Verse 2 puts the destruction as occurring on the day of the Lord, which occurs at the Second Coming of Christ according to Scripture. A future seven-year tribulation, however, would require that we stretch the day of the Lord to include the entire seven years, despite the fact that there are passages that absolutely forbid the day of the Lord from overlapping into the tribulation. The two are mutually exclusive. Here are five examples (courtesy of Tim Warner):

1. Throughout the Old Testament, very specific “celestial signs” are associated with the coming of the Day of the Lord. The darkening of the sun and moon will usher in that day (Isa 13:9,10, Isa 24:19-23, Joel 3:13-15). Here is one example.

Joel 2:31, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

These verses establish a clear sequence of events. They place the cosmic signs, the darkening of the sun and moon, between the end of the tribulation and the beginning of the day of the Lord. This absolutely forbids any overlapping of the tribulation into the day of the Lord. They are distinct events. No other interpretation is possible.

2. The very first time the day of the Lord is mentioned in the Bible, the text clearly forbids associating it with the tribulation. Isaiah describes the “day of the Lord” as follows:

Isaiah 2:10-19, “Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up — And it shall be brought low — Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, And upon all the oaks of Bashan; Upon all the high mountains, And upon all the hills that are lifted up; Upon every high tower, And upon every fortified wall; Upon all the ships of Tarshish, And upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day, But the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.”

Twice these verses indicate that the Lord alone will be exalted in the Day of the Lord. This is an exclusive statement. No one else can be exalted or worshipped during the day of the Lord. Yet, during the tribulation, Antichrist is worshipped as God (Rev 13:3-8,14, 2 Thess 2:4) and the image of the Beast will be worshipped as well. Isaiah’s statements about the Lord alone being exalted, and the idols being abolished during the day of the Lord forbids any overlapping with the tribulation and reign of Antichrist.

3. Zechariah 14:7 indicates that the day of the Lord may just be one literal day. The Hebrew text says “one day”:

Zechariah 14:1,7, “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee… But it shall be one day (echad yowm) which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light.”

Also see Isaiah 10:17:

Isaiah 10:17, “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day (echad yowm)”

4. In Isaiah 13:9, Joel 2:1 and Zech 14:1 we read in each of these verses that “the day of the Lord cometh”, and in each verse the text immediately begins to describe the battle of Armageddon. The word “cometh” or “at hand” is the Hebrew word “bow” and it means “to come” or “arrive”, and it implies the beginning of the day of the Lord. In each case the arrival of the day of the Lord brings about the battle of Armageddon.

5. Joel 3:9-17 describes the gathering of the armies of the nations around Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, the cosmic signs, and the coming of the Lord. After the armies are gathered, but before the cosmic signs, Joel wrote that the day of the Lord is “near.” The Hebrew word means “at hand,” “imminent,” or “next in sequence”. The day of the Lord must begin after the surrounding nations are gathered for the battle, which occurs at the end of the tribulation, according to Revelation 16:13-16.

Those who believe in a future seven-years of tribulation assume that Israel is the one saying “peace and safely” years earlier than the day of the Lord, essentially stretching the day of the Lord into a seven-year tribulation which scripture absolutely forbids, as we can see above. But it will be the enemies of Israel who will be the ones declaring “peace and safety” immediately prior to the day of the Lord, the day in which sudden destruction comes upon them. It is impossible for Israel to be declaring “peace and safety” while she is being attacked and surrounded on all sides. Consider some of the following recent quotes, for instance, which are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:

Turkey’s Erdoğan Blames Israel for Mideast Insecurity, Calls Israel A Threat To Middle East Peace – “Turkey’s prime minister stepped up criticism of Israel on Wednesday and scoffed at remarks by Israel’s prime minister, a sign of escalating distrust between the Jewish state and its only ally in the Muslim world… Erdogan told reporters in Paris that he perceived Israel as the principal threat to Middle East peace…” Read more.

Pakistani Cleric: World Peace Will Be Established Only When All The Jews Are Wiped From The Earth – “Pakistani cleric Pirzada Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai argued that world peace will be established only when all the Jews are wiped out from the earth. In the video entitled ‘Yahodi Islam Kay Aur Aman Kay Asal Dushman Hain’ (Jews Are the Real Enemy of Islam and Peace), Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai states: ‘And all the troubles that exist around the world are because of the Jews. When the Jews are wiped out, then the world would be purified and the sun of peace would begin to rise on the entire world.’” Read more.

Ground Zero Mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: For Peace Israel Must Be Destroyed – “Imam Rauf stated that there will not be peace until Israel ceases to exist. He says that Israel is destined to collapse and ‘In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.’ To this day, Rauf has not said that Israel has a right to exist and has chosen to work with those dedicated to the country’s elimination.” Read more.

Former President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat: Peace For Us Means Israel’s Destruction – “We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects… Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else.” Read more.

“For World Peace, Israel Must Be Destroyed” – “‘It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds [Jerusalem] to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!’” Read more.

Iran: World Forces Must Strive To Annihilate Israel To ‘Solve All The World’s Problems’ – “In a speech published on his website Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the ultimate goal of world forces must be the annihilation of Israel… Ahmadinejad added that ‘liberating Palestine’ would solve all the world’s problems … ‘Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems … Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.’” Read more.

Hamas MP: ‘The Jews Are Behind Each And Every Catastrophe On The Face Of The Earth’ – “The Jews are behind each and every catastrophe on the face of the Earth. This is not open to debate. This is not a temporal thing, but goes back to days of yore. They concocted so many conspiracies and betrayed rulers and nations so many times that the people harbor hatred towards them. Throughout history — from Nebuchadnezzar until modern times… They slayed the prophets, and so on. Any catastrophe on the face of this Earth — the Jews must be behind it.” Read more.

Elsewhere, Daniel also speaks of the Antichrist’s use of deceptive peace promises to attain power:

“And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease (or feel secure). (Daniel 8:25)

In my opinion, “feeling secure” in no way necessitates that a seven-year peace deal be signed. A friend of mine visited Israel not too long ago and enjoyed it greatly. Israel has prospered and grown immensely since its rebirth and restoration in 1948. Sure, there are certain areas that are under constant watch due to terror threats from Islamic militants (just as there are in the United States and other countries), but overall Israel is a safe place to visit and the defensive wall separating Israel from the Palestinians has reduced suicide bombings by 90%+, so much so that Israel has been able to reduce the amount of soldiers required on security deployments. They feel secure. In fact, I’d be much more at ease visiting virtually any city in Israel than I would visiting many American cities.

“According to a study conducted by the University of Haifa’s Center for the Study of Crime, Law & Society, Israel’s murder rate is one of the world’s lowest, which shows the murder rate in Israel is declining. The murder rate per 100,000 residents has remained virtually unchanged over the past 28 years, and has declined during the past few years. The study says that the crime rates have to be examined in relation to the population size. From this perspective, the research shows that the number of murders per 100,000 people was 2.35 in 1980 and 2.29 in 2006. This data is low compared to other countries. For instance, in Russia, the number of murders per 100,000 people was 18 in 2004, and in the United States, the number of murders per 100,000 people was 7.5 during the same year.” (The Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2008)

Israel is the most secure nation in the Middle East. But, if conditions and events on the ground are any indication, a threat is looming on the horizon. Not a peace treaty.

In conclusion, the idea that the Antichrist will confirm or forcefully make a covenant with Israel does not depend on Daniel 9:27, but is in fact well established in other portions of Scripture.

I respectfully beg to differ with my friend on this topic for a number of reasons:

1. The word “covenant” in Daniel 9 is used in a Messianic context. This suggests that the “covenant” is between God and man, not between nations. Additionally, the word “gabar” in Daniel 9:27 suggests that a covenant already in place is what is strengthened (which would be the Abrahamic covenant), not that a new one is created. How can a covenant be strengthened if it doesn’t already exist?

2. What good is a watchman if they know precisely when destruction is coming yet, instead of telling people to leave in advance, only tells them to flee once it is nearly too late? In Matthew 24:15-20, Jesus tells his readers to flee immediately when they see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. Why doesn’t Jesus tell His readers to look for the “seven-year peace treaty” to make sure they were out of harm’s way before the Abomination was set up in the middle of it? Since a seven-year peace treaty would be as observable as any Abomination that causes desolation, would it not have made perfect sense for Jesus to give His readers ample time by instructing them to flee certain trouble up ahead rather than waiting until the last possible moment? If a seven-year peace treaty were in fact true then it certainly begs such questions. But telling them to wait until they see the Abomination that is so horrendous they can’t even return to their homes to retrieve a single item because their very lives now hung in the balance makes absolutely no sense if they could have left much earlier. This seems to point to one inescapable conclusion: Jesus did not mention the “seven-year peace treaty” because no seven-year peace treaty will ever exist.

3. It makes little sense that an Islamic Antichrist, already able to “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26), would then develop a sudden change of heart and decide to forcefully impose a seven-year peace treaty with Israel — the very nation that Islam seeks to destroy today — particularly when “the end thereof shall be with a flood” after seeing the city and sanctuary destroyed. If “the end thereof shall be with a flood” of wars and desolations, how can there be “peace” for a full 50% of the time remaining until the Second Coming of Christ?

4. The Hebrew text of Daniel 9:27 says that He confirms the covenant “one” week, not in the sense that the covenant itself only lasts for the duration of “one week”, but rather that the confirmation of the covenant is what happens in the one week. The Hebrew text says “gabar bĕriyth rab echad shabuwa” which means “strengthen covenant many one week”. We cannot say dogmatically that the covenant is confirmed “for” one week (7-years) since “for” isn’t in the original Hebrew text, even though the full futurist view absolutely requires it. Some translations like the Lexham English Bible and the Darby Translation put the word “for” in brackets to let the reader know it isn’t in the original. I understand the need to insert something in there to improve the syntactical or linguistic flow/readability of our receptor language, but we need to be aware that it could just as easily be “in one week” or “for the one week” every bit as much as “for one week.” The LXX renders Daniel 9:27 to say “And one week shall establish the covenant with many”. Douay-Rheims says “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week”. Young’s Literal Translation says “he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week.”

In conclusion, it is my firm conviction that Isaiah never speaks of a seven-year peace treaty between Israel and the Islamic world. The expectation of “peace and safety” not being declared until the end of tribulation by Israel’s enemies suggests no peace will ever exist between Israel and the Islamic world. The fact that “covenant” in Daniel 9:27 is being used in a Messianic context suggests no peace will exist between Israel and the Islamic world. The fact that Christ pointed to the Abomination of Desolation that takes place in the middle of a supposed seven-year peace treaty and not the peace treaty itself suggests no peace will ever exist between Israel and the Islamic world. The fact that Antichrist will destroy the city and the sanctuary and that wars and desolations would then come like a flood per Danial 9:26 suggests no peace will ever exist between Israel and the Islamic world. Finally, given the fact that we have the 7 weeks plus the 62 weeks plus the 1 week certainly suggests that the covenant is strengthened “during” or “in” or “for the” one week, not “for one week” in the sense that it only lasts for 7 years. The full futurist doctrine that posits a seven-year peace treaty is built around a word (“for”) that isn’t even in the original Hebrew text. Obviously, this is not the best pillar upon which to build an entire doctrine.  But a word that is in the original Hebrew — “gabar” — suggests a covenant that already exists is what is strengthened (the Abrahamic covenant), not that a new covenant is created. Something cannot be strengthened if it does not already exist. When all is said and done, the partial-futurist position that I hold (that we are only waiting upon 3.5 years of great tribulation and not 7-years of tribulation) does not depend upon the understanding that the covenant must be confirmed “during” the one week. The position of hyper-futurists, however, absolutely requires that it be “for” one week, otherwise it crumbles. But don’t take my word for it. Do what all good Bereans must do: Test everything in light of Scripture, and hold fast that which is good …

2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness …”

Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant [‘the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ’ (Gal 3:17)] with many [‘this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many’ (Matt 26:28)] for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering [‘For the law … can never with these same sacrifices … make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?’ (Heb 10:1-2)][<– Christ | Antichrist –>] And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate. [‘when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel … then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again (Matt 25:15,21)].”

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Update: December 11, 2013

Joel Richardson has updated his article in response to my critique. I’ll take a moment to comment briefly:

To be fair, my article never says or even infers that Isaiah mentioned “a seven-year peace treaty.” In the world of debate, this is called a straw man argument. It involves misrepresenting your opponent or their argument in a way that is very easy to tear down (like a straw man), and then proceeding to do so.

Brother Richardson’s article did not say that Isaiah 28 wrote about “a seven-year peace treaty” specifically, I agree. However, I disagree strongly that his position is misrepresented by a straw man argument. The reason why is very simple. My friend’s article began by specifically stating that: “Most premillennialists hold that the beginning of the final seven years before the return of Jesus will be marked by some form of deceptively made ‘peace treaty’ or covenant between the Antichrist and the leadership of Israel. Opponents of this view argue that this belief is only found in Daniel 9:27 and no where else. This claim, as we will see, is simply false.” Thus the article itself infers that what it believes to be a seven-year peace treaty in Daniel 9:27 is found elsewhere in Scripture. In the very next paragraph, we read that: “The notion of Israel entering into a deceptive covenant with the Antichrist is inferred in several other passages, but is directly referred to by Isaiah.” Even though Isaiah does not say “a seven-year peace treaty” in those exact words, anyone reading the first two paragraphs of the article alone is given the distinct impression that this is exactly what Isaiah was referring to. No straw man argument was required.

The word used in the text is “covenant”. It is referring to a vey well know historical security alliance that Judah made with Egypt. Instead of acknowledging the historical context of the passage, MW limits the meaning to a mere “rejection of God”. MW states that the meaning of the passage concerns Ephraim’s sins

Even though there existed an historical alliance between Judah and Egypt, Isaiah 28 uses the example of Ephraim to demonstrate the consequence of sin, the futility of rebellion, yet gives the hope of Messiah. In my humble opinion, the context of Isaiah 28 is not merely speaking of a “covenant” between nations, but rather the breaking of a covenant that existed between God and Ephraim. If Isaiah was merely referring to a covenant or security alliance between nations, then why does he point to Christ (Isaiah 28:16-17), the One whom Malachi calls the “messenger of the Covenant” (Malachi 3:1)? “God is speaking to scoffers and boasters when He refers to the Cornerstone — His precious Son — who provides the firm foundation for their lives, if they would but trust in Him. Isaiah uses construction terminology (measuring line and plumb line) to make his point; these are things the people would understand.” (Read more at Got Questions.org). Instead of a covenant with God, they made a “covenant with death” and an “agreement with Sheol” (the grave), but God promises that this covenant with death would one day be annulled (implying, it seems, by a covenant that would never be annulled) and that the agreement with Sheol would be broken (Isaiah 28:18). When Christ confirmed the covenant with His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28) it was final. Even the law “cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ” (Galatians 3:17). Death no longer had its sting, Sheol no longer its victory (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Ephraim is not one of the twelve tribes. Ephraim is not one of Jacob’s 12 sons. Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph.

Ephraim was indeed considered one of the 12 tribes. Joel is, of course, correct that Jacob had 12 sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher) and that Joseph had two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim). According to Genesis 48:5-6, however, the reason for Ephraim (and Manasseh) being full tribes is due to the fact that Jacob adopted them as if they were his very own sons:

Genesis 48:5-6, “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.”

This is vital. Both Ephraim and Manasseh are now Jacob’s sons, thus the 12 tribes of Israel are: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. Levi was not given an inheritance (Joshua 13:14). This is precisely how the 12 tribes of Israel are listed in Numbers 1:

Numbers 1:1-16, “Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai … ‘Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above—all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies. And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house. These are the names of the men who shall stand with you: from Reuben, Elizur the son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel the son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab the son of Helon; from the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama the son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur; from Benjamin, Abidan the son of Gideoni; from Dan, Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai; from Asher, Pagiel the son of Ocran; from Gad, Eliasaph the son of Deuel; from Naphtali, Ahira the son of Enan.’ These were chosen from the congregation, leaders of their fathers’ tribes, heads of the divisions in Israel.”

The reason that Ephraim is not included in Rev. 7 is simply because Ephraim is not one of the 12 tribes.

If Ephraim was not included in Revelation 7 simply because Ephraim was not one of the 12 tribes, then why is Manasseh included? If it was simply to replace Dan, why would Manasseh replace Dan and not Ephraim when it was Ephraim who was given favor?

Genesis 48:13-14, 20, “And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn… So he blessed them that day, saying, ‘By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ’ And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”

As we can see above, Ephraim was one of the 12 tribes and is even acknowledged as such by the Lord Himself. Jacob adopted both Ephraim and Manasseh. They are his and therefore received all the inheritance that a natural son would received. God does the same for us when He adopts us into His family through Christ (Ephesians 2). So the question remains, why was Ephraim not included in Revelation 7, but Manasseh was? Given the fact that the “144,000” are sealed servants of God, I think a very good reason why is due to Ephraim’s disbelief and idolatry. This condition does not exist in those who follow Christ:

Hosea 5:9-11, “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure… Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept.”

Hosea 13:1, “When Ephraim spoke, trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended through Baal worship, he died.”

The only tribe not included in Revelation 7 is the tribe of Dan. Manasseh fills his place.

Why is Dan not included? Likely for the same reason as Ephraim. See Judges 18.

The notion that Ephraim is forever rejected, as MW seems to infer by repeatedly stating that they are not included in Rev. 7 is simply refuted by the fact that Ezekiel 37 makes clear that the future unification of “Ephraim” and Judah will take place in the Messianic Kingdom at the resurrection.

Ephraim is not forever rejected, evidenced by Ezekiel 37, as Joel correctly notes. As Coffman’s Commentary of Ezekiel 37 points out, however, “It is significant here that God through Ezekiel did not recognize Ephraim as ‘the Israel of God,’ a title that Ephraim had arrogantly usurped for themselves. He appeared here in his true status as Ephraim with whom certain tribes of Israel were associated. Judah, through whom the great Davidic king would come, was always the true center of the ancient Israel, not Ephraim.” As my article titled “The 144,000 and the Great Multitude – It’s Not What You May Think” points out, the list of the 12 tribes as they appear in Revelation 7 reveal who the Israel of God is.

Not only does MW fail to recognize the difference between the two kingdoms, but he also fails to see the two subjects of chapter 28. Verses 1-13 relate to Ephraim, while verse 14 shifts to speaking about Judah, the Southern Kingdom. The prophetic warning is directed specifically to the rulers of Jerusalem … The “covenant” spoken of in Isaiah 28 is made between the rulers of Judah and Egypt. Ephraim has nothing to do with this portion of the chapter.”

The entire oracle was spoken in the hope that Ephraim’s fall would serve as Judah’s warning, so it seems to me that Judah is addressed from about verses 5 to 13, or possibly 9 to 13. In my view, both are addressed from verse 14 onward. Regardless, my focus is upon the assertion that the covenant of Daniel 9 is spoken of (or equated with) the covenant mentioned in Isaiah 28. Both of these chapters ultimately point to Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27; Isaiah 28:18).

Isaiah 28:14, 16, 18,  “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem … ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed’ … Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand …”

Acts 4:10-11, “[L]et it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’”

Sadly, more outright straw man arguments [regarding MW’s response to Isaiah 10:20]. I never claim that this passage infers a seven year peace treaty. I simply hold that the passage is (1) prophetic and (2) the historical background concerns a security pact, treaty or alliance. Again, anyone can consult any number of solid commentaries on this passage to confirm this.

Again, no straw man argument was needed. Joel’s article specifically stated in the opening paragraphs that: “The notion of Israel entering into a deceptive covenant with the Antichrist is inferred in several other passages, but is directly referred to by Isaiah.” Which “covenant” is Joel referring to? The seven-year peace treaty he believes will be signed between Israel and Antichrist.

Despite the fact that virtually all premillennialists, including the earliest Church writers very much disagree that verse 27 is Messianic (we believe it refers to the Antichrist, who abominates and desolates the Temple) MW never says, “in my opinion” or includes any such qualifier. It simply is Messianic because MW says it is. For those who are not informed about the historical debates surrounding this passage, such comments can be very misleading.

Joel is right, I should state “in my opinion” in areas where we differ. I should also point out, however, something that is not my opinion, but is fact. Teaching the 70th Week of Daniel as still awaiting a full future fulfillment was largely popularized relatively recently, aside from Ireneaus and his student Hippolytus who put a date on Christ’s second coming around 500 AD that has long since come and gone (I presume this is who Brother Joel is referring to when he says “including the earliest Church writers”). The belief that it was anyone other than Christ who confirmed the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is virtually nonexistent prior to the 19th century. We can verify this by reading any pre-19th century books on the matter. If there are any, I will acknowledge it. To date, however, I have not seen any.

The word gabar simply means strong or firm. Once again, MW doesn’t even acknowledge that there are a few very solid possible options as to how to interpret this verse. Some scholars say that it means that “he” will confirm a covenant, as MW holds, while many others understand it to mean that he will, through strength, actually enforce a covenant. Some say that he will make a strong covenant.

I concede with Joel that there are other options. But it means more than just strong or firm. It also means to make strong, to strengthen, to prevail. The word “gabar” has only three Hebrew letters which are, from right to left, the following Paleo Pictograph characters:

Gimmel = Foot or burden-bearer, to gather, carry away.
Beyt = the House of Israel.
Resh = the head of a man, first, beginning, chief ruler.

A Messianic Jew named Maria Merola of Double Portion Inheritance points out that the word “gabar” paints a picture of the Messiah who is the “gimmel” גָּ the one who “bore the burdens” (Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 14:25; Jeremiah 23:33-38; Matthew 11:30) for the “beyt,” בַ the House of Israel, and is the chief ruler, the “resh” ר for the “government shall be upon his shoulder.” Merola also notes that the Hebrew word for “shoulder” in Isaiah 9:6 is “shekem” which literally means “the neck between the shoulders as the place of burdens.” The word “gabar” is therefore synonymous with the words “strengthen” and “prevail.” Thus, as Merola also points out, we could accurately read Daniel 9:27 as, “And he shall strengthen the covenant with MANY for one week …”. If Daniel 9:27 was describing Antichrist, confirming (or strengthening) a covenant with Israel would necessitate that there would already be a covenant in place.

Moreover, “From a grammatical standpoint the pronoun ‘he’ must refer to its antecedent. If we do this it will be immediately plain that it means the Messiah. This will be apparent if we quote the passage again from the 25th verse and connect up the main events pertaining to the Messiah and leave the portion pertaining to the ‘prince’ to its proper place at the end of the chapter. Quote: ‘Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto MESSIAH the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks . . . and after the threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off . . . and He, (the Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.’ You will notice mention is made of seven weeks plus sixty-two weeks and last of all one week. This accounts for all seventy. It is after the sixty-ninth week that Messiah is cut off. That fact definitely places it in the seventieth week—that last remaining week of the prophecy. It was during this week that Christ did confirm His covenant with many according to Matt. 26:26-28. On this solemn occasion Christ instituted the most sacred of Christian ordinances, the Lord’s Supper, saying, ‘This is My blood of THE NEW TESTAMENT (literally covenant), which is shed for MANY for the remission of sins.’

Conclusive Proof Links Christ With the Covenant. The death of Christ very definitely instituted the New and Everlasting Covenant, and Christ emphatically confirmed that covenant with many during the three and a half years of His ministry on earth. Even the words of Daniel are almost identical with those of Matthew — ‘He shall confirm the covenant with many’ — ‘this is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many.’

The evidence is very conclusive. There are 281 references to ‘covenant’ in the Scriptures according to Young’s Analytical Concordance. Not one of these references in any way introduces the idea of a covenant between the Jews and the Anti-Christ. ‘There is not a hint anywhere that such a covenant is suggested, intended, proposed or prophesied at any time. Concerning the covenant between the believers and the Messiah there are many scores of such references. They are found in almost every book in the Bible. The reason is because when the Jews broke the Old Covenant, (see Jer. 31:31-33) then God purposed to make a new and everlasting covenant with His people. Consequently all the prophets refer to it and Daniel foretold that it would be ratified in the 70th week of his prophecy. cp. Heb. 8:7-10.

Even more convincing is the testimony supplied by the Hebrew word for Covenant used in the phrase, ‘He shall confirm the covenant.’ The word for covenant is ‘Bereeth’ according to the Pulpit Commentary ; it is spelled ‘berith’ in Young’s Analytical Concordance. In the Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 29, p. 275, a lengthy exposition points out that ‘Bereeth’ is only used in connection with a Divine Covenant. It is never used to designate a ‘league’ with any other power or force but is always reserved to describe a covenant between God and man. For that reason the covenant cannot apply to anyone except the Messiah. It cannot possibly describe a covenant with the Anti-Christ or any political group involving apostate Jews.” Read more at Historicist.com.

In conclusion, beyond the fairly significant historical and textual errors (ie. confusing the northern and southern kingdoms, and failing to acknowledge the context of the passage as one of a well known historical security alliance), there are also the various straw man arguments

I should have made it more clear that my focus was not upon the history, but upon the theology. If I was not clear enough, the fault is mine.

I would also qualify this discussion by pointing out the my primary reason for arguing my position as I do is because those who interpret verse 27 as Messianic also use this same argument as the basis for replacement theology, a theology that I find outright demonic.

Though I wouldn’t classify replacement theology as “demonic” I am in complete agreement with my friend Joel regarding the err of replacement theology and in fact take it one step further by also rejecting the notion that the New Testament church alone is the Bride of Christ. From what I read in Scripture, it is believing Israel that is the Bride, not the NT church alone. Although I do not adhere to traditional dispensationalism (that replaces the Bride with the NT Church), I also do not adhere to covenant theology that replaces Israel with the Church. I adhere much more closely to progressive dispensationalism because, as Gentile believers, we do not replace the Bride, believing Israel. Rather, we are grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel and are now fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built together as one body per Ephesians 2. In my view, the traditional dispensational understanding is therefore itself another form of replacement theology, which I reject in all its forms. At the end of the day, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua.

I am not saying that MW holds to replacement theology, but his hermeneutic of spiritualizing very literal passages is precisely the method used by replacement theologians.

Replacement theology over-spiritualizes many portions of Scripture while ignoring the plain and straightforward teachings of others, such as Ephesians 2. It is my belief, however, that one interpretative method or hermeneutical approach alone cannot provide all the answers that we so often ask as students of Biblical eschatology.

As I replied to a comment yesterday below, given what has happened throughout history to the nation of Israel and to the Church and what is now happening today within the epicenter of prophecy, I decided to approach Scripture in a way similar to those who’ve now developed Progressive Dispensationalism — a refinement of the older Traditional Dispensationalism — by studying other views to appropriate more of a “complementary” or “correlative” hermeneutical framework. By not being confined to one narrow view and carefully studying the work of others and understanding why they believed what they believed, we can adopt what merit other positions have to augment our own understanding. Although some who staunchly maintain a certain eschatological paradigm may feel somewhat apprehensive with this approach much like a Traditional Dispensationalist, for instance, would reject the approach of a Progressive Dispensationalist, keeping the good meat of other views and spitting out the bones does seem to provide answers that other positions in and of themselves do not fully address as it relates to Bible prophecy.

We’ll agree to disagree. It’s ok to not always agree on every point and to have differences of opinion. Truth be told, that’s why Brother Joel is an author, because “Mideast Beast” (which I highly recommend) was a view that was different from the mainstream. And authors rely on differences of opinion.

Update 2: December 12, 2013

Brother Joel has updated his article again, perhaps in response to mine. Instead of saying that Ephraim “was not one of the twelve tribes” he now notes that Ephraim was not one of the “original” twelve tribes. I’m not sure what he means by “original.” Joseph never received a tribe, so the original twelve tribes always included Ephraim as one of the twelve. There is a difference between the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve sons of Israel.  At any rate, I’ll try to be brief in addressing a few more of his points.

MW’s view although not entirely his (it has also been articulated by 119 Ministries and a few others) is a relatively new view and somewhat unique in that while it is technically Premillennilalist it relies on arguments that are typically made by Amillennialists or Preterists.

It is not just “technically” Premillennialist. It is completely Premillennialist. As for the understanding that it was Messiah who confirmed the covenant of Daniel 9:27, this is a view that has been held almost exclusively by the Church for the first 19 centuries. This is not new. The understanding, however, that the 70th week was “split” into two 3.5 year periods where the second period is still yet awaiting a future fulfillment was, to the best of my knowledge, introduced in the 16th century by Francisco Ribera. As for Amillennialism and Preterism (I prefer the term Historicism over Preterism), though I spit out much of what it teaches, it still has some meat worthy of a good chew.

Those who hold this view most often argue that the expectation of a seven year period is potentially setting up the Church for deception, as there are no genuine signs to look for prior to the Antichrist setting up the Abomination of Desolations.

Personally, I don’t think the Church will be deceived when the Abomination of Desolation is revealed. If there is any genuine sign to look for before the Second Coming, it would be the AoD, not a seven-year peace treaty.

It most often necessitates that the references to the Temple mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Rev. 11 and four times in Daniel (8:11-14, 9:27, 11:31 12:11) all be taken as spiritual and not literal. This despite the fact that there is no basis within any of these actual passages to understand them in a non-literal sense. Those who espouse this view most often look to various examples in the NT where of the Temple is used in a metaphorical sense as his basis to reinterpret the literal references in the NT to the Temple and retroactively reinterpret passages that speak of the Temple in the OT. The argument is that because the Temple is used in a spiritual sense in some passages, we may now go back and reinterpret passages that were always understood as literal and see them as spiritual. But this is the precisely the hermeneutic of replacement theology.

Remember, keep the meat and spit out the bones. Brother Joel evidently takes issue with separating replacement theology from the understanding that the temple in the eschaton is the Church. However, it needs to be understood that the temple being the Church is not an invention of replacement theology. This is how the temple today is defined for us in the New Testament. In fact, each and every single time the Apostle Paul speaks about the temple of God and uses the Greek word “naos” (G3485) in Scripture he is referring to believers both individually and collectively. He is referring to the Church:

1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple [naos] of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple [naos] of God, God will destroy him. For the temple [naos] of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple [naos] of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple [naos] of the living God …”

Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple [naos] in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Even the Apostle Peter agrees in 1 Peter 2, the only time he ever refers to God’s temple:

1 Peter 2:4-5, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Every time Paul refers to the temple as the Church he uses the word “naos” (G3485) and always calls it the temple of God or the temple of the Holy Spirit or an equivalent expression. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul again refers to the temple of God (“naos” ) which, as in each and every other usage of the expression, would in my opinion again be referring to the Church as it always had before, not a physical temple. According the position espoused by Brother Joel and other traditional dispensationalists, however, we’re now being told to believe that in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul suddenly changes what he consistently referred to in previous epistles when speaking about the temple of God. But if Paul spoke of the Church each and every time he wrote about the temple of God before, then it only stands to reason that he was again referring to the Church when writing about the temple of God in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica. In other words, we’re now being told to interpret 2 Thessalonians 2:4 in light of a doctrine, not in light of Scripture. Doing so forces Scripture to conform to our understanding when what we all need to be doing is forcing our understanding to conform to Scripture:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple [naos] of God, showing himself that he is God.”

The only other times Paul spoke about a physical temple were in 1 Corinthians 9:13, Acts 25:8 and Acts 17:24. In both 1 Corinthians 9:13 and Acts 25:8 he uses the word “hieron” (G2411) specifically to refer to the physical temple in Jerusalem, not “naos.” In Acts 17:24, however, he uses the word “naos” to refer to physical temples in general, however his entire point was that it was no longer a physical temple in which God dwells. Why? Because the Church was now that temple. In these instances where Paul spoke about a physical temple he never referred to it as “the temple of God” or an equivalent expression.

Acts 17:24, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

The unwillingness to accept the New Testament’s explicit definition of the temple of God as being the Church forces one to see inconsistencies when, in my view, inconsistencies do not exist. We’re dealing with types and prophetic foreshadowings of events that took place during the time of Antiochus, Christ and maybe even Titus, and how we can see fulfillment in the eschaton. We’re still seeing through a glass darkly, but if Scripture now defines the temple of God as being the Ekklesia, then it is a definition that I must accept.

If the references in Daniel, 2 Thess and Rev 11 to the Temple are literal however, then it also stands to reason that the Temple must be built before the Antichrist can desecrate it.

Daniel’s prophecies often spoke about the last days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. As we can see from above, the New Testament tells us that the “temple of God” is the Church and that we, as believers, now offer up the sacrifice of praise (cf. Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 2:5). Even if the prophet Daniel himself believed the prophecies he received of the end times referred to a physical temple would not change this reality. The revelation that the Church would become the temple of God was progressive and prophets were evidently not always granted a full understanding of the prophecies they were given, which is quite apparent in Daniel 12 itself:

Daniel 12:8-10,Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.'”

Even though Daniel was not always granted full understanding, he was faithful in recording the prophecies he was instructed to write down. Not knowing that the temple of God would one day be the people of God, however, would have conceivably been somewhat bewildering to Daniel if he had himself assumed that it was a physical temple that would be defiled during the time of the end. This could very well have been one of the reasons why Daniel did not understand all that he was receiving. According to the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:24, a physical temple today would be little more than an empty building, void of the presence of God. I am sure that Christ would have known this as well, suggesting that Jesus would in no way have been referring to a physical temple as the “holy place” in Matthew 24:15 when referring to the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel, nor would Paul have depicted an empty rebuilt temple as being the “temple of God” in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  A building absent of God is just another building. But the “holy temple” that is the Church in which God dwells, however, is a whole other matter. This may have been why Jesus said “let the reader understand” in Matthew 24:15 — because Daniel did not:

Matthew 24:15, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand–“

Ephesians 2:19-22, “… you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 we read about the “man of sin” or “lawlessness” setting himself “eis” (in or against) the temple of God, seeking to defile it, and then being destroyed by God at the brightness of His coming. In 1 Corinthians 3:17 Paul stated the exact same thing, saying, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” In my view, this is certainly not a coincidence. Most translations say that before the “man of sin” is destroyed he will “sit” or “take his seat” in the temple of God. The Greek word for “sit” is “kathizō” (G2523) but it means more than to simply sit down physically, as one would sit on a chair. It also means to appoint, or to set or to confer a kingdom on someone. When we say that we have a sitting President or Head of State, for instance, it does not mean that they are physically sitting down. It means that they have taken their seat in office. According to the Greek, it appears that the “man of sin” will likewise be taking his seat or official position, which could possibly be referring to Islam’s Mahdi as he takes his seat as the self-proclaimed “Savior of Humanity” in defiance of Yahweh and His people. Thus the “man of sin” is called the “man of sin” for a very good reason: he sins against God and against His people — the Temple of God — whom he sets himself against once he assumes his “office” as “Savior.” This, of course, would be showing himself as God because according to Yahweh “apart from me there is no savior… I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 43:11, 46:9b).

In Revelation 11 we see what happens when this “man of sin” sets himself against God and against God’s Temple. The following four quick points reinforce why this temple is not physical:

1. The Angel who speaks to John uses the exact same expression in Revelation 11:1, saying, “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” Even the word “naos” is used when referring to the temple of God, the same word the Apostle Paul used when referring to the temple of God as the Church, not a temple made of stone.

2. The very first time we find the word “temple” in Revelation is in 3:12a regarding the Church in Philadelphia when Christ says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.” To be made a pillar in the temple of God must mean that the temple in view here is not one made of stone, but rather one that is made of people.

3. Lampstands/candlesticks were important items that were found in the physical temple in the Old Testament, yet John shows us that this time the lampstands/candlesticks in the temple of God are represented by the two witnesses (11:4), which again would indicate that the temple in view is not a physical temple made of stone, but rather one of people.

4. In the Old Testament a priest was one who served within the physical temple. In Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 we are told that anyone who has been washed by the blood of Christ is a priest, and the Christian understanding of this according to 1 Peter 2:5 is that as priests we now “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We no longer offer animal sacrifices in a temple made of stone.

Indeed, we are being built together upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone in whom the whole building is fitted together, growing into a holy temple in the Lord for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22). Considering all that we have just learned, could it not therefore stand to reason that when John speaks of the “holy city” being trampled in 11:2 that he is referring directly to God’s people, and not a physical third temple built in Jerusalem? In my opinion, there is no doubt (cf. Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells”; also see Matthew 5:14).

This view absolutely requires that Jesus’ ministry last exactly 3.5 years in order to fulfill the first 3.5 years of the final 70th week. The problem however is that very few scholars today believe that Jesus’ ministry lasted more than 3 years. While one can surf the web and find all sorts of online characters offering their views, among those who have genuinely researched the data in a scholarly and responsible fashion, one will not find any support for Jesus’ ministry to have lasted 3.5 years. Briefly, Jesus was crucified on Passover, and there are only three total Passovers mentioned in the Gospel of John. This limits Jesus ministry to roughly two years, certainly less than three years.

Brother Joel prefaces his argument by asserting that anyone who believes Christ’s ministry lasted for 3.5 years must have somehow done so irresponsibly, so let’s consider a few facts ourselves and see if we can come to a responsible conclusion. According to my own studies and research, Tiberius was appointed as co-regent with Augustus in AD 11. In Luke 3:1 we learn that John the Baptist began his ministry about 15 years later, which brings us around 26 AD. Jesus obviously began His ministry sometime thereafter per Luke 3:23, giving us a date of around 26 or 27 AD. During Christ’s ministry, scripture specifically tells us that He attended at least three Passovers (John 2:13, 6:5, 11:55), as Joel notes. Another feast mentioned in John 5:1 was likely also a Passover, the reason being that in John 4:35 we read that it is 4 months till harvest, which take place one month after Passover. No other feasts take place between that time and Passover. Thus, Christ’s ministry would have been between 3 and 4 years. (Also see Luke 13:7. Some commentators/scholars believe this may even allude to Christ’s ministry, indicating it lasted for at least 3 years).

the very notion that Jesus ministry was 3.5 originated with Origen (who was later declared a heretic) and Eusebius (a Roman apologist with strong anti-Semitic supercessionist theology) who specifically argued for this in order to justify their pagan / anti-Semitic / supercessionist understanding of Daniel 9:27.

Joel is correct. However, this has little bearing. Even the heathens can occasionally get something right. Look at Muslims, for instance. They’re monotheistic.

This view absolutely requires that we interpret “the covenant” as taking place “during” rather than “for” one week. If the “covenant” is “for one week” then it cannot be applied to Jesus, as the covenant which he made is eternal and not merely a seven year covenant. The problem with this of course is that not only are there no translations that insert “during,” but all but a few obscure translations do translate it as “for one week”. This view must literally reject as wrong the translations of the KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, RSV, ASV, NIV, NLT, DBY, WEB, HNV, and several others. This view must stake its entire case on the notion that all of the translations got it wrong.

Obviously, I disagree with my friend’s conclusion. These translations are not in err. What is in err, however, is how we’re likely understanding it in our receptor language. Again, the Hebrew text of Daniel 9:27 says that He confirms the covenant “one” week, not in the sense that the covenant itself only lasts for the duration of “one week”, but rather that the confirmation of the covenant is what happens in the one week. The Hebrew text says “gabar bĕriyth rab echad shabuwa” which means “strengthen covenant many one week”. We cannot say dogmatically that the covenant is confirmed “for” one week (for only seven years) since “for” isn’t in the original Hebrew text, even though the full futurist view absolutely requires it. Some translations like the Lexham English Bible and the Darby Translation put the word “for” in brackets to let the reader know it isn’t in the original. I understand the need to insert something in there to improve the syntactical or linguistic flow/readability of our receptor language, but we need to be aware that it could just as easily be “in one week” or “for the one week” every bit as much as “for one week.” The English translation of the LXX (the Greek version that Christ Himself would have used) renders Daniel 9:27 to say “And one week shall establish the covenant with many”. Douay-Rheims says “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week”. Young’s Literal Translation says “he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week.” The partial futurist position that I hold does not depend upon the understanding that the covenant must be confirmed “during” the one week. The position of full futurists, however, absolutely requires that it be “for” one week, otherwise it crumbles.

This view divides the final week in half and inserts a 2000 year gap into the middle of the week. Needless to say, this would be a very unusual way to organize the timing of the prophecy, without stating that this was the meaning. Instead, the division of the 70 weeks within the prophecy is broken up into 7 weeks + 62 weeks + 1 week. Notice that it is not broken up into 7 + 62.5 + 3.5.

This is addressed in the original article which can be read here.

This view requires that the 69th week concludes at Jesus’ baptism, ;eating 3.5 years for His ministry. Yet of the four “decrees” which are considered by scholars to fulfill Daniel’s decree, none aligns with 483 years from Jesus’ baptism.

The starting date for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was announced by Artaxerxes in 457 BC (cf. Ezra 7:13, 20). Others contend that the command to rebuild Jerusalem was already given to the Israelites by Cyrus per Ezra 1:3, however they were commanded to stop rebuilding by Artaxerxes according to Ezra 4:21, 23. Another command was later given by Artaxerxes to begin rebuilding again. According to Daniel 9:24-25 the Messiah would be anointed after 69 weeks had been fulfilled, which is 483 years (69×7). 457 BC plus 483 years brings us to the year 27 AD — which was the year that Jesus was baptized by John and anointed by the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry. This was the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

In my view, the decree of Artaxerxes in 457 BC is the best of the four separate decrees we find in Scripture and is, in my opinion, a sound logical deduction (the others are either too early or too late) since this one lines up perfectly with the prophecy. Daniel wrote in 9:25 that “From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Messiah], the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’”. Daniel did not say that “from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah rides into Jerusalem on a donkey” or “until the Messiah is killed”. Jesus had already been well known for a few years prior to His “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem. Daniel said “until the Anointed One comes”, which is to say, is made known publicly or is revealed. When did this happen precisely? According to Scripture, it happened the day He was baptized by John the Baptist, when “John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:29-30). Notice what John says next: “I myself did not know Him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” (v 31). And indeed, the Messiah [meaning “the Anointed One”] has now come, “And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him’” (v 32). The Anointed One is now revealed to Israel in fulfillment of Daniel 9:25.

This view must see the Antichrist as responsible for the Abomination of Desolations and the ceasing of offerings in Daniel 8:11-14, 11:31 and 12:11, while seeing Christ as responsible in 9:27. This view fails to acknowledge the clear connection between these our passages. It interprets 9:27 in an inconsistent manner from the other references to the Abomination that Causes Desolations and the ceasing of offerings.

One of the primary reasons why I ascribe Christ to the one who confirmed the convenant with many, aside from the fact that Christ said His blood was the blood of the covenant that was shed for many, is because the Apostle Paul himself — who was an expert when it came to the Old Testament scriptures — obviously believed that Christ was the One who confirmed the covenant and caused the sacrifices to cease, almost quoting Daniel 9:27a verbatim in Galatians 3:17 and Hebrews 10:2. Why would an expert of the Old Testament do that, unless it was because Christ was indeed the One who confirmed the covenant and caused the sacrifices to cease because Christ Himself was the final sacrifice? We’re dealing with types or prophetic foreshadowings of events that took place during the time of Antiochus, Christ and maybe even Titus, and how we can see fulfillment in the eschaton. Forcing the usage of a hermeneutic that always interprets such passages in a wooden literal sense will make other views seem inconsistent, but we’re still seeing through a glass darkly. If the Apostle Paul clearly believed that Christ confirmed (strengthened)  the promises of the Abrahamic covenant (cf. Galatians 3:14) per Daniel 9:27a, then so must I.

That being said, Daniel 9:26 speaks of two subjects, namely, the Messiah and the “people of the prince that shall come.” Even the original Hebrew of Daniel 9:27 again infers that two separate subjects are in view. Contextually, this would have to be the Messiah and “the people of the prince that shall come” per the preceding verse. As Don Henson of Life, Hope & Truth ministries explains, “a careful reading shows that ‘he’ [of verse 27] does not refer to the prince, but rather to the Messiah. Notice the phrase in verse 26 ‘the people of the prince.’ It is not grammatically correct to assign the singular pronoun ‘he’ in verse 27 to the plural ‘people’ in verse 26. If ‘he’ were to refer to the prince, the phrase should have been stated differently: ‘the prince of the people.’ But since the verse refers to the ‘people of the prince,’ the prince is not the proper antecedent of the pronoun. ‘Messiah’ is the only person mentioned in verse 26 that can be the antecedent of the pronoun he. So the phrase ‘he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week’ refers to the Messiah. (Read more).

This view must reject Jesus’ words according to their normal meaning in Matthew 24:8 as being a reference to birth pangs. For if Jesus used the image of birth pangs to refer to the signs that come before the Abomination of Desolations, then He is seen to be clearly dividing up the signs that precede his coming into two distinct episodes (beginning of birth pangs and actual birth pangs) divided by the Abomination that Causes Desolation.

There are numerous translations that do not render Matthew 24:8 as “birth pains” at all, but rather as “sorrows” or “sufferings” or “troubles.”  For instance, the King James Version, the New King James Version, 21st Century King James Version, Young’s Literal Translation, Webster’s Bible, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, the Jubilee Bible, the Douay-Rheims Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Wycliffe Bible, Darby, Common English Bible, Contemporary English Version, the Living Bible, the New Life Version, the Revised Standard Version CE and the Worldwide English NT. There are others I’m sure.

According to Strong’s ōdin is defined as “a pang or throe, especially of childbirth” which suggests that even though it usually refers to pains of childbirth, it is not always the case. We have clear proof of this in Acts 2:24 which refers to the “pains ōdin of death”. There is not a single translation I could find that said the “birth pains of death.” Thayer’s notes that ōdin also means “intolerable anguish”, not of childbirth but “in reference to the dire calamities [that] precede the advent of the Messiah.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines ōdin as “a birth-pang” as well as just “pain” in general and as “sorrows.”

The only verse where we know that ōdin refers to “birth pains” with absolute certainty is 1 Thessalonians 5:3, but this is referring to the sudden destruction that comes upon the enemies of God on the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is post-tribulational:

1 Thess 5:2-3, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

Sudden destruction comes upon them on the Day of the Lord like birth pains upon a woman about to deliver. This happens virtually the same day of their destruction. However, if we take the position that ōdin in Matthew 24:8 refers to the beginning of birth pains and that birth pains only “take place at the end, at the conclusion of the pregnancy” according to Joel’s position, then how can birth pains possibly begin at the signing of a 7-year peace treaty or at the AoD, which takes place years before the actual “deliverance”? Unless Joel wishes to believe that birth pains begin much sooner than the day of deliverance, it diminishes his own argument. Regardless, even if ōdin in Matthew 24:8 should be understood as “birth pains” it would still be moot in my opinion considering the fact that it is simply describing what the initial events leading up to the “deliverance” are like, and not what they are.

This view must understand the passage in a way that violates the normal rules of grammar. The subject of a pronoun normally follows its antecedent. This is true in both English and Greek.

If we adhere to the normal rules of grammar, we are forced to identify Messiah as the one who confirms the covenant of Daniel 9:27, and the Antichrist as the one who sets up the Abomination of desolation. “There is another pronoun in verse 27 that also requires an explanation. In the New King James translation we see the phrase ‘one who makes desolate.’ Who or what is this ‘one’? … Obviously the one who is responsible for the ‘appalment’ (desolation) is the evil prince referred to in verse 26… There is an alternating pattern in verses 26-27 that is a common Hebrew usage. The first half of verse 26 refers to the Messiah, the second half to an evil prince. The first half of verse 27 refers to the Messiah and the second half refers to the abomination in the temple introduced by the evil prince.” (Read more).

Daniel 9:26, And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:27, Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

To again quote Historicist.com: “From a grammatical standpoint the pronoun ‘he’ must refer to its antecedent. If we do this it will be immediately plain that it means the Messiah. This will be apparent if we quote the passage again from the 25th verse and connect up the main events pertaining to the Messiah and leave the portion pertaining to the ‘prince’ to its proper place at the end of the chapter. Quote: ‘Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto MESSIAH the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks … and after the threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off . . . and He, (the Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.’ You will notice mention is made of seven weeks plus sixty-two weeks and last of all one week. This accounts for all seventy. It is after the sixty-ninth week that Messiah is cut off. That fact definitely places it in the seventieth week — that last remaining week of the prophecy. It was during this week that Christ did confirm His covenant with many according to Matt. 26:26-28. On this solemn occasion Christ instituted the most sacred of Christian ordinances, the Lord’s Supper, saying, “This is My blood of THE NEW TESTAMENT (literally covenant), which is shed for MANY for the remission of sins.’

Conclusive Proof Links Christ With the Covenant. The death of Christ very definitely instituted the New and Everlasting Covenant, and Christ emphatically confirmed that covenant with many during the three and a half years of His ministry on earth. Even the words of Daniel are almost identical with those of Matthew — ‘He shall confirm the covenant with many’ — ‘this is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many.’

The evidence is very conclusive. There are 281 references to ‘covenant’ in the Scriptures according to Young’s Analytical Concordance. Not one of these references in any way introduces the idea of a covenant between the Jews and the Anti-Christ. ‘There is not a hint anywhere that such a covenant is suggested, intended, proposed or prophesied at any time. Concerning the covenant between the believers and the Messiah there are many scores of such references. They are found in almost every book in the Bible. The reason is because when the Jews broke the Old Covenant, (see Jer. 31:31-33) then God purposed to make a new and everlasting covenant with His people. Consequently all the prophets refer to it and Daniel foretold that it would be ratified in the 70th week of his prophecy. cp. Heb. 8:7-10.

Even more convincing is the testimony supplied by the Hebrew word for Covenant used in the phrase, ‘He shall confirm the covenant.’ The word for covenant is ‘Bereeth’ according to the Pulpit Commentary; it is spelled ‘berith’ in Young’s Analytical Concordance. In the Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 29, p. 275, a lengthy exposition points out that ‘Bereeth’ is only used in connection with a Divine Covenant. It is never used to designate a ‘league’ with any other power or force but is always reserved to describe a covenant between God and man. For that reason the covenant cannot apply to anyone except the Messiah. It cannot possibly describe a covenant with the Anti-Christ or any political group involving apostate Jews.

It is further explained that when the covenant is confirmed the sacrifice and oblation ceases. The Massoretic text renders it : ‘And one week shall confirm a covenant to many, and in the middle of the week MY sacrifice and offering shall be taken away.’ The use of the pronoun ‘my’ removes all doubt concerning what sacrifice and oblation is meant. It was the Mosaic sacrifices which God ordained and honored until the death of Christ. That is the only sacrifice God could call ‘MY’ sacrifice.

The death of Christ on Calvary DID institute the New and everlasting covenant and Christ Himself DID confirm that covenant with many during His earthly ministry. When Christ died on the cross the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, thus signifying that the old sacrifices and oblations had ceased to have any spiritual or efficacious value. At the best they were but a shadow of good things to come, (Heb. 10:1), and when Christ died on the cross the ‘better covenant was established.’ Heb. 8:6. The old covenant with its sacrifices and oblations became null and void immediately Christ died, and in that sense He caused them to cease.” (Read more).

Update: December 15, 2013

Sadly, Brother Joel had decided to remove his response, stating in part that “Further examination of MidnightWatcher’s rather extensive ‘responses’ prove to use significant portions of plagauiarized (sic) material simply cut-and-pasted from other sources on the internet. After prayerful consideration, I’ve decided to remove my response entirely.” Citing other sources is part and parcel of a healthy debate. In my opinion, our disagreement was not one that was debated in “a spirit of contention.” Naturally, both sides will defend what they’ve come to believe and why they believe it, but differences of opinion in this respect should not be something that allows division. I am saddened to see Joel remove his response and to disengage from the discussion, but that is his prerogative. I wish Brother Joel and his great ministry all the best for many years to come. May our Heavenly Father continue to use him for His glory.

If you have not already done so, I recommend his book titled “Mideast Beast” which can be purchased here.

In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.

Revised 12/15/2013
  1. Anonymous
    12/10/2013 at 1:49 PM

    Great exercise in bait and switch. The only thing worse than your eschatology is your hermeneutic.

    Like

  2. ICA
    12/10/2013 at 1:57 PM

    Anonymous, “Great exercise in bait and switch. The only thing worse than your eschatology is your hermeneutic.”

    Hi Anonymous, thank you for your comment. It is my belief that one interpretative method or hermeneutical approach alone cannot provide all the answers that we so often ask as students of Biblical eschatology. Remember, this is a secondary doctrinal issue, and one that brothers and sisters in Christ need not divide over, so it’s ok to disagree.

    Given what has happened throughout history to the nation of Israel and to the Church and what is now happening today within the epicenter of prophecy, I decided to approach Scripture in a way similar to those who’ve now developed Progressive Dispensationalism — a refinement of the older Traditional Dispensationalism — by studying other views to appropriate more of a “complementary” or “correlative” hermeneutical framework. By not being confined to one narrow view and carefully studying the work of others and understanding why they believed what they believed, we can adopt what merit other positions have to augment our own understanding. Although some who staunchly maintain a certain eschatological paradigm may feel somewhat apprehensive with this approach much like a Traditional Dispensationalist, for instance, would reject the approach of a Progressive Dispensationalist, keeping the good meat of other views and spitting out the bones does seem to provide answers that other positions in and of themselves do not fully address as it relates to Bible prophecy.

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  3. 12/10/2013 at 2:07 PM

    Excellent ICA. I too have learned a lot from Joel Richardson, but I part ways on his belief in a 7 year peace treaty. Many believe you pick one prophecy scholar and follow their teachings. This is an erroneous idea. There are many that have much right, but as you point out none have all right. I was given this before I read any other scholar’s. I studied earnestly and sought the truth. I could not find a Biblical, scriptural reference to a 7 year peace treaty. In fact it was this very theory that set me on a quest to either prove or disprove. I could not find anything that proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am not as eloquent in my answers as you are, but I too have said often, I follow no man, I follow the Holy Spirit and His guidance, and I have said more than once, that this would be a great piece of the puzzle that we would need. Jesus didn’t mention it not once. God is not the author of confusion. The bad part about this, is that many are waiting to see this 7 year peace treaty, and I fear many will fall and follow the beast, because it doesn’t go just as they were taught. In fact this keeps me awake at night. Thank you ICA for your ministry of truth. Keep up the good work.

    Like

    • Christa
      04/27/2014 at 7:31 PM

      Iamnotashamed I could have written your post! I found this blog because I have been searching in the Word for over 6 months for anywhere that Jesus mentions the 7 year peace treaty. Jesus and the prophets have much to say about the End of Days and the Day of the Lord but I can’t find one other place, other than Daniel that talks about a covenant for 7 years or a need for a Third temple to be built. [Also, there is already a temple on the Temple Mount and my understanding is in years past it was used by the Muslims, the Christians, and the Jews] If a literal third temple has to be there for Christ to return, it’s already there being run by people who cause desolation wherever they go.

      Thanks Midnightwatcher for the blog.

      Like

  4. 12/10/2013 at 7:09 PM

    What is there to prevent the following:

    1- The falling of stars are the overthrow of governments.

    2 – The 70 weeks are not just fulfilled in one way.

    3 – The amount of time the 2 witnesses in Revelation have to preach are independent of what the Anti-Christ, and his sidekick, are up to.

    Like

  5. Bart
    12/10/2013 at 11:02 PM

    When we hear we either accept or reject.
    Or we translate what we hear according to our knowledge, our background, or we compare what is being said to what is already known.
    Or we oppose one idea by another. All these characteristics of hearing deny the act of listening. When one listens there is no comparing, there is no accepting, there is no rejection.
    The very act of listening brings about a total attention in which you see the totality and the whole significance and structure of what is being said.
    The quality of listening is attention, and when you attend totally with your whole mind, with your heart and your nerves and your eyes and ears completely intensely listening.
    When you give your whole attention to something that is when you are completely listening. In that state of attention there is the act of listening. And that act of listening puts away anything that is not true.
    When we listen to the totality of the thing, when you attend there are no borders of in-attention.
    And that act of listening is a miracle perhaps the greatest miracle.
    (unknown)

    Like

  6. 12/11/2013 at 1:57 AM

    Hello, ICA, I’m with you! Immaterial as to this 7 year deal what we do know, is that the Messiah returns at the end of the Tribulation…right! What I do not believe is that there will be a 1,000 years of Peace thereafter! Forgive me if I have these scenario incorrect, BUT, doesn’t it say that at the end of the 1,000 years, everyone will be judged and those that don’t go to Heaven will be lost forever?

    Well, hasn’t it occurred to everyone that, when the Messiah returns and the entire World is made aware of His Return, that IF everyone “had” a 1,000 years to “believe” in God, that “everyone”…would! Of course they would! “WE” would ALL have witnessed His Return! “THAT” in itself would change even the hardest evil-minded person in the World!

    BUT, Scripture says there will be a “cry” like never before or ever again as the multitudes realize they made the “WRONG” decision…right! Well then, they did NOT have enough “time” to change and believe in God…they ONLY had enough time to realize they made the WRONG decision!

    With this in mind, I have come to realize that the 1,000 years is but a “moment” of “our” time, “just” enough time to…”cry!”

    Like

    • ICA
      12/11/2013 at 4:41 PM

      Hi Bobby, the Millennial Kingdom may not be the eternal state, only the earthy reign of Christ from Jerusalem, but it will be a thousand years of peace on earth. The prophet Isaiah writes that the nations of the earth “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa 2:4). After the 1000 years, however, Satan is loosed for a short season and deceives again. Those who defy God are then destroyed. The only ones who are judged are the wicked (cf. Rev 20:5).

      Like

      • 12/11/2013 at 7:55 PM

        Thank you for the response, ICA! Very much appreciated.

        As I have mentioned on a previous occasion, I like your interpretations of prophecy AND Scripture, in general.

        Once again, “Thank You!”

        Like

  7. ICA
    12/11/2013 at 4:32 PM

    Joel Richardson updated his article in response to my critique. I’ve now also updated my own in response of his. God bless!

    December 12, 2013: Joel Richardson updated his article again. I’ve update this one again as well in response. Blessings!

    Like

  8. 12/12/2013 at 12:56 PM

    ICA,

    A quick question (I might have more as I read thru your response to JR; currently trying to get work done on one screen while reading here on the other screen):

    You say “Personally, I don’t think the Church will be deceived when the Abomination of Desolation is revealed. The genuine sign to look for is the AoD, not a seven-year peace treaty.”

    But if the temple is now the people of God (and I agree it is) what exactly will the AoD be? If its wiping out and usurping the people of God and replacing it with the Ummah of Allah, then isn’t that going on right now in the lands of Islam? Isn’t that what is being reported in MW every day? Perhaps we are already in the 3.5 years/42 months/1260 days.

    Appreciate your thoughts on this–are we still looking for the AoD, or has it begun and the countdown to Yeshua’s return has begun?

    Thanks,
    Kurt

    Like

  9. ICA
    12/12/2013 at 1:05 PM

    Kurt, “if the temple is now the people of God (and I agree it is) what exactly will the AoD be? If its wiping out and usurping the people of God and replacing it with the Ummah of Allah, then isn’t that going on right now in the lands of Islam? Isn’t that what is being reported in MW every day? Perhaps we are already in the 3.5 years/42 months/1260 days.”

    I would say that yes, it is going on right now (the fifth seal is, in my opinion, already open and has been for some time). If the 1260 days are intended to be days of years, then we’re already in great tribulation. I won’t argue against that thought at all. I do, however, lean towards the view that they are literal days and that they will still occur during the fifth seal that we are already in.

    It is difficult to imagine this massive persecution of Christians, as horrendous as it has become, getting any worse than it already is today. While Christians are being killed and expelled from war-torn areas and locations heavily influenced by Al-Qaeda affiliated terror organization and other like-minded groups, they are still somewhat tolerated as “dhimmis” (second-class citizens) under many Muslim governments. As long as Christians are “tolerated” they are still able to offer up the sacrifice of praise to YHWH today, providing they keep a low profile. Such relative “freedom”, however, hangs by a delicate thread. If a religious leader of great significance to the Islamic world were to suddenly stand against the Temple of God and demand that all non-Muslims convert to Islam and worship none other than the god of Islam, then any so-called “freedom” a Christian is granted today would come to an immediate and abrupt end. We’ve already seen local Muslim leaders issuing fatwas (religious decrees) in places like Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan demanding that Christians either convert to Islam, or die. But a similar fatwa from someone like the Mahdi/Caliph declaring that the time had now come for all non-Muslims to worship none other than “Allah” or die would send immediate shockwaves across every corner of the Muslim world, even in Western nations that have a high Muslim population. And if such an abominable fatwa were decreed “then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    Like

    • 12/12/2013 at 2:16 PM

      So then, just to be clear, you believe we are awaiting an individual to unite Muslims (like a Caliph or Mahdi or perhaps both) and make a proclamation for the conversion or extermination of Christians/Jews (and probably everybody) either in his area of control or worldwide, and this will mark the beginning of the 3.5 final years? I understand “we see thru a glass darkly”, but based on your current understanding, would that describe your belief?

      Yes, I admit that its hard for me to imagine things getting worse for believers in the ME and areas of Islamic control, but yes, I guess it could get worse. Per Joel Richardson’s ME Beast I guess there are a couple of steps yet to come–North Islamic power vs. South, the destruction of Saudi Arabia, the North (and AC) coming against Israel…

      Wow, Jesus come quickly, have mercy, give your people grace…

      Like

    • 09/22/2016 at 5:07 PM

      ICA. ” If a religious leader of great significance to the Islamic world were to suddenly stand against the Temple of God”

      It would seem to me that you are attempting to do here what we often accuse the pre-Trib camp of doing with scripture. The day of the Lord will not come until the apostasy and the man of sin sets himself up as God in the Temple “naos” of God. The way Paul states this it seems to be a sign of the nearness of the coming day of the Lord, yet your explanation seems to fall short of the intent.
      ‘Naos’ is used in: Matthew 23.16-17,21,35; 26.61; 27.5,40,51; Mark 14.58; 15.29,38; Luke 1.9,21-22; 23.45; and John 2.19-21.
      And refers to the physical temple. Naos seems to represent the Holy of Holies, and “Hieron” the entire physical temple.
      The only times ‘naos’ is used in reference to a specifically spiritual temple in these cases is John 2.19 and 2.21. The rest refer to the physical temple in Jerusalem. So Paul’s use of Naos rather than Hieron could simply imply the holy of holies.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ICA
    12/12/2013 at 2:26 PM

    Kurt, “So then, just to be clear, you believe we are awaiting an individual to unite Muslims (like a Caliph or Mahdi or perhaps both) and make a proclamation for the conversion or extermination of Christians/Jews (and probably everybody) either in his area of control or worldwide, and this will mark the beginning of the 3.5 final years? … based on your current understanding, would that describe your belief?”

    As it stands right now, yes. This would be a triggering event.

    Like

  11. Psy
    12/12/2013 at 2:31 PM

    If a religious leader of great significance to the Islamic world were to suddenly stand against the Temple of God and demand that all non-Muslims convert to Islam and worship none other than the god of Islam, then any so-called “freedom” a Christian is granted today would come to an immediate and abrupt end.

    The persecution of the church is horrible, and will get worse, but this does not qualify in any way as “sits as God in the temple of God”. This is far more like siting in the world as its God.

    This describes a physical or relational position outside of the Church. That is vastly different than the way that Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, or how the Spirit dwells within us.

    The spiritual body can’t be destroyed, nor can it be occupied by Satan and the spirit of God at the same time. The status and relationship of us as the spiritual temple is impervious to alteration from any outside force. No physical attack or death of any member of the body of Christ can change our relationship to him. This makes in impossible for the Anit-Christ to “sit as God” in this temple, us, and proclaim himself as God. He can kill some of us, in an attempt to destroy the temple, but unless I am willing, and God no longer dwells within me, he will never “sit as God” in the place in my heart the spirit of God sits in.

    This means that this “man of sin” can never share a spiritual temple (persons soul) with God. If that is the case, then it is impossible for him to both “sit as God” and for the soul to meet the definition of “temple of God” at the same time.

    If the position is that the “temple” is the corporate ekklesia then the problem with this view in my opinion, is that the millisecond Satan has successfully “sat in” the ekklesia, it ceases to be the ekklesia. Jesus threatened multiple churches with expulsion in Revelation 2 and 3, and I believe that allowing the “man of sin” to “sit in” would instantly trigger a similar expulsion from the ekklesia, since we have been promised that it will not be possible to for him to “device the elect” Matt 24:24.

    Therefore the man of sin can not and never will be able to “sit as God” in the true ekklisia. If he sits in some facade,false or fallen ekklesia, then it does not qualify as “in the temple of God”, for it will be the man of sins temple he has built for himself in which he sits.

    Cheers

    Like

    • Christa
      04/27/2014 at 8:07 PM

      Something that has occurred to me is that the “man of sin, sitting in the temple of God, making himself god” might have something to do with the great falling away? We have many, many denominations that are not only converging with Catholics but also Word of Faith. Word of Faith teaches our words have “creative power” basically making ourselves “little christs.” Evangelicals, Catholics and Muslims are merging into something called “Chrislam” add the WOF and you have the great falling away that are now acting as “little Christs.” This is Metaphysics [witchcraft] and the church is embracing I as well as Isalm. This would also explain the group that says to Jesus: Didn’t we heal the sick, cast out devils and do many wonderful things in your name?” And He replies: ” I never knew you, get away from Me you who practice lawlessness.” He never says they weren’t doing these things.

      Just random thoughts but I know somehow this all ties together.

      Btw, I am becoming convinced that Jesus’ “beginning of sorrows” from Matt 24 matches up with the first 4 Seals, and the 5th seal is the transition into tribulation. Jesus says: “THEN they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you. THEN you will have GREAT tribulation. If you look at Revelation as a chronological book that follows Matthew then everything seems to fall into place.

      I think of the Seals like huge rocks being thrown into the sea. The Lamb uses an event, to open the Seal and the ripples keep growing and spreading. For instance, Seal One-the Rise of Islam. Seal Two-the Arab Spring, taking peace from the earth, Seal Three- the economic collapse begins, causing famine to grow. Seal Four-widespread death through AIDS, Cancer, MERS, Ebola, antibiotic resistant drugs, the poisoning of the waters from the Japanese earthquake and subsequent melt down, and now the martyrdom is growing daily. [All of this is like boiling a frog, put it in cold water and turn up the heat. It goes to sleep and it never knows it is dying, just like most of the World].

      The two witnesses will arise at the beginning of the last 3 1/2 years after numerous disasters to finally get the gospel preached to ALL nations watching them on world-wide satellite TV. The Abomination that causes desolation will cause the Jews to flee to Judea for 3 1/2 years, And the rise of the AC’s reign for 3 1/2 years all beginning in pretty quick succession?

      Like

      • Sharon
        10/26/2015 at 1:54 AM

        Dear Christa, I was re-reading this and another article and the comments today – yes, a long time since you wrote this But I wanted to reply to this particular piece you wrote – “I am becoming convinced that Jesus’ “beginning of sorrows” from Matt 24 matches up with the first 4 Seals, and the 5th seal is the transition into tribulation. Jesus says: “THEN they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you. THEN you will have GREAT tribulation.”

        In my reading and understanding there is no special great tribulation. Tribulation as such has been in the world since our Lord Jesus left this earth and will continue until He returns. This idea is spread abroad because of an inaccurate understanding of the 70 weeks prophecy Daniel received from the Angel Gabriel in Daniel 9: 24-27 and the idea that there is a 7 year tribulation time in the last days with the great tribulation being the last 3 1/2 years of those days.

        This is an inaccurate reading of the prophecy.

        Further on in this particular thread Susan has posted tremendous comments pertaining to this very point re the prophecy. She states correctly we have to get the past prophecy correct before we can make sense of the future.

        That prophecy culminates in the foretelling of the destruction of Jerusalem and temple and the tribulation mentioned pertained to the early church in the following centuries. Read Eusebius or Thomas Brown or Josephus to get an accurate picture of the tribulation experienced at that time.

        The trouble is the common idea and understanding today in Christendom is that there is tribulation coming in the last 7 years before Christ returns but that Christians will be whisked out of harms way and return with Jesus at the end. Sorry! No rapture. That is an addition in the 18th century and eagerly believed by an escapist attitude prevelant in Christian circles today.

        The 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70, it actually culminated in the death of Jesus on Calvary. All those things in verse 24 were achieved by the crucifixion. That prophecy was for Daniel’s people alone although the things His crucifixion achieved was also applicable to His followers in all ages.

        Matthew 24 also was a message for the followers of Jesus before those awful days of destruction. Read Susan’s comments on this time of history as she tells about it in a better way than I can.

        Revelation also is a message for believers from that same time when times of tribulation were coming for the followers of Jesus and was a message of encouragement and fortitude for them as they faced terrible times.

        The seals, trumpets and bowls were layered and ran across the stage of time at the same time, starting at the first century and ending with the return of the Lord sometime soon. It was always terrible tribulation which would become worse and worse as the return of the Lord comes nearer and Satan’s time is ending.

        Seals told of the persecution of the Lord’s people. The trumpets were always to send a warning and that is exactly what they are – sounds of warning to the persecutors of God’s people with bowls of wrath poured out on those perpetrators down through the ages and will continue until He comes again.

        May His coming be soon as we see terrible tribulation on our brothers and sisters in the Middle East in this present day and may He give us great faith to trust Him for all things as we too may be placed in the same great tribulation as the fourth beast of Islam rampages around the world, as we wait for Him.

        Like

  12. ICA
    12/12/2013 at 2:56 PM

    Hi Psy, the Church is spiritually the Temple, but I would say that the Church is not a “spiritual” body in that the spiritual Temple is comprised of flesh and blood believers who present our bodies as living sacrifices by offering the sacrifice of praises to God continually (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5). For your consideration, please feel free to read through the following article titled “Can An Islamic Antichrist Present Himself As God And Receive Worship, Yet Remain A Servant Of ‘Allah’?” when you get a chance. It should answers most of your questions. Let me know. God bless ….

    Like

    • Psy
      12/12/2013 at 3:36 PM

      ICA :
      Hi Psy, the Church is spiritually the Temple, but the Church is not a “spiritual” body. The spiritual Temple is comprised of flesh and blood believers who present our bodies as living sacrifices by offering the sacrifice of praises to God continually (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5). For your consideration, please feel free to read through the following article titled “Can An Islamic Antichrist Present Himself As God And Receive Worship, Yet Remain A Servant Of ‘Allah’?” when you get a chance. It should answers most of your questions. Let me know. God bless ….

      I need to go through the article a few more times, but I found early a false assumption, on both sides of the fence Ironically enough.

      In their way of thinking, the argument always begins with the premiss that the Antichrist will be someone who will literally announce to the world that “I am God” and will then demand to be worshipped as God. Since no Muslim would ever dare claim to be God (under accusation of blasphemy and penalty of death)

      Since no Muslim would ever dare claim to be God (under accusation of blasphemy and penalty of death) is not the true case. Muslim theology is riddled with contradictions, and one of them is the definition and notion of blasphemy.

      First they claim to be against Idolatry, yet command all followers to participate in the Hajj, an act of blatant idolatry, and pray to a city five times a day also idolatry.

      A second and most important, they have already elevated the criticism and ridicule of Mohammad (a man), the Koran (an object) to the level of blasphemy, making him and it to be a minor god and objects of worship. Even more idolatry.

      Since they have already accepted other forms of Idolatry, a miraculous Mahdi would be capable of making the followers of Islam worship him directly as God without requiring that it be “virtually unrecognizable to the Islam that we have today.”

      More to follow later.

      Like

  13. ICA
    12/12/2013 at 4:03 PM

    Psy, “Since no Muslim would ever dare claim to be God (under accusation of blasphemy and penalty of death) is not the true case. Muslim theology is riddled with contradictions, and one of them is the definition and notion of blasphemy.”

    Definitely, it is riddled with contradictions. However, if someone in an Islamic country stood up and claimed to be the Creator of the Universe, then they would be viewed as someone claiming to be “Allah” and wouldn’t be standing for long. The Mahdi, however, will easily claim to be Islam’s Messiah, the Savior of Humanity, and be regarded as such in the Islamic world.

    Psy, “First they claim to be against Idolatry, yet command all followers to participate in the Hajj, an act of blatant idolatry, and pray to a city five times a day also idolatry.”

    Yes, it is blatant idolatry. The following video by David Woods hits the nail on the head:

    Psy, “A second and most important, they have already elevated the criticism and ridicule of Mohammad (a man), the Koran (an object) to the level of blasphemy, making him and it to be a minor god and objects of worship. Even more idolatry.”

    Yes, they have. Some are even calling Mohammed the “Savior of Humanity” as well. Another contradiction.

    Psy, “Since they have already accepted other forms of Idolatry, a miraculous Mahdi would be capable of making the followers of Islam worship him directly as God without requiring that it be ‘virtually unrecognizable to the Islam that we have today.'”

    No, they would not bow down and “worship” the Mahdi directly. They bow down facing Mecca where the Kaaba sits. This is a religious requirement in Islam and failure to do so negates one as being Muslim, so to bow down to even the Mahdi would be considered “blasphemous” in Islam. However, they can believe him to be their Savior with no second thought. Remember, “Allah” has 99 names in the Qur’an, and not one of them is “Savior” so while the Mahdi can be considered the “Savior” or “Messiah” he would not be considered “Allah.” In Daniel 11:36-39 we read that Antichrist will speak blasphemies against the God of gods, will pay absolutely no homage to the God of his fathers, and infers that he will ”exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god.” However, Daniel then makes one exception. In vs 38-39 he introduces us to the one god that Antichrist does not elevate himself above, stating, “But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces … a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour … a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory.” This is the god that Antichrist will not exalt himself over, one that would be familiar to him, but not one that would be familiar to his fathers, Abraham and Ishmael. Obviously, Antichrist cannot honour his god and increase him with glory if he believes that he is god [Allah] or that he is above him. That would be nonsensical. He will not be worshiped directly as God in the eyes of Muslims, but in the eyes of YHWH making himself to be the “savior” is certainly a declaration of Divinity.

    Isaiah 43:11, 46:9b, “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior… I am God, and there is none like me.”

    Like

  14. Mike
    12/12/2013 at 6:44 PM

    Good article ICA. It’s good to have a detailed breakdown of your view for others to consider.

    As you know, I disagree with you on the main point, and prefer the definition of “covenant” to be consistent with the dhimmi pact of Umar being rescinded in these days resulting in the increase of persecution death of those who hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ. Though I have stated it in another of your posts, perhaps it would be appropriate to post it here as an alternative view to both yours and Joel’s, along with some updated commentary. Also, giving credit to where credit is due, most of this hypothesis is due to the hard work, research and scholarship of Jack Smith, author of the fascinating book “Islam: Cloak Of The Antichrist.”.

    The bereeth covenant is not for people to convert to Islam, or even some multinational peace agreement….but for agreement that guarantees believer’s safety as long as they live in a subjugated manner according to its requirements.

    Dan 9:27 reads as follows (NASB)

    (Dan 9:27) “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.”

    The Hebrew used in both the KJV and the NASB is בּרית “bereeth”, which means “covenant, compact, confederacy”. There is no mention of peace anywhere in the passage or context. The whole “peace treaty” concept (as if it is some multinational agreement) has over the years been erroneously read into the passage when it simply is not there.

    The word בּרית “bereeth” is used in the same sense in Joshua 9:6 for a covenant between a much stronger force (the Israelis) and the weaker, submitting force (the Gibeonites).
    With this understood, Dan 9:27′s “covenant” fits very well with the dhimmitude contract that Muslims have historically imposed on those they conquer. Historically known as the Pact of Umar, is that once conquered, non-Muslims are not required to convert to Islam. But if they don’t convert, they suffer low class status,feel subjugated to Muslims and must pay a humiliation tax called the jizya tax, among other abuses. Those who do not convert AND do not pay the jizya tax are executed.

    This covenant agreement is the same kind of agreement of servitude that the Gibeonites entered in to when they made their בּרית “bereeth” covenant with Israel. This happens to be going on today in many Muslim countries. Islam is not as interested in obtaining converts as it is in subjugating and ruling. The dhimmitude doctrine fully demonstrates this and we see it both in history and in Muslim countries today.

    I am beginning to think that the “middle of the prophetic week” when the agreement is canceled, or reneged on from the Muslim side, and instead of the pact protecting Christians as long as they live in subjugation to Muslims, the pact is disregarded entirely and the end time massacre begins.That is what we are seeing more and more of today, like a woman with birth pangs, more violent movement is expected, and it is unable to be stopped until the entire process is complete.

    The beginning of the massacre may be what Jesus was referring to when He said…

    (Mat 24:9) “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

    In the same way birth pangs get progressively closer to the main event, I tentatively consider Matthew 24:9 to be the beginning of a tribulation that will get progressively more brutal, culminating in….

    (Mat 24:21) “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

    And we know that tribulation is directly related to the killing of people from….
    (Mat 24:22) “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

    The “he” of Dan 9:27 (the antichrist) is not referring to Christ (though the similar language to the covenant of Christ is remarkable, and the position you take). The “he” is referring to the “prince that is to come” and those who follow him, who uses deception to renege on limited freedoms previously allowed under the pact of Umar,

    The identity of what is being referred to as “sacrifices and grain offerings” is very significant because from an Islamic end time’s perspective, the abomination who makes desolation is the one who brings them to an end. What exactly are the “sacrifice and grain offerings” referred to in Dan 9:27?

    It cannot be referring to a cessation of temple sacrifices and offerings at Jesus’ crucifixion, because Judaism continued long after Jesus’ crucifixion and even after the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem in AD70. It must be referring to something else. New Testament Scriptures provide us with clues.

    Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

    Hebrews 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips GIVING THANKS to his name.”

    1 Peter 2:5,“And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who OFFER THE SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES that please him because of Jesus Christ.”

    The stopping of sacrifices and grain offerings is referring to the cessation, or stopping of worship.

    The text implies that for the first part of this end time period, worship of Jesus will be allowed under this covenant, but will then be abruptly stopped. We are seeing this today. Under the Pact of Umar’s stipulations of Christians being allowed to worship (but not louder than the Muslims nearby, and the no ringing of church bells), the reneging of this covenant ends their protection of limited Christian worship of God under Islamic subjugation. Now, in Muslim majority countries all over the world but particularly in the middle east, Christians are not just prohibited from worshiping, they no longer have that protection and are instead being murdered.

    Sharia is more and more being violently imposed on Christians by threat of death. This is the abomination that causes the desolation, the cessation or stopping of worship observances and testimony of Christ. By our historical model, the “one who makes desolate” is Islam, or the anti-christ vicariously through Islam.

    A quick survey of Islamic history confirms this interpretation. Wherever Islam spreads, Christians are put into subjugation, forced to abide by Islamic customs and laws, harsh restrictions imposed, freedoms of speech, expression, worship, thought, and many other freedoms taken away in order to be in submission to Islamic law. Today, we are seeing this happen again on a massive scale through military jihad and cultural jihad. Jesus warned about this in fact.

    (Mat 24:15) “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand).
    History has shown us exactly what to look for.

    I do agree that there is no “seven year tribulation” explicitly or implicitly mentioned in Dan 9:27. In fact, I am beginning to think that the seventh week is not 7 years at all, but simply a way of separating events, not times.

    I agree with you that the church is the bride/assembly of all genuine believers and that there is no pre-tribulation rapture. I believe the “temple” is not a rebuilt temple, but the temple of the person, the believer, and collectively, the church. The chances of a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem are, barring a miracle, none given today’s climate of hostility toward Jews at the temple mount.

    The allah of Islam, as many already know is according to the quran, the “best of deceivers” (s. 3:52-54). This has a corollary in the biblical deceiver, satan, who is called “deceiver of the whole world” (Rev 12:9)

    The Arabic term “allahu akbar” means “god is greater”, and in the bible, satan is the “great dragon” (Rev 12:9) and there is the evil “Babylon the great” (Rev 17:5, 18:2) but the God of the Bible said…(Joh 10:29) “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;…”.
    There seems to be a competition between satan and God about who is greater, each using similar terms.

    Just as the God of the Bible refers to all genuine believers as His Bride that is spotless and clean, satan has a spiritual woman, the whore, Islam, that tries to mimic and then corrupt all that God does.

    Just as the God of the Bible will reveal a new Jerusalem that is shaped like a cube, there is a satanic copy…the kaaba, the square box that has for its entire history has been the center of Islamic pagan idolatry to this very day.

    The holy Son of God is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, yet Islam again has its own cornerstone, the idolatrous Black Stone, located on the corner of the kaaba.

    There are many more examples. So I think it should not be a surprise that the adversary first upholds a covenant agreement with “the many” (note, not all) that is later rescinded with subsequent murderous death, destruction and suffering increasing like what we are witnessing today in many Muslim majority countries, using terms that are similar to the covenant agreement confirmed in Christ.

    I am convinced Joel’s view on the 7 year tribulation with some kind of peace agreement is groundless. I am not convinced of your view in its entirety though, ICA, but I believe parts of it are very strong.

    GOD bless you bro ICA and thank you for the forum to share ideas in the fellowship of the Spirit.

    Like

  15. ICA
    12/12/2013 at 11:01 PM

    Hi Mike, thanks for chiming in. It’s ok to disagree. :) Jack Smith has written a lot of good stuff, I have his book as well. The problem I have with Brother Jack’s theory in this respect however is that while it sounds plausible it deviates away from the thrust of Daniel 9 and begins adding a whole new theory into the mix of what is ultimately a Messianic promise. A few points I’d like to quickly make:

    1) Grammatically, the pronoun “he” must refer to its antecedent. If we do this it will be immediately plain that the “he” of Daniel 9:27 is referring directly to the Messiah of the preceding verse. It would be grammatically incorrect to attribute the singular pronoun “he” in 9:27 to the plural “people” in verse 26. This becomes quite apparent if we quote the passage from 9:25 and connect up the main events as they pertain to the Messiah and leave the portion pertaining to the “prince” to its proper place at the end of the chapter.

    2) Search for the expression “the covenant” in the KJV. We find “the covenant” about 102 different times. It refers to the covenant between God and David once, two times it refers to the covenant between God and Noah, four times to the covenant between God and Abraham, six times to the new covenant and eighty-eight times to the covenant God made with His people when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt. Each and every single time “the covenant” refers to a covenant between God and man. On what basis can we suddenly make “the covenant” of Daniel 9:27 a covenant between men only?

    3) The apostle Paul attributed Christ as the one who confirmed the covenant (Galatians 3:17) and who caused the sacrifices/offerings to cease (Hebrews 10:2). Christ Himself said His blood was the blood of the covenant that would be shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). On what basis should we ignore these three, nearly verbatim, references to Daniel 9:27?

    Anyway, those are three quick thoughts on the matter. At the end of the day, we each need to be convinced in our own minds one way or the other. Or for some, maybe at the end of the month after giving it more thought. :)

    Like

  16. Sharon
    12/13/2013 at 12:46 AM

    Hi ICA,

    Good article.

    I am myself just coming to the view, from that of the “new” 19th century “traditional” view of the 7 year peace treaty etc to one which most of the historical church held to – that of the 70 weeks prophecy having been fulfilled already. You were the first to open my eyes to the possibility of the 7 year treaty not being correct, then with careful reading of the LXX scriptures (Septuagint) I now hold to the view that it has all been fulfilled.

    It behoves us to read that LXX copy as it is much more accurate than those we read today and is the very reading (though not in English obviously) that Yeshua Himself read.

    24 Seventy weeks have been determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out the iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy.

    25 And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks; and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted.

    26 And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolations.

    27 And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.

    I believe the Messiah is the one this prophecy is focused on and there is no mention anywhere here of antichrist. The abomination of desolations in v 27 refers to the Pharisees who rejected Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. V 27 says that “on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations” – no longer any sacrifice for remission of sins because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for remission of sins and they rejected Him. End of story for that generation of Pharisees and for Israel under the Old Covenant. The Pharisees would be held accountable for misleading the nation into rejection of their Messiah. Jesus told Israel their house was left desolate (Math. 23:38) because they did not recognise their day of visitation. The Pharisees hold the responsibility for this betrayal of Israel’s Messiah as they knew who He was!!! Jesus said in Luke 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies (Roman armies led by Prince Titus), then know that its desolation is near.”

    The covenant was established for “one week” – half in Messiah’s ministry till He was “destroyed” (3.5 years) then the other from then till AD 34 when Stephen was stoned and the gospel was then formally presented to the Gentiles. (3.5 years). It is worth noting that this prophecy was ONLY about Jews and their city Jerusalem. Verse 24 states that it will take 70 weeks to “seal up atonement for iniquities, seal up sin and bring in everlasting righteousness, seal the vision and the prophet and anoint the Most Holy.” All this did happen by AD 34. Yeshua did indeed do all of this at His crucifixion as He made it possible for all who come to Him to be absolved from all these things. After their betrayal of Him the gospel was given formally to Gentiles. Henceforth those who call upon His name and are counted among His brethren are indeed righteous. Yeshua made it possible for us to be counted among the righteous and heirs according to the promises given to Abraham.

    Matthew 24 talks about this “abomination of desolations spoken about by Daniel the prophet” then adds “let the reader understand” meaning that the people in Israel should have known the prophecy where this abomination of Messiah being cut off is given and that those who perpetrated it were the abominators. It was for this reason Messiah pronounced their destruction in Matthew 23: 36 – 39.

    There is no 7 year peace treaty. There is no abomination of desolations set up in a temple yet to come. There is nothing of the sort in my view. There follows from here the sudden return of the Lord at a time which no-one knows but we are admonished to watch and prepare and not be sons of the night – to have our lamps filled and not be caught unawares as those of the night will.

    Our Lord is returning soon. Nothing will prevent Him. He is imminent. The Jewish nation as a whole failed to receive its Messiah as scholars misinterpreted Daniel 9:27. They failed to see Jesus Christ as the predicted One who would die in the midst of the 70th week! Amazingly, the exact same thing is happening today. Sincere Christian scholars are now misapplying the very same prophecy.

    Here I stand, in this understanding because I can stand in no other place.

    Like

    • 12/13/2013 at 11:25 AM

      Sharon,

      I too believe the 70 sevens was fulfilled by 34 AD, exactly as you do! I have never read the LXX version of Dan 9:24-27 (shame on me), but it sure aligns with history, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing it. I also believe no physical temple will be built. The only caveat I will state is that I do believe there will be a spiritual “denouement” of suffering that the Beast pours out just before Christ returns, and I do believe in a literal Millennium (of some duration, whether exactly 1000 years or “a really long time”) with a physically present, glorified human Yeshua, reigning from Jerusalem.

      Have you read “Mideast Beast” by Joel Richardson? He does an excellent job of laying out what scripture tells us about the last chess moves of the enemy (Satan) in the ME.

      As ICA says so frequently, we need to chew on the meat, spit out the bones… We can learn from Preterism, Historicism and Futurism, keep what is biblical, throw out the rest. I reject the term of Syncretism being applied to my view because I’m not trying to blend Christianity with other beliefs, I am simply trying to arrive at the most biblical view of prophecy, taking into consideration what has already been fulfilled.

      We are on the doorstep, sister–as ICA says, in the 5th Seal and the 6th Trumpet. We are waiting for the 7th and last one to blast!

      God bless,
      Kurt

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  17. Sharon
    12/13/2013 at 1:19 AM

    In addition to my post just now I do not believe a temple will be rebuilt before Yeshua returns. My comment in the last para seems to imply I do on re-reading it! I agree with Mike (12/12/13) where he says he does not believe in a re-built temple pre Yeshua’s return.

    Like

    • 12/13/2013 at 11:59 AM

      Here’s how I feel about my eschatological views, in relation to about everybody else’s I interact with:

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  18. ICA
    12/13/2013 at 12:09 PM

    Hi Sharon, many view the 70th week as entirely fulfilled. I don’t argue against that position, it was the one the Church held for 19 centuries and could possibly be correct. What really pushes me to lean towards only 3.5 years fulfilled with 3.5 years remaining however are the two subjects of verse 26 and the two pronouns of verse 27 whereby the second is said to take place in the end “until the consummation” (the full end or complete destruction is poured out on the desolator). The consummation of all things can only take place at the Second Coming of Christ. Coupled with the repeated descriptions of 3.5 years of “great tribulation” outlined by Daniel and John and referenced by Christ in Matthew 24 further reinforces this position, at least for me anyway, not to mention Paul’s reference in 2 Thessalonians 2 of the future revealing of the “man of sin/lawlessness” and his complete destruction at Christ’s coming. Coincidence? Let each be convinced in their own mind.

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    • Sharon
      12/13/2013 at 6:37 PM

      Hi ICA and Kurt J,

      Will write later as just going out for several hours and waiting for my husband to be ready!!! Strange reversal of what usually happens! Thought I’d pop into this column and see what is there.

      Great for discussion and I’d love to reply right now as I do have a few things to say to you both on this subject but will have to wait until tonight or even tomorrow. In the meantime let me say how good it is to discuss these things with like minded believers who love the Lord.

      God bless you both and “see you later”

      Like

  19. Susan
    12/13/2013 at 8:29 PM

    I am in full agreement with you ICA. We cannot study unfulfilled prophecy accurately until we have settled our minds as to the predicted things which have already come to pass. That is exactly where the problem lies here. If we fail to grasp the historical fulfillment of the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and transfer all these prophecies into the future, the whole picture of the future is going to be distorted, and the significance of the historical event will be lost to us. Sadly, todays prophecy teachers seem to be unaware of the immense significance of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was accompanied by the extinction of Jewish national existence, and the dispersion of the Jewish people among all the nations. This failure to recognize the significance of that event, and the vast amount of prophecy which it fulfilled, has caused great confusion. The consequence of missing the historical fulfillment of predicted events leaves in our hands a mass of prophecies for which we must contrive “fulfillments” in the future. It causes our vision of things to come to be completely distorted by transferring to the future events which, in fact, have already happened.

    For example the Seventy Weeks prophecy discussed in this thread. Sticking to the limitations of Dan 10:14 (the latter days are not the end of the age, they are referring to the latter days of the second period of Jewish sovereignty after the Babylonian captivity). This period ended in 70 AD. The prophecy is precisely for 490 years, with no gaps or leaps. The seven weeks, the 62 weeks and the 1 week were fulfilled. In the first portion (7 weeks), the rebuilding of the city and temple took place, and God’s last messages to Israel were given through Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Then follows a long stretch of 62 weeks, which period was uneventful, so far as this prophecy is concerned. Chapter 11 of Daniel, however, foretells the principal events of this period in great depth and detail, which brings us “unto the Messiah,” and then comes the last and most momentous “week”, which appropriately stands by itself – the last week being set off from the rest for special and separate mention, indicates the exceptional importance of that week. The Lord’s personal ministry lay entirely within the 70th week. At the baptism of Christ 69 weeks had elapsed. The beginning of Christ’s ministry was the beginning also of the 70th week. Christ’s entire mission lay within the compass of that last week, and it is in that week that we must look for the accomplishment of the six predictions of Daniel 9:24.

    Every part of this prophecy is firmly bound to every other part. It all has to do with the coming of Christ and what He was to suffer at the hands of His people; and it includes also a foretelling of the judgments that were to befall them for putting Him to death.

    “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15) doubtless refers to the time revealed to Daniel, the time when Christ was to be made manifest to Israel. Jesus also made frequent mention of a particular “hour,” calling it “My hour.” The time was that of His personal ministry in Israel, according to this prophecy; and the “hour” was that of His being “cut off,” according to the same prophecy.

    To say there is a “prince” who is to “come” at some unknown time yet future, the Antichrist, changes the entire meaning of this prophecy and affects the interpretation of all prophecy. It transfers the main incidents of the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks from Christ to Antichrist, and removes them bodily from the distant past to the uncertain future, thus separating them far from all connection with the period of seventy weeks to which God assigns them. It does the greatest possible violence to words which are not at all hard to understand. It is simply unthinkable that the destroying agency would be identified by reference to some prince who was not to come upon the scene for thousands of years!

    Here’s another example – Matthew 24. The burden of the Lord’s heart and of this prophecy clearly was to warn his disciples and all believers of that generation of what would befall them, in their lifetimes, and to give them instructions for what to do when the time came. In spite of what many teach today, Jesus was not warning his disciples concerning the distresses of a far off period, but he was warning them about events close at hand. There will be tribulation for the whole world before Christ’s Second Coming, but that is not what Jesus was talking about in the Olivet Discourse. Do we really think that what would happen thousands of years into the future mattered at that time to him? What mattered was to warn his disciples of what was about to happen and to tell them how and when to make their escape. It was not for us!!!! And is there to be a future generation of Jews that will suffer yet an even greater tribulation? That’s not possible. What crime could a future generation of Jews commit which would be in any way comparable to that of betraying and crucifying their Messiah? The people of Israel will never suffer again as in the days of the siege by the armies of Prince Titus. They will suffer again, but not like they did in 70 A.D. That was wrath to the uttermost. Every prophecy which speaks of God’s future dealings with the Jews holds out the prospect of mercy, not wrath. They will be saved and blessed.

    In the minds of the disciples the destruction of Jerusalem and the coming again of the Lord Jesus were closely connected together. As reported by Mark and Luke, the question was, “When shall these things be, and what shall be the sign when these things shall be fulfilled?” The disciples were taking it for granted that, when Jerusalem should be attacked again, the Lord Himself would come and fight against those nations (Zech. 14:1-4).

    The Lord, in His reply, was so emphatic and so painstaking in warning the disciples not to expect His coming at the time of the siege of Jerusalem, and not to pay any heed to reports and false prophecies which were to be circulated at that time, to the effect that Christ was “here” or “there”, “in the desert” or in some “secret chamber”. The fanatical Jews were sustained in their stubborn resistance to the Romans by the confident expectation of a miraculous deliverance, as in Hezekiah’s day. The Lord took great pains that His own disciples should not share this deception. It also explains why He was so careful to impress upon them that what He was foretelling would be the fulfillment – not of prophecies such as Zechariah and Joel 3:9-16, which end well for Jerusalem – but of the words of “DANIEL THE PROPHET,” which end in utter “desolations” for Jerusalem(Dan 9:23-27).

    Back in Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus two questions. Jesus had just remarked about the temple and how not one stone would be left standing. They asked him when this would happen. He answered their question by giving them all the details of what would lead up to that destruction and what they should do to avoid it. He said “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then know that the desolation is near”. Jesus did answer that question very thoroughly. Jesus doesn’t even begin to talk about his second coming until verse 27.

    Another example – Daniel Chapter 8. Many apply prophecy about Antiochus IV to the Antichrist. Yes, for sure Antiochus IV was a type of the Antichrist. Antichrist will be like him. But they don’t even mention the historical fulfillment by Antiochus. Again, everything gets pushed thousands of years into the future. The prophecy is primarily for Daniel’s people and concerns Antiochus IV.

    Daniel Chapter 11is such an amazing and detailed forecast of what is coming for the Jews from the time of their release from Babylon to the destruction of the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD by the Romans. Again, many insert a couple of thousand years between verse 35 and 36. Suddenly Daniel is being told about events that were not going to happen for thousands of years! What? Come on! No! Starting in verse 36 the next king was Herod, who fulfilled to the letter everything said about him in the rest of this Chapter.

    The point I am trying to make is this – first become informed about the historical fulfillment of these prophecies. Then, and only then, will you be qualified to talk about any possible future fulfillments. ICA is absolutely correct here. And by the way, I am not a preterist, I am not a historicist, I am not a futurist or any other ist. All of these have understanding of truths to contribute to the Body of Christ, and I am certainly not going to cut myself off from any of them.

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    • Anonymous
      12/14/2013 at 10:22 AM

      Daniel 12 verse 1 clearly connects the worst time of tribulation that ever has been, and will never be proceeded by with the resurrection of the dead. If anyone wants to claim that Daniel 9 is completely fulfilled as well as all of Matthew 24, then they are a full hyper-preterist, whether they would call themselves that or not.

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    • Sharon
      12/14/2013 at 5:14 PM

      Hi Susan, (12/13/13. 8:29)

      I am astonished at your article and determined to investigate further. Thank you for your diligent research which gives such a clear understanding of Daniel’s prophecy. I cannot understand how for so long I held to the common view that the last “week” was in the future. ICA was instrumental in allowing my mind to be opened to the error of this view. Now you have added several more possibilities. I see clearly that indeed the prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70 and really appreciate your comments on the importance of that final week. The dreadful actions in that generation of Jews turning away their Messiah was enormous and is indeed very important as you say. Thank you for your insights.

      I was not able to attend to anything further from when I wrote yesterday due to household commitments till now but I did want to write and ask the very thing you have addressed and that being if Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy finished in its entirety at the destruction of the city and temple in 70 AD then what about chapters 10, 11 and 12??? My understanding has been that ch 11 refers to Antiochus IV, and the antichrist time from verse 36 onwards. Now I am NOT SO SURE!!!

      But I see the reply to you from Anonymous (at 12/14/13 12:42 am) talking about Daniel 12:1 and suggesting that Daniel connects the trouble such has never been for his people with an imminent resurrection ie taking it to just before Jesus’ return which stretches it out till some time soon.

      If Daniel 11 is telling of the destruction of the city/temple and all that followed as you said in your comments and as Anonymous points out 12:1 does seem to link the “time of destruction such has never been” for the Jewish people with a seemingly imminent resurrection ie at the end of time – could you elucidate a little further for me how this resurrection fits in here because it does seem to be talking about the resurrection at Jesus return. I just cannot sort it out and am a little confused about chapter 11. I would appreciate more from you on that. In fact how about a short overview of the last 4 chapters of Daniel??? I’d very much appreciate that.

      We must be ready and open for truth and this is what I appreciate in this blog, that there are people ready to give an account of their belief and why.

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      • Susan
        12/18/2013 at 3:17 PM

        Sharon, I apologize for not getting back to answer your questions. I didn’t realize your post was there. I am leaving in a short while and won’t get back until tomorrow. I will do my best to answer all your questions when I return tomorrow. Thanks for writing.

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        • Anonymous
          12/18/2013 at 5:15 PM

          Hi Susan, thanks for replying and I would be most grateful for your reply when you can do that. I have lots to ask you as I think your initial response earlier was very perceptive and has given me a wealth of thinking since then!
          Looking forward to “hearing” from you.

          Like

        • Anonymous
          12/19/2013 at 3:27 AM

          Susan, that reply which listed “anonymous” as the author was in fact me, Sharon. Not sure how the name anonymous came up!

          Like

        • Sharon
          12/19/2013 at 3:30 AM

          It’s done it again!
          I see the problem though. My name which is usually there has diseappeared so it automatically substitutes anonymous.
          Third time will do it.
          Sharon

          Like

      • Susan
        12/19/2013 at 9:46 AM

        Hi Sharon,

        I hope I can answer some of your questions. Your first question was “if Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy finished in its entirety at the destruction of the city and temple in 70 AD then what about Chapters 10, 11 and 12?”

        Daniel chapters 10, 11, and 12 are one continuous vision Daniel received. This was Daniel’s 4th and last vision. Daniel had received the “70 Weeks Prophecy” that gave a precise time line for Messiah’s first coming. The connection between this vision and the last one of the entire series is very close. In fact, the additional revelations contained in chapters 10, 11, and 12 were given to Daniel in response to his earnest prayer (Dan. 10:12), in order to enlighten him as to matters which were to befall his people during the period of the seventy weeks which had then just begun (for the supplemental vision was “in the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia,” Daniel 10:1). A new era of national life for Israel had now begun; and this second term of Jewish history, starting with the return from Babylon in the first year of Cyrus (B.C. 457) is called “the latter days,” to distinguish it from the first era of Israel’s national existence, which is called “the former days.” [By the way, the Scriptures make it very, very clear when the beginning point of the 70 years was. I would be glad to share that in another thread. The decree to restore and rebuild came from the man God named two hundred years before he was even born, and then stirred him up at the appropriate time to accomplish His will – Cyrus].

        The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks had filled Daniel’s soul with grief; for while it foretold the coming of the Messiah, and gave the time of it, instead of showing that His advent would mean deliverance and prosperity for Daniel’s people, it declared that Messiah would be cut off, and that a terrible judgment was to follow. So Daniel mourned and chastened himself for three full weeks, while he set his heart to understand the matter. In response to this desire an angelic being was sent to him, who spoke to him, saying: “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright; for to you am I now sent……..Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days” (Dan. 10:2-14). It clearly appears that this fresh communication from heaven was for the purpose of enabling Daniel to understand matters concerning his people which had not been disclosed by the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. This communication of chapters 10- 12 is a complete account, in the form of a continuous historical narrative, of the second period of Jewish national existence, from the reign of Cyrus (when the vision was given) to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies under Titus. The three visions given to Daniel, all within the space of a few years all relate to events which were to take place in the new term of Jewish national existence. The vision astonished Daniel, and made him sick with distress, but he did not understand it (Daniel 8:27).

        A few years later, that is, in the first year of Darius (Daniel 9:1), Daniel became aware of God’s purpose, as foretold by Jeremiah, to bring the captivity of Israel to an end after seventy years. This led him to seek the Lord by prayer with fasting. The response from heaven was the coming of Gabriel to Daniel with the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. This second vision caused even greater distress to Daniel. Though the promised restoration from the captivity of Babylon had come, and the seventy years of desolations of Jerusalem were now ended, here was the prediction that Messiah was to come at a specified time, but instead of being victorious, and setting His people on high over the nations, He was to be “cut off,” the city and sanctuary were to be destroyed “as with a flood,” and desolations of unmeasured length were determined. Here, in the third year of Cyrus, Daniel mourned three full weeks with prayer and fasting, overcome with sorrow (Dan 10:1-3). This long and detailed prophecy, recorded in chapter 11, was given to make Daniel understand what he had not been able to understand concerning what was to befall his people during the additional term of seventy “weeks”. Chapter 10 erves as the introduction; chapter 11 provides a great number of the details, and chapter 12 serves as the conclusion. If you are not familiar with this prophecy, I am sure you will be absolutely amazed at the amount of information given, and the precise fulfillment of its many intricate details. All I can say is, Wow!

        Your next question was “My understanding has been that Chapter 11 refers to Antiochus IV, and the antichrist time from verse 36 onwards. Now I am not so sure.”

        35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.” This was most literally fulfilled in the history of the Asmoneans. The Jews who refused to submit to Antiochus’ false religious system were persecuted and martyred for their faith. The word fall literally means “stumble” and refers to severe suffering on the part of many and death for others. Mattathias refused to submit to this false religious system. He and his sons fled from Jerusalem to the mountains and began the Maccabean revolt. At first only a few Jews joined them. But as their movement became popular, many joined them, some out of sincere motives and some from false motives. This time of persecution was of short duration. It had previously been revealed to Daniel that the temple would be desecrated for 1,150 days (Dan 8:14, 23-25). Here Daniel was assured that this persecution would run its course and then be lifted, for its end will still come at the appointed time.

        The family of Mattathias continued for several generations to serve the people of Israel in the capacity of priests and teachers (I Mac. 10:21; 14:35; 16:24 and Josephus Antiquities Chapter 13). Of these “some” fell by violent deaths and by captivity. This continued to the very “end” of the Asmonean era; for the last of the family, Aristobulus, who held for a short time the high priesthood, was murdered at the command of Herod (Josephus Ant. XV 3, 3).

        Beginning with Mattathias’ leadership of the rebellion against Antiochus IV, the rule of the Asmoneans (named after Mattathias’ grandfather, Asmoneus) lasted from 168 until 37 BC. The “appointed time” refers to the 70 weeks of years that Gabriel had earlier told Daniel about (Dan. 9:24-27), which led to the appearance of the Messiah.

        As for Antiochus, in 164 BC Antiochus IV’s army was defeated at Elymais, Persia when he attempted to plunder the city of its gold and silver. Soon thereafter, a messenger came from Antioch and notified him of the defeat of his armies by Judas and the Jews. Terribly shaken by these events, he fell sick and became bedridden. Antiochus IV died shortly after that.

        So now we come to verse 36. Most scholars do insert a gap between verse 35 and 36, and apply the rest of the chapter to antichrist. There is no justification for doing this. There was a king who appeared on the scene in Israel at the end of the Asmonean era who fulfilled every prophetic description given here. He was Herod the Great. Herod was seated as king on the throne of Israel, a usurper upon the throne of David when Christ, the true King, was born. He is called “the king” in the Gospels (Matt. 2:1, 3, 9; Luke 1:5). The proof is so convincing that it could be said that the prophecy could not possibly mean anyone else. Yet, the majority have missed it. Why? Because everyone is so anxious to insert gaps of thousands of years in these prophecies. They did it in the 70 weeks prophecy and they’ve done it here as well (they also do it in Matthew 24). They are so anxious to see antichrist where he does not belong and so anxious to make all of this pertain to “us”, they don’t look any further.

        I would be most happy to look at each verse and its fulfillment and pass on what I have come to learn about them from others, but it is very lengthy, and I am not sure if that is what ICA would want me to do on this blog. I also would go all the way through Chapter 12, which is by far more difficult. But I’ll continue a bit longer and then send it and perhaps I could cover the rest of Chapter 11 in a follow up post.

        It would be strange if, in an outline which gives prominence to Xerxes, Alexander, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and the Maccabees, there were no mention of that remarkable person who exerted upon Jewish affairs and destinies an influence greater than they all, and who sat upon the throne of Israel when Christ was born. Additionally, the verses immediately preceding (31-35) relate to the affairs of the Jews under the Asmonean princes, and so the prophecy itself leads us to look at this point for the beginning of a new order of things in Israel. And that is just what history confirms, for precisely at this point the Asmonean dynasty was brought to an end by violence and bloodshed, and it was replaced by that of a “king,” who answers perfectly to the description of the last part of the prophecy. And it was Herod the Great who commanded the murder of the last one of the Asmonean family, Aristobulus, who held for a short time the high priesthood (Josephus Ant. XV 3, 3).

        It is said of this king that “he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished” (or until wrath be completed), in fulfillment of which is the fact that the dynasty of Herod retained, through all the political upheavals of the times, its favor with Rome, and flourished in authority in Palestine, until the destruction of Jerusalem, which is the “wrath”, or “indignation,” or “tribulation,” to which these prophecies of Daniel so frequently refer to as “the end” of Jewish nationality. For it was “Herod the king” who contrived to accomplish the death of Christ soon after His birth, and whose successors of his own family put to death John the Baptist (done by Herod Antipas) and James the brother of John (by Herod Agrippa I, who also imprisoned Peter, intending to deliver him to the Jews) and finally sent Paul in chains to Rome (which was done by Herod Agrippa II, the last of the dynasty, the man who is best known to the world as he who was “almost persuaded”).

        The first thing said of this king is that he should “do according to his will.” Not just a self-willed disposition, without restraint, but as one having such power in his hands that he is able to “do”, that is, to achieve or accomplish what he “wills” or plans to do, and this is what is meant. It would be difficult to find in history one who so ruthlessly executed the designs of his own tyrannical and cruel heart, even upon those of his own flesh and blood, as Herod the king. His murder of his best loved wife, the beautiful Mariamne, who was a princess of the Asmonean family, his putting to death also three of his own sons because he suspected them of aspiring to his throne; and similar deeds of willfulness characterized his entire reign. Josephus gives many instances of this (see for example Ant. XII 9, 4).

        “He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods.” These words are descriptive of Herod. The words “above every god” may be taken to mean every ruler and authority in Israel, just as “God of gods” means the Supreme Authority above all authorities. Herod did successfully aspire to the lordship over every authority in the land, whether priests or rulers. He appointed whom he would to the office of high priest. He put his own brother-in-law, Aristobulus, Mariamne’s brother, in that office, and shortly after had him murdered (Josephus Ant. XV 3, 5).

        He also uttered great things against the God of gods. This refers specially (though not exclusively) to his decree for the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem, the express purpose of which was to get rid of Immanuel, God come in the flesh to be Ruler of His people, and to be “Prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5). Herod’s way of making himself secure upon the throne was to put to death every suspected rival.

        Since I am on the fourth page, I will stop for now and post this. There’s a lot more to say about every verse in Chapter 11 and Chapter 12, including an answer to Anonymous about verse 1. Understanding the historic fulfillment clears our vision and we can better understand what does and does not lie ahead.

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        • Sharon
          12/19/2013 at 4:50 PM

          Hello Susan,

          Thank you so much for your reply. The clarity is quite remarkable and so logical! I take your point about people trying to insert thousands of year gaps in places to bring “us” in where “we” don’t fit! I think Christians today make the mistake of not appreciating that Daniel was given prophecies concerning the Jewish people not Christians as such.

          I have gone through what you have posted and am satisfied it all makes so much sense. I want to do a more detailed study now of it all over again including what you next post.

          One more question. To what does chapter 8 belong? The ram and goat prophecy. Is it all a progression of the indignation coming on the earth at the time? And the final beast? Does it at all have anything to do with Antichrist and the end of this Christian era at all? A lot to answer I know.

          I would be most happy to read more if ICA agrees as this is so important and for more people who desire to know what is true to read as well. I shall also write to ICA and ask him to pass onto you in private my email address so you could write to me privately if you are in agreement as I am sure there is much I could learn from you.

          In anticipation of the next installment and again thank you.

          Sharon

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          • ICA
            12/19/2013 at 5:24 PM

            Email sent. Feel free to discuss anything you like on this topic here as well. :)

            Like

            • Sharon
              12/20/2013 at 2:14 AM

              Thank you ICA,

              Your column is great and long may it be a forum for good discussion and thought provoking comments. We are after all meant to be Bereans and search the scriptures, for in them we have Life.

              God bless you.

              Like

          • Susan
            12/19/2013 at 8:56 PM

            Sharon: I will send you (e-mail) my chapter on the 8th Chapter of Daniel. I have been putting together a book of my findings (for the past seven years). It is for anyone who might be interested, so I will send you my chapter on this portion of Daniel. After you read it, we can talk about any questions you may have. I don’t have all the answers, but I am seeking them, as you are.

            In Daniel 8, God is now moving from the four kingdoms to focus attention on the 2nd and 3rd kingdoms. Daniel 8 should be understood as an expansion of the same story that unfolds in Daniel 2 and 7. The first kingdom has already been identified as Babylon. The 2nd and 3rd have not yet been identified. In this vision, the 2nd kingdom is symbolized as a ram with two horns, and the 3rd kingdom is symbolized as a he-goat with one large horn. God is talking in all visions about the same kingdoms, only using different symbols to represent them each time.

            If anyone else is interested, I am willing to post the same here on the blog as ICA has permitted.. Otherwise, I’ll send it to Sharon only.

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            • Sharon
              12/20/2013 at 1:46 AM

              Dear Susan,
              Thank you. I would be MOST interested to read your work on Daniel but for the moment chapter 8 will suffice! I can see areas of study leaping out at me. Looking forward to speaking with you by email but I am sure there must be others who will want to “hear” what you have discerned in your studies here on this blog as well.
              I think what would be a good idea is to read it in the Septuagint version in English and study it from there??? What think you???
              Sharon

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        • Mike
          12/20/2013 at 12:01 AM

          Very interesting Susan. You’re quite the historian. Thanks for your detailed contributions.

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          • Susan
            12/20/2013 at 6:25 AM

            Hi Mike, Thank you, but I’m really not a historian at all. And much of what I have shared I have quoted from other sources. I read Josephus, who was an eye witness of Jerusalem’s destruction, and a very credible one. I believe the Body of Christ has the truth, and it seems to be spread around, so I never close myself off to anyone. I am always ready to listen and consider what they are saying. The Lord leads in this, and I find precious truths in places where many Christians would not look, because they are so stuck on their own interpretation. When I find something valuable and well articulated, there is no reason for me to rewrite it.

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  20. Mike
    12/14/2013 at 8:34 AM

    ICA has a case for it based on grammar in New Testament Scriptures that are remarkably similar and pointing to Christ’s covenant with many. But there is more in Daniel that needs to be resolved. I don’t see why you are so convinced that Dan 9:27 was fulfilled in AD70. The entire passage and context surrounding has to agree with history, not just portions of the passage. To think that all of Dan 9:27 is referring to the 70AD destruction is I think unwarranted as well. Part of the issue is one’s interpretation of the 490 years (70 weeks). The common interpretation is that they are consecutive weeks of years, but that does not necessarily have to be. An alternative that fits very well is that they are length of events.

    49 years = 7 weeks = Total length of time of the decree of Artaxerxes
    434 years = 62 weeks = Time from Artexerxes decree to the time of the beginning of Christ’s ministry (from 457BC to 27-28AD)
    7 years = 1 week = Time period characterized by the activities of the one who makes desolate, ending at the visible return of Jesus

    These time periods are not consecutive, but are referring to individual time periods with undetermined time periods in-between. They are time periods of events that occur over a time period of years, but in their entirety, they are not consecutive years. A close look at the text shows that the words used there indicate an unspecified length of time between the 69th and 70th week of years. Let’s look at the text.

    (Dan 9:26) “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.

    “THEN AFTER”… After what and before what? We have the time period of events of the 49 years, THEN at some unspecified time AFTER the 62 week period (but before the last 7 year period), the events of Dan 9:26 occur, the Messiah gets “cut off”. Daniel 9:26 then is not referring to the destruction of Jerusalem but some other incident in history that happens after Jerusalem but before Jesus’ return.

    Also, Dan 9:26 “cutting off and having nothing” cannot be Jesus at His crucifixion because the early church cannot reasonably be characterized as “nothing”. Surrounding the events at Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, the new Christian faith began and spread remarkably fast and far. The early church began with 12 disciples and soon became 120 people in an upper room, to at least 3000 people at its first public sermon and eventually becoming the world’s largest faith. This is hardly something that is “cut off” and “nothing”.

    It likewise cannot be the “cutting off” of Judaism, since it is an historical fact that the Jewish faith and practices went on for many, many years after Jerusalem’s destruction. It cannot even be referring to “Israelites”, because the true Israel consists of all who are genuine believers, all who make up the body of Christ, the ekklesia/assembly of genuine believers.

    The text links the destruction of the sanctuary with those who caused it. The cutting off event and destruction of the city and sanctuary cannot be Jesus and Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, because Jesus’ crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem were separated by at least 35 years and was accomplished by Arabs and Persians, as the historical record shows. These are the “people of the prince to come”, people who come from the land of Muhammad, not Nero, Arabia, not Rome.

    Pertaining to Matt 24, there is a break in the context, separating Jesus’ description of events soon to come, the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and the future tribulation. First, the disciples are looking at the temple and discussing it.

    (Mat 24:1) Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.

    Then, the disciples came to him with a different question, thinking that the prophesied destruction of the temple would herald His return (which obviously was false) they asked…

    (Mat 24:3) As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

    And Jesus proceeds to explain to them about events that would happen just prior to His return. Obviously, the “all these things” of Matt 24:33 certainly did not happen, as well as other, corollary end times passages, so the full preterist view I think is very weak in this respect and shows that Jesus was talking about two events. The destruction of the temple and events just prior to His return.

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  21. ICA
    12/14/2013 at 11:49 AM

    Mike, “434 years = 62 weeks = Time from Artexerxes decree to the time of the beginning of Christ’s ministry (from 457BC to 27-28AD)
    7 years = 1 week = Time period characterized by the activities of the one who makes desolate, ending at the visible return of Jesus

    … (Dan 9:26) “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.

    “THEN AFTER”… After what and before what?”

    After the 62 weeks (and before the consummation of all things). Daniel gave three time periods — 7 weeks, 62 weeks and then 1 week. The rebuilding took place during the 7 weeks, then the 62 was the period of time allotted to bring about the revealing of the Antointed One. The 62 weeks ended with Christ’s baptism when the Holy Spirit came, and remained, upon Him. Then after the 62 weeks we then had the one week during which two things would take place:

    1) During His First Advent “the Messiah will be cut off” from the land of the living. He would be killed.

    2) And “the people of the prince who is to come” would destroy the city and the sanctuary.

    The Messiah was killed during the 1 week, 3.5 years after He was anointed. Like the curtain of the physical temple that was ripped in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51), the Messiah’s death caused a separation of the 1 week into two separate periods. The first 3.5 years have been fulfilled by Christ, but what now awaits in my view is fulfillment of the last 3.5 years by Antichrist — the Abomination of Desolation and the people of the prince destroying the city and the sanctuary. As this article explains, the people of the prince are Muslims. The last 3.5 years will end with the consummation of the desolator at the Second Coming of Messiah (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:17).

    Mike, “Also, Dan 9:26 ‘cutting off and having nothing’ cannot be Jesus at His crucifixion because the early church cannot reasonably be characterized as ‘nothing’.”

    The NIV renders Dan 9:26 to say that He “will have nothing”, however the Hebrew also means “but not for Himself”, which is precisely how it is translated in many Bibles. The Messiah would die after the 69th week had ended, but He would not die for Himself. Why? Because He would be dying for others. This describes Christ’s work, His substitutionary death on the Cross perfectly.

    Mike, “It likewise cannot be the ‘cutting off’ of Judaism, since it is an historical fact that the Jewish faith and practices went on for many, many years after Jerusalem’s destruction.”

    Daniel gives us a sequence of events. Messiah is revealed at the end of the 69th week, and once He is revealed the 70th week begins, the time during which Messiah would be “cut off.” The Hebrew word for “cut off” is karath, which means to cut down or kill and although it is frequently used in the sense of being rejected, it is also used 54 times in the Old Testament in the context of being killed (eg. Exodus 31:14). And indeed, something pivotal took place about 3.5 years after the 70th week began when the Lamb of God was anointed and began His earthy ministry. Not only was the Messiah rejected by the people (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42), He was also crucified in accordance to the plan of the Father for the sins of the world. As the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (Isaiah 53:8), and being cut off and the shedding of His blood would be, according to the words of Messiah Himself, the confirmation of the covenant for many:

    Matthew 26:28, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

    Mike, “The destruction of the temple and events just prior to His return.”

    I’d like to interject one more point into the question surrounding the temple. Each and every single time the Apostle Paul speaks about the temple of God (naos G3485) in Scripture he is referring to the Church:

    1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

    1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

    1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

    2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God …”

    Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

    It does not stand to reason that the Apostle Paul suddenly changes what he means when speaking about the temple of God again in 2 Thessalonians 2. If Paul is referring to the Church each and every single time he spoke about the temple of God before, then it only stands to reason that the temple of God is again referring to the Church in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica:

    2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in [eis G1519 – or against] the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

    Daniel’s prophecies spoke about the time of the end. As we can see, the temple of God today is the Church and we as believers now offer up the sacrifice of praise (cf. Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 2:5). In 2 Thessalonians 2 we read about the “man of lawlessness” setting himself “eis” (in/against/among) the temple of God, defiling it, and that God would then destroy him with the brightness of His coming. 1 Corinthians 3:17 reiterates the exact same thing, saying, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” Coincidence? In my humble opinion, definitely not.

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  22. Anonymous
    12/14/2013 at 5:00 PM

    “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?” — 1Cr 9:13

    Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” Acts 25:8

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  23. ICA
    12/14/2013 at 6:33 PM

    Anonymous, “‘Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?’ — 1Cr 9:13

    Then Paul made his defense: ‘I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.’ Acts 25:8”

    Hi Anonymous, the reference to the temple in the two verses you quoted use the word “hieron” (G2411) and always refers to the physical temple. Each and every time Paul refers to the temple of God as the Church, however, he uses the word “naos” (G3485) and is always expressed as the temple of God or the temple of the Holy Spirit or an equivalent expression. We see this in 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:19-22. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Paul again refers to the temple of God (“naos” ) which, as in each and every other usage of the expression, would again refer to the Church as it always had before, and not a physical temple.

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  24. ICA
    12/17/2013 at 12:52 AM

    For those interested, I’ve recently amended the “Update 2: December 12, 2013” section by expanding upon the reasons why the “temple of God” in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 is in all likelihood not a physical, rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

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    • Sharon
      12/19/2013 at 5:00 PM

      Hi ICA, not sure if you do this but I would be grateful if you would send my email address at post #34 to Susan at post #33? You are able to do this i should think? We have a lot to talk about and this is the only way apart from our email addresses being posted publically. I would be most grateful.
      Would be keen to hear your comments too about the historical aspects of Susan’s posts too.
      It is exciting to get things into proper perspective.

      Like

  25. Jay Ross
    12/20/2013 at 5:31 AM

    ICA

    When I read your article/blog, I questioned your scholarship as I do Joel Richardson and Jack Smith’s for what it is worth.

    You wrote: –– ‘What is in err, however, is how we’re likely understanding it in our receptor language. Again, the Hebrew text of Daniel 9:27 says that He confirms the covenant “one” week, not in the sense that the covenant itself only lasts for the duration of “one week”, but rather that the confirmation of the covenant is what happens in the one week. The Hebrew text says “gabar bĕriyth rab echad shabuwa” which means “strengthen covenant many one week”’

    However, when I look at the transliterated Hebrew for Daniel 9:27 as provided within the PCStudy Bible program, I found the following was provided for the Transliterated Hebrew text: –– “Wahigbiyr bariyt laarabiym shaabuwa‘ ’echaad” which looks nothing like the text that you quoted.

    On closer inspection I realised that what you had done was grabbed the Hebrew words associated with the Strong numbers provided for the Hebrew texts which is often just the “root Hebrew word for the text” and then put the associated transliterated Hebrew root words into your text to make your own Transliterated Hebrew Text for the Daniel 9: 27a verse.

    However, that IMHO is not the kosher thing to do. You need to go and search for similar words within the Old Testament Hebrew Text to be able to determine what the meaning of the Hebrew words might be in the verse in question. Rarely are the Hebrew words identical with the Strong Definition etc.

    Let us look at the first Hebrew word in Daniel 9:27

    It has the Strong number of OT:1396. When we do a word search of the occurrences of OT:1396 we find that this root word is found 25 times in the Old Testament.

    In the following two verses, the OT:1396 Hebrew words are identical. The verses are: –

    Genesis 7:18: – The waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.
    and
    Genesis 7:24: – And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

    Also in the following two verses the occurrences of OT:1396 is found to be identical:-

    Job 15:25: – Because he has stretched forth his hand against God, and bids defiance to the Almighty,

    Isaiah 42:13: – The Lord goes forth like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.

    There are no other matches for the other 21 times that OT:1396 is used in the Old Testament.

    Now in the Daniel 9:27 verse, OT:1396 can be considered to have the meaning of “he who prevails.” If we consider the previous verse,: –

    Daniel 9:26: – And 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.

    Then it is obvious that the one who prevails is found in the second portion of the verse, as “the prince who is to come” prevails against the city of Jerusalem and the Sanctuary whereas the “anointed one” did not prevail and has gained nothing for his pains.

    Now let us consider the second Hebrew word with the Strong number of OT:1285 in verse 27 where OT:1285 has the meaning “from OT:1262 (in the sense of cutting [like OT:1254]); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): -confederacy, [con-] feder [-ate], covenant, league.”

    There are 284 occurrences of OT:1285 in the Old Testament and after sorting all of these occurrences, we find that there are four other places in the Old Testament which matches the Hebrew word in Daniel 9:27 and they are: –

    Joshua 24:25: –So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.

    2 Samuel 5:3: – So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

    1 Chronicles 11:3: – So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel. [Notice that this is the same event as in 2 Samuel 5:3.]

    2 Chronicles 23:3: – And all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoi’ada said to them, “Behold, the king’s son! Let him reign, as the Lord spoke concerning the sons of David.

    Notice the similarity with Daniel 9:27: –

    Daniel 9:27: – And 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.”

    In all the verses above, a “Leader/king” makes a “covenant” with many people.

    I do not think that I have to keep going with this word study to prove the point that it was not Jesus who has made/will be making this covenant. It is “the Prince who is to come” that is making the covenant with the people.

    Now in understanding Daniel 9:24-27 we have to consider the associativity between the five prophetic words found in these four verses. These five prophesies in Daniel 9:24-27 are: –

    Prophecy 1: –
    24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city,
    a. to finish the transgression,
    b. to put an end to sin, and
    c. to atone for iniquity,
    d. to bring in everlasting righteousness,
    e. to seal both vision and prophet, and
    f. to anoint a most holy place.

    Please note that this prophecy has a time span of 490 years and unfolds independently of the other four prophecies. It should also be noted that Christ refers to this prophecy when he is asked how many times one should forgive his brother for their transgressions against them. The transgression of the Israelite people was idolatry and from the time that this prophecy was given, until the end of the end of the 490 years. The visitation of iniquity of the idolatrous worship of the Israelite Nation began at the beginning of the fifth age, around 70 years before the temple was destroyed. Exodus 20:4-6 speaks of this time of when visitation of the iniquity on the children would begin.

    Prophecy 2: –
    25 Know 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.

    Please note that this prophecy has a time span of 483 years and unfolds independently of the other four prophecies. I am also highlighting that its course runs somewhat in parallel with Prophecy 1 above but its starting and finishing dates are not the same.

    The end of this prophecy is the finishing of the building program for the city of Jerusalem.

    Prophecy 3: –

    26 And after the sixty-two weeks, [That is after the completed end of Prophecy 2 above.]

    It is my view that the following three prophetic events are in sequential order and that each must follow in the order as listed after each previous event is completed.

    Prophecy 3.1: –

    an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing;

    Note that this prophecy event occurs some time after the completion of Prophecy 2 above and that it provides no clues as to when the prophesied event was to have happened. History, records, within the sense as recorded in the New Testament, that this event occurred around the years 30 CE. Secular scholars dispute this fact based on their disbelief of the New Testament account.

    Prophecy 3.2a: –

    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.

    Note that this prophecy begins after the completion of Prophecy 3.1 and that this prophecy has a time span in the order of two ages and “ends” at the same time as the “fullness of the time of the gentiles” as prophesied in Daniel 8:9-14.

    Now as you state, our understanding depends on our interpretation of the Hebrew Text and it is my view that the two ages for the unfolding of this prophecy is in full view if we can recognise the symbols used to disguise the time period. It is my view that Exodus 20:4-6 tells us of this period when the Israelite Nation’s iniquity is visited on the fathers children and the children’s children where there is an age associated with the children and an second age associated with the children’s children. Isaiah 61:4 also speaks of the two ages of desolation of the houses in the land of Canaan.

    Let us look at the time scope of the book of Joel in the introduction to the prophecy in that book.

    Joel 1:1-3: – 1:1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethu’el:

    2 Hear this, you aged men,
    give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
    Has such a thing happened in your days,
    or in the days of your fathers?
    3 Tell your children of it,
    and let your children tell their children,
    and their children another generation/age.

    It is my view that verses 2 and 3 cover a time period of five ages. The age of your fathers, which is the previous age to the age being addressed in this prophecy and is the first age of the existence of Abraham descendants which began with the birth of Isaac. The age being addressed in this opening of the Book of Joel, and is the second age of the existence of Abraham’s descendants which began with the birth of King David. The second age are told to tell the children of the third age which started with the birth of Christ what is to come as is foretold in the Book of Joel. The children of the third are were also required to pass the message in the Book of Joel on to their children in the fourth age. The Children of the fourth age is also required to tell the children of the fifth age about the message in the Book of Joel. The children of the fifth age are the children whose fathers were redeemed at the beginning of the Millennium Age to be redeemed by the Lord. Jesus tells us in a parable that He will be seen afar off by the nation of Israel at this time and that they will seek His terms of Peace. When they corporately accept Christ’s terms of peace, they will be redeemed as a nation.

    It should be noted that “dowr” OT:1755 is considered to be either an age or a generation but as is correctly noted in EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF BIBLE WORDS: Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts Edited by Stephen D. Renn,

    To translate with the meaning “age” would not be inappropriate in many contexts. It certainly carries a greater nominal sense than does which is most often translated with adjectival or adverbial force.

    Now we know that an age, i.e. the Millennium Age has a duration of 1,000 years plus the “little while” as mentioned in Revelation 20:3 and it is my understanding that the “little while” is a period of time that approaches 24 years in length.

    Now Daniel 7:9-12 tells us about an event that will happen in Heaven which is also associated with the Revelation 16:12-16 prophecy where the first two events of that prophecy have now occurred with the next event unfolding as I write to draw the Armies of the world so that they will assemble at Armageddon.

    The King of the distant North will draw all the nations to go up against Israel

    The timing of these events is given in Isaiah 24:21-22, however Daniel 7 is only talking about the four heavenly hosts/beasts while Isaiah 24:21-22 also mentions the rebellion of the kings of the earth at the battle of Armageddon.

    Isaiah 24:21-22: -21 On that day the Lord will punish
    the host of heaven, in heaven,
    and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
    22 They will be gathered together
    as prisoners in a pit;
    they will be shut up in a prison,
    and after many days {years} they will be punished.

    Revelation 20:1-3 also occurs at this same point in time where Satan is also put into the Bottomless Pit for a period of 1,000 years before he is released again.

    Prophecy 3.2b: –

    27 And he who prevailed/now prevails {over the saint } 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.”

    Now it is my view that this event takes place during the “little while” period of time which will be around 24 years in duration at the end of the Millennium Age. During this time we will see the previous four beasts rise up out of the pit, {Revelation 13.} as a single four facetted entity with the same characteristic and influences as they previously had and people will again begin inhabiting the domain(s) of the four facetted beast that rises up out of the pit, and these people will restart and continue the oppression of the Saints.

    Again the King of the distant North will have a leading role to play in the events associated with the battle of Gog and Mogot at the end of the Seventh/Millennium Age. It will be the distant Northern King who will be prevailing during this time in the future who will establish a strong covenant with many of the people of the earth and there will be a great falling away such that the “Greater Light” will become darker, i.e. become dim, while the Lesser Light will become red with the Blood of the Saints as Satan has all those who did not want him to rule killed before him on his return to the surface of the earth from the Bottomless Pit.

    There will be a great battle during or just after the halfway mark of the strong seven year covenant.

    It is after this battle that Christ appears in all of His Glory to Judge the world.

    Now there is an expectation that we “Saint” are to rule the earth with Christ during the Millennium Age. However we are required to be as a humble servants and not as those who would lord over others but then this understanding is based IMHO on another flawed understanding of scripture as well.

    It is my view, based on scripture that Christ will be our “High Priest” in the Heavenly Temple during the Millennium Age and will not be permanently present on the earth during most of the Millennium Age.

    Now given the above understanding of Daniel 9:24-27, it is my view that there are three “Days of the Lord,” spoken about in Scripture. The three days of the Lord are associated with: –

    1. the event of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD,
    2. the event of the assembling of the Kings of the world and their armies at Armageddon in our near future, probably within the next 30 or so years and finally
    3. the event of the Gog Mogot Battle for control over Jerusalem at the end of the Millennium Age in our distant future.

    Sadly the book profits do not allow this story to be told yet as there is no profit in that.

    Shalom

    Jay Ross

    PS: – I accept that there may be errors and omissions in what I have written because of the interpretation/understanding of scripture that I have come too.

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  26. ICA
    12/20/2013 at 1:11 PM

    Jay Ross, “when I look at the transliterated Hebrew for Daniel 9:27 as provided within the PCStudy Bible program, I found the following was provided for the Transliterated Hebrew text: –– ‘Wahigbiyr bariyt laarabiym shaabuwa‘ ’echaad’ which looks nothing like the text that you quoted.

    On closer inspection I realised that what you had done was grabbed the Hebrew words associated with the Strong numbers provided for the Hebrew texts which is often just the ‘root Hebrew word for the text’ and then put the associated transliterated Hebrew root words into your text to make your own Transliterated Hebrew Text for the Daniel 9: 27a verse.

    However, that IMHO is not the kosher thing to do.”

    Hi Jay, thank you for your comment. I agree, it isn’t the “kosher” thing to do. However, it was to simply demonstrate — using a resource easily available to the average layperson — the point that the text does not necessitate that “one week” be preceded by “for” as if to suggest that the covenant only lasts for the duration of seven years. As was noted, some translations like the LEB and Darby put the word “for” in brackets to let the reader know it isn’t in the original. It could just as easily be translated “in one week” or “for the one week” every bit as much as “for one week.” The LXX renders Daniel 9:27 to say “And one week shall establish the covenant with many”. Douay-Rheims says “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week”. Young’s Literal Translation says “he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week.” The Jubilee Bible says “In one week (they are now seventy) he shall confirm the covenant by many”. The Vulgate says “One week also shall confirm the covenant to many”.

    Jay Ross, “it is obvious that the one who prevails is found in the second portion of the verse, as ‘the prince who is to come’ prevails against the city of Jerusalem and the Sanctuary whereas the “anointed one” did not prevail and has gained nothing for his pains.”

    I disagree. It is the covenant that prevails, not the people of the prince to come. The covenant confirmed by Christ is an everlasting covenant. This is the natural meaning “if we do not pass beyond the clause before us for the subject of the verb, is בְּרִית, (bereeth), ‘covenant.’ Thus we ought naturally to render either – taking the hiphil in its causative sense – ‘a covenant,’ or ‘the covenant shall confirm;’ i.e. secure ‘one week to many,’ or – and this is better, as supported by Psalm 12:5 (4), in the sense given to the hiphil of גָבַר (gabar) – ‘the covenant shall prevail for many during one week.’ This agrees with the first version we find in the Septuagint, The covenant – God’s covenant with Israel, and this it must be here – ‘prevails with many;’ his covenant to send a Messiah, a part of the eternal covenant with Israel, would prevail with the hearts of many of Israel during one week.” (Pulpit Commentary).

    Jay Ross, “let us consider the second Hebrew word with the Strong number of OT:1285 in verse 27 where OT:1285 has the meaning ‘from OT:1262 (in the sense of cutting [like OT:1254]); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): -confederacy, [con-] feder [-ate], covenant, league.’

    There are 284 occurrences of OT:1285 in the Old Testament and after sorting all of these occurrences, we find that there are four other places in the Old Testament which matches the Hebrew word in Daniel 9:27 … it was not Jesus who has made/will be making this covenant. It is ‘the Prince who is to come’ that is making the covenant with the people.”

    The text says “the people of the prince to come” and not “the Prince who is to come.” This is very important. Daniel is given a prophecy about the coming Messiah, which in and of itself strongly suggests that “covenant” is being used here in a Messianic sense, not as an alliance between men. Again, the pronoun “he” in Daniel 9:27 must refer to its antecedent. As such, in accordance to the proper rules of grammar, the “he” of 9:27 is referring directly to the Messiah of the preceding verse. It would be grammatically incorrect to attribute the singular pronoun “he” in 9:27 to the plural “people” in verse 26. This becomes quite apparent if we quote the passage from 9:25 and connect up the main events as they pertain to the Messiah and leave the portion pertaining to the “prince” you’re referring to in its proper place at the end of the chapter. To again quote the aforementioned commentary, “[B]ereeth thus absolute, is used not of alliances, but of the Divine covenant. The theory that the coming prince is [anyone other than the Messiah] does not suit with the idea of confirming the Divine covenant, so the interpreters that hold this view—e.g. Bevan—do not make ‘the prince’ the subject of the verb. If bereeth is the Divine covenant, as by usage it is, then the prince whose people were to lay waste the temple and city cannot be he that confirms the covenant. We might take the last clause of verse 26 as in a parenthesis, and regard the subject of the verb ‘confirm’ as the Messiah who was cut off. It seems, however, preferable to take the construction as we have done above, and make bereeth the subject of the verb.”

    Jay Ross, “Now it is my view that this event takes place during the ‘little while’ period of time which will be around 24 years in duration at the end of the Millennium Age… the King of the distant North will have a leading role to play in the events associated with the battle of Gog and Mogot at the end of the Seventh/Millennium Age… Now given the above understanding of Daniel 9:24-27, it is my view that there are three ‘Days of the Lord,’ spoken about in Scripture. The three days of the Lord are associated with: –

    1. the event of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD,
    2. the event of the assembling of the Kings of the world and their armies at Armageddon in our near future, probably within the next 30 or so years and finally
    3. the event of the Gog Mogot Battle for control over Jerusalem at the end of the Millennium Age in our distant future.”

    If you’re suggesting that Ezekiel 38-39 is the same Gog-Magog battle described in Revelation, then I think there are some serious problems with that view. Here are a few reasons why:

    1. Ezekiel 38:16 alone forbids it, where God Himself infers that the nations do not yet know Him, hardly a description of what we would expect during the Millennial Reign of Christ when “the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:2), not to mention the fact that “the nations shall know that [I am] the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (Ezek 39:7b).

    2. Ezekiel 38:17 tells us that the prophets of Israel formerly spoke about Gog. If Ezekiel 38 is the same battle as Revelation 20:7-8, where did the prophets speak of the Gog of Revelation 20:7-8 previously?

    3. Why does God say “I would bring you [Gog] against [My people Israel]” after having already restored them? For what purpose, especially given the fact that God specifically says “I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not [let them] profane My holy name anymore … I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel” (Ezek 39:7a,29)? Do they suddenly reject their Messiah again for some inexplicable reason?

    4. In Revelation 20:8, it is Satan who gathers them together, not God. Why?

    5. The judgment and destruction of Ezekiel 38:19-22 describes Armageddon: a great earthquake, men shake at the presence of God, mountains thrown down, armies are confounded and attack each other, pestilence, bloodshed, hailstones, fire, brimstone. In Revelation 20:7-9 we have none of this — God simply sends down fire and puts an immediate end to the rebellion.

    Ezekiel 38 is an overall view of Gog-Magog, from its beginning up until it’s end — what we often refer to as Armageddon. Ezekiel 39 is not a continuation of 38 per se, but rather more of a repeat of how Gog-Magog ends, that is, as a close-up view of Armageddon and its aftermath with a few additional focal points added in, such as referring back to why the Jewish people have suffered greatly throughout the centuries and could have been destroyed during this final battle of the ages (cf. Ezek 39:23-24) had it not been for Messianic intervention. The two chapters are continuous, but are styled Semitically. Once all is said and done they will be delivered and restored in full, not by their might, but by the Almighty Himself — the Holy One in Israel (cf Ezek 39:25-29). In my view, this is fulfillment of Daniel 9:27b.

    Jay Ross, “There will be a great battle during or just after the halfway mark of the strong seven year covenant.”

    In my humble opinion, this is untenable. It makes little sense that this “leader” whose people have already been able to “destroy the city and the sanctuary” according to Daniel 9:26 (why stop there?) would then develop a sudden change of heart and decide to forcefully impose a seven-year peace deal with the very nation that he wants to destroy — particularly when “the end thereof shall be with a flood” after seeing the city and sanctuary destroyed. If “the end thereof shall be with a flood” of wars and desolations, how can there be “peace” for a full 50% of the remaining seven years?

    Daniel 9:26-27, “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

    In my view, either there is an alternating pattern in Daniel 9:26 and 27 that is a common Hebrew usage, or there isn’t. If there is, then there are obviously two alternating subjects in both 26 and 27 whereby the “he” who confirms the Covenant is Messiah and that destruction is later followed by the people of the prince to come. If there isn’t, then the suggestion that a seven-year covenant is signed in 9:27 is in direct contradiction to Daniel’s prophecy telling us that the end shall come like a flood and that desolations are determined till the end of the war per the preceding verse. In my view, the obvious reading is Semitic, not sequential.

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  27. 12/20/2013 at 1:55 PM

    I would like Susan and Sharon’s discussion to continue here so I can read it. I also propose that people responding to this discussion don’t reply directly to a comment, but just ‘in general’ to this article so that it ends up at the bottom of the comments–they are easier to find that way.

    My comment on Susan’s eschatology: I am with her as far the 70 weeks and the AoD being completed in the 1st Century, however applying the end of Daniel 11 and Daniel 12 to the 1st Century goes against clear allusions to the the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, etc.

    Also a question: Susan, are you straight up a Preterist, partial preterist, or are you pre-Millennial? Thanks.

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  28. Sharon
    12/20/2013 at 6:38 PM

    I like your reply ICA to Jay Ross and quite agree with your comments.

    Kurt J. I am most happy to continue discussions here with Susan as she is talking sense in my view.

    As far as Daniel 11 and 12 are concerned I do believe it is a history of the period covered by the Maccabees etc right up until Herod and beyond though I am not sure at the moment about chapter 12 exactly; need more time in that chapter.

    Susan’s comments: “It would be strange if, in an outline which gives prominence to Xerxes, Alexander, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and the Maccabees, there were no mention of that remarkable person who exerted upon Jewish affairs and destinies an influence greater than they all, and who sat upon the throne of Israel when Christ was born. Additionally, the verses immediately preceding (31-35) relate to the affairs of the Jews under the Asmonean princes, and so the prophecy itself leads us to look at this point for the beginning of a new order of things in Israel.” Make jolly good sense to me, that statement. Our Lord was the whole point of it all so why after all the killings etc of Antiochus IV Epiphanies, and all the rest of the persecution of the Jews, why would there be an enormous gap till Antichrist when there is a perfect fit in Herod who went bonkers when as it says in 11:44 “…rumours from the East and from the North will disturb him and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many.” (NASB) Exactly what he did hoping to kill the subject of the “rumour”!!!

    I am looking forward to what Susan has to say about this in more depth here in this blog.
    God bless you all.

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  29. Susan
    12/20/2013 at 8:03 PM
    I will post Daniel 11 historic fulfillment here for everyone to look at. I am assuming verses 1-35 are not the problem, but rather verses 36-45. Most interpret this part of the chapter to be referring to Antichrist. Daniel 12:1 belongs right after 11:45 because it is part of the narrative (I’m sure you now this, but chapters and verses were added by translators). I will post all of Daniel 11 because it is one continuous narrative, with one parenthetical (insertion to add information, verses 40-43). Kurt, let me answer your last question first. I am not a preterist. As far as I know, preterists even believe the Book of Revelation was fulfilled in its entirety by 70 AD. That’s rubbish. Because I think we should not ignore the historical fulfillment, am I being a preterist. That is equally rubbish. If there was historical fulfillment, isn’t that significant? Don’t you want to know it? As I said in my first response, “We cannot study unfulfilled prophecy accurately until we have settled our minds as to the predicted things which have already come to pass.” The verses we are going to look at in this post, Daniel 11:36-45, are a very good example of what I am talking about. These verses are wrongly applied to Antichrist. I hope you will be surprised by how completely they were fulfilled. Another example is the expectations of the Jews before the destruction of the city and the temple in 70 AD. The rebels had a wrong eschatology. They were expecting God to show up and save them from the Romans. They believed their Messiah would come and save them. They were holding on to the wrong Scriptures. Jesus had taken great pains to warn them about rumors of Messiah “in the desert” or “in the secret chambers”, and to not go there. False Christs and false prophets were numerous and many were deceived. He told them what was coming and exactly how to escape. The Christians listened and heeded his warning (flee when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies). They escaped alive. But the Jews were stubbornly holding on to some other Scriptures. They lost their lives, all 1,100,000 of them, and the remaining 97,000 went into slavery. So for me, it is important to understand what has been fulfilled and what has not. I don’t want to be looking for the wrong things, and Jesus doesn’t want me to either. So, no I am not a preterist. I’m not sure what a partial preterist is, and yes I am pre-millennial. I believe Jesus will have a millennial reign on earth after He comes. Okay, so I am going to copy my notes onto the blog for Chapter 11. I will post again on Chapter 12, probably tomorrow. Chapter 11 Verse 1: “Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.” This introduction by Gabriel has a meaning that has rarely been recognized. In Daniel 9:1-2, we see that in the first year of Darius the Mede, Daniel realized how long Jerusalem would remain desolate (70 years), based on the prophecies of Jeremiah. Because of this realization and in accordance with God’s instructions in the Torah (Lev. 26:40-42), Daniel prayed to God and confessed the sins of his people (Daniel 9:3-19). After doing so, Gabriel was sent to Daniel and gave him the prophecy of the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-27), which was a time line showing when the Messiah would appear in Israel. The mention of Darius the Mede here by Gabriel is not random, but was intended to point Daniel (and us) back to this previously specified period of time in order to understand WHEN the prophetic events he is about to outline would occur. Therefore, we can look for the fulfillment of this prophecy within that prophesied 70 weeks of years. Verse 2: “And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.” This prophecy was given in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia (535 BC). The next three Medo-Persian kings after Cyrus were: his son, Cambyses II, Gaumata the Magian, and Darius I. The fourth king was Xerxes (486-465 BC). Xerxes began extensively preparing for war against the Greeks in 483 BC by raising money and accumulating provisions. He had a channel dug through the isthmus of the peninsula of Mount Athos, stored supplies along the road through Thrace, and had two bridges constructed across the Hellespont. He also entered into an alliance with Carthage. Even many of the smaller Greek states sided with the Persians. A large fleet and a vast army (numbered by some at over two million men) were gathered. He certainly did “stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.” In the spring of 480 BC, Xerxes set out from Sardis. At first, he was victorious. But when Xerxes attacked the Greek fleet under negative conditions at the Battle of Salamis (September 28, 480 BC), he lost, even though his fleet was more than three times as large as the Greek navy (1,207 ships to 371). Xerxes lost the battle. The Greek empire had begun its rise. Verse 3: “Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.” After the military defeat of Xerxes by the Greeks, a number of additional Persian kings ruled the empire until the rise of a strong Greek ruler, Alexander the Great, who defeated Persian King Darius III in 333 BC at the battle of Issus. This was the beginning of the end of the Persian empire. At the height of his power, Alexander conquered and ruled an empire that stretched from southern Europe to north Africa to central Asia. Alexander fell ill and died on June 10, 323 BC, after a short reign of only 13 years. Verse 4: “And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.” Alexander left a huge empire at his death. His family and his generals jostled for control of this kingdom. When the dust settled, only two of his top officers remained alive. His other generals, his mother, his wife, his son, his sister, his half-sister, and his half-brother, were all dead. Of this group, only one general (Antipater) died of natural causes. Alexander’s empire was divided into four major portions by 301 BC: Cassander ruled over Greece, Lysimachus ruled in Asia Minor, Seleucus I Nicator ruled in Babylon and Persia, and Ptolemy I Soter ruled over the Holy Land and Egypt. Verse 5: “Also the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.” After the division of Alexander’s kingdom, the Jewish people came into contact with only two of the four kingdoms which succeeded him — General Seleucid’s kingdom (Syria-North) and General Ptolemy’s Kingdom (Egypt-South). Israel was caught in the middle of these wars. The strong king of the South was Ptolemy I Soter, a general who served under Alexander. He was given authority over Egypt in 323 BC and proclaimed king of Egypt in 304. The “prince” referred to was a commander named Seleucus I Nicator, also a general under Alexander, who was given authority to rule in Babylon in 321. But in 316 when Babylon came under attack by Antigonus, another general, Seleucus sought help from Ptolemy I Soter in Egypt. After Antigonus’ defeat in 312, Seleucus returned to Babylon greatly strengthened. He ruled over Babylonia, Media, and Syria, and assumed the title of king in 305. Thus Seleucus I Nicator’s rule was over far more territory than Ptolemy I and was king of the largest empire after that of Alexander. Verse 6: “And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.” In 249 BC, king of the South, Ptolemy II, sent his daughter Berenice to the king of the North, Antiochus II. His plan was to stop the war that was raging (the Second Syrian War) and unite the two kingdoms through their marriage. But Antiochus II was already married. However, because he knew his marriage to Ptolemy II’s daughter would ensure peace and allow him to regain most of the Syrian possessions his father had lost to the king of the South, Antiochus II put away his wife Laodice and married Berenice. She persuaded him to reject Laodice’s children and set up her own to succeed him on the throne. However, after Ptolemy II died in 246 BC, Antiochus II repudiated his marriage to Berenice and left her and their infant son to return to Laodice. Doubting his faithfulness, Laodice quickly murdered Antiochus II with poison, and procured the murder of Berenice and her son. Laodice then made her son, Seleucus II Callinicus, King (246-227 BC). So, just as the prophecy said would happen, Ptolemy II king of the South, his daughter Berenice, and Antiochus II king of the North all lost in their struggle for power. Verse 7: “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail.” The brother of Berenice, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246-221, (referred to in the prophecy as “a branch of her roots”), undertook to avenge her death by an invasion of Syria, in which he was successful. This appears to be what is foretold in verses 7, 8 and 9, which tell of one who should” enter into the fortress of the king of the north,” and who should “prevail”, “…deal against them” – He shall deal with the Syrians at his own pleasure. He captured and put to death Laodice. Verse 8: “And he shall also carry their gods captive to Egypt, with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the North.” During the Third Syrian War, king of the south Ptolemy III is credited with recovering many of the sacred statues that the Persian forces had carried off during their conquest of Egypt some three hundred years earlier. The idolatrous Egyptians were so gratified, that they named him Euergetes, or “benefactor.” Ptolemy survived Seleucus four years, reigning in all forty-six years. Verse 9: “Also the king of the North shall come to the kingdom of the king of the South, but shall return to his own land.” In 240 BC, the king of the North, Seleucus II, attempted to invade Egypt in response to the humiliation he had suffered at the hands of Ptolemy III. However, he had to return in defeat after his fleet perished in a storm. Verse 10: “However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife.” The sons of Seleucus II were Seleucus III Ceraunos (“Thunder”) and Antiochus III (the Great). Seleucus III, the eldest son of Seleucus II, began a war against the Egyptian provinces in Asia Minor. However, he was unsuccessful, and was assassinated by members of his army in Asia Minor in 223 BC. Seleucus II’s younger son, Antiochus III, took the throne at the age of 18 after his brother’s death. In 219-218 BC, Antiochus III victoriously went through Judea, coming almost to the borders of Egypt. Verse 11: “And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy” Antiochus III met Ptolemy IV Philopater at the Battle of Gaza in 217 BC. Antiochus III, the king of the North, had 62,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 103 war elephants. But the forces of Ptolemy IV, king of the South, were victorious in the battle. Antiochus III was forced to withdraw into Lebanon. Verse 12: “When he has taken away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail.” After his victory over Antiochus III, Ptolemy IV spent only three months settling affairs in the Holy Land before heading back to Alexandria. In his haste to go home, Ptolemy IV left the important port of Seleucia-in-Pieria (which his father had first captured) in the hands of Antiochus III. After his victory at Gaza, the Egyptian troops trained to fight the Seleucids began a successful guerilla campaign against his rule in Egypt. By the end of Ptolemy IV’s reign, they had achieved total independence in the southern part of Egypt. Verse 13: “For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment.” After Ptolemy IV in 204 BC died, Antiochus III rallied his forces once again to attack the kingdom of the South. In the Fifth Syrian War (202-195), Antiochus III swept down into Judea from Syria. He retook the territory that he had occupied some eighteen years previously. When Antiochus III withdrew for the winter, the Egyptian commander Scopas reconquered the southern portions of the lost territory, including Judea and Jerusalem. Verse 14: “Now in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South. Also, violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall.” The Jewish historian Josephus wrote: Yet was it not long afterward when Antiochus overcame Scopas, in a battle fought at the fountains of Jordan, and destroyed a great part of his army. But afterward, when Antiochus subdued those cities of Celesyria which Scopas had gotten into his possession, and Samaria with them, the Jews, of their own accord, went over to him, and received him into the city (Jerusalem), and gave plentiful provision to all his army, and to his elephants, and readily assisted him when he besieged the garrison which was in the citadel of Jerusalem (Ant. 12.3.3). Unfortunately, this Jewish assistance was not to be remembered when Antiochus IV later came against Jerusalem, as will be seen. Verse 15: “So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist.” The fortified city seems to refer to Sidon which Antiochus captured in 203 BC. The Egyptian general met Antiochus at Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, and was defeated, and fled to Sidon, a strongly “fenced city,” where he was forced to surrender. Egypt’s choicest army was sent to deliver Scopas, but in vain. Verse 16: “But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power.” With his final victory over Scopas, Antiochus the Great took the Holy Land away from the Egyptians for good. Judea and Jerusalem had passed from the king of the South to the king of the North. Verse 17: “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him the daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him.” Young Ptolemy V had entered into a treaty with Antiochus III after his military defeat in the Fifth Syrian War. Antiochus III tried to strengthen his position and expand his empire even further. Ptolemy V surrendered his Asian holdings to the king of the North and accepted Antiochus III’s daughter, Cleopatra I, as a bride. They were married in 194 BC. Through this marriage, Antiochus III sought to gain a foothold in Egypt itself through his daughter. But his plan backfired. Cleopatra I was a true wife to Ptolemy V, standing by him instead of seeking to benefit her father. Cleopatra I was beloved by the Egyptian people for her loyalty to her husband. Verse 18: “After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him”. Antiochus “took many” of the isles in the Aegean Sea in his war with the Romans. The war which was waged between Antiochus and the Romans lasted for three years, and ended in the defeat of Antiochus, and in the subjugation of the Syrian kingdom to the Roman power. The “prince” was Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, the Roman general, who routed Antiochus at Magnesia (190 BC), and succeeded in retrieving the honor of the Roman name, and in wiping off the reproach which the Roman armies had suffered from the conquests of Antiochus. When it is said that he would do this “for his own, behalf,” the meaning is, doubtless, that he would engage in the enterprise for his own glory, or to secure fame for himself. Verse 19: “Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.” As a consequence of the Roman victory over Antiochus III, the outlying provinces of the Seleucid Empire again reasserted their independence. With his kingdom now reduced to Syria, Mesopotamia, and western Iran, Antiochus III was in dire need of funds with which to pay Rome for the cost of the war. In 187 BC, while attempting to plunder a pagan temple in Babylon near Susa (Shushan), Antiochus III was murdered. Verse 20: “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle.” Antiochus III’s eldest son, Selecucus IV Philopater (187-176), took over after his father’s death. Due to the heavy debt burden imposed by Rome, he was forced to seek an ambitious taxation policy on his shrunken empire. This included heavy taxation on the people of Israel (that is, Judea, the “glorious kingdom”). In fact, Seleucus IV even sent his treasurer Heliodorus (the tax gatherer), to the Temple in Jerusalem to extract money. The Roman senate decided to trade hostages; therefore, they ordered Seleucus IV to send his son Demetrius, the heir to the throne, to Rome. In return, the Romans released Seleucus IV’s younger brother, Antiochus IV. When released, Antiochus IV went to Athens. In 176 BC, after Demetrius had been sent away to Rome, Seleucus IV was poisoned by his minister Heliodorus. Some historians think that Heliodorus desired the throne for himself, while others believe that Antiochus IV was behind the murder. Seleucus’ young son, (another Antiochus – age 5) was put on the throne in his place. However, Heliodorus was the actual power behind the throne. Verse 21: “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue”. With Seleucus IV dead, the rightful heir to the throne was the young Demetrius. However, he was no longer available, having been sent to Rome as a hostage. At the time of the murder, Antiochus IV was in Athens. However, when he heard of his brother’s death, he quickly sailed to Pergamum. Once there, he sought the help of Eumenes II, the king of Pergamum. By flattering Eumenes II and his brother Attalus, he received their support and backing. Antiochus IV arrived in Seleucia with a powerful ally and thwarted Heliodorus’ designs on the throne. He became co-regent and protector of Seleucus IV’s infant son (also named Antiochus). In 170 BC, the younger Antiochus was murdered while Antiochus IV was conveniently absent, paving the way for him to take sole possession of the throne. “Vile person”, is an expression signifying one greatly abhorred and detested. This odious person occupies a very large place in the prophecy; for verses 21-35 are taken up with the foretelling of his “abdominal actions towards the Jews”. In I Maccabees 1:10 he is described as “wicked root.” His deeds of cruelty and sacrilege far surpassed anything the Jews had suffered under previous rulers. Many pages in Maccabees and Josephus are devoted to the history of this tyrannical king, and his ill treatment of the Jews. Antiochus IV Epiphanes was a son of Antiochus III the Great and the Seleucid who ruled from 175-163 BC. In prophecy he is given as much attention as all the others before him combined. He is the little horn of Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25. A long section is devoted to him not only because of the effects of his invasion on the land of Israel, but more so because he foreshadows the little horn of Daniel 7:8 who in a future day will desecrate and destroy the land of Israel. Antiochus IV is introduced as a contemptible person. He took to himself the name Epiphanes which means “the Illustrious One.” But he was considered so untrustworthy that he was nicknamed Epimanes, which means “the Madman.” The throne rightly belonged to Demetrius Soter, a son of Seleucus IV Philopator, but Antiochus IV Epiphanes seized the throne and had himself proclaimed king. Thus he did not come to the throne by rightful succession; he seized it through intrigue (deception). The nation shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by “flattering” Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamos to help him. Verse 22: “With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.” The reference here is to some mighty invasion of some country by Antiochus, which would sweep everything before him. The prophet does not specify “who” they would be that would thus be overthrown. It is most likely to be an invasion of Egypt, which was one of the earliest and most prominent acts of Antiochus, and into the history of which the prophet goes most into detail. Many suppose that the “prince of the covenant” is the high priest of the Jews. But this name or title is not elsewhere given to the Jewish high priest. The reference is rather to the king of Egypt, with whom a covenant or compact had been made by Antiochus III the Great, and who was supposed to be united (through marriage), therefore, to the Syrians by a solemn treaty. Verse 23: “And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.” Once again, the “king of the North” set his sights on the kingdom of the South. In Egypt, the 14 year old Ptolemy VI Philometer had become king. He was the nephew of Antiochus IV; his mother (Cleopatra I) was Antiochus IV’s sister. Antiochus IV sought an alliance with Ptolemy VI, seeking to take advantage of what he perceived as weakness in the Ptolemaic kingdom and gain Egypt for himself. He moved through Syria and Judea into Egypt with a small army, so as to not arouse suspicion to his true motive, and seized Eghpt. His cover story was that he was coming to act as the “protector” of his nephew, Ptolemy VI. Feigning friendship to young Ptolemy, as if he wished to order his kingdom for him, he took possession of Memphis and all Egypt (“the fattest places,” Daniel 11:34) as far as Alexandria, with a small people – At first, to throw off suspicion, his forces were small. Verse 24: “He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.” Antiochus IV pursued a novel plan for gaining the Egyptian-controlled provinces. He moved into the parts of the kingdom that were the richest. Then he did something that no other Seleucid king had ever done, actually two things: Antiochus IV spread around some of the spoils from his war campaigns to secure the loyalty of the people. It is reported that he would go into the streets and throw money to the citizens there. However, this was only the beginning of Antiochus IV’s plan. Using his cunning, he visited Egyptian strongholds to find out their power. Secondly, none of the predecessors of Antiochus had ever interfered in the slightest degree with the worship, laws, or religious observances of the Jews; nor had they ever violated the temple in any way. Thus, in plundering and profaning the temple, and in his acts of cruelty and sacrilege (to which we will refer below), Antiochus Epiphanes did “that which his fathers had not done, nor his fathers’ fathers.” Verse 25: “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him.” In 170 BC, when Antiochus IV felt secure about the state of his own kingdom, he decided to take Egypt by force in what came to be known as the Sixth Syrian War. He regarded Ptolemy VI as a weak ruler and therefore not capable of successfully waging war against him. Antiochus IV was able to move his army to the border of Egypt before he was met by the Egyptians at Pelusium, which is near the Nile Delta. The Egyptians had a large army arrayed against him there. Antiochus, risking death by riding into the midst of the battle of Pelusium, ordered the Egyptians to be taken alive instead of slain. By this policy, he gained Pelusium and later took Memphis. Verse 26: “Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.” Ptolemy VI’s army, although large, was not able to withstand Antiochus IV. In large part, this was due to the intrigues of Antiochus IV, who corrupted several of the Egyptian ministers and officers. This was one of the main causes of the defeat of Ptolemy VI. Those who were in his confidence and possessed the secrets of the state betrayed him to Antiochus IV. For example, Ptolemy Macron (also called Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes) had been appointed by Ptolemy VI as governor of Cyprus. However, sensing the young king’s weakness, he deserted to Antiochus IV, who made him governor of all Syria and Phoenicia. Verse 27: “Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.” After he took control of Pelusium and Memphis, Antiochus IV set his sights on Alexandria. Due to the intrigues of Antiochus IV mentioned in verse 26, the Alexandrians had renounced their allegiance to Ptolemy VI, and had made his younger brother, Ptolemy VII Euergetes, king in his place. While at Memphis, Antiochus IV and Ptolemy VI had frequent conferences. Antiochus IV professed his great friendship to his nephew and concern for his interests, but his true plan was to weaken Egypt by setting the brothers against one another. Conversely, Ptolemy VI professed gratitude to his uncle for the interest he took in his affairs. He laid the blame of the war upon his minister Eulaeus, one of the guardians appointed to watch over him after his father’s death. All the while, Ptolemy VI sought to smooth over things with his brother Ptolemy VII so they could join forces against their deceitful uncle, Antiochus IV. Verse 28: “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.” While Antiochus IV was engaged in Egypt, a false rumor arose in Judea that he had been killed. This prompted deposed high priest Jason to raise an army of 1,000 men and attack Jerusalem. His army captured the city and forced the high priest Menelaus to take refuge in the Akra fortress in Jerusalem. When news of the fighting in Jerusalem reached Antiochus IV, he took it to mean that Judea was in revolt against him. Antiochus IV left Egypt; on his way home, he and his armies marched against Jerusalem. He commanded his soldiers to kill everyone they encountered (men, women, and children). Within the time of three days, his forces had killed somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people. A similar number were captured and sold into slavery. Not satisfied with the slaughter, Antiochus IV entered the Temple and (guided by Menelaus) took the holy vessels, including the golden altar, the menorah, the table for the showbread, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple. He took all the silver and gold, as well as the hidden treasures which he found. After appointing the Phrygian Phillip as governor in Jerusalem, Antiochus IV then returned to Antioch. Verse 29: “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.” Meanwhile, in Egypt brothers Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VII reconciled and agreed to share power. This annulled Antiochus IV’s alliance with Ptolemy VI and caused his loss of control over the Ptomemaic kingdom. Because of this, in 168 BC Antiochus IV once again sought to go to war against Egypt. However, this time he would not have the same success as he achieved previously. Verse 30-31: “For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.” As he moved into Egypt he was opposed by the Romans who had come to Egypt in ships from the western coastlands. From the Roman senate Popillius Laenas took to Antiochus a letter forbidding him to engage in war with Egypt. When Antiochus asked for time to consider, the emissary drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus and demanded that he give his answer before he stepped out of the circle. Antiochus submitted to Rome’s demands for to resist would be to declare war on Rome. This brings us to the climax of the wicked deeds of Antiochus, which the prophecy foretells distinctly, and which the histories record with great detail. We refer to his gross irreverence and sacrilege in respect to the temple, the sacrifices, and the religious customs of the Jews. Verse 30 speaks of his coming to an understanding “with them that forsake the holy covenant.” For many of the Jews apostatized at that time, forsaking God, and turning against all their religious customs. Thus in Maccabees we read: “Moreover, King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, and everyone should leave his laws. So all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. Yes, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the Sabbath……Then many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit, every one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the land.” (I Ma. 1:41-43, 52). For a second time Antiochus took out his frustration on the Jews, the city of Jerusalem, and their temple. He vented his fury against the holy covenant, the entire Mosaic system, favoring any renegade Jews who turned to help him. He desecrated the temple and abolished the daily sacrifice. Antiochus sent his general Apollonius with 22,000 soldiers into Jerusalem on what was purported to be a peace mission. But they attacked Jerusalem on the Sabbath, killed many people, took many women and children as slaves, and plundered and burned the city. In seeking to exterminate Judaism and to Hellenize the Jews, he forbade the Jews to follow their religious practices (including their festivals and circumcision), and commanded that copies of the Law be burned. Then he set up the abomination that causes desolation. In this culminating act he erected on December 16, 167 BC an altar to Zeus on the altar of burnt offering outside the Temple, and had a pig offered on the altar. The words “the abomination which makes desolate” means an armed heathen force. Such a force was placed by Antiochus in the city of David (I Ma. 1:34-35). Antiochus promised apostate Jews great reward if they would set aside the God of Israel and worship Zeus, the god of Greece. Many in Israel were persuaded by his promises (flattery) and worshiped the false god. However, a small remnant remained faithful to God, refusing to engage in those abominable practices. Antiochus IV died insane in Persia in 163 BC. Arms shall stand on his part, or more literally, arms from him shall stand. This was fulfilled by Antiochus’ sending an army into Judea. They also “polluted” at this time the sanctuary of strength and caused the daily sacrifice to be taken away. Verse 32: “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” The prophecy speaks of two classes of Jews, (1) “such as do wickedly against the covenant,” and (2) those “that do know their God.” Concerning the first class it is recorded in I Mac. 1:11 that “in those days there went out of Israel wicked men who persuaded many, saying: Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen, that are round about us…Then certain of the people were so forward herein that they went to the king, who gave them license to do after the ordinances of the heathen.” Many Jews, including even Jason, the brother of Onias the high priest, were corrupted and won over to Antiochus by flattery and self-interest (II Mac. 4:7-14). The second class of persons spoken of in verse 32 of Daniel 11, “those that do know their God,” is easily and completely identified in Mattathias, the godly and patriotic priest, and his five sons, who led a successful revolt against Antiochus, and in those of his family who ruled Israel as governors and priests for 130 years. These were indeed made “strong” through “knowing their God,” and performed “exploits” of greatest valour particularly Judas, who was surnamed Maccabeus, that is the Hammer of God. This nickname of Judas has been applied to the whole family, but they are properly the Asmonean Princes. Verses 33-34-35: “And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.” This was most literally fulfilled in the history of the Asmoneans. Judas himself, and a great part of his army, were slain by the sword (I Ma. 9:17-18). Jonathan also was slain with a thousand men (I Ma. 12:48). The chief tax collector set Jerusalem on fire (I Ma. 1:31 and II Ma. 7). Forty thousand captives were carried away by Antiochus (II Ma. 5:14). The Jews who refused to submit to Antiochus’ false religious system were persecuted and martyred for their faith. The word fall literally means “stumble” and refers to severe suffering on the part of many and death for others. In 166 Mattathias refused to submit to this false religious system. He and his sons fled from Jerusalem to the mountains and began the Maccabean revolt. At first only a few Jews joined them. But as their movement became popular, many joined them, some out of sincere motives and some from false motives. This time of persecution was of short duration. It had previously been revealed to Daniel that the temple would be desecrated for 1,150 days (Dan 8:14, 23-25). Here Daniel was assured that this persecution would run its course and then be lifted, for its end will still come at the appointed time. To be “helped” in Scripture means to be helped effectually; and what is here pointed out is that the Maccabees should accomplish their great victories with the “help” of a small number; and this was wonderfully fulfilled in that Judas, time and again, defeated, with very small forces, large armies of Syrians and others (I Ma. 2:28; 3:9-11) etc. But later on, many did cleave to them by flatteries, professing friendship to them, etc. Verse 35 foretells that some of them of understanding, or that cause to be wise – that is to say the teachers of God’s people – shall fall, to try them, and to purge them, and to make them white, unto the time of the end. The family of Mattathias continued for several generations to serve the people of Israel in the capacity of priests and teachers (I Mac. 10:21; 14:35; 16:24 and Josephus Antiquities Chapter 13). Of these “some” fell by violent deaths and by captivity. This continued to the very “end” of the Asmonean era; for the last of the family, Aristobulus, who held for a short time the high priesthood, was murdered at the command of Herod (Josephus Ant. XV 3, 3). The words “unto the end” would most naturally be taken to mean the end of the Asmonean era, which had a very definite beginning and an equally definite end; for it is in connection with the history of that family that the term is used. Beginning with Mattathias’ leadership of the rebellion against Antiochus IV, the rule of the Asmoneans (named after Mattathias’ grandfather, Asmoneus) lasted from 168 until 37 BC. The “appointed time” refers to the 70 weeks of years that Gabriel had earlier told Daniel about (Dan. 9:24-27), which led to the appearance of the Messiah. As for Antiochus, in 164 BC Antiochus IV’s army was defeated at Elymais, Persia when he attempted to plunder the city of its gold and silver. Soon thereafter, a messenger came from Antioch and notified him of the defeat of his armies by Judas and the Jews. Terribly shaken by these events, he fell sick and became bedridden. Antiochus IV died shortly after that. ********* “Most Christian scholars try to insert a huge chronological gap in the prophecy here, making the rest of it apply to the end-time Antichrist. But staying in the time sequence context earlier alluded to by Gabriel (Dan. 11:1), what should we expect to see next in this prophecy? Was there a king who ruled Israel after the end of the Maccabean era? What appears to have caused scholars to stray away from the correct understanding at this point of the prophecy is that they were unable to find a successor to Antiochus IV who matched the description of “the king.” Both secular history and the New Testament record the acts of a “king” who appeared on the scene in Israel at the end of the Maccabean period. As we shall see, this king fulfilled every prophetic description given in verses 36 through 39. That king was Herod the Great. In verse 36, the one spoken of is not identified as either the king of the North or the king of the South, but simply as “the king.” Herod was seated as king on the throne of Israel when Messiah Yeshua was born. He is called “the king” in the Gospels (Matt. 2:1, 3, 9; Luke 1:5). He, like Antiochus IV before him, was a type of the coming Antichrist, as his actions revealed. Let’s look at the specific points in the prophecy and see how Herod fulfilled them. Verse 36: “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.” Herod the King – that remarkable character who was a usurper upon the throne of David when Christ, the true King, was born. The proof which enables us to identify “the king” of Daniel 11:36-39 with Herod the Great and his dynasty, is so convincing that it could be said that the prophecy could not possibly mean anyone else. It would be strange if, in an outline which gives prominence to Xerxes, Alexander, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, Antiochus Epiphanes, and the Maccabees, there were no mention of that remarkable person who exerted upon Jewish affairs and destinies an influence greater than they all, and who sat upon the throne of Israel when Christ was born. The context shows that “the king” of verse 36 cannot mean either of the kings of verse 27. These are never spoken of as “the king”, but always, both before and after verse 36, as “the king of the north”, or “the king of the south”. Nor does the Scripture speak of any “king” who is to arise at the time of the end of this present age (Antichrist), and who answers at all to the description of the prophecy. The “man of sin,” described in II Thess. 2:3-10, is supposed by some to be “the king” of Daniel 11:36. But he is not called a king, nor described as having kingly rank. The “king” of Daniel 11:36 is a very different personage, and achieves his ends in a very different way, as will be clearly seen. Additionally, the verses immediately preceding (31-35) relate wholly to the affairs of the Jews under the Asmonean princes, and so the prophecy itself leads us to look at this point for the beginning of a new order of things in Israel. And that is just what history certifies to us, for precisely at this point the Asmonean dynasty was brought to an end by violence and bloodshed, and it was replaced by that of a “king,” who answers perfectly to the description of the last part of the prophecy. And it was Herod the Great who commanded the murder of the last one of the Asmonean family, Aristobulus, who held for a short time the high priesthood (Josephus Ant. XV 3, 3). It is said of this king that “he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished” (or until wrath be completed), in fulfillment of which is the fact that the dynasty of Herod retained, through all the political upheavals of the times, its favor with Rome, and flourished in authority in Palestine, until the destruction of Jerusalem, which is the “wrath”, or “indignation,” or “tribulation,” to which these prophecies of Daniel so frequently refer to as “the end” of Jewish nationality. For it was “Herod the king” who contrived to accomplish the death of Christ soon after His birth, and whose successors of his own family put to death John the Baptist (done by Herod Antipas) and James the brother of John (by Herod Agrippa I, who also imprisoned Peter, intending to deliver him to the Jews) and finally sent Paul in chains to Rome (which was done by Herod Agrippa II, the last of the dynasty, the man who is best known to the world as he who was “almost persuaded”). The first thing said of this king is that he should “do according to his will.” Not just a self-willed disposition, without restraint, but as one having such power in his hands that he is able to “do”, that is, to achieve or accomplish what he “wills” or plans to do, and this is what is meant. It would be difficult to find in history one who so ruthlessly executed the designs of his own tyrannical and cruel heart, even upon those of his own flesh and blood, as Herod the king. His murder of his best loved wife, the beautiful Mariamne, who was a princess of the Asmonean family, his putting to death also three of his own sons because he suspected them of aspiring to his throne; and similar deeds of willfulness characterized his entire reign. Josephus gives many instances of this (see for example Ant. XII 9, 4). “He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods.” These words are descriptive of Herod. The words “above every god” may be taken to mean every ruler and authority in Israel, just as “God of gods” means the Supreme Authority above all authorities. Herod did successfully aspire to the lordship over every authority in the land, whether priests or rulers. He assumed to appoint whom he would to the office of high priest. He put his own brother-in-law, Aristobulus, Mariamne’s brother, in that office, and shortly after had him murdered (Josephus Ant. XV 3, 5). He also uttered great things against the God of gods. This refers specially (though not exclusively) to his decree for the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem, the express purpose of which was to get rid of Immanuel, God come in the flesh to be Ruler of His people, and to be “Prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5). Herod’s way of making himself secure upon the throne was to put to death every suspected rival. Verse 37: “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.” Herod the Great was born about the year 73 BC (ruled from 37-4 BC) of Idumean (I.e. Edomite) origin, was virtually a Jew; for all the remaining Idumeans, who had come into Judea several centuries previous, had been united with the Jews. In addressing the people Herod habitually used the expression “our fathers”. So fully was Herod regarded as a Jew, that the Herodians even held him to be the Messiah. Therefore, in introducing the worship of Caesar, Herod conspicuously failed to “regard the God of his fathers.” It should also not be forgotten that Esau was Jacob’s twin brother, and hence that the God of the fathers of the Edomites was the same as the God of the fathers of the Jews. The words, “nor the desire of women,” are very significant. There can scarcely be any doubt that they refer to Christ, and that Daniel would so understand them. For, of course, the “women” must be understood to be women of Israel; and the ardent “desire” of every one of them was that she might be the mother of Christ. The same word is found in Hag. 2:7 “And the Desire of all nations shall come.” It is Christ who is referred to as “the desire of women”, and it is a striking fulfillment of these words in Herod’s attempt to murder the infant Messiah. The record given in Matt. 2:1-16 makes it quite clear that Herod’s deliberate purpose was to put to death the promised Messiah of Israel. It was to accomplish that purpose that he inquired of the chief priests and scribes as to where Christ should be born. The slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem had been foretold by Jeremiah in the words, “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children,”… (Jer. 31:15). Each one of those murdered infants was “the desire” of his own mother, and thus Herod fulfilled Daniel 11:37 in another sense. Verse 38: “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.” Instead, “he shall honor the god of forces,” or “god of fortresses”. This expression applies to the Caesars as to none others in history, seeing that the Roman emperors claimed for themselves divine honors, and that it was by “forces,” or “fortifications,” that they extended and maintained their power, and enforced the worship they demanded. This honor Herod paid to them, and after the most extravagant fashion; and he did it, of course, in order to make himself secure. This honor paid by Herod, first to Julius Caesar, then to Antony, and then to Antony’s conqueror, Augustus, was one of the most conspicuous features of Herod’s policy. Josephus records how he sent delegations to Rome, and also to Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt, bearing the most costly presents; also how he converted the ancient Strato’s Tower into a magnificent seaport, and named it Caesarea, in honor of Caesar, and how later he rebuilt Samaria, and renamed it Sebaste (Sebastos being the equivalent of Augustus). He built many other fortified cities and named them in honor of Caesar. Verse 39: “Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” Here we have a reference to one of the most prominent acts of Herod’s long reign, namely, his rebuilding of the temple, and his making the temple area a stronghold for Caesar. He made the temple the most famous building in the world for its dimensions, its magnificence, and particularly for the size of the stones whereof it was built, to which the disciples directed the Lord’s attention (Mark 13:1) and which Josephus says were 25 cubits long, 12 broad, and 8 think (Ant. XV 11, 3). But, in rebuilding it, Herod took care to convert it into a fortress for his own purposes, this being the “most stronghold” of the land. As a part of this plan he constructed on the north side of the temple, and overlooking it, a strong citadel which he named the Tower of Antonia, after Mark Anthony. It was from the stairs leading to this famous Tower, up which the apostle Paul was being taken by the soldiers to save him from the violence of the people, that he stilled them by a gesture of his hand, and gained their attention by addressing them in the Hebrew tongue (Acts 21:34-40). Again Josephus says of Herod that, “When Caesar had further bestowed upon him another additional country, he built there also a temple of white marble by the fountains of Jordan;” and also “to say all at once, there was not any place in his kingdom fit for the purpose, that was permitted to be without somewhat that was for Caesar’s honor; and when he had filled his own country with temples, he poured out like plentiful marks of his esteem into this province, and built many cities which he called Caesareas” (Wars 1, 21:2). In connection with the prediction of what this king would do in the chief strongholds – “with a strange god,” mention should be made of the many images, statues of Caesar, which Herod set up to be worshipped in various fortified places. He even went so far in his sacrilege as to place huge golden eagle (the adored emblem of imperial Rome) at the very gate of the temple, thus giving rise to a revolt and insurrection among the people. In this way did he “in his estate (office)”, “honor the god of forces” (Caesar) whose statues he everywhere introduced as objects of worship. He fulfilled with literal exactness the words, “Thus shall he do in the most strongholds,” (which expression would apply to the citadel of the temple, where he erected the Tower of Antonia) “with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge, and increase with glory”. The last clause finds a striking fulfillment in Herod’s extravagant pains to glorify Caesar, which, as has been shown, went beyond all bounds. The words “dividing the land for gain” (or parceling it out for hire) were fulfilled in the practice adopted by Herod of parceling out among persons favorable to himself, the land adjacent to places which it was important for him to control in case of emergency. Josephus speaks of this (Ant. XV 8, 5). So, we find that every item foretold of “the king” was completely fulfilled in the career of Herod, and that the record of this fulfillment has come down to us in an authentic contemporary history, which is on all hands acknowledged to be trustworthy in an unusually high degree. Before continuing with the remainder of this prophecy a few things need to be said in order to avoid confusion. The phrase “the time of the end” may mean one period in one place, and a very different period in another. The meaning is controlled, and is also revealed, by the context. This has been frequently overlooked; and even careful writers on prophecy have a tendency to take the words “the time of the end” as meaning the end of the age, even when the passage in which they occur does not relate to the present dispensation at all. It should be noted that in the Book of Daniel there are two distinct sets of prophecies. The first set, found in Chapters 2, and 7 and relate to the great Gentile world powers, and the prophecies of chapters 2 and 7 carry us on to the end of the times of the Gentiles (Chapter 8 gives details of the Greek empire, thus filling in the outline given in the vision of chapter 7.) But the second series (Chapters 8,9, 10-12) have to do with the history of Daniel’s own people and his holy city. Hence the expression “time of the end,” where it occurs in these later prophecies, means the last stage of the national existence of Daniel’s people, that is to say, the era of the Herods. The period of Jewish history occupied by Herod and his dynasty was therefore “the time of the end” in the sense required by the context, so there is strong confirmation of the view being presented in the fact that, just at this point in the prophecy, there is given us an outline of those great events (which occurred during the reign of Herod) whereby political supremacy in the world was given to the Caesars. The outline is found in Daniel 11:40-43, and brings us to the subjugation of Egypt (the last of the great independent monarchies to fall under the spreading power of Rome) with the Libyans and Ethiopians. For the final time in this prophecy, we see the king of the South and the king of the North engage one another in battle. Here, the king of the south is Mark Anthony and his ally Cleopatra (the last monarch to occupy the Egyptian throne). The king of the North is Octavius, who as the official representative of Rome, was ruler of the former Syrian empire of the Seleucids. So, these verses in Daniel 11:40-43 have a parenthetical character. By that I mean the narrative stops at verse 39 and verses 40-43 are inserted there to give additional information, and then we return to the narrative in verse 44. Verse 40: “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.” Anthony and Octavius made a pact with a third party (Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) to rule Rome after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. In the civil war that followed Caesar’s deth, they defeated the assassins’ forces in 42 BC. The next year, Antony fell in love with Egyptian queen Cleopatra. After Antony suffered a military defeat against the Parthians in 36 BC, he and Octavius had a falling out. Worsening the situation was the fact that, in 32 BC, Antony divorced his Roman wife, Octavia (the sister of Octavius) and ceded many of the eastern Roman territories to Cleopatra and their children. Finally, in 31 BC, a new civil war broke out between the Roman Senate-supported Octavius and Antony/Cleopatra. The Roman historian Plutarch wrote that the first move in the war was made by Antony (at the insistence of Cleopatra). So we see that the “king of the South” indeed first attacked the “king of the North”, in which he was assisted by Herod. The Roman Senate declared war with Cleopatra alone, ignoring Antony, so that it was strictly between a king of the north, and a king of the south. Amazingly, the prophecy was accurately fulfilled in regard to the composition of the forces engaged in the war. Despite the fact that each side had assembled large infantry forces, Plutarch records that these infantry were not engaged at all in the short war. Although his generals advised Antony to use his overwhelming infantry advantage to defeat Octavius, Antony decided to prosecute the war primarily with ships in order to satisfy the request of Cleopatra. Thus the conflict was decided by chariots, horsemen, and in a major naval battle, approximately 630 ships. After the navy of Antony and Cleopatra was routed off the promontory of Actium in Greece on September 2, 31 BC, the infantry deserted and never saw battle. Seeing that Antony was all but defeated, Herod helped Quintus Didius, the Roman governor of Syria, prevent a troop of Antony’s gladiators from reaching Egypt to aid Antony. Herod then undertook a dangerous sea voyage in winter 30 BC to meet with Octavius on the Greek Island of Rhodes. Herod came to him humbly and stated that he would be as loyal to Octavius as he had previously been to Antony. Octavius accepted Herod’s pledge and promised him continued rule over Judea. Verse 41: “He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.” The course Octavius took after his victory over Antony and Cleopatra accurately follows the prophecy. He passed through Syria, Judea (the “glorious land”), and Egypt in his pursuit of the pair. However, the lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon were not invaded during this excursion. A later expedition into these areas (about 25 BC), under the command of Aelius Gallus along with 500 troops from Herod, was not successful, and no further efforts were made against them. This reference to the countries of Edom, Moab and Ammon should be enough, without anything further, to show that we must seek the fulfillment of this part of the prophecy in Bible times. Those names had a geographical significance to Daniel, and to others of his day, who would understand by them the mingled peoples of the lands adjacent to Judea on the east and south. Now it is recorded in history that those countries did escape, in a remarkable manner, out of the hand of Augustus. Verse 42: “He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape”. Anthony’s plans to regroup their forces in Alexandria failed, since most of his soldiers had deserted to join Octavius. Based on a false report that Cleopatra had killed herself, Antony committed suicide with his own sword. Cleopatra actually lived for some weeks after Antony’s death and met Octavius on at least one occasion to negotiate the best possible situation for her children. Realizing that Octavius was planning to publicly exhibit her as a captive in his victory parade in Rome, she too committed suicide, reportedly by allowing a venomous asp to bite her. Verse 43: “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.” The prophecy refers specifically to the vast treasures of Egypt. Therefore, its fulfillment must be looked for in the days of Egypt’s power and wealth. It cannot have been fulfilled in the debased and poverty-stricken Egypt of later centuries. In the days of Anthony and Cleopatra the treasures of Egypt were of immense value, having been accumulated over the years of the Ptolemaic rule. Octavius captured the accumulated riches of Egypt with his victory over Antony and Cleopatra, and celebrated his triumph in Rome in 29 BC. [Why are the parenthetical events of verses 40-43 singled out? Because they illustrate how Rome’s domination over Judea was fully established and show the end of the separate history for the kingdom of the South. It also sets the stage for the political conditions that would exist at the time the prophesied Messiah was to arise, according to the 70 weeks prophecy given to Daniel earlier.] Verse 44: “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.” Having updated the story flow in verses 40-43 to show the Roman dominance of Judea and the end of the “king of the South,” the prophecy now reverts back to its earlier subject, Herod the king. What news came “from the east” to trouble Herod? Clearly, it was the arrival of the magi heralding the birth of the One “who had been born King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2). As the next verse in Matthew’s Gospel states, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matt. 2:3). Nothing could “trouble” Herod more than reports of a claimant to his throne. After the magi failed to return with a report of the location of the newborn king, Herod became extremely angry – “was EXCEEDING WROTH, and SENT FORTH, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under” (Matt. 2:16). As the words of this prophecy said, “he shall GO FORTH with GREAT FURY, to destroy and utterly to make away MANY”, I cannot see how any fulfillment could be more complete and literal! Also in the last years of Herod’s life, his oldest son Antipater conspired to take over his throne. Antipater was in Rome (which at this time had become the seat of what is indefinitely called “the north” in this prophecy). He sent letters to his father giving information that two of his other sons, who Herod meant to make his successors, had denigrated their father to Caesar. These “tidings out of the north” troubled Herod to the extent that he had the two sons killed. Later, Antipater himself was executed for his conspiracy and intrigue (Josephus Ant. XVII 4-7; Wars 1:30-33). Herod’s “great fury” was not confined to the babes of Bethlehem, and to members of his own family. For says Josephus, “it was also at nearly the same time, that he burned alive Matthias and forty young men with him who had pulled down the golden image of the Roman eagle, which he had placed over the gate of the temple” (Ant. XVII 7). Realizing that his death was near and that he and his family were generally hated by the Jews, Herod commanded that all the chief men of the Jewish nation be summoned to him at Jericho. Out of fear of not obeying a royal decree, they came. Herod, in a seething rage, ordered them all to be shut up in the hippodrome there. He placed his sister Salome and her husband Alexas in charge of them, ordering that they were all to be killed when he died. He reasoned that only due to the death of so many noble Jewish men would his own death be mourned. Sanity prevailed, however, and his order was not carried out. Verse 45: “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” Herod had many royal palaces throughout Judea, including two in Jerusalem. But as his illness worsened in March, 4 BC, he retired to his winter palace at Jericho, less than 10 miles northwest of the Dead Sea, about 45 miles east of the Mediterranean Sea, and less than 20 miles northeast of Jerusalem. The final part of the prophecy shows that, in his last days, the king would seek deliverance from a threat to his life, but would not receive it. This was literally fulfilled at the end of Herod’s life, as the Jewish historian Josephus vividly documented. It exhibits the most fearful picture to be found anywhere of the end of an impenitent sinner, who, having cast out of his heart all fear of God and all feeling of responsibility to Him, had equally lost all sense of duty to man; and after committing innumerable crimes and cruelties – in which he spared not those connected with him by the dearest and tenderest ties, any more than others – was at last seized in his old age with a painful and loathsome disease; and suffering alike from that, and from the pangs of guilty fear, yet continued a course of extreme wickedness to his last hour, seeking no remedy for his evil passions, but exhausting all the resources of the physician’s skill to mitigate his disease and lengthen out his wretched life. Again, referring to the historian Josephus for an account of the remedies he tried by the advice of his physicians; all of which failed to relieve or arrest the disease which cut him off while he was meditating new crimes of matchless cruelty. Thus he came to his end, and none helped him. He died a prey to horrible disease, and to horrible remorse, just five days after he had ordered the execution of his oldest son. Herod the king was 70 years old at the time of his death. The expansive prophecy recorded in Daniel 11 shows the political maneuverings of the powers which fought over and ruled Judea and the Jews throughout the period of the 70 weeks prophecy earlier given to Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27). These powers included the northern Seleucid kingdom of Syria, the southern Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty, the Roman Empire, and Rome’s vassal in Judea, Herod the Great. Obviously, Antiochus IV and Herod the Great are antitypes of the coming Antichrist. But to assign much of this LikeLike
  30. Sharon
    12/21/2013 at 1:31 AM

    Susan,

    Marvellous! Just great work. Thank you.

    I have finished reading and studying briefly chapter 8 and am very pleased with your posting. I printed out the Septuagint copy of Daniel and am reading that along with your work and it is a very good reading. Makes better reading than my NKJ or any other translation I have and knowing it is what the apostles and Yeshua read is good too.
    Am about to make a start on Chapter 11.

    I must say the description of the Islamic Empire in the first and second visions and particularly in chapter 7 verses around 19-21 are dreadful. Christians are being slain all around the world right at his moment by Islamists and other Christians think nothing of it and STILL HOLD to the “revived Roman Empire” theory! Unbelievable!!

    Looking forward to chapter 12!

    Every blessing,

    Sharon

    Like

  31. Susan
    12/21/2013 at 9:30 AM

    For some reason, my last sentence of Chapter 11 did not copy over to the blog. Here is what it said: “But to assign much of this prophecy to a yet future time is just simply wrong.”

    As I said when I posted Daniel Chapter 11, the narrative continues into Chapter 12. There are a few things that need to be said before going into Chapter 12. I cannot remember where the following came from about Jewish prophecy, but it has been immensely helpful to me. Here is some of it:

    Jewish prophecy is very different from what we in the West expect. We must look at Jewish prophecy through Jewish eyes.

    1. Western ideas of prophecy involve prediction and fulfillment. The Hebrew idea of prophecy is a “pattern that is repeated, multiple fulfillments”. Another way of putting it is that the multiple fulfillments are “rehearsals” for the ultimate fulfillment. What happened in 70 AD is a “pattern” of similar events that will repeat at the time of the end of the age and the Second Coming of Jesus.

    2. Hebrew prophecy groups events which it predicts, the near future being combined with the distant future; as the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the Jewish nation are combined in prophetic vision with the end of the age and the Second Coming. For example in Matthew Chapter 24 where Jesus is warning his disciples of the coming destruction of the city and temple by the Roman armies. His predictions were “grouped”, or “compressed”, with those of his Second Coming and the end of the age. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days………….they shall see the Son of Man coming…..”, yet Jesus did not come immediately after the terrible tribulation of those days. Two millennia have already passed. The prophecy did not take into account the historic gap. It was all “compressed” into one.

    3. Understand the Historic versus Prophetic Fulfillment – When attempting to interpret the Bible, we often attempt to define each verse or passage as if it is speaking of either the historical or the future fulfillment as if it must be one or the other. But we need to understand that the Bible is an Eastern book and was not written with a Western mind-set. And so, almost as if to drive Westerners crazy, we frequently find in the Scriptures an “intermingling” of the historical and the future into one seamless passage. As much as we in the West like to approach a passage and divide it up into neat categories of historical or future, oftentimes both elements are intertwined. How then are we to understand such passages? The answer lies in understanding the big picture that all of the prophets were telling. We can become so caught up in the many intricacies or details that we miss the bigger picture. It’s easy to become so engrossed in one particular passage that the larger story is missed. The Bible tells the same story over and over again in numerous ways. Whenever a theme is important, it will be repeated multiple times throughout the Bible. The Bible will make an important point abundantly clear by reiterating it dozens of times in a number of passages. It is taking note of the commonly repeated themes that one is able to grasp the “big picture” of biblical prophecy. While every prophet was speaking either to the immediate circumstances of his day or the future, the ultimate burden of all biblical prophecy is the coming of the Messiah, the Day of the Lord, and the messianic kingdom to follow. The coming of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom is the big story that all of the prophets are telling. It is “the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).

    4. Hebrew literature – Most of the prophecies in the Bible are written as ancient Hebrew prophetic poetry or apocalyptic literature. We need to become familiar with the characteristics of these types of literature. This includes things such as Hebrew idioms (a phrase that has a separate meaning all its own, such as, “raining cats and dogs”), hyperbole (simply an exaggeration used to create emphasis, such as, “the child weighed a ton”), and the dual fulfillment of so many prophetic passages (the “near” fulfillment and the “far” fulfillment). Also called “the law of double reference).

    I want to give you an example of this last point because it pertains to our starting point. In the first verse of Daniel 12 it says “and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation until that time”. This is a Hebrew idiom, a common way of describing a very terrible calamity. Jesus said this also in Matthew 24 when warning about the destruction coming from Rome.

    Daniel Chapter 12

    It is very important to remember that this prophecy has time and people constraints. This prophecy is limited to the nation of Israel, as declared by Gabriel (10:14; 9:24-27). This prophecy is limited to their latter days, their second period, from Babylon to the destruction in 70 AD (10:14). All the events in this prophecy were fulfilled by the time of Israel’s scattering by Rome in 70 AD (12:7). It is impossible this prophecy of Israel’s latter days has a 2,000 year gap and jumps to a Gentile antichrist.

    A prophecy including all the chronological details of Chapter 11 could not ignore the much more important years of 150 BC to AD 70, including the kingdom of God and destruction of Jerusalem. The prophecy certainly provides details about the desolation of Jerusalem already introduced (9:26-27). Most commentators hold this gap-or leap-theory, especially the Futurists. Once they put a gap of 2,000 years in the prophecy of the 70 weeks (9:24-27), it is easy to do it again here! It is also impossible this prophecy of Israel’s latter days would end with Antiochus Epiphanes in 163 BC. Antiochus IV is dealt with fully in 11:21-31, and the Asmonean period is covered in 11:32-35. A prophecy of the latter days of Israel had many more important events coming after Antiochus, such as the coming desolation of Jerusalem following the Savior’s sacrifice (9:24-27). Antiochus was exceeded by Herod in atrocities and the Romans in destruction, yet both are ignored! The final vision of Daniel is the longest and most detailed, and it includes all the book’s final three chapters.

    The chapter break at 11:45 should not distract us at all, for the prophecy plainly continues on uninterrupted (chapters and verses were not in the original but were added by translators). This lengthy prophecy covers every important event of Israel’s history from Daniel to Jerusalem’s end.

    Verse 1: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.”

    “At that time” – what is the time frame? The items mentioned here in Chapter 12 will occur at the time when Chapter 11 came to an end. What was happening when Chapter 11 came to an end? Rome had just established its authority in Palestine. This part of the vision applies to the time when Rome would be in charge of the Holy Land. What else had just happened in Chapter 11? Herod the Great had just died. To make a 2,000 year leap and suddenly make this verse refer to the end of the age does violence to the context. The context is the time of the Herods and Rome. The Bible uses time of the end, last days, and latter days with great latitude depending on context.

    “Shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people” – Michael is called the great prince who has charge of your people. In Daniel 10:21, he is called “your prince.” The fact that Michael is involved here indicates that this vision involves the Jews. Michael, the archangel, shall stand up in judgment against the nation, but he will save all the elect. When someone stands up, we recognize that they are going to be much more active and involved.

    “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation until that time” – This was a common way of describing a very terrible calamity. Did such a calamity befall the Jews at this time? Yes. Read the description of Jerusalem’s destruction found in Matthew 24:21. The time of trouble without precedent is the consummation and destruction of the nation.

    “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” Matt. 24:21

    The Jewish historian, Josephus, gives a description of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in great detail and depth. He said “It is impossible to give every instance of the iniquity of these men [the Romans]. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: that never did any other city suffer such miseries.” If you haven’t read what Josephus wrote about this time, you should. It’s all online.

    “But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone’s name who shall be found written in the book.” – The faithful Jews were saved at the time of Christ. The faithless Jews were completely cut off during the time of Christ. Josephus recorded over 1,100,000 were killed by Romans and each other and 97,000 taken captive. As Jesus prophesied, the elect would be saved from the deception and destruction (Matt. 24:22, 24). Jesus told them how to escape the coming judgment altogether (Matt. 24:16). Those who had received their Messiah Savior were saved from Jerusalem’s gruesome devastation. It is believed that no Christians lost their lives because they had paid attention to Jesus’ warning that “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then it’s time to get out!

    Verse 2-4: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

    I believe verses 1, 2 and 3 are a perfect example of points #2 and #3 described above. I think what we are seeing in these verses is a “grouping” of the historical and the future into one seamless passage. These verses are an “intermingling” of the historic and future, the near and the far, compressed into one. No one can deny that “sleep in the dust of the earth” is a clear reference to the resurrection at the end of the age. Some try to make it refer to “spiritual resurrection” from death in trespasses and sins when one is born again. The figures of sleep and death are used often in the N.T. For example: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers…” (I John 3:14); “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes …… has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24); and “Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say, wake up from your sleep and rise from death. Then Christ will shine on you.” (Eph. 5:14). If the words “dust of the earth” were not in the text, I could consider that interpretation, but I think because it is so specific, it has to be referring to the resurrection at the end of the age at Jesus’ coming.

    In concluding verses 1, 2, and 3, I feel that because of the constraints already established that this prophecy was limited to the nation of Israel, and limited to their “latter days” (the second period of their national existence, from Babylon to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD), it’s fulfillment is primarily historical, and secondarily prophetic of future events. The entire narrative beginning in Chapter 10 and continuing all the way through Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 is a straight-forward historical narrative of events that were going to happen to the Jewish nation from the time of their release from Babylonian captivity through to the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the end of the Jewish nation and religion in 70 AD. There has been no figurative language, no symbolism used, only plain and clear language foretelling events to come. Now we come to verses 1, 2, and 3 which clearly have a future application as well. Again, it is that intermingling that drives us Westerners “crazy”. We all want to hold to one or the other, yet I think in this case, both are right. I don’t know how better to word it.

    Verse 4: is the end of Gabriel’s communication (Chapters 10-11-12), but some questions remain. Then commences a conversation between two angels and a third angel who appear in the vision, designed to cast further light on what had been said.

    Verse 5: “Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river.” Most likely the Tigris River (Daniel 10:4). Two other angels came to investigate and raise questions. They may have been there the whole time but Daniel did not notice. The “man dressed in linen who was above the waters” is the same as in Chapter 10:5 when the vision began. The angel is most likely the same as in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21, Gabriel.

    Verse 6-7: “And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long will it be until the end of these wonders? I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”

    How long until the end of what wonders? How long shall it be to the end of the unprecedented trouble? The time of trouble was unparalleled suffering for Israel. The timing of this matter is of great importance, as N.T. believers would be carefully watching it. Gabriel shows the great significance by swearing by God with both hands uplifted. The Lord used a comparable oath in confirming His own prophecy of this same event: “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matt. 24:34-35. The wonders leading to the scattering of the holy people would take time, times, and half a time. This is an expression for three and a half years, or three years and part of a year. [The time, times, and half of Antichrist’s reign is exactly 3 ½ years by virtue of the 1,260 days and 42 months, which clarification is plainly given in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:6, 14; 13:5.]

    Verse 8: “I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” Daniel does not comprehend the exchange so far, so he asks for clarification about the end of the things. There is some particular event that is being implied by the angels, which Daniel wants clarified. The particular event is the unprecedented time of trouble with only the righteous delivered (12:1). But Daniel does not have a starting or ending point, so he asks for clarification of “what”. Daniel wants more details, but he is denied further knowledge or explanation (I Peter 1:10-12).

    Verse 9: “He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.” Daniel is told again that the words of this prophecy were reserved until the time of the end (Matt. 24:15). Jesus said that Daniel could be understood in light of His prophecy (Matt. 24:15; Luke 21:20). Jesus explained sufficient details to show when this 3 ½ years began counting (when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies). Jesus said that all things that were written of vengeance on Israel were coming shortly (Luke 21:22). Every believer in the New Testament era – the wise of 12:10 – understood the prophecy.

    Verse 10: “Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.” A great contrast would exist between the wise and wicked . The conflict between the wise and wicked was horrible, as we read in I Thess. 2:13-16 and Hebrews 10:34. Many became early martyrs for the cause of Christ at the hands of the Jews (Acts 12:1-3; 22:20). Though the warnings of Jerusalem’s destruction were preached plainly, repeatedly, and publicly for forty years, only the “wise” disciples of Christ understood. The wicked Jews were destroyed!

    Verse 11: “And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.” There would be 1,290 days from the abomination of desolation set up to the end of the daily sacrifice. The time considered is between the two events described in this verse, as there are only two events. The abomination of desolation is clearly the Roman armies (Luke 21:20-21, Matt. 24:15-16). The verbs do not require the events in any particular order. This part of the prophecy was not understood until the time of the end, when Jesus opened it. Jesus told us plainly the abomination of desolation came first (Matt. 24:15-16; Luke 21:20-24). Once Jesus set the beginning of the time period, His disciples could easily gauge the war’s progress. The Roman armies under Cestius entered the suburbs of Jerusalem, as Jesus warned, on the 30th of Tisri, 66 AD, according to Josephus (Wars, II, 19:4). The converted date is November 17, when he burned some of the suburbs, camped at the royal palace, and began work on the upper city walls for five days. He could have taken the city easily. On November 22 he withdrew “without any reason in the world,” when he could easily have taken the city without struggle, or in only one day, according to Josephus (Wars, II, 19:7). Of course, we know he withdrew by God’s providence to allow the saints to flee, or else how could the Christians flee a city surrounded!

    And of course, the Romans returned with much greater strength and great fury against these rebels. The daily sacrifice ceased to be offered, due to the lack of men to offer it, according to our prophecy, on the 17th day of Panemus (Tamuz), 70 AD, according to Josephus (Wars, VI, 2:1). The converted date is July 8, 70 AD, when the daily sacrifice was no longer offered in Jerusalem. There were exactly 43 whole months of 30 days (a total of 1,290) between these two events, if we discard the partial months in which the events occurred, in wonderful agreement with the prophecy.

    (Note: The number of days explained to Daniel, 1,290 and 1,335, both qualify as 3 ½ years. We would not say 3 7/12 years, and we would seldom say 3 2/3 years. We would say 3 ½ years for both).

    Verse 12: “Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.” There would be relief and blessing for those who could wait another 45 days for a total of 1,335 days.

    The daily sacrifice ceased to be offered, due to the lack of men to offer it, according to our prophecy, on the 17th of Tamuz, 70 AD, according to Josephus (Wars, VI, 2:1). The city was completely taken and hostilities ended, when the wicked Jews deserted their impregnable towers out of fear and gave the Romans the city, on the 7th of Elul, 70 AD, according to Josephus (Wars, VI, 8:4-5). Titus and troops were very surprised when the Jews gave up their positions. Jesus had prophesied Himself the days would be cut short to preserve the elect (Matt. 24:22).

    Verse 13: “But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” Daniel was a very old man, somewhere between 80 and 95 years of age, having served many kings. His life clearly shows he fought a good fight, finished his course, and kept his faith. Gabriel tells Daniel to go his way in life and death until the end. Gabriel tells Daniel he would be resting.

    Conclusion: The gaps and leaps necessary for the Futuristic system of prophetic interpretation are unjustified and erroneous. Sticking to the limitations of 10:14 and 12:7, the consecutive nature of the political and spiritual events described, the Scriptural use of language, and the well-known and verifiable events of history, we find perfect fulfillment.

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  32. 12/22/2013 at 1:15 PM

    Susan,

    Very interesting, thanks for posting. A couple of questions:

    1. Much of what you have written has been cut and pasted from other sources, which I am not necessarily criticizing in and of itself, I would just like to know what they are. Could you please identify them, or as many as you know? I would like to check them out myself. One thing you’ve spurred me into—to read Josephus front to back, instead of snippets here and there.

    2. Overall the methodology is very appealing to me—that Daniel concerns the coming of the Messiah, the ending of the temple system and the scattering of national Israel to the world. I already believed that the 70 weeks was completed with Christ and the AoD of Daniel and Jesus is the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. However you’ve cited a lot of specific fulfillments of scripture, particularly starting with 11:36 that I’ve not heard before, and before believing it I would really need to confirm the history with other sources, thus the need for your sources as requested in #1 above.

    3. I like the idea of assigning v36’s “the king” to Herod (74 BC-4 BC), however you’ve amalgamated many Herods into “the king”:

    Susan, “It is said of this king that “he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished” (or until wrath be completed), in fulfillment of which is the fact that the dynasty of Herod retained, through all the political upheavals of the times, its favor with Rome, and flourished in authority in Palestine, until the destruction of Jerusalem, which is the “wrath”, or “indignation,” or “tribulation,” to which these prophecies of Daniel so frequently refer to as “the end” of Jewish nationality. For it was “Herod the king” who contrived to accomplish the death of Christ soon after His birth, and whose successors of his own family put to death John the Baptist (done by Herod Antipas) and James the brother of John (by Herod Agrippa I, who also imprisoned Peter, intending to deliver him to the Jews) and finally sent Paul in chains to Rome (which was done by Herod Agrippa II, the last of the dynasty, the man who is best known to the world as he who was “almost persuaded”).”

    What justification do you have for doing this? If “the king” can’t be the “man of sin” of 2 Thes 2 as you wrote, how can he be divided into multiple men ruling at different times? Daniel writes:

    Dan 11:36, “and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.”

    If Herod the Great did not prosper (he was dead) until the indignation was finished (could mean either “wrath” as you point out, or it seems to me, until the AoD is complete, 70 AD), how could he be “the king”? I’m not necessarily saying this is a fatal flaw in your theory, it just seems to be a big gap in the logic you utilized up until this point: clearly identifiable personalities fulfilling specific predictions.

    4. You criticize Futurists for inserting a gap at 11:35/36, yet you admit that 12:1-3:

    “is a “grouping” of the historical and the future into one seamless passage. These verses are an “intermingling” of the historic and future, the near and the far, compressed into one. No one can deny that “sleep in the dust of the earth” is a clear reference to the resurrection at the end of the age”

    yet you seem to want it both ways, writing:

    “In concluding verses 1, 2, and 3, I feel that because of the constraints already established that this prophecy was limited to the nation of Israel, and limited to their “latter days” (the second period of their national existence, from Babylon to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD), it’s fulfillment is primarily historical, and secondarily prophetic of future events.”

    I understood your explanation of how Hebrew scriptures work and agree with most of it, but it seems you are forced into this belief by the time of Michael’s appearance in 12:1 “Now at that time…”. Since 12:1-3 so clearly references the end of the age and since you admit it so, requiring a gap, this seems to be another justification for putting the gap at 11:35/36.

    Your thoughts? Thanks for the engaging discussion.

    Kurt

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  33. Susan
    12/23/2013 at 1:50 PM

    Kurt,

    Thank you for replying. Your questions are valid and good. I’m eager to answer them. I won’t be able to until Thursday due to the holiday. But I wanted to let you know that as soon as I return, I will respond. Thanks again.

    Susan

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  34. Sharon
    12/25/2013 at 5:36 PM

    Susan, again excellent post.
    I find I am still not sure about your comment at the start of chapter 11 and would welcome clarification. The meaning you say is rarely recognized – I am not sure I fully understand what that meaning is. I do note that these chapters were written not sequentially? Am I right in saying ch 9 was 538BC, ch 10 533BC, ch 11 535BC? (ch 12 as you say continuing on from 11) So chps 9 and 11/12 are written as one whole with chp 10 written 2 years later ? In re-reading your comment about this being rarely recognized I then saw that ch 10 is written AFTER 9 and 11. Am I correct in this? It has to be so as 9 says “in the first year of Darius” and ch 11 “in the first year of Cyrus.” Ch 10 says “in the third year of Cyrus” which was 533BC 2 years after the year when chp 11 was written. Have I got this correct?
    If that is correct chapter 10 is the winding up of the whole prophecy with chp 12 an addendum to chp 11?
    Does this matter?
    Please clarify for me!

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  35. Susan
    12/26/2013 at 9:32 AM

    Kurt,
    I have been compiling information from many sources for the past seven years into my notebook, which is well over two hundred pages long. When I find an article or exposition that I believe is correct and well articulated, it gets put into my notebook. Much of what I have posted (but not all) was copied from my notebook. At the very beginning of ICA’s website it is stated that we should be willing to consider other views in our search for truth rather than “staunchly maintaining a certain eschatological paradigm”, or to “eat the good meat and spit out the bones”. I firmly agree with that approach, and I follow it in my own studies. I usually don’t agree with everything, but I keep what I can and leave the rest alone. I wanted to post the information without identifying the source(s) so it could receive fair consideration.

    The first question you had was concerning the “amalgamation of many Herods into the king”. I went back over the verse with my Strong’s and a lexicon and looked at every word of the phrase “he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished”. There is another way of looking at this which I did not see before:

    he shall prosper (Strong’s 6743b) – advance, succeed
    until (5704) – as far as, even to, up to, while, until
    the indignation (2195) – anger, rage, fury
    be finished (3615) – accomplished, finished, at an end, spent
    for that which is decreed (2782) – decided, determined, uttered, maim, moved
    will be done (6213a) – achieved, accomplished

    This may very likely be referring to Herod’s killing of the babies of Bethlehem. Let me paraphrase it like this:

    “Herod shall succeed [in killing the babies of Bethlehem] until his fury is at an end, for what he has decided will be done”.

    Verse 44 does say that “he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction.”, referencing the same event. He didn’t just kill the babies of Bethlehem, but also those in all that region who were two years old or under.

    I don’t know of any other possible interpretation.

    The second point you mentioned was my interpretation of verses 1-3 of Chapter 12. In verse 1 Daniel has just been told of a time of unprecedented trouble coming on his people. Not only that, but most of Daniel’s last two visions (the 70 weeks prophecy and Chapters 10, 11, and 12) have revealed a lot of bad news for Daniel and his people. The temple was going to be rebuilt, but then it was going to be destroyed again, and terrible desolations were ahead. Daniel had been sickened more than once during these visions and had to be revived by the messenger. Here in verse 1 it is said that some will be delivered out of this final time of trouble. Then comes a promise to Daniel of a resurrection of the righteous and rewards. It is a “glimpse” into the future for Daniel, I believe given here to him for comfort and encouragement. Daniel is again comforted in verse 13 when he is told that he will “rest and shall stand in his allotted place at the end of the days.” This is also a reference to the resurrection of the righteous and rewards. It’s telling Daniel that even though there are terrible times ahead for his people, in the end, it is going to turn out good for the righteous. Because this promise comes at the end of a very long vision to comfort Daniel does not mean that it is here part of the chronology. Reference is made to it for the purpose of comfort, not because it is going to happen after the time of unprecedented trouble. I don’t see a problem with this.

    I stand by my comments about Jewish prophecy. That’s the way it is, and I can’t deny that fact.

    Like

  36. Susan
    12/29/2013 at 10:34 AM

    Sharon,

    I apologize for taking so long to answer your questions, but I have been away most of the last week. Before I answer your questions let me just say that there are many different opinions about the dates of when things happened in Daniel’s prophecies. I did not realize this before the last few months. I just assumed the dates given in the various historical expositions and commentaries were correct. However, I now realize that is not the case, and so I have been doing a study on the dates. I think I now have a little better understanding. In my opinion (and I may be wrong) the only dates that really matter are the dates surrounding the 70 Weeks Prophecy. By that I mean, when to start counting the 490 years and when the 490 years ended. To me, that is the one that really matters most. I’ve come to a different opinion than the dates that are in Chapters 10, 11, and 12 of Daniel that I copied and pasted from my notes onto the blog. I should have changed them to reflect these new dates, but I didn’t. I think the historical facts are correct, but not the dates. I was thinking only about the historical fulfillment, because that was the point of discussion. So, I apologize for the confusion.

    Your first question was concerning the comment made at the beginning of Chapter 11. In Daniel 9:1-2 it says “In the first year of Darius the Mede………”. Daniel understood from reading Jeremiah that their captivity was going to last for 70 years. They were in their 68th year of captivity at that time. Daniel prayed and fasted and then Gabriel was sent and gave Daniel the 70 Weeks prophecy. That was about 459 BC.

    Chapter 10-11-12 are one continuous vision. It starts out in Chapter 10:1 saying that it was “in the third year of the reign of Cyrus” that this last vision was revealed to Daniel. The time was about 454 BC. It has now been five years since Daniel received his last vision. Gabriel starts out by saying “Also, I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and strengthen him.” He starts out with that because he is jogging Daniel’s memory of the 70 Weeks prophecy that was given to him at that same time, five years earlier, also in the first year of Darius the Mede. He’s doing that because he wants Daniel to understand that the events he is about to tell him were to take place within that 490 year period. He is now going to give Daniel all the detailed events of those 490 years – five years later.

    459-457 BC Darius reigned
    457 BC Cyrus began reigning and gave the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
    454 BC Cyrus was in his 3rd year of reigning, and Daniel is now receiving his last vision.

    Jesus was 30 years old when he was baptized by John. He was between 33 and 34 years old when he gave his life. We know that “in the middle” of the last week Messiah was cut off. Somewhere in the middle, but it doesn’t have to be exact. That was the END point of the 490 years. They were all fulfilled by the time Messiah was cut off. Now, count backwards 490 years. If Jesus was between 33 and 34 years of age, we come to 457-456 BC. If anyone doubts that CYRUS was the one who gave the commandment, here are some Scriptures that will prove it: II Chron. 36:20-23, Ezra 1:1-11, Isaiah 45:1-3, 44:28, Ezra 3:7, 4:3-5, 5:7-17, 6:1-15.

    I said earlier that I am focusing on the dates surrounding the 70 Weeks prophecy. I’ve given up on all the other dates, because there is great disagreement among historians and expositors, and it doesn’t really matter to me. The Bible says 490 years from the commandment to rebuild until Messiah was cut off.

    Sharon, as far as I can tell at this point here’s where I think the chronology of Daniel’s visions lies:

    463 BC – Daniel 7:1 “In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters”.

    460 BC – Daniel 8:1 “In the 3rd year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first”.

    459 BC – Daniel 9:1 One year later than Chapter 8, the first year of the Medes. Belshazzar reigned three years, then Darius took the kingdom (5:30-31 and 6:28). This was the 68th year of captivity with two more ahead (Darius 1 + Cyrus 1) at which time Cyrus would command the rebuilding. In Daniel 9:2 Daniel understood the 70 year captivity from Jeremiah 25:8-14. Daniel received the 70 Weeks prophecy at this same time.

    454 BC – Daniel 10:1 “In the 3rd year of Cyrus…..”. Five years later the details of the 70 weeks prophecy are given to Daniel.

    That’s the best I can do at this point. And none of this is exact, so don’t expect that. I believe Cyrus issued the command in the 456-457 BC time frame. Jesus was 33-34 years old when he died. As far as I am concerned these are the only dates that matter. The 490 years were consecutive, with no breaks and no leaps. Not seven years remaining, and not 3 ½ years remaining. All was fulfilled by the time Messiah was cut off.

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    • Mike
      12/29/2013 at 8:59 PM

      Susan….You’re comments and contribution here are very interesting. Thank you for for sharing your view. I’m just wondering, didn’t Jewish reckoning of time and their calendar differ from our modern Gregorian calendar and reckoning of time? How sure can you be sure of your dates using our modern calendar when the text of Daniel was penned at a time when the Gregorian system was not in existence?

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  37. Susan
    12/30/2013 at 6:41 AM

    Yes, the Jewish calendar was totally different. I have no idea how to arrive at a perfect date using that calendar. It is not important to me to have to know the exact dates. What is important to me is understanding the right interpretation of Daniel’s prophecies. I respect the scholars and those who do want to get the dates perfect, and who take a lot of time trying to do so. I am not a scholar. But even the scholars don’t agree on the dates. An interesting book is The Time of the End by Tim Warner. His chronology takes you through the whole Bible from the beginning of creation to the Second Coming using God’s Jubilee calendar. It’s very interesting if you haven’t read it.

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  38. 12/30/2013 at 11:02 AM

    Susan,

    Quick question: You write “We know that “in the middle” of the last week Messiah was cut off. Somewhere in the middle, but it doesn’t have to be exact. That was the END point of the 490 years. They were all fulfilled by the time Messiah was cut off. Now, count backwards 490 years.”

    How can that be if per Dan 9:24-27 there are 69 weeks and then “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” Doesn’t this plainly tell us that Christ is sacrificed in the middle of the 70th week, leaving 3.5 years, about? I believe the math still works: 457 BC + 26 AD (no zero year) = 483 years from Cyrus’ decree, the beginning of the 70th week, plus 3.5 years = 30 AD, Christ’s sacrifice. Christ would have been born about 4 BC, while Herod was still alive to be putting to death babies born in Bethlehem. This seems to work with Luke’s dating in Luke 2 as well.

    I’m not sure why you are so reticent to share your sources with us. Thanks for mentioning Tim Warner. I did find where a preponderance of your other material comes from, for those who are interested:

    http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/prophecy/daniel11.php

    http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/prophecy/daniel12.php

    The point is not whether or not the source is perfect doctrinally, but what other insights they might have. I would encourage you to share with us your other sources.

    I found a good modern translation of Josephus that I’ve started reading, I’ll share in another comment.

    I am definitely leaning toward Herod and family fulfilling the later part of Dan 11; thanks for sharing,

    Kurt

    Like

  39. 12/30/2013 at 12:15 PM

    Here is the modern translation Josephus site:

    http://www.biblical.ie/josephus/Josephus_Greek-English.html

    Here is where I’ve started reading, which begins with Antiochus E.:

    http://www.biblical.ie/josephus/War/JWG1.htm#06780

    Overall this is much easier to read than the 16th Century translation.

    Like

  40. Edward
    12/30/2013 at 12:21 PM

    Good article, lots to think about. I think that joel removed his reply from his website because he bungled his response about Ephraim in claiming it wasn’t a tribe. Also the second update on Dec 12 makes a compelling case for the temple not being literal in both 2 Thess. and Rev 11 and theres no way he could really argue against it. Very thought provoking stuff.

    Like

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