Daniel considers the time of the captivity. (1-3) His confession of sin, and prayer. (4-19) The revelation concerning the coming of the Messiah. (20-27)
Verses 1-3 Daniel learned from the books of the prophets, especially from Jeremiah, that the desolation of Jerusalem would continue seventy years, which were drawing to a close. God's promises are to encourage our prayers, not to make them needless; and when we see the performance of them approaching, we should more earnestly plead them with God.
Verses 4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of the sins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, and dependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutions against it. It must be our confession, the language of our convictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address to God; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, and as a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God's greatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is a penitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the people for so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy must thus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment of the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of true penitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring men to turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here is a believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that God has been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging to recollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing and humbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. There are abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, but forgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people was under, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproach to any people, especially to God's people. The desolations of the sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnest request to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their former enjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only, but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; and defer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce the petitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lord of all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine upon sinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayers this must be our plea, we must make mention of his righteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believing earnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us.
Verses 20-27 An answer was immediately sent to Daniel's prayer, and it is a very memorable one. We cannot now expect that God should send answers to our prayers by angels, but if we pray with fervency for that which God has promised, we may by faith take the promise as an immediate answer to the prayer; for He is faithful that has promised. Daniel had a far greater and more glorious redemption discovered to him, which God would work out for his church in the latter days. Those who would be acquainted with Christ and his grace, must be much in prayer. The evening offering was a type of the great sacrifice Christ was to offer in the evening of the world: in virtue of that sacrifice Daniel's prayer was accepted; and for the sake of that, this glorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him. We have, in verses ( 24-27 ) , one of the most remarkable prophecies of Christ, of his coming and his salvation. It shows that the Jews are guilty of most obstinate unbelief, in expecting another Messiah, so long after the time expressly fixed for his coming. The seventy weeks mean a day for a year, or 490 years. About the end of this period a sacrifice would be offered, making full atonement for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness for the complete justification of every believer. Then the Jews, in the crucifixion of Jesus, would commit that crime by which the measure of their guilt would be filled up, and troubles would come upon their nation. All blessings bestowed on sinful man come through Christ's atoning sacrifice, who suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Here is our way of access to the throne of grace, and of our entrance to heaven. This seals the sum of prophecy, and confirms the covenant with many; and while we rejoice in the blessings of salvation, we should remember what they cost the Redeemer. How can those escape who neglect so great salvation!
Daniel 9:1-27 . DANIEL'S CONFESSION AND PRAYER FOR JERUSALEM: GABRIEL COMFORTS HIM BY THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS.
The world powers here recede from view; Israel, and the salvation by Messiah promised to it, are the subject of revelation. Israel had naturally expected salvation at the end of the captivity. Daniel is therefore told, that, after the seventy years of the captivity, seventy times seven must elapse, and that even then Messiah would not come in glory as the Jews might through misunderstanding expect from the earlier prophets, but by dying would put away sin. This ninth chapter (Messianic prophecy) stands between the two visions of the Old Testament Antichrist, to comfort "the wise." In the interval between Antiochus and Christ, no further revelation was needed; therefore, as in the first part of the book, so in the second, Christ and Antichrist in connection are the theme.
1. first year of Darius--Cyaxares II, in whose name Cyrus, his nephew, son-in-law, and successor, took Babylon, 538 B.C. The date of this chapter is therefore 537 B.C., a year before Cyrus permitted the Jews to return from exile, and sixty-nine years after Daniel had been carried captive at the beginning of the captivity, 606 B.C.
son of Ahasuerus--called Astyages by XENOPHON. Ahasuerus was a name common to many of the kings of Medo-Persia.
made king--The phrase implies that Darius owed the kingdom not to his own prowess, but to that of another, namely, Cyrus.
2. understood by books--rather, "letters," that is, Jeremiah's letter ( Jeremiah 29:10 ) to the captives in Babylon; also Jeremiah 25:11 Jeremiah 25:12 ; compare 2 Chronicles 36:21 , Jeremiah 30:18 , 31:38 . God's promises are the ground on which we should, like Daniel, rest sure hope; not so as to make our prayers needless, but rather to encourage them.
3. prayer . . . supplications--literally, "intercessions . . . entreaties for mercy." Praying for blessings, and deprecating evils.
4. my confession--according to God's promises in Leviticus 26:39-42 , that if Israel in exile for sin should repent and confess, God would remember for them His covenant with Abraham (compare Deuteronomy 30:1-5 Jeremiah 29:12-14 4:10 ). God's promise was absolute, but prayer also was ordained as about to precede its fulfilment, this too being the work of God in His people, as much as the external restoration which was to follow. So it shall be at Israel's final restoration ( Psalms 102:13-17 ). Daniel takes his countrymen's place of confession of sin, identifying himself with them, and, as their representative and intercessory priest, "accepts the punishment of their iniquity." Thus he typifies Messiah, the Sin-bearer and great Intercessor. The prophet's own life and experience form the fit starting point of the prophecy concerning the sin atonement. He prays for Israel's restoration as associated in the prophets (compare Jeremiah 31:4 Jeremiah 31:11 Jeremiah 31:12 Jeremiah 31:31 , &c.). with the hope of Messiah. The revelation, now granted, analyzes into its successive parts that which the prophets, in prophetical perspective, heretofore saw together in one; namely, the redemption from captivity, and the full Messianic redemption. God's servants, who, like Noah's father ( Genesis 5:29 ), hoped many a time that now the Comforter of their afflictions was at hand, had to wait from age to age, and to view preceding fulfilments only as pledges of the coming of Him whom they so earnestly desired to see ( Matthew 13:17 ); as now also Christians, who believe that the Lord's second coming is nigh, are expected to continue waiting. So Daniel is informed of a long period of seventy prophetic weeks before Messiah's coming, instead of seventy years, as he might have expected (compare Matthew 18:21 Matthew 18:22 ) [AUBERLEN].
great and dreadful God--as we know to our cost by the calamities we suffer. The greatness of God and His dreadful abhorrence of sin should prepare sinners for reverent, humble acknowledgment of the justice of their punishment.
keeping . . . covenant and mercy--that is, the covenant of Thy mercy, whereby Thou hast promised to deliver us, not for our merits, but of Thy mercy ( Ezekiel 36:22 Ezekiel 36:23 ). So weak and sinful is man that any covenant for good on God's part with him, to take effect, must depend solely on His grace. If He be a God to be feared for His justice, He is one to be trusted for His "mercy."
love . . . keep his commandments--Keeping His commandments is the only sure test of love to God ( John 14:15 ).
5. Compare Nehemiah's confession ( Nehemiah 9:1-38 ).
sinned . . . committed iniquity . . . done wickedly . . . rebelled--a climax. Erred in ignorance . . . sinned by infirmity . . . habitually and wilfully done wickedness . . . as open and obstinate rebels set ourselves against God.
6. prophets . . . spake . . . to our kings . . . to all the people--They fearlessly warned all without respect of persons.
7. confusion of faces, as at this day--Shame at our guilt, betrayed in our countenance, is what belongs to us; as our punishment "at this day" attests.
near, and . . . far off--the chastisement, however varied, some Jews not being cast off so far from Jerusalem as others, all alike were sharers in the guilt.
9. mercies--The plural intensifies the force; mercy manifold and exhibited in countless ways. As it is humbling to recollect "righteousness belongeth unto God," so it is comforting, that "mercies belong to the Lord OUR God."
though we have rebelled--rather, "since," &c. [Vulgate], ( Psalms 25:11 ). Our punishment is not inconsistent with His "mercies," since we have rebelled against Him.
10. set before us--not ambiguously, but plainly, so that we were without excuse.
11. all--( Psalms 14:3 , Romans 3:12 ).
the curse . . . and . . . oath . . . in . . . law--the curse against Israel, if disobedient, which God ratified by oath ( Leviticus 26:14-39;,Deut 27:15-26 Leviticus 26:14-39;,Deut 27:15-26 , Leviticus 28:15-68 Leviticus 28:29 ).
12. confirmed his words--showed by the punishments we suffer, that His words were no idle threats.
under . . . heaven hath not been done as . . . upon Jerusalem--( Lamentations 1:12 ).
13. yet made we not our prayer before--literally, "soothed not the face of." Not even our chastisement has taught us penitence ( Isaiah 9:13 , Jeremiah 5:3 , Hosea 7:10 ). Diseased, we spurn the healing medicine.
that we might turn, &c.--Prayer can only be accepted when joined with the desire to turn from sin to God ( Psalms 66:18 , Proverbs 28:9 ).
understand thy truth--"attentively regard Thy faithfulness" in fulfilling Thy promises, and also Thy threats [CALVIN]. Thy law ( Daniel 8:12 ), [MAURER].
14. watched upon the evil--expressing ceaseless vigilance that His people's sins might not escape His judgment, as a watchman on guard night and day ( Job 14:16 , Jeremiah 31:28 , 44:27 ). God watching upon the Jews punishment forms a striking contrast to the Jews slumbering in their sins.
God is righteous--True penitents "justify" God, "ascribing righteousness to Him," instead of complaining of their punishment as too severe ( Nehemiah 9:33 Job 36:3 Psalms 51:4 Lamentations 3:39-42 ).
15. brought thy people . . . out of . . . Egypt--a proof to all ages that the seed of Abraham is Thy covenant-people. That ancient benefit gives us hope that Thou wilt confer a like one on us now under similar circumstances ( Psalms 80:8-14 , Jeremiah 32:21 , Jeremiah 23:7 Jeremiah 23:8 ).
as at this day--is known.
16. thy righteousness--not stern justice in punishing, but Thy faithfulness to Thy promises of mercy to them who trust in Thee ( Psalms 31:1 , 143:1 ).
thy city--chosen as Thine in the election of grace, which changes not.
for . . . iniquities of . . . fathers--( Exodus 20:5 ). He does not impugn God's justice in this, as did the murmurers ( Ezekiel 18:2 Ezekiel 18:3 ; compare Jeremiah 31:29 ).
thy people . . . a reproach--which brings reproach on Thy name. "All the nations that are about us" will say that Thou, Jehovah, wast not able to save Thy peculiar people. So Daniel 9:17 , "for the Lord's sake"; Daniel 9:19 , "for Thine own sake" ( Isaiah 48:9 Isaiah 48:11 ).
17. cause thy face to shine--metaphor from the sun, which gladdens all that it beams upon ( Numbers 6:25 , Malachi 4:2 ).
18. present . . . supplications--literally, "cause to fall," &c.
19. The short broken ejaculations and repetitions show the intense fervor of his supplications.
defer not--He implies that the seventy years are now all but complete.
thine own sake--often repeated, as being the strongest plea ( Jeremiah 14:21 ).
20. whiles I was speaking--repeated in Daniel 9:21 ; emphatically marking that the answer was given before the prayer was completed, as God promised ( Isaiah 30:19 , 65:24 ; compare Psalms 32:5 ).
21. I had seen in the vision at the beginning--namely, in the former vision by the river Ulai ( Daniel 8:1 Daniel 8:16 ).
fly swiftly--literally, "with weariness," that is, move swiftly as one breathless and wearied out with quick running [GESENIUS]. English Version is better ( Isaiah 6:2 , Ezekiel 1:6 , Revelation 14:6 ).
time of . . . evening oblation--the ninth hour, three o'clock (compare 1 Kings 18:36 ). As formerly, when the temple stood, this hour was devoted to sacrifices, so now to prayer. Daniel, during the whole captivity to the very last, with pious patriotism never forgot God's temple-worship, but speaks of its rites long abolished, as if still in use.
22. to give thee . . . understanding-- Daniel 8:16 ; Daniel 8:26 shows that the symbolical vision had not been understood. God therefore now gives "information" directly, instead of by symbol, which required interpretation.
23. At the beginning of thy supplications, &c.--The promulgation of the divine decree was made in heaven to the angels as soon as Daniel began to pray.
came forth--from the divine throne; so Daniel 9:22 .
thou art greatly beloved--literally, "a man of desires" (compare Ezekiel 23:6 Ezekiel 23:12 ); the object of God's delight. As the apocalyptic prophet of the New Testament was "the disciple whom Jesus loved," so the apocalyptic prophet of the Old Testament was "greatly beloved" of God.
the vision--the further revelation as to Messiah in connection with Jeremiah's prophecy of seventy years of the captivity. The charge to "understand" is the same as in Matthew 24:15 , where Rome primarily, and Antichrist ultimately, is referred to (compare Note,
24. Seventy weeks--namely, of years; literally, "Seventy sevens"; seventy heptads or hebdomads; four hundred ninety years; expressed in a form of "concealed definiteness" [HENGSTENBERG], a usual way with the prophets. The Babylonian captivity is a turning point in the history of the kingdom of God. It terminated the free Old Testament theocracy. Up to that time Israel, though oppressed at times, was; as a rule, free. From the Babylonian captivity the theocracy never recovered its full freedom down to its entire suspension by Rome; and this period of Israel's subjection to the Gentiles is to continue till the millennium ( Revelation 20:1-15 ), when Israel shall be restored as head of the New Testament theocracy, which will embrace the whole earth. The free theocracy ceased in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, and the fourth of Jehoiakim; the year of the world 3338, the point at which the seventy years of the captivity. begin. Heretofore Israel had a right, if subjugated by a foreign king, to shake off the yoke (Judges 4:1-5:31'2 Kings 18:7') as an unlawful one, at the first opportunity. But the prophets ( Jeremiah 27:9-11 ) declared it to be God's will that they should submit to Babylon. Hence every effort of Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah to rebel was vain. The period of the world times, and of Israel's depression, from the Babylonian captivity to the millennium, though abounding more in afflictions (for example, the two destructions of Jerusalem, Antiochus' persecution, and those which Christians suffered), contains all that was good in the preceding ones, summed up in Christ, but in a way visible only to the eye of faith. Since He came as a servant, He chose for His appearing the period darkest of all as to His people's temporal state. Always fresh persecutors have been rising, whose end is destruction, and so it shall be with the last enemy, Antichrist. As the Davidic epoch is the point of the covenant-people's highest glory, so the captivity is that of their lowest humiliation. Accordingly, the people's sufferings are reflected in the picture of the suffering Messiah. He is no longer represented as the theocratic King, the Antitype of David, but as the Servant of God and Son of man; at the same time the cross being the way to glory (compare Daniel 9:1-27 with Daniel 2:34 Daniel 2:35 Daniel 2:44 , 12:7 ). In the second and seventh chapters, Christ's first coming is not noticed, for Daniel's object was to prophesy to his nation as to the whole period from the destruction to the re-establishment of Israel; but this ninth chapter minutely predicts Christ's first coming, and its effects on the covenant people. The seventy weeks date thirteen years before the rebuilding of Jerusalem; for then the re-establishment of the theocracy began, namely, at the return of Ezra to Jerusalem, 457 B.C. So Jeremiah's seventy years of the captivity begin 606 B.C., eighteen years before the destruction of Jerusalem, for then Judah ceased to exist as an independent theocracy, having fallen under the sway of Babylon. Two periods are marked in Ezra: (1) The return from the captivity under Jeshua and Zerubbabel, and rebuilding of the temple, which was the first anxiety of the theocratic nation. (2) The return of Ezra (regarded by the Jews as a second Moses) from Persia to Jerusalem, the restoration of the city, the nationality, and the law. Artaxerxes, in the seventh year of his reign, gave him the commission which virtually includes permission to rebuild the city, afterwards confirmed to, and carried out by, Nehemiah in the twentieth year ( Ezra 9:9 Ezra 9:7 Ezra 9:11 , &c.). Daniel 9:25 , "from the going forth of the commandment to build Jerusalem," proves that the second of the two periods is referred to. The words in Daniel 9:24 are not, "are determined upon the holy city," but "upon thy people and thy holy city"; thus the restoration of the religious national polity and the law (the inner work fulfilled by Ezra the priest), and the rebuilding of the houses and walls (the outer work of Nehemiah, the governor), are both included in Daniel 9:25 , "restore and build Jerusalem." "Jerusalem" represents both the city, the body, and the congregation, the soul of the state. Compare Psalms 46:1-11 , 48:1-14 , 87:1-7 . The starting-point of the seventy weeks dated from eighty-one years after Daniel received the prophecy: the object being not to fix for him definitely the time, but for the Church: the prophecy taught him that the Messianic redemption, which he thought near, was separated from him by at least a half millennium. Expectation was sufficiently kept alive by the general conception of the time; not only the Jews, but many Gentiles looked for some great Lord of the earth to spring from Judea at that very time [TACITUS, Histories, 5.13; SUETONIUS, Vespasian, 4]. Ezra's placing of Daniel in the canon immediately before his own book and Nehemiah's was perhaps owing to his feeling that he himself brought about the beginning of the fulfilment of the prophecy ( Daniel 9:20-27 ) [AUBERLEN].
determined--literally, "cut out," namely, from the whole course of time, for God to deal in a particular manner with Jerusalem.
thy . . . thy--Daniel had in his prayer often spoken of Israel as "Thy people, Thy holy city"; but Gabriel, in reply, speaks of them as Daniel's ("thy . . . thy") people and city, God thus intimating that until the "everlasting righteousness" should be brought in by Messiah, He could not fully own them as His [TREGELLES] (compare Exodus 32:7 ). Rather, as God is wishing to console Daniel and the godly Jews, "the people whom thou art so anxiously praying for"; such weight does God give to the intercessions of the righteous ( James 5:16-18 ).
finish--literally "shut up"; remove from God's sight, that is, abolish ( Psalms 51:9 ) [LENGKERKE]. The seventy years exile was a punishment, but not a full atonement, for the sin of the people; this would come only after seventy prophetic weeks, through Messiah.
make an end of--The Hebrew reading, "to steal," that is, to hide out of sight (from the custom of sealing up things to be concealed, compare Job 9:7 ), is better supported.
make reconciliation for--literally, "to cover," to overlay (as with pitch, Genesis 6:14 ). Compare Psalms 32:1 .
bring in everlasting righteousness--namely, the restoration of the normal state between God and man ( Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:6 ); to continue eternally ( Hebrews 9:12 , Revelation 14:6 ).
seal up . . . vision . . . prophecy--literally, "prophet." To give the seal of confirmation to the prophet and his vision by the fulfilment.
anoint the Most Holy--primarily, to "anoint," or to consecrate after its pollution "the Most Holy" place but mainly Messiah, the antitype to the Most Holy place ( John 2:19-22 ). The propitiatory in the temple (the same Greek word expresses the mercy seat and propitiation, Romans 3:25 ), which the Jews looked for at the restoration from Babylon, shall have its true realization only in Messiah. For it is only when sin is "made an end of" that God's presence can be perfectly manifested. As to "anoint," compare Exodus 40:9 Exodus 40:34 . Messiah was anointed with the Holy Ghost ( Acts 4:27 , 10:38 ). So hereafter, God-Messiah will "anoint" or consecrate with His presence the holy place at Jerusalem ( Jeremiah 3:16 Jeremiah 3:17 , Ezekiel 37:27 Ezekiel 37:28 ), after its pollution by Antichrist, of which the feast of dedication after the pollution by Antiochus was a type.
25. from the going forth of the commandment--namely the command from God, whence originated the command of the Persian king ( Ezra 6:14 ). AUBERLEN remarks, there is but one Apocalypse in each Testament. Its purpose in each is to sum up all the preceding prophecies, previous to the "troublous times" of the Gentiles, in which there was to be no revelation. Daniel sums up all the previous Messianic prophecy, separating into its individual phases what the prophets had seen in one and the same perspective, the temporary deliverance from captivity and the antitypical final Messianic deliverance. The seventy weeks are separated ( Daniel 9:25-27 ) into three unequal parts, seven, sixty-two, one. The seventieth is the consummation of the preceding ones, as the Sabbath of God succeeds the working days; an idea suggested by the division into weeks. In the sixty-nine weeks Jerusalem is restored, and so a place is prepared for Messiah wherein to accomplish His sabbatic work ( Daniel 9:25 Daniel 9:26 ) of "confirming the covenant" ( Daniel 9:27 ). The Messianic time is the Sabbath of Israel's history, in which it had the offer of all God's mercies, but in which it was cut off for a time by its rejection of them. As the seventy weeks end with seven years, or a week, so they begin with seven times seven, that is, seven weeks. As the seventieth week is separated from the rest as a period of revelation, so it may be with the seven weeks. The number seven is associated with revelation; for the seven spirits of God are the mediators of all His revelations ( Revelation 1:4 , 3:1 , 4:5 ). Ten is the number of what is human; for example, the world power issues in ten heads and ten horns ( Daniel 2:42 , 7:7 ). Seventy is ten multiplied by seven, the human moulded by the divine. The seventy years of exile symbolize the triumph of the world power over Israel. In the seven times seventy years the world number ten is likewise contained, that is, God's people is still under the power of the world ("troublous times"); but the number of the divine is multiplied by itself; seven times seven years, at the beginning a period of Old Testament revelation to God's people by Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi, whose labors extend over about half a century, or seven weeks, and whose writings are last in the canon; and in the end, seven years, the period of New Testament revelation in Messiah. The commencing seven weeks of years of Old Testament revelation are hurried over, in order that the chief stress might rest on the Messianic week. Yet the seven weeks of Old Testament revelation are marked by their separation from the sixty-two, to be above those sixty-two wherein there was to be none.
Messiah the Prince--Hebrew, Nagid. Messiah is Jesus' title in respect to Israel ( Psalms 2:2 , Matthew 27:37 Matthew 27:42 ). Nagid, as Prince of the Gentiles ( Isaiah 55:4 ). Nagid is applied to Titus, only as representative of Christ, who designates the Roman destruction of Jerusalem as, in a sense, His coming ( Matthew 24:29-31 John 21:22 ). Messiah denotes His calling; Nagid, His power. He is to "be cut off, and there shall be nothing for Him." (So the Hebrew for "not for Himself," Daniel 9:26 , ought to be translated). Yet He is "the Prince" who is to "come," by His representative at first, to inflict judgment, and at last in person.
wall--the "trench" or "scarped rampart" [TREGELLES]. The street and trench include the complete restoration of the city externally and internally, which was during the sixty-nine weeks.
26. after threescore and two weeks--rather, the threescore and two weeks. In this verse, and in Daniel 9:27 , Messiah is made the prominent subject, while the fate of the city and sanctuary are secondary, being mentioned only in the second halves of the verses. Messiah appears in a twofold aspect, salvation to believers, judgment on unbelievers ( Luke 2:34 ; compare Malachi 3:1-6 , 4:1-3 ). He repeatedly, in Passion week, connects His being "cut off" with the destruction of the city, as cause and effect ( Matthew 21:37-41 , Matthew 23:37 Matthew 23:38 , Luke 21:20-24 , 23:28-31 ). Israel might naturally expect Messiah's kingdom of glory, if not after the seventy years' captivity, at least at the end of the sixty-two weeks; but, instead of that, shall be His death, and the consequent destruction of Jerusalem.
not for himself--rather, "there shall be nothing to Him" [HENGSTENBERG]; not that the real object of His first coming (His spiritual kingdom) should be frustrated; but the earthly kingdom anticipated by the Jews should, for the present, come to naught, and not then be realized. TREGELLES refers the title, "the Prince" ( Daniel 9:25 ), to the time of His entering Jerusalem on an ass's colt, His only appearance as a king, and six days afterwards put to death as "King of the Jews."
the people of the prince--the Romans, led by Titus, the representative of the world power, ultimately to be transferred to Messiah, and so called by Messiah's title, "the Prince"; as also because sent by Him, as His instrument of judgment ( Matthew 22:7 ).
end thereof--of the sanctuary. TREGELLES takes it, "the end of the Prince," the last head of the Roman power, Antichrist.
with a flood--namely, of war ( Psalms 90:5 , Isaiah 8:7 Isaiah 8:8 , 28:18 ). Implying the completeness of the catastrophe, "not one stone left on another."
unto the end of the war--rather, "unto the end there is war."
determined--by God's decree ( Isaiah 10:23 , 28:22 ).
27. he shall confirm the covenant--Christ. The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him also elsewhere. Isaiah 42:6 , "I will give thee for a covenant of the people" (that is, He in whom the covenant between Israel and God is personally expressed); compare Luke 22:20 , "The new testament in My blood"; Malachi 3:1 , "the angel of the covenant"; Jeremiah 31:31-34 , describes the Messianic covenant in full. Contrast Daniel 11:30 Daniel 11:32 , "forsake the covenant," "do wickedly against the covenant." The prophecy as to Messiah's confirming the covenant with many would comfort the faithful in Antiochus' times, who suffered partly from persecuting enemies, partly from false friends ( Daniel 11:33-35 ). Hence arises the similarity of the language here and in Daniel 11:30 Daniel 11:32 , referring to Antiochus, the type of Antichrist.
with many--( Isaiah 53:11 , Matthew 20:28 , 26:28 , Romans 5:15 Romans 5:19 , Hebrews 9:28 ).
in . . . midst of . . . week--The seventy weeks extend to A.D. 33. Israel was not actually destroyed till A.D. 79, but it was so virtually, A.D. 33, about three or four years after Christ's death, during which the Gospel was preached exclusively to the Jews. When the Jews persecuted the Church and stoned Stephen ( Acts 7:54-60 ), the respite of grace granted to them was at an end ( Luke 13:7-9 ). Israel, having rejected Christ, was rejected by Christ, and henceforth is counted dead (compare Genesis 2:17 with Genesis 5:5 , Hosea 13:1 Hosea 13:2 ), its actual destruction by Titus being the consummation of the removal of the kingdom of God from Israel to the Gentiles ( Matthew 21:43 ), which is not to be restored until Christ's second coming, when Israel shall be at the head of humanity ( Matthew 23:39 , Acts 1:6 Acts 1:7 , Romans 11:25-31 Romans 11:15 ). The interval forms for the covenant-people a great parenthesis.
he shall cause the sacrifice . . . oblation to cease--distinct from the temporary "taking away" of "the daily" (sacrifice) by Antiochus ( Daniel 8:11 , 11:31 ). Messiah was to cause all sacrifices and oblations in general to "cease" utterly. There is here an allusion only to Antiochus' act; to comfort God's people when sacrificial worship was to be trodden down, by pointing them to the Messianic time when salvation would fully come and yet temple sacrifices cease. This is the same consolation as Jeremiah and Ezekiel gave under like circumstances, when the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was impending ( Jeremiah 3:16 , 31:31 , Ezekiel 11:19 ). Jesus died in the middle of the last week, A.D. 30. His prophetic life lasted three and a half years; the very time in which "the saints are given into the hand" of Antichrist ( Daniel 7:25 ). Three and a half does not, like ten, designate the power of the world in its fulness, but (while opposed to the divine, expressed by seven) broken and defeated in its seeming triumph; for immediately after the three and a half times, judgment falls on the victorious world powers ( Daniel 7:25 Daniel 7:26 ). So Jesus' death seemed the triumph of the world, but was really its defeat ( John 12:31 ). The rending of the veil marked the cessation of sacrifices through Christ's death ( Leviticus 4:6 Leviticus 4:17 , Leviticus 16:2 Leviticus 16:15 , Hebrews 10:14-18 ). There cannot be a covenant without sacrifice ( Genesis 8:20 , 9:17 , 15:9 , &c. Hebrews 9:15 ). Here the old covenant is to be confirmed, but in a way peculiar to the New Testament, namely, by the one sacrifice, which would terminate all sacrifices ( Psalms 40:6 Psalms 40:11 ). Thus as the Levitical rites approached their end, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, with ever increasing clearness, oppose the spiritual new covenant to the transient earthly elements of the old.
for the overspreading of abominations--On account of the abominations committed by the unholy people against the Holy One, He shall not only destroy the city and sanctuary ( Daniel 9:25 ), but shall continue its desolation until the time of the consummation "determined" by God (the phrase is quoted from Isaiah 10:22 Isaiah 10:23 ), when at last the world power shall be judged and dominion be given to the saints of the Most High ( Daniel 7:26 Daniel 7:27 ). AUBERLEN translates, "On account of the desolating summit of abominations (compare Daniel 11:31 , 12:11 ; thus the repetition of the same thing as in Daniel 9:26 is avoided), and till the consummation which is determined, it (the curse, Daniel 9:11 , foretold by Moses) will pour on the desolated." Israel reached the summit of abominations, which drew down desolation ( Matthew 24:28 ), nay, which is the desolation itself, when, after murdering Messiah, they offered sacrifices, Mosaic indeed in form, but heathenish in spirit (compare Isaiah 1:13 , Ezekiel 5:11 ). Christ refers to this passage ( Matthew 24:15 ), "When ye see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place" (the latter words being tacitly implied in "abominations" as being such as are committed against the sanctuary). TREGELLES translates, "upon the wing of abominations shall be that which causeth desolation"; namely, an idol set up on a wing or pinnacle of the temple (compare Matthew 4:5 ) by Antichrist, who makes a covenant with the restored Jews for the last of the seventy weeks of years (fulfilling Jesus' words, "If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive"), and for the first three and a half years keeps it, then in the midst of the week breaks it, causing the daily sacrifices to cease. TREGELLES thus identifies the last half week with the time, times, and a half of the persecuting little horn ( Daniel 7:25 ). But thus there is a gap of at least 1830 years put between the sixty-nine weeks and the seventieth week. SIR ISAAC NEWTON explains the wing ("overspreading") of abominations to be the Roman ensigns (eagles) brought to the east gate of the temple, and there sacrificed to by the soldiers; the war, ending in the destruction of Jerusalem, lasted from spring A.D. 67 to autumn A.D. 70, that is, just three and a half years, or the last half week of years [JOSEPHUS, Wars of the Jews, 6.6].
poured upon the desolate--TREGELLES translates, "the causer of desolation," namely, Antichrist. Compare "abomination that maketh desolate" ( Daniel 12:11 ). Perhaps both interpretations of the whole passage may be in part true; the Roman desolator, Titus, being a type of Antichrist, the final desolator of Jerusalem. BACON [The Advancement of Learning, 2.3] says, "Prophecies are of the nature of the Author, with whom a thousand years are as one day; and therefore are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have a springing and germinant accomplishment through many years, though the height and fulness of them may refer to one age."