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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Daniel 9

Verses 1-27

Glorification: The Coming of Christ (Daniel’s Private Visions) - There are two main divisions to the book of Daniel. Daniel 1-6 is primarily narrative material and emphasizes Daniel’s ministry to the kings of Babylon and Media. In these passages he interprets two dreams and the writing on the wall for two kings. This division as well contains three stories of the captivity and persecution of Daniel and his three friends. However, the visions recorded in Daniel 7-12 were not for the kings. Rather, they are a collection of private visions of apocalyptic in nature that Daniel received from the Lord regarding the Time of the Gentiles and the Last Days. They were not delivered to the kings under whom he served, but were initially private in nature. Their emphasis is not on the nation of Israel; but rather, upon the fulfillment of the Times of the Gentiles. The fact that the first section was written in Aramaic and the second section in Hebrew suggests that there were initially two different intended recipients. The Babylonian Jews would have found comfort in both divisions as they saw the sovereign power of God at work in their midst and as they understood by prophecy that God had not forsaken the nation of Israel. Note that this second section has been arranged in chronological order independently of the first section’s chronological arrangement.

Daniel 7-12 is a collection of private visions given to Daniel concerning the future glorification of Jesus Christ and His children and the Great White Throne Judgment of the nations. The redemptive role of Jesus Christ is clearly predicted as the Son of Man comes upon the clouds and approaches the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13) and He establishes the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven (Daniel 7:14).

Verses 1-27

Glorification: The Coming of Christ (Daniel’s Private Visions) - There are two main divisions to the book of Daniel. Daniel 1-6 is primarily narrative material and emphasizes Daniel’s ministry to the kings of Babylon and Media. In these passages he interprets two dreams and the writing on the wall for two kings. This division as well contains three stories of the captivity and persecution of Daniel and his three friends. However, the visions recorded in Daniel 7-12 were not for the kings. Rather, they are a collection of private visions of apocalyptic in nature that Daniel received from the Lord regarding the Time of the Gentiles and the Last Days. They were not delivered to the kings under whom he served, but were initially private in nature. Their emphasis is not on the nation of Israel; but rather, upon the fulfillment of the Times of the Gentiles. The fact that the first section was written in Aramaic and the second section in Hebrew suggests that there were initially two different intended recipients. The Babylonian Jews would have found comfort in both divisions as they saw the sovereign power of God at work in their midst and as they understood by prophecy that God had not forsaken the nation of Israel. Note that this second section has been arranged in chronological order independently of the first section’s chronological arrangement.

Daniel 7-12 is a collection of private visions given to Daniel concerning the future glorification of Jesus Christ and His children and the Great White Throne Judgment of the nations. The redemptive role of Jesus Christ is clearly predicted as the Son of Man comes upon the clouds and approaches the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13) and He establishes the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven (Daniel 7:14).

Verses 20-27

Gabriel’s Prophecy of Seventy Weeks of Years Daniel 9:20-27 gives us one of the greatest passages in the Old Testament regarding end-time prophecy. In this passage, the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel during his time of prayer and tells him the time-line by which all future events regarding the nation of Israel will occur. Note that this time-line is designed to signify the national and spiritual redemption for the nation of Israel and not necessarily for the Church. We must wait for the New Testament writings in order to receive this time-line.

Scholars teach that the seventy-week period refers to four hundred ninety (490) years. Daniel’s vision divides this period of time into three parts: an initial period of forty-nine years, a second duration of four hundred thirty-four (434) years, and a final period of seven years.

Various Interpretations - Adam Clarke proposes this prophetic period began in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes ( 465 to 424 B.C. ) based on ancient historical accounts, which would be around 445 B.C. [113] Wallace says Daniel’s prophecy of Seventy Weeks gives us an accurate date for Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on March 30 of A.D. 33, and gives a similar date of 444 B.C.

[113] Adam Clarke says, “Abul Pharaje, in his history of the dynasties, says, that the seventy weeks of Daniel are to be dated from the twentieth year of Ardsheer Dirazdest, the Artaxerxes Longimanus of the Greeks, (called Bahman above,) and the same to whom Nehemiah was sakee, or cup-bearer. Other orientalists are of the same opinion. This shall be considered more at large when we come to the prophecy itself. Artaxerxes had the name of Longimanus, or Long-handed, from the great extent of his dominions.” See Adam Clarke, Daniel, in Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc.), 1996, in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), “Introduction.”

“I find Hoehner’s analysis (in Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ) convincing: the prophetic clock began ticking on March 1, 444 BCE, when the decree to rebuild the walls was issued (during the time of Nehemiah). Then, it continued successively for 69 weeks of prophetic years (= 360 day years), that is, for 173,880 days. The end of the 69th week was March 30, 33 CE the very day Jesus made his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem (on Palm Monday). What confirms this view is that in Jesus’ lament he speaks of eschatological judgment (which, in our hindsight, includes both the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and Daniel’s 70th week that is, the tribulation) as does Daniel (Luke 19:43-44; Daniel 9:26-27).” [114]

[114] Daniel B. Wallace, Luke: Introduction, Outline, and Argument, in Biblical Studies Foundation (Richardson, Texas: Biblical Studies Press, 1998) [on-line]; accessed 1 September 2000; available from http://www.bible.org; Internet.

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

Daniel 9:24 Comments - Daniel 9:24 refers to six prophetic events that are to be accomplished during the Seventy Week period of history. These events are a part of God’s fulfillment of His divine plan of redemption for mankind. These events refer to Christ’s first coming as He paid for the sins of mankind and reconcile us to back to God.

“and to anoint the most Holy” - The phrase “most holy” is made up of one Hebrew word used twice ( קֹ֥דֶשׁ קָֽדָשִֽׁים ). The Hebrew word קדשׁ (H6944) means, “sacred,” and has the literal translation in Daniel 9:24 of “sacred of sacred,” which is a Hebrew idiom. This phrase is translated “most sacred place” (Goldingay) [115] and refers to the inner sanctuary of the Temple where the Mercy Seat and Ark of the Covenant resided.

[115] John E. Goldingay, Daniel, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol. 30, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc., 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on Daniel 9:24.

The Hebrew phrase ( קֹ֥דֶשׁ קָֽדָשִֽׁים ) is used in reference to the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary where the Ark of the Covenant resided (Exodus 26:33-34, 1 Kings 6:16; 1 Kings 7:50), as well as being used to refer to the articles and sacrifices of the Temple.

Exodus 26:33-34, “And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy . And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place .”

1 Kings 6:16, “And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.”

1 Kings 7:50, “And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the temple.”

The burnt altar of sacrifice is called “most holy” (Exodus 29:37; Exodus 40:10), as well as the articles of the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:26-29).

Exodus 29:37, “Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy : whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.”

Exodus 40:10, “And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy.”

The anointing of the Most Holy Place would refer to the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ upon the mercy seat, an event that Ron Wyatt testifies literally took place as the blood of Jesus Christ ran down from the Cross, through the rocks that were rent, and onto the mercy seat located in a cave twenty-feet below. [116]

[116] Bill Fry, “The Ark of the Covenant Including the Crucifixion Site and Tomb of Christ,” [on-line]; accessed 8 November 2011; available from http://www.arkdiscovery.com/aoc-1.htm.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Daniel 9:25 Comments - Many scholars believe that the first seventy-week period consisting of forty-nine years began with the call of Nehemiah to rebuild the city of Jerusalem around 445-444 B.C. We read in Nehemiah 2:1-10 where King Artaxerxes decreed the rebuilding of the city. Daniel 9:25 tells us that this 49-year period of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem would be troubling times. We see evidence of this in the book of Nehemiah as many adversaries stood against them. With regards to the distinction between a 7-week period and a 62-week period, there seems to be no particular historical event that takes place seven and sixty-two weeks that justifies a distinction. However, Otto Zöckler believes the first 49-years refer to a period of Jewish reform; nor does he believe that the sixty-two weeks have to commence immediately after the seven-week period. [117]

[117] Otto Zöckler, The Book of the Prophet Daniel, in Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, trans. James Strong (New York: Charles Scriber’s Sons, 1876), 213-214.

Regarding the coming of “the Messiah the Prince” after seven plus sixty two weeks (or 69 weeks), in which a seven-day week symbolizes seven years, sixty-nine weeks reflect 483 years. The Jewish year is made up of 360 days, while the Gregorian calendar consists of 365 days, which John Walvoord justifies the 360-day Jewish year by the 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6), forty-two months (Revelation 11:2; Revelation 13:5), and time, times and half a time [3½ years] (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7) predictions in the Scriptures. [118] We know that 483 Jewish years equals 173,880 days, while 483 Roman years equal 176,295 days, so that 483 Jewish years are equivalent to 476 Roman years. If Daniel prophesied that Jesus would appear 476 Jewish years (476 Roman years) after the rebuilding of Jerusalem (445 B.C.), then the Messiah would need to appear in the year A.D. 31, which is approximately the year that Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan in order to make His public appearance to nation of Israel.

[118] John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, c1990, 1999), 254.

The final week, or 7-year period, may refer to Jesus’ three-and-a-half years of public ministry and Passion and Resurrection, and the final three-and-a-half years may end at the time of the stoning of Stephen and the dispersing of the New Testament Church into the nations, which effectively brought an end to the role of the Jew nation in prophetic history until the period leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. [119]

[119] Bill Fry, “The Ark of the Covenant Including the Crucifixion Site and Tomb of Christ,” [on-line]; accessed 8 November 2011; available from http://www.arkdiscovery.com/aoc-1.htm.

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off” - Comments Daniel’s prophecy tells us that the Messiah will both appear and be cut off after sixty-nine weeks (7 weeks plus 62 weeks), which brings us to the year A.D. 31-32, so that we can justify this prophecy to refer to the three plus years of public ministry and Passion on the Cross. At this time the “Messiah” is cut off, or Crucified, in behalf of His people for their redemption. However, this calculation only works if we count using the Hebrew year, which consisted of thirty days in each month for a total of three hundred sixty (360) days in a year.

Daniel 9:26 “but not for himself” Comments - The Hebrew literally reads “and not to (for) him.” Thus, such a simple reading has resulted in a variety of translations and interpretations. Some understand this phrase to refer to His redemptive act on the Cross and reads, “but not for Himself.” Others understand this phrase to mean that the Messiah is not given rulership over the holy city at this time of His First Coming and translate it as “and the city and the holy place are not his.” [120]

[120] Albert Barnes, Daniel, in Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), comments on Daniel 9:26.

Daniel 9:26 “and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” Comments - Many scholars believe that the “prince” refers to Titus, the son of Vespasian and “the people” would be the Romans. [121] We know that soon after the Messiah was cut off in A.D. 29 that the Romans under Titus came in A.D. 70 and destroyed the city of Jerusalem and killed millions of Jews. We may see this event as the fulfillment of “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” It takes place after the 62-week period is ended during an unspecified time in which the world is to wait for 2,000 years before the final week is to be fulfilled, which is the seven-year Tribulation Period.

[121] Adam Clarke, Daniel, in Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc.), 1996, in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), notes on Daniel 9:26.

Daniel 9:26 “and the end thereof shall be with a flood” Comments - This phrase attempts to describe the awesome event of the destruction of Jerusalem in which the Roman soldiers slaughtered millions of Jews.

Daniel 9:26 “and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” Comments - Daniel’s final vision in chapters 10-12 will describe a series of wars and desolations that are determined against God’s people before the end of time comes.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 9:27 “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate” Comments - Adam Clarke says the literal Hebrew translation reads, “and upon the wing of abominations causing amazement.” This has always been a challenging phrase for commentators. Clarke tells us that a thirteenth century Hebrew manuscript smoothes this phrase out to read “and in the temple (of the Lord) there shall be abomination.” He supports this translation by referring to similarities translations found in the Latin Vulgate, the Septuagint and the Arabic translations, as well as by Theodotion and the Syriac Hexapla. [122] Clarke says:

[122] Adam Clarke, Daniel, in Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc.), 1996, in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), notes on Daniel 9:27.

The Vulgate reads, “Et erit in templo abominatio,” or “And in the temple there shall be abomination.”

The LXX reads, “Kai epi to hieron bdelugma ton eremoseon,” or “And upon the temple there shall be the abomination of desolation.”

The Arabic, “And upon the sanctuary there shall be the abomination of ruin.”

This translation agrees with the events of the profaning of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanies in 167 B.C. as well as Jesus Christ’s prediction in Matthew 24:15 during the End Times.

Matthew 24:15, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”

Daniel 9:27 Comments - Daniel 9:27 describes the work of the antichrist during the seven-year Tribulation period. He will usher in the seventieth week by making a peace treaty with many nations. But in the midst of this seven-year period he will come to the Temple in Jerusalem and defile it in much the same way as Antiochus Epiphanes did in 168 B.C. This time of defilement will continue until the end of the Tribulation Period. Paul refers to this individual as the “son of perdition” in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. He will sit in the Temple of God exalt himself above God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Daniel 9". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/daniel-9.html. 2013.