A K 9:1,2. The time. L 9:3-19. Daniel's Humiliation. M 9:20-23-. Gabriel. N 9:-23-27. The Prophecy. K 10:1. The time. L 10:2.3. Daniel's Humiliation. M 10:4-21. Gabriel. N 11:1-12:13. The Prophecy.
1 In the first year (426 B.C., Daniel being the 87) of Darius (this is an appellative, and means the maintainer or restrainer: i.e. Cyrus) the son of Ahasuerus (an appellative = the venerable king Astyages), of the seed of the Medes, which was made king (i.e. Cyrus was appointed king of Babylon by Astyages his father) over the realm of the Chaldeans; (Old land of Babylon.)
2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel came to an understanding (perceived, or observed. Implying that he had not known this before) by the writing [of Jeremiah] (Jer. 29:1,10, as well as 25:11) the number of the years (which were now drawing to and end), whereof the word of the LORD (Yahaveh) came to Jeremiah the prophet (the passage was doubtless 25:11-14; 29:10-14), that he would fulfill [within] seventy years (see v.24) in the desolations of Jerusalem. (From 479 to 409 B.C. The "desolations" had therefore lasted 42 years, and had yer 28 years to run before they were "accomplished". We find the same subdivision of the "servitude"; for from the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar [496 B.C.] to the decree of Artaxerxes [454 B.C.] was 42 years; and from the decree to the end of the servitude was 28 years.)
3 And I set my face to the Lord the [true] God (knowledge of Yahaveh's words quickened his spiritual interest in them), to worship by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (Here is wisdom. 1 - Confess and repent before you start with your problem; 2 - Praise our Father; 3 - Obey and keep His Commandments; 4- Then ask.)
4 And I prayed (see Lev. 26:40) to the LORD my God (Elohim), and made my confession, and said, 'O Lord, the great and dreadful God (see Ex. 20:6; 34:6,7. Num. 14:18. Deut. 7:9), keeping the covenant [made of old] and loving-kindness [promised therein] to them that love Him (Ex. 20:6; 34:6,7), and to them that keep His commandments;
5 We (note that Daniel associates himself with his People. Cp. Neh. 1; and 9:33-38. Ezra 9:5-15) have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have revolted (usually means to revolt against Deity or royalty), even by departing from Your precepts and from Your judgments: (We didn't listed to Your Word. Nothing new under the sun. Look around today.)
6 Neither have we hearkened to Your servants the prophets, which spoke in Your name (cp. Heb. 1:1. Ex. 7:1 with 4:16) to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. (Your neighbors have the same choice as you do.)
7 O LORD (Adonai), righteousness belongs to You, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel (see 1 Kings 12:17), that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries wherever You have driven them (cp. Deut. 4:27. 2 Kinks 17:6,7. Isa. 11:11. Jer. 24:9. Amos 9:9; and see Acts 2:36), because of their trespass that they have trespassed against You. (He scattered them. The further you drift from God, the further you drift from common sense and truth.)
8 O Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
9 To the Lord our God belongs compassion and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him; (He will always take you back.)
10 Neither have we listened to the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by the hand of His servants the prophets. (Confession of facts. We don't even know who we are anymore.)
11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed Your law, even by departing, that they might not obey Your voice; therefore the curse has come pouring upon us (Lev. 26:14,&c. Deut. 27:15,&c.; 28:15,&c.; 29:20; 30:17,18; 31:17; 32:19), and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. (God warned us.)
12 And He has confirmed His words (i.e. by His prophecies since the giving of the Law [2 King 17:13. Isa. 44:26. Lam. 2:17. Zech. 1:6), which He spoke against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great calamity: for under the whole heaven has not been done as has been done upon Jerusalem.
13 According as it is written in the law of Moses (Lev. 24:16,&c. Deut. 28:15,&c. Discipline), all this calamity is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Your truth.
14 Therefore has the LORD watched upon the calamity (Cp. Jer. 31:28; 44:27. Kiss the paddle of our Father and thank Him for it. It keeps you out of trouble), and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which He does: for we obeyed not His voice. (He allows it if you don't obey, so don't complain.)
15 And now, O Lord our God, that has brought Your people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand (Ex. 6:1,6; 12:41; 14:18; 32:11), and has made You a name, as at this day (God kept His word. Can you keep yours?); we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16 O LORD, according to all your righteousness, I beseech you, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy (see Ex. 3:5) mountain (Mount Zion. His favorite place in the whole world. Do you want to know where heaven will be? Read Rev. 21): because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers (Ex. 20:5), Jerusalem and Your people are become a reproach to all that are about us. (As it is to this day. Cp. Jer. 24:9; 29:18; 42:18; 44:8,12. Ezek. 5:14,15; 22:4)
17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and cause Your face to shine (Num. 6:25,26) upon Your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. (See Ezek. 16)
18 O my God, incline Your ear, and hear; open Your eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name (Jerusalem = city of peace. Jeru - warms you as the dove would sing): for we do not present our supplications before You for our righteousness, but for Your great mercies. (Others were praying with Daniel. Appeal to God's mercies.)
19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and perform [it]; defer not, for Your own sake, O my God: for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.' (Called Christians today.)
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel (this is important, pray for all), and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel (see 8:16. This prophecy is not given by a "prophet", but by an angel to a prophet. It is therefore a most transcendent prophecy), whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time (compare similar important occasions: David [2 Sam. 24:15]; Elijah [1 Kings 18:29]; Ezra [Ezra 9:5]) of the evening gift offering. (Gabriel announcing evening of the ages, the 7th Trump.)
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, 'O Daniel, I am now come forth to teach you understanding. (Note the special emphasis as to the admonition for ourselves. It is not a vision that requires interpretation, but a direct prophecy given in simple words by the Angel Gabriel, sent by God for the express purpose of making everything clear, and solving the most weighty problems that perplex the human mind. All that is required of us is to understand, consider, and believe what is thus written for our learning.)
23 At the beginning of your supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show you; for you are greatly beloved (God instantly sent answers):
N O -23. Admonition. "Understand", "Consider". P 24. The seventy sevens. In whole. O 25-. Admonitions. "Know", "Understand". P -25-27. The seventy sevens. In their parts.
therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. (Don't read over this.)
P x To finish the transgression, y And to make an end of sin. z And to make reconciliation for iniquity, x And to bring in everlasting righteousness, y And to seal up the vision and prophecy, z And to anoint the Most Holy.
We may set out the three divisions of the whole period on the diagram (not exact to scale) :--
I. THE FIRST PERIOD is simple, being the "seven sevens", or 49 years.
II. THE SECOND PERIOD. The "threescore and two sevens", or 434 years, from 405 B.C. to A.D. 29 = the year of the "cutting off" of Messiah (see Ap. 50m pp, 60, 61). This was 483 years from the issuing of the decree in 454 B.C. (i.e. 49 + 434 = 483 years)
. The "cutting off" of Messiah is stated as being "after" the "threescore and two weeks". The word "after", here, evidently means, and is intended to be understood as indicating, the completion of the period named; i.e. on the expiration of the sixty-two sevens will "Messiah be cut off". Beyond this exactness it is hardly necessary for us to go.
III. THE THIRD PERIOD. This is the one seven, i.e. the seventieth (or "last"), seven which has still to be accounted for.
That it must be yet future seems certain, from the agreement of its events with those of the visions of chapters 7-12 (Ap. 89), and the numbered "days" of chs. 8:14 and 12:7, 11, 12 (Ap. 90); also from the fact that none of the six definite events (of 9:24), which mark its end has as yet taken place (*1). These belong to the whole seventy sevens, and are thus connected with the seventieth or last seven, being the object and end of the whole prophecy. The following three, among other reasons, may be added :--
1. If the seventieth, or "one seven", is to be reckoned from the cutting off of Messiah in direct, continuous, and historic sequence, then it leads us nowhere -- certainly not to any of the six events of v. 24, which are all categorically stated to relate to Daniel's People, "all Israel" (v. 7), and to the holy City "Jerusalem".
No interpretation which transfers these six events to Gentiles or to Gentile times, is admissible.
If they are continuous, then there is no point or crisis in the Acts of the Apostles which marks their end. If they coincided with any events of importance, such as the end of Peter's ministry or the beginning of that of Paul, or Acts 12 and 13, that would be something. But there is nothing.
2. Messiah was to "have nothing" that was His, "after" His cutting off. This clearly points to the crucifixion of Messiah, and the rejection of His Messianic kingdom. For nearly 2,000 years Messiah has "had nothing" of all the many "glorious things" which have been spoken of Him, in connection with Himself or with His People Israel.
3. This last, or "one seven" of years, is divided into two distinct equal parts (see Ap. 90), and the division takes place in connection with an event which has no connection whatever with any event which has yet taken place. Messiah did not "make a (not the) covenant" of any kind, either with Israel or with any one else, at the end of, or "after" the sixty-ninth week; nor did He "break" any covenant three and a half years later. Man may "make" and "break" covenants, but Divine Covenants are never broken.
On the other hand : of "the prince that shall come" it is distinctly stated that he shall do both these very things (vv. 26, 27);
Hence, we are forced to the conclusion that this last seven of years still awaits its fulfilment; and this fulfilment must be as literal and complete as that of all the other parts of this vision and prophecy; for the end must be the glorious consummation for Israel of v. 24, the complete destruction of "the coming prince" (the false Messiah or Antichrist), and the setting up of the Messiah's kingdom.
Nothing less will satisfy all the requirements of Daniel's vision of "the seventy weeks".
The Hebrew word rendered "week" is shabua', and means, simply, a "septad", a "hebdomad", or a seven, hence a week, because it is a seven (of days). But in this passage it is confessedly used of a seven of years; and this of necessity, for no other seven of any other portion of time will satisfy the prophecy and fall within its terminus a quo, and the terminus ad quem.
Seventy of these sevens of years (or 490 years) are the one subject of this prophecy. We are told exactly when they would commence, and how they were to end. They sum up, within their bounds, all the then counsels of God as to His future dealings with His People Israel; for they are "determined" (the angel said to Daniel) "upon thy People, and upon they Holy City" (v. 24). These words cannot have any other interpretation than "all Israel" (v. 7), and Jerusalem, and the Holy Sanctuary; for that had been the subject of Daniel's prayer, to which this prophecy was sent as the specific answer. (See vv. 2, 7, 16, 17, 18, 19, and especially v. 24.)
These "seventy sevens [of years]" are divided into three distinct and separate periods :--
I. The seven sevens, or 49 years. II. The sixty-two sevens, or 434 years. (I. and II. = 483 years.) III. The one seven, or 7 years. (I., II., and III. = 490 years)The terminus a quo of the whole period is the issuing of a decree "to restore and to build (or rather, rebuild) Jerusalem."
The terminus ad quem of the whole period is the cleansing of the Sanctuary. This is also the end of all the visions of Daniel in chaps. 7-12; and all the numbered "days" of 7:25; 8:14; and 12:7, 11, 12, have this cleansing as their object and end.
As to the whole period, Daniel is bidden by the angelic Hierophant to "understand ... and consider" (v. 23); while, as to its three separate divisions, Daniel is to "know therefore and understand" (v. 25).
THE FIRST PERIOD. The seven sevens (or 49 years). These commence with "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem".
This was in the first month, Nisan, 454 B.C. (see Ap. 50, pp. 60, 67, and 70). Hanani's report to Nehemiah was made in the ninth month Chisleu, in 455 B.C., three months before; both months being in the "twentieth year of Artaxerxes". See notes on Neh. 1:1 and 2:1;
The ARTAXERXES (or Great King) of Neh. 1:1; 2:1, who issues this decree, is identified with the great king ASTYAGES.
ASTYGES was brother-in-law to Nebuchadnezzar. The madness of the latter had at this time lasted for seven years. ASTYGES had evidently in imperial matters been acting for his brother-in-law. This seems to be clear from the fact that the decree was issued in Shushan, and not Babylon; and no one, however great a potentate he might be, would have dared to issue such a decree, connected with the affairs of the suzerainty of Babylon, unless he possessed the authority to do so.
Therefore it may be put thus : In Nisan, 454 B.C., ASTYAGES (i.e. Artaxerxes = the Great King) issued the decree spoken of in Dan. 9:25. Later, in the same year, Nebuchadnezzar's "madness" was lifted off him. "At the end of the days" his understanding and reason returned to him, it seems, as suddenly as they had left him; and he thereupon issued his imperial proclamation throughout his dominions, as recorded in Dan. 4:34-37. See the note there on v. 34.
The seven sevens therefore, meaning seven sevens of literal years, occupied 49 years (454 B.C. to 405 B.C. = 49 years). They began in 454 B.C. with the decree, and end with the completion of the walls and the dedication of the Temple in 405 B.C. See Ezra 6:10, 15-19. It must be remembered that the issuing of this decree took place long before Ezra appeared on the scene; and before any of the subsequent decrees of other monarchs, which all had to do with the Temple; whereas the first, issued to Nehemiah (2:1), had to do only with the "City" and its "walls". See the notes on Ezra-Nehemiah, (*3)
THE SECOND PERIOD. The sixty-two sevens (or 434 years). These follow on directly from the end of the seven sevens of the First Period, and close with the cutting off of the Messiah.
THE THIRD PERIOD. The last, or the seventieth seven. This period is yet future, and awaits the same literal fulfilment as the other two periods.
(*1) Archbishop Ussher's Chronology was first added to the A.V. by Bishop Lloyd in the edition of 1701. But, in Neh. 2:1, Bishop Lloyd put his own date "445 B.C.", to suit his own theory. Archbishop Ussher's date for the commencement of the reign of Artaxerxes was A.M. 3531, which, in his Collatio Annorum, corresponds to 474 B.C. "The twentieth year of Artaxerxes" would, therefore, be 454 B.C., as given above.
(*2) The era called "Anno Domini" was first fixed by a monk (Denys le Petit, commonly know by his Latin name, Dionysius Exiguus), about A.D. 532. It did not come into general use for some centuries. Charles III of Germany was the first who used the expression, "in the year of our Lord", in 879. It was found afterward that a mistake had been made by fixing the era four years too late! this explains the marginal notes in Matt. 2:1 and Luke 2:20, "The fourth year before the Common Account called Anno Domini." (In some editions of the A.V. we have seen "the fifth year", Luke 2:1, also "the sixth year", Luke 1:6.) Hence, the year called A.D. 33 was really the year A.D. 29. This, with 454, makes exactly 483 years, or 69 weeks of years.
(*3) N.B. There was a further division of this first period of seven sevens which may be mentioned. From the decree of Neh. 2:1 to the end of the Babylonian servitude (see notes on p. 615), which was the "first year of DARIUS" ( = CYRUS, see Ap. 57) the son of ASTYAGES, was 28 years (454 - 426 = 28); and those events closed the fourth of the seven sevens.
24 Seventy weeks (70 sevens: i.e. of years. If "days" had been intended, it would be so expressed, as in 10:3 [Cp. Lev. 25:8]. Moreover, "years" had been the subject of Daniels prayer [v.2]. The last "seven" is "one", and its divided in half in v.27, and the half is 3 1/2 years [7:25; cp. 8:11-14; 11:33]. In Rev. 11:2 this half is expressed by "42 months"; and in the next verse as "1260" days". the whole period is therefore 490 years) are cut off (i.e. divided off from all other years) upon your People (i.e. Daniel's people, Israel, with which alone the prophecy is concerned.) and upon your holy city (i.e. Jerusalem),
to put an end to the transgression, (2300 day transgression.)
and to seal up sins,
and to make atonement for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
and to seal up the vision and prophet, (make an end of by fulfilling all that has been the subject of the prophecy)
and to anoint a Holy of Hollies. (This answers to the cleansing of the sanctuary [8:14] which immediately precedes "the end". Watch these in the future, this hasn't come to pass yet.)
25 Know therefore and understand,
P Q -25-. The City. Restoration. R -25-. Messiah. Coming. S -25. Time. "Unto" seven sevens and sixty-two sevens. S 26- Time. "After" the sixty-two sevens. R -26-. Messiah. Cut off. Q -26,27. The City. Destruction.
that from the going forth (i.e. in the 20th year of Artaxrxes [= the great king: i.e. Astyages], 454 B.C. See Neh. 2:1) of the word (referring to the Divine word rather than to a royal decree) to restore and to build Jerusalem (Not the Temple [as in Ezra], but the city [as in Nehemiah], which was the subject of Daniel's prayer, and therefore the answer to it.)
unto the Messiah [that is to say] the Prince [of the People]
shall be seven weeks (= 49 years [454-405 B.C.), and sixty-two weeks (= 434 years [405 B.C. - 29 A.D.: the 2 together 69 weeks = 483 years; leaving 7 years to make up the full 490 years of v.24): the broadway (or open space by the gates or elsewhere) shall be built again, and the wall (Heb. hārŭz= something cut in or dug out; and may well be used of what is narrow, and then that which is narrowed down to a deciding point, a decision or determination, as in 9:26; 11:36. Cp.Isa. 10:22. Job 14:5,&c.), even in troubled times. (i.e. in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. This covers the 49 years. We know this, not from history profane or Divine, but from the statement here)
26 And after sixty-two weeks (= 434 years. The definite article marks this period, as the one just mentioned in v.24: i.e. after the 483 years. How long "after" is not stated; but it must surely be either immediately or very soon after the Messiah was thus presented and proclaimed in and to Jerusalem as the Prince. The decree was issued in the month of Nissan, the same month as the events in Matt. 21:1-26:61. Cp. Zech. 9:9. Luke 19:41-44 ["this your day"])
Q T a -26-. The coming Prince. (The Desolator.) b -26. The Desolation decreed. The end of the Desolation. U 27-. His Covenant made. V -27-. The Time. One seven (= 7 years). V -27-. The Time. The middle of the seven (=3 1/2 years [2 1/2 months]). U -27-. His Covenant broken [cp. 11:30,31]. T a -27-. The coming Prince. (The Desolator.) b The Desolation decreed. The end of the Desolator.
shall Messiah be cut off (i.e. in death), but no sign of aught for Him: (i.e. He shall be rejected and crucified, and shall not then enter on the kingdom for which He came. It will be rejected, and therefore become in abeyance. See John 1:11. Cp. Isaiah)
and the people (i.e. the Roman people. Cp. Luke 19:41-44; 21:20) of a prince that shall come (this is "the little horn" antichrist, Satan) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (see Matt. 21:41; 22:7. This also was "after 62 weeks", but not within the last 7; which are confined to the doings of "the princes people, the people that is coming" ["the little horn"] after the doings of "the people" in the destruction of the city, which ends v.26. What "the little horn" will do is stated in the words which follow. Antiochus never did this. He defiled it, but left it uninjured); and the end thereof (i.e. the end of the desolator looking on to the end of the last 7 years) shall be with a flood, (Of lies)
and up to the full end of the war (i.e. the end of the last 7 years) desolate places (cp. Matt. 23:28) are determined. (Its a long war.)
27 And make a firm covenant with the many (i.e. the little horn, antichrist, Satan, will do this at the beginning of the last 7 years.)
for one week: (This is the last 7 years which completes the 70 of v.24. This 70 week however, has been shortened to 5 months. See Rev 9:5; the time when action commences in connection with Daniels "city" and "People" [i.e Jerusalem and Israel]. These have been in abeyance since v.26. For the present interval, vv. 26,27, see Luke 4:18-20; 21:24. This fills the fist half of the "week" [see Rev. 11:3-11])
and in the middle of the week (i.e. at the end of the 1st 3 1/2 years, which has been shortened to 2 1/2 months, see above.)
he shall cause sacrifice and the oblation to cease, (This is the action of "the little horn". This belongs to the time of the end, and will be accomplished by the setting up of the abomination mentioned below and by our Lord in Matt. 24:15.)
and on the wings of the desolator comes the abomination (antichrist brings in the abomination. Yehovah's name for an idol, as being what He detests. Cp. 2 King 23:13. Isa. 44:19,&c. Dan. 12:11 is conclusive) that makes desolate, (This is certainly future. See Matt. 24:15. Mark 13:14-23. Our Lord tells us where it will stand "in the holy place": i.e. in the Temple at Jerusalem: and we have the same admonition to "understand")
even until the full end [of the age] (See Isa. 10:22,23), and that determined shall come pouring upon the causer of desolation.' (The desolator. See 12:11. Then the consummation of v.24 will be fulfilled.)