Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Daniel 9:24

"Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Anointing;   Atonement;   Day;   Jerusalem;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Reconciliation;   Seven;   Seventy;   Scofield Reference Index - Daniel;   Reconciliation;   Seventieth;   Weeks;   Thompson Chain Reference - Anointed One;   Fulness;   Periods and Numbers;   Reconciliation;   Seventy;   Time;   The Topic Concordance - Abomination;   Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anointing of the Holy Spirit;   Atonement, the;   Prophecies Respecting Christ;   Reconciliation with God;   Righteousness;   Righteousness Imputed;   Weeks;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Daniel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Gabriel;   Vision;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Decrees;   Numbers, Symbolic Meaning of;   Seal;   Vision(s);   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Atonement;   Covenant;   Justification;   Messiah;   Nativity of Christ;   Reconciliation;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Christ;   Gabriel;   Nativity of Christ;   Seventy Weeks;   Week;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Anoint;   Atonement;   Daniel, the Book of;   Ezra, the Book of;   High Priest;   Number;   Reconciliation;   Revelation of John, the;   Week;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of;   Ezekiel;   Holy City;   Number Systems and Number Symbolism;   Seventy Weeks;   Seventy Years;   Tribulation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Atonement;   Prayer;   Seal, Signet;   Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Eternity;   Fulfilment;   Numbers (2);   Reconciliation;   Redemption (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abomination of Desolation;   Reconciliation;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Finish;   Holiness;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Anointing;   Priest;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jesus Christ;   Mediator;   Seven;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Anointing;   Atonement;   Canon of the Old Testament;   Christ, Offices of;   End;   Grace;   Number;   Salvation;   Seal;   Seventy Weeks;   Week;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abraham Ha-Levi ben Eliezer Ha-Zaḳ;   Anointing;   Apocalypse;   Bar Kokba and Bar Kokba War;   Blayney, Benjamin;   Chronology;   Gabriel;   Numbers and Numerals;   Seder 'Olam Rabbah;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Seventy weeks are determined - This is a most important prophecy, and has given rise to a variety of opinions relative to the proper mode of explanation; but the chief difficulty, if not the only one, is to find out the time from which these seventy weeks should be dated. What is here said by the angel is not a direct answer to Daniel's prayer. He prays to know when the seventy weeks of the captivity are to end. Gabriel shows him that there are seventy weeks determined relative to a redemption from another sort of captivity, which shall commence with the going forth of the edict to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and shall terminate with the death of Messiah the Prince, and the total abolition of the Jewish sacrifices. In the four following verses he enters into the particulars of this most important determination, and leaves them with Daniel for his comfort, who has left them to the Church of God for the confirmation of its faith, and a testimony to the truth of Divine revelation. They contain the fullest confirmation of Christianity, and a complete refutation of the Jewish cavils and blasphemies on this subject.

Of all the writers I have consulted on this most noble prophecy, Dean Prideaux appears to me the most clear and satisfactory. I shall therefore follow his method in my explanation, and often borrow his words.

Seventy weeks are determined - The Jews had Sabbatic years, Leviticus 25:8, by which their years were divided into weeks of years, as in this important prophecy, each week containing seven years. The seventy weeks therefore here spoken of amount to four hundred and ninety years.

In Daniel 9:24; there are six events mentioned which should be the consequences of the incarnation of our Lord: -

    I. To finish (לכלא lechalle, to restrain), the transgression which was effected by the preaching of the Gospel, and pouring out of the Holy Ghost among men.

II. To make an end of sins; rather חטאות ולהתם ulehathem chataoth, "to make an end of sin-offerings," which our Lord did when he offered his spotless soul and body on the cross once for all.

III. To make reconciliation (ולכפר ulechapper, "to make atonement or expiation") for iniquity; which he did by the once offering up of himself.

IV. To bring in everlasting righteousness, עלמים צדק tsedek olamim, that is, "the righteousness, or righteous One, of ages;" that person who had been the object of the faith of mankind, and the subject of the predictions of the prophets through all the ages of the world.

V. To seal up (ולחתם velachtom, "to finish or complete") the vision and prophecy; that is, to put an end to the necessity of any farther revelations, by completing the canon of Scripture, and fulfilling the prophecies which related to his person, sacrifice, and the glory that should follow.

VI. And to anoint the Most Holy, קדשים קדש kodesh kodashim, "the Holy of holies." משיח mashach, to anoint, (from which comes משיח mashiach, the Messiah, the anointed one), signifies in general, to consecrate or appoint to some special office. Here it means the consecration or appointment of our blessed Lord, the Holy One of Israel, to be the Prophet, Priest, and King of mankind.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/daniel-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Seventy weeks are determined - Here commences the celebrated prophecy of the seventy weeks - a portion of Scripture Which has excited as much attention, and led to as great a variety of interpretation, as perhaps any other. Of this passage, Professor Stuart (“Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy,” p. 104) remarks, “It would require a volume of considerable magnitude even to give a history of the ever-varying and contradictory opinions of critics respecting this “locus vexatissimus; “and perhaps a still larger one to establish an exegesis which would stand. I am fully of opinion, that no interpretation as yet published will stand the test of thorough grammatico-historical criticism; and that a candid, and searching, and thorough “critique” here is still a “desideratum.” May some expositor, fully adequate to the task, speedily appear!” After these remarks of this eminent Biblical scholar, it is with no great confidence of success that I enter on the exposition of the passage.

Yet, perhaps, though “all” difficulties may not be removed, and though I cannot hope to contribute anything “new” in the exposition of the passage, something may be written which may relieve it of some of the perplexities attending it, and which may tend to show that its author was under the influence of Divine inspiration. The passage may be properly divided into two parts. The first, in Daniel 9:24, contains a “general” statement of what would occur in the time specified - the seventy weeks; the second, Daniel 9:25-27, contains a “particular” statement of the manner in which that would be accomplished. In this statement, the whole time of the seventy weeks is broken up into three smaller portions of seven, sixty-two, and one - designating evidently some important epochs or periods Daniel 9:25, and the last one week is again subdivided in such a way, that, while it is said that the whole work of the Messiah in confirming the covenant would occupy the entire week, yet that he would be cut off in the middle of the week, Daniel 9:27.

In the “general” statement Daniel 9:24 it is said that there was a definite time - seventy weeks - during which the subject of the prediction would be accomplished; that is, during which all that was to be done in reference to the holy city, or in the holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, etc., would be effected. The things specified in this verse are “what was to be done,” as detailed more particularly in the subsequent verses. The design in this verse seems to have been to furnish a “general” statement of what was to occur in regard to the holy city - of that city which had been selected for the peculiar purpose of being a place where an atonement was to be made for human transgression. It is quite clear that when Daniel set apart this period for prayer, and engaged in this solemn act of devotion, his design was not to inquire into the ultimate events which would occur in Jerusalem, but merely to pray that the purpose of God, as predicted by Jeremiah, respecting the captivity of the nation, and the rebuilding of the city and temple, might be accomplished. God took occasion from this, however, not only to give an implied assurance about the accomplishment of these purposes, but also to state in a remarkable manner the “whole” ultimate design respecting the holy city, and the great event which was ever onward to characterize it among the cities of the world. In the consideration of the whole passage Daniel 9:24-27, it will be proper, first, to examine into the literal meaning of the words and phrases, and then to inquire into the fulfillment.

Seventy weeks - שׁבעים שׁבעים shâbu‛ı̂ym shı̂b‛ı̂ym Vulgate, Septuaginta hebdomades. So Theodotion, Ἑβδομήκοντα ἑβδομάδες Hebdomēkonta hebdomades Prof. Stuart (“Hints,” p. 82) renders this “seventy sevens;” that is, seventy times seven years: on the ground that the word denoting “weeks” in the Hebrew is not שׁבעים shâbu‛ı̂ym but שׁבעות shâbu‛ôth “The form which is used here,” says he, “which is a regular masculine plural, is no doubt purposely chosen to designate the plural of seven; and with great propriety here, inasmuch as there are many sevens which are to be joined together in one common sum. Daniel had been meditating on the close of the seventy “years” of Hebrew exile, and the angel now discloses to him a new period of “seventy times seven,” in which still more important events are to take place. Seventy sevens, or (to use the Greek phraseology), “seventy heptades,” are determined upon thy people.

Heptades of what? Of days, or of years? No one can doubt what the answer is. Daniel had been making diligent search respecting the seventy “years;” and, in such a connection, nothing but seventy heptades of years could be reasonably supposed to be meant by the angel.” The inquiry about the “gender” of the word, of which so much has been said (Hengstenberg, “Chris.” ii. 297), does not seem to be very important, since the same result is reached whether it be rendered “seventy sevens,” or “seventy weeks.” In the former ease, as proposed by Prof. Stuart, it means seventy sevens of “years,” or 490 years; in the other, seventy “weeks” of years; that is, as a “week of years” is seven years, seventy such weeks, or as before, 490 years. The usual and proper meaning of the word used here, however - שׁבוּע shâbûa‛a is a “seven,” ἐβδομάς hebdomas i. e., a week. - Gesenius, “Lexicon” From the “examples” where the word occurs it would seem that the masculine or the feminine forms were used indiscriminately.

The word occurs only in the following passages, in all of which it is rendered “week,” or “weeks,” except in Ezekiel 45:21, where it is rendered “seven,” to wit, days. In the following passages the word occurs in the masculine form plural, Daniel 9:24-26; Daniel 10:2-3; in the following in the feminine form plural, Exodus 34:22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:9-10, Deuteronomy 16:16; 2 Chronicles 8:13; Jeremiah 5:24; Ezekiel 45:21; and in the following in the singular number, common gender, rendered “week,” Genesis 29:27-28, and in the dual masculine in Leviticus 12:5, rendered “two weeks.” From these passages it is evident that nothing certain can be determined about the meaning of the word from its gender. It would seem to denote “weeks,” periods of seven days - “hebdomads” - in either form, and is doubtless so used here. The fair translation would be, weeks seventy are determined; that is, seventy times seven days, or four hundred and ninety “days.” But it may be asked here, whether this is to be taken literally, as denoting four hundred and ninety days? If not, in what sense is it to be understood? and why do we understand it in a different sense? It is clear that it must be explained literally as denoting four hundred and ninety “days,” or that these days must stand for years, and that the period is four hundred and ninety “years.” That this latter is the true interpretation, as it has been held by all commentators, is apparent from the following considerations:

(a) This is not uncommon in the prophetic writings. See the notes at Daniel 7:24-28. (See also Editor‘s Preface to volume on Revelation.)

(b) Daniel had been making inquiry respecting the seventy “years,” and it is natural to suppose that the answer of the angel would have respect to “years” also; and, thus understood, the answer would have met the inquiry pertinently - “ not seventy years, but a week of years - seven times seventy years.” Compare Matthew 18:21-22. “In such a connection, nothing but seventy heptades of years could be reasonably supposed to be meant by the angel.” - Prof. Stuart‘s “Hints,” etc., p. 82.

(c) Years, as Prof. Stuart remarks, are the measure of all considerable periods of time. When the angel speaks, then, in reference to certain events, and declares that they are to take place during “seventy heptades,” it is a matter of course to suppose that he means years.

(d) The circumstances of the case demand this interpretation. Daniel was seeking comfort in view of the fact that the city and temple had been desolate now for a period of seventy years. The angel comes to bring him consolation, and to give him assurances about the rebuilding of the city, and the great events that were to occur there. But what consolation would it be to be told that the city would indeed be rebuilt, and that it would continue seventy ordinary weeks - that is, a little more than a year, before a new destruction would come upon it? It cannot well be doubted, then, that by the time here designated, the angel meant to refer to a period of four hundred and ninety years; and if it be asked why this number was not literally and exactly specified in so many words, instead of choosing a mode of designation comparatively so obscure, it may be replied,

(1) that the number “seventy” was employed by Daniel as the time respecting which he was making inquiry, and that there was a propriety that there should be a reference to that fact in the reply of the angel - “one” number seventy had been fulfilled in the desolations of the city, there would be “another” number seventy in the events yet to occur;

(2) this is in the usual prophetic style, where there is, as Hengstenberg remarks (“Chris.” ii. 299), often a “concealed definiteness.” It is usual to designate numbers in this way.

(3) The term was sufficiently clear to be understood, or is, at all events, made clear by the result. There is no reason to doubt that Daniel would so understand it, or that it would be so interpreted, as fixing in the minds of the Jewish people the period when the Messiah was about to appear. The meaning then is, that there would be a period of four hundred and ninety years, during which the city, after the order of the rebuilding should go forth Daniel 9:25, until the entire consummation of the great object for which it should be rebuilt: and that then the purpose would be accomplished, and it would be given up to a greater ruin. There was to be this long period in which most important transactions were to occur in the city.

Are determined - The word used here (נחתך nechettak from חתך châtak ) occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. It properly means, according to Gesenius, to cut off, to divide; and hence, to deterinine, to destine, to appoint. Theodotion renders it, sunetmeetheesan - are cut off, decided, defined. The Vulgate renders it, “abbreviate sunt.” Luther, “Sind bestimmet” - are determined. The meaning would seem to be, that this portion of time - the seventy weeks - was “cut off” from the whole of duration, or cut out of it, as it were, and set by itself for a definite purpose. It does not mean that it was cut off from the time which the city would naturally stand, or that this time was “abbreviated,” but that a portion of time - to wit, four hundred and ninety years - was designated or appointed with reference to the city, to accomplish the great and important object which is immediately specified. A certain, definite period was fixed on, and when this was past, the promised Messiah would come. In regard to the construction here - the singular verb with a plural noun, see Hengstenberg, “Christ. in, loc.” The true meaning seems to be, that the seventy weeks are spoken of “collectively,” as denoting a period of time; that is, a period of seventy weeks is determined. The prophet, in the use of the singular verb, seems to have contemplated the time, not as separate weeks, or as particular portions, but as one period.

Upon thy people - The Jewish people; the nation to which Daniel belonged. This allusion is made because he was inquiring about the close of their exile, and their restoration to their own land.

And upon thy holy city - Jerusalem, usually called the holy city, because it was the place where the worship of God was celebrated, Isaiah 52:1; Nehemiah 11:1, Nehemiah 11:18; Matthew 27:53. It is called “thy holy city” - the city of Daniel, because he was here making special inquiry respecting it, and because he was one of the Hebrew people, and the city was the capital of their nation. As one of that nation, it could be called “his.” It was then, indeed, in ruins, but it was to be rebuilt, and it was proper to speak of it as if it were then a city. The meaning of “upon thy people and city” (על ‛al ) is, “respecting” or “concerning.” The purpose respecting the seventy weeks “pertains” to thy people and city; or there is an important period of four hundred and seventy years determined on, or designated, respecting that people and city.

To finish the transgression - The angel proceeds to state what was the object to be accomplished in this purpose, or what would occur during that period. The first thing, “to finish the transgression.” The margin is, “restrain.” The Vulgate renders it, ut consummetur proevaricatio. Theodotion, τοῦ συντελεσθῆναι ἁμαρτίαν tou suntelesthēnai hamartian - to finish sin. Thompson renders this, “to finish sin-offerings.” The difference between the marginal reading (“restrain”) and the text (“finish”) arises from a doubt as to the meaning of the original word. The common reading of the text is כלא kallē' but in 39 Codices examined by Kennicott, it is כלה. The reading in the text is undoubtedly the correct one, but still there is not absolute certainty as to the signification of the word, whether it means to “finish” or to “restrain.” The proper meaning of the word in the common reading of the text (כלא kâlâ' ) is, to shut up, confine, restrain - as it is rendered in the margin.

The meaning of the other word found in many manuscripts (כלה kâlâh ) is, to be completed, finished, closed - and in Piel, the form used here, to complete, to finish - as it is translated in the common version. Gesenius (“Lexicon”) supposes that the word here is “for” - כלה kallēh - meaning to finish or complete. Hengstenberg, who is followed in this view by Lengerke, supposes that the meaning is to “shut up transgression,” and that the true reading is that in the text - כלא - though as that word is not used in Piel, and as the Masoretes had some doubts as to the derivation of the word, they gave to it not its appropriate “pointing” in this place - which would have been כלא keloh - but the pointing of the other word (כלה kalēh ) in the margin. According to Hengstenberg, the sense here of “shutting up” is derived from the general notion of “restraining” or “hindering,” belonging to the word; and he supposes that this will best accord with the other words in this member of the verse - “to cover,” and “to seal up.”

The idea according to him is, that “sin, which hitherto lay naked and open before the eyes of a righteous God, is now by his mercy shut up, sealed, and covered, so that it can no more be regarded as existing - a figurative description of the forgiveness of sin.” So Lengerke renders it, “Ura einzuschliessen (den) Abfall.” Bertholdt, “Bis der Frevel vollbracht.” It seems most probable that the true idea here is that denoted in the margin, and that the sense is not that of “finishing,” but that of “restraining, closing, shutting up,” etc. So it is rendered by Prof. Stuart - “to restrain transgression.” - “Com. on Daniel, in loc.” The word is used in this sense of “shutting up,” or “restraining,” in several places in the Bible: 1 Samuel 6:10, “and shut up their calves at home;” Jeremiah 32:3, “Zedekiah had shut him up;” Psalm 88:8, “I am shut up, and I cannot come forth;” Jeremiah 32:2, “Jeremiah the prophet was shut up.”

The sense of “shutting up,” or “restraining,” accords better with the connection than that of “finishing.” The reference of the whole passage is undoubtedly to the Messiah, and to what would be done sometime during the “seventy weeks;” and the meaning here is, not that he would “finish transgression” - which would not be true in any proper sense, but that he would do a work which would “restrain” iniquity in the world, or, more strictly, which would “shut it up” - enclose it - as in a prison, so that it would no more go forth and prevail. The effect would be that which occurs when one is shut up in prison, and no longer goes at large. There would be a restraining power and influence which would check the progress of sin. This does not, I apprehend, refer to the particular transgressions for which the Jewish people had suffered in their long captivity, but sin (הפשׁע hapesha‛ ) in general - the sin of the world.

There would be an influence which would restrain and curb it, or which would shut it up so that it would no longer reign and roam at large over the earth. It is true that this might not have been so understood by Daniel at the time, for the “language” is so general that it “might” have suggested the idea that it referred to the sins of the Jewish people. This language, if there had been no farther explanation of it, might have suggested the idea that in the time specified - seventy weeks - there would be some process - some punishment - some Divine discipline - by which the iniquities of that people, or their propensity to sin, for which this long captivity had come upon them, would be cohibited, or restrained. But the language is not such as necessarily to confine the interpretation to that, and the subsequent statements, and the actual fulfillment in the work of the Messiah, lead us to understand this in a much higher sense, as having reference to sin in general, and as designed to refer to some work that would ultimately be an effectual check on sin, and which would tend to cohibit, or restrain it altogether in the world. Thus understood, the language will well describe the work of the Redeemer - that work which, through the sacrifice made on the cross, is adapted and designed to restrain sin altogether.

And to make an end of sins - Margin, “to seal up.” The difference here in the text and the margin arises from a difference in the readings in the Hebrew. The common reading in the text is חתם châthēm - from חתם châtham - “to seal, to seal up.” But the Hebrew marginal reading is a different word - התם hâthēm from תמם tâmam - “to complete, to perfect, to finish.” The “pointing” in the text in the word חתם châtēm is not the proper pointing of that word, which would have been חתם chetom but the Masoretes, as is not unfrequently the case, gave to the word in the text the pointing of another word which they placed in the margin. The marginal reading is found in fifty-five manuscripts (Lengerke), but the weight of authority is decidedly in favor of the common reading in the Hebrew text - “to seal,” and not to “finish,” as it is in our translation.

The marginal reading, “to finish,” was doubtless substituted by some transcribers, or rather “suggested” by the Masoretes, because it seemed to convey a better signification to say that “sin would be finished,” than to say that it would be “sealed.” The Vulgate has followed the reading in the margin - et finem accipiat peccatum; Theodotion has followed the other reading, σφραγίας ἁμαρτίας sphragisai hamartias Luther also has it, “to seal.” Coverdale, “that sin may have an end.” The true rendering is, doubtless, “to seal sin;” and the idea is that of removing it from sight; to remove it from view. “The expression is taken,” says Lengerke, “from the custom of sealing up those things which one lays aside and conceals.” Thus in Job 9:7, “And sealeth up the stars;” that is, he so shuts them up in the heavens as to prevent their shining - so as to hide them from the view. They are concealed, hidden, made close - as the contents of a letter or package are sealed, indicating that no one is to examine them.

See the note at that passage. So also in Job 37:7, referring to winter, it is said, “He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work.” That is, in the winter, when the snow is on the ground, when the streams are frozen, the labors of the farmer must cease. The hands can no more be used in ordinary toil. Every man is prevented from going abroad to his accustomed labor, and is, as it were, “sealed up” in his dwelling. Compare Jeremiah 32:11, Jeremiah 32:14; Isaiah 29:11; Genesis 6:14; and hence, to cover over sin; that is, to atone for it, pardon it, forgive it. It is the word which is commonly used with reference to atonement or expiation, and seems to have been so understood by our translators. It does not necessarily refer to the means by which sin is covered over, etc., by an atonement, but is often used in the general sense of “to pardon or forgive.” Compare the notes at Isaiah 6:7, and more fully. See the notes at Isaiah 43:3. Here there is no necessary allusion to the atonement which the Messiah would make in order to cover over sin; that is, the word is of so general a character in its signification that it does not necessarily imply this, but it is the word which would naturally be used on the supposition that it had such a reference. As a matter of fact, undoubtedly, the means by which this was to be done was by the atonement, and that was referred to by the Spirit of inspiration, but this is not essentially implied in the meaning of the word. In whatever way that should be done, this word would be properly used as expressing it. The Latin Vulgate renders thus, et deleatur iniquitas. Theodotion, ἀπαλεῖψαι τὰς ἀδικίας apaleipsai tas adikias - “to wipe out iniquities.” Luther, “to reconcile for transgression.” Here are three things specified, therefore, in regard to sin, which would be done. Sin would be

Restrained,

Sealed up,

Covered over.

These expressions, though not of the nature of a climax, are intensive, and show that the great work referred to pertained to sin, and would be designed to remove it. Its bearing would be on human transgression; on the way by which it might be pardoned; on the methods by which it would be removed from the view, and be kept from rising up to condemn and destroy. Such expressions would undoubtedly lead the mind to look forward to some method which was to be disclosed by which sin could be consistently pardoned and removed. In the remainder of the verse, there are three additional things which would be done as necessary to complete the work: -

To bring in everlasting righteousness;

To seal up the vision and prophecy; and

To anoint the Most Holy.

And to bring in everlasting righteousness - The phrase “to bring in” - literally, “to cause to come” - refers to some direct agency by which that righteousness would be introduced into the world. It would be such an agency as would cause it to exist; or as would establish it in the world. The “mode” of doing this is not indeed here specified, and, so far as the “word” used here is concerned, it would be applicable to any method by which this would be done - whether by making an atonement; or by setting an example; or by persuasion; or by placing the subject of morals on a better foundation; or by the administration of a just government; or in any other way. The term is of the most general character, and its exact force here can be learned only by the subsequently revealed facts as to the way by which this would be accomplished. The essential idea in the language is, that this would be “introduced” by the Messiah; that is, that he would be its author.

The word “righteousness” here also (צדק tsedeq ) is of a general character. The fair meaning would be, that some method would be introduced by which men would become “righteous.” In the former part of the verse, the reference was to “sin” - to the fact of its existence - to the manner in which it would be disposed of - to the truth that it would be coerced, sealed up, covered over. Here the statement is, that, in contradistinction from that, a method would be introduced by which man would become, in fact, righteous and holy. But the “word” implies nothing as to the method by which this would be done. Whether it would be by a new mode of justification, or by an influence that would make men personally holy - whether this was to be as the result of example, or instruction, or an atoning sacrifice - is not necessarily implied in the use of this word. That, as in the cases already referred to, could be learned only by subsequent develop. ments.

It would be, doubtless, understood that there was a reference to the Messiah - for that is specified in the next verse; and it would be inferred from this word that, under him, righteousness would reign, or that men would be righteous, but nothing could be argued from it as to the methods by which it would be done. It is hardly necessary to add, that, in the prophets, it is constantly said that righteousness would characterize the Messiah and his times; that he would come to make men righteous, and to set up a kingdom of righteousness in the earth. Yet the exact mode in which it was to be done would be, of course, more fully explained when the Messiah should himself actually appear. The word “everlasting” is used here to denote that the righteousness would be permanent and perpetual. In reference to the method of becoming righteous, it would be unchanging - the standing method ever onward by which men would become holy; in reference to the individuals who should become righteous under this system, it would be a righteousness which would continue forever.

This is the characteristic which is everywhere given of the righteousness which would be introduced by the Messiah. Thus in Isaiah 51:6-8: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.” So Isaiah 45:17: “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.”

Compare Jeremiah 31:3. The language used in the passage before us, moreover, is such as could not properly be applied to anything but that righteousness which the Messiah would introduce. It could not be used in reference to the temporal prosperity of the Jews on their return to the holy land, nor to such righteousness as the nation had in former times. The fair and proper meaning of the term is, that it would be “eternal” - what would “endure forever” - עלמים צדק tsedeq ‛olâmı̂ym It would place righteousness on a permanent and enduring foundation; introduce that which would endure through all changes, and exist when the heavens would be no more. In the plan itself there would be no change; in the righteousness which anyone would possess under that system there would be perpetual duration - it would exist forever and ever. This is the nature of that righteousness by which men are now justified; this is what all who are interested in the scheme of redemption actually possess. The “way” in which this “everlasting righteousness” would be introduced is not stated here, but is reserved for future revelations. Probably all that the words would convey to Daniel would be, that there would be some method disclosed by which men would become righteous, and that this would not be temporary or changing, but would be permanent and eternal. It is not improper that “we” should understand it, as it is explained by the subsequent revelations in the New Testament, as to the method by which sinners are justified before God.

And to seal up the vision and prophecy - Margin, as in the Hebrew, “prophet.” The evident meaning, however, here is “prophecy.” The word seal is found, as already explained, in the former part of the verse - “to seal up sins.” The word “vision” (for its meaning, see the notes at Isaiah 1:1) need not be understood as referring particularly to the visions seen by Daniel, but should be understood, like the word “prophecy” or “prophet” here, in a general sense - as denoting all the visions seen by the prophets - the series of visions relating to the future, which had been made known to the prophets. The idea seems to be that they would at that time be all “sealed,” in the sense that they would be closed or shut up - no longer open matters - but that the fulfillment would, as it were, close them up forever. Till that time they would be open for penusal and study; then they would be closed up as a sealed volume which one does not read, but which contains matter hidden from the view.

Compare the notes at Isaiah 8:16: “Bind up the testimony; seal the law among my disciples.” See also Daniel 8:26; Daniel 12:4. In Isaiah Isaiah 8:16 the meaning is, that the prophecy was complete, and the direction was given to bind it up, or roll it up like a volume, and to seal it. In Daniel 8:26, the meaning is, seal up the prophecy, or make a permanent record of it, that when it is fulfilled, the event may be compared with the prophecy, and it may be seen that the one corresponds with the other. In the passage before us, Gesenius (“Lexicon”) renders it, “to complete, to finish” - meaning that the prophecies would be fulfilled. Hengstenberg supposes that it means, that “as soon as the fulfillment takes place, the prophecy, although it retains, in other respects, its great importance, reaches the end of its destination, in so far as the view of believers, who stand in need of consolation and encouragement, is no longer directed to it, to the future prosperity, but to what has appeared.”

Lengerke supposes that it means to confirm, corroborate, ratify - bekraftigen, bestatigen; that is, “the eternal righteousness will be given to the pious, and the predictions of the prophets will be confirmed and fulfilled.” To seal, says he, has also the idea of confirming, since the contents of a writing are secured or made fast by a seal. After all, perhaps, the very idea here is, that of “making fast,” as a lock or seal does - for, as is well known, a seal was often used by the ancients where a lock is with us; and the sense may be, that, as a seal or lock made fast and secure the contents of a writing or a book, so the event, when the prophecy was fulfilled, would make it “fast” and “secure.” It would be, as it were, locking it up, or sealing it, forever. It would determine all that seemed to be undetermined about it; settle all that seemed to be indefinite, and leave it no longer uncertain what was meant. According to this interpretation the meaning would be, that the prophecies would be sealed up or settled by the coming of the Messiah. The prophecies terminated on him (compare Revelation 19:10); they would find their fulfillment in him; they would be completed in him - and might then be regarded as closed and consummated - as a book that is fully written and is sealed up. All the prophecies, and all the visions, had a reference more or less direct to the coming of the Messiah, and when he should appear they might be regarded as complete. The spirit of prophecy would cease, and the facts would confirm and seal all that had been written.

And to anoint the Most Holy - There has been great variety in the interpretation of this expression. The word rendered “anoint” - משׁח meshocha - infinitive from משׁח mâshach (from the word Messiah, Daniel 9:25), means, properly, to strike or draw the hand over anything; to spread over with anything, to smear, to paint, to anoint. It is commonly used with reference to a sacred rite, to anoint, or consecrate by unction, or anointing to any office or use; as, e. g., a priest, Exodus 28:41; Exodus 40:15; a prophet, 1 Kings 19:16; Isaiah 61:1; a king, 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 15:1; 2 Samuel 2:4; 1 Kings 1:34. So it is used to denote the consecration of a stone or column as a future sacred place, Genesis 31:13; or vases and vessels as consecrated to God, Exodus 40:9, Exodus 40:11; Leviticus 8:11; Numbers 7:1. The word would then denote a setting apart to a sacred use, or consecrating a person or place as holy. Oil, or an unguent, prepared according to a specified rule, was commonly employed for this purpose, but the word may be used in a figurative sense - as denoting to set apart or consecrate in any way “without” the use of oil - as in the case of the Messiah. So far as this word, therefore, is concerned, what is here referred to may have occurred without the literal use of oil, by any act of consecration or dedication to a holy use.

The phrase, “the Most Holy” (קדשׁים קדשׁ qôdesh qādāshı̂ym ) has been very variously interpreted. By some it has been understood to apply literally to the most holy place - the holy of holies, in the temple; by others to the whole temple, regarded as holy; by others to Jerusalem at large as a holy place; and by others, as Hengstenberg, to the Christian church as “a” holy place. By some the thing here referred to is supposed to have been the consecration of the most holy place after the rebuilding of the temple; by others the consecration of the whole temple; by others the consecration of the temple and city by the presence of the Messiah, and by others the consecration of the Christian church, by his presence. The phrase properly means “holy of holies,” or most holy. It is applied often in the Scriptures to the “inner sanctuary,” or the portion of the tabernacle and temple containing the ark of the covenant, the two tables of stone, etc.

See the notes at Matthew 21:12. The phrase occurs in the following places in the Scripture: Exodus 26:33-34; Exodus 29:37; Exodus 30:29, Exodus 30:36; Exodus 40:10; Leviticus 2:3, Leviticus 2:10, “et al.” - in all, in about twenty-eight places. See the “Englishman‘s Hebrew Concordance.” It is not necessarily limited to the inner sanctuary of the temple, but may be applied to the whole house, or to anything that was consecrated to God in a manner peculiarly sacred. In a large sense, possibly it might apply to Jerusalem, though I am not aware that it ever occurs in this sense in the Scriptures, and in a figurative sense it might be applied undoubtedly, as Hengstenberg supposes, to the Christian church, though it is certain that it is not elsewhere thus used. In regard to the meaning of the expression - an important and difficult one, as is admitted by all - there are five principal opinions which it may be well to notice. The truth will be found in one of them.

(1) That it refers to the consecration by oil or anointing of the temple, that would be rebuilt after the captivity, by Zerubbabel and Joshua. This was the opinion of Michaelis and Jahn. But to this opinion there are insuperable objections:

(a) That, according to the uniform tradition of the Jews, the holy oil was wanting in the second temple. In the case of the first temple there might have been a literal anointing, though there is no evidence of that, as there was of the anointing of the vessels of the tabernacle, Exodus 30:22, etc. But in the second temple there is every evidence that there can be, that there was no literal anointing.

(b) The “time” here referred to is a fatal objection to this opinion. The period is seventy weeks of years, or four hundred and ninety years. This cannot be doubted (see the notes at the first part of the verse) to be the period referred to; but it is absurd to suppose that the consecration of the new temple would be deferred for so long a time, and there is not the slightest evidence that it was. This opinion, therefore, cannot be entertained.

(2) The second opinion is, that it refers to the re-consecration and cleansing of the temple after the abominations of Antiochus Epiphanes. See the notes at Daniel 8:14. But this opinion is liable substantially to the same objections as the other. The cleansing of the temple, or of the sanctuary, as it is said in Daniel 8:14, did “not” occur four hundred and ninety years after the order to rebuild the temple Daniel 9:25, but at a much earlier period. By no art of construction, if the period here referred to is four hundred and ninety years, can it be made to apply to the re-dedication of the temple after Antiochus had defiled it.

(3) Others have supposed that this refers to the Messiah himself, and that the meaning is, that he, who was most holy, would then be consecrated or anointed as the Messiah. It is probable, as Hengstenberg (“Christ.” ii. 321,322) has shown, that the Greek translators thus understood it, but it is a sufficient objection to this that the phrase, though occurring many times in the Scriptures, is never applied to “persons,” unless this be an instance. Its uniform and proper application is to “things,” or “places,” and it is undoubtedly so to be understood in this place.

(4) Hengstenberg supposes (pp. 325-328) that it refers to the Christian church as “a” holy place, or “the New Temple of the Lord,” “the Church of the New covenant,” as consecrated and supplied with the gifts of the Spirit. But it is a sufficient refutation of this opinion that the phrase is nowhere else so used; that it has in the Old Testament a settled meaning as referring to the tabernacle or the temple; that it is nowhere employed to denote a collection of “people,” anymore than an individual person - an idea which Hengstenberg himself expressly rejects (p. 322); and that there is no proper sense in which it can be said that the Christian church is “anointed.” The language is undoubtedly to be understood as referring to some “place” that was to be thus consecrated, and the uniform Hebrew usage would lead to the supposition that there is reference, in some sense, to the temple at Jerusalem.

(5) It seems to me, therefore, that the obvious and fair interpretation is, to refer it to the temple - as the holy place of God; his peculiar abode on earth. Strictly and properly speaking, the phrase would apply to the inner room of the temple - the sanctuary properly so called (see the notes at Hebrews 9:2); but it might he applied to the whole temple as consecrated to the service of God. If it be asked, then, what anointing or consecration is referred to here, the reply, as it seems to me, is, not that it was then to be set apart anew, or to be dedicated; not that it was literally to be anointed with the consecrating oil, but that it was to be consecrated in the highest and best sense by the presence of the Messiah - that by his coming there was to be a higher and more solemn consecration of the temple to the real purpose for which it was erected than had occurred at any time. It was reared as a holy place; it would become eminently holy by the presence of him who would come as the anointed of God, and his coming to it would accomplish the purpose for which it was erected, and with reference to which all the rites observed there had been ordained, and then, this work having been accomplished, the temple, and all the rites pertaining to it, would pass away.

In confirmation of this view, it may be remarked, that there are repeated allusions to the coming of the Messiah to the second temple, reared after the return from the captivity - as that which would give a peculiar sacredness to the temple, and which would cause it to surpass in glory all its ancient splendor. So in Haggai 2:7, Haggai 2:9: “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. - The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” So Malachi 3:1-2: “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner‘s fire, and like fullers‘ soap,” etc.

Compare Matthew 12:6: “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.” Using the word “anoint,” therefore, as denoting to consecrate, to render holy, to set apart to a sacred use, and the phrase “holy of holies” to designate the temple as such, it seems to me most probable that the reference here is to the highest consecration which could be made of the temple in the estimation of a Hebrew, or, in fact, the presence of the Messiah, as giving a sacredness to that edifice which nothing else did give or could give, and, therefore, as meeting all the proper force of the language used here. On the supposition that it was designed that there should be a reference to this event, this would be such language as would have been not unnaturally employed by a Hebrew prophet. And if it be so, this may be regarded as the probable meaning of the passage. In this sense, the temple which was to be reared again, and about which Daniel felt so solicitous, would receive its highest, its truest consecration, as connected with an event which was to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophecy.

(D) Simultaneously with this event, as the result of this, we are to anticipate such a spread of truth and righteousness, and such a reign of the saints on the earth, as would be properly symbolized by the coming of the Son of man to the ancient of days to receive the kingdom, Daniel 7:13-14. As shown in the interpretation of those verses, this does not necessarily imply that there would be any visible appearing of the Son of man, or any personal reign (see the note at these verses), but there would be such a making over of the kingdom to the Son of man and to the saints as would be properly symbolized by such a representation. That is, there would be great changes; there would be a rapid progress of the truth; there would be a spread of the gospel; there would be a change in the governments of the world, so that the power would pass into the hands of the righteous, and they would in fact rule. From that time the “saints” would receive the kingdom, and the affairs of the world would be put on a new footing. From that period it might be said that the reign of the saints would commence; that is, there would be such changes in this respect that that would constitute an epoch in the history of the world - the proper beginning of the reign of the saints on the earth - the setting up of the new and final dominion in the world. If there should be such changes - such marked progress - such facilities for the spread of truth - such new methods of propagating it - and such certain success attending it, all opposition giving way, and persecution ceasing, as would properly constitute an epoch or era in the world‘s history, which would be connected with the conversion of the world to God, this would fairly meet the interpretation of this prophecy; this occurring, all would have taken place which could be fairly shown to be implied in the vision.

(E) We are to expect a reign of righteousness on the earth. On the character of what we are fairly to expect from the words of the prophecy, see the notes at Daniel 7:14. The prophecy authorizes us to anticipate a time when there shall be a general prevalence of true religion; when the power in the world shall be in the hands of good men - of men fearing God; when the Divine laws shall be obeyed - being acknowledged as the laws that are to control men; when the civil institutions of the world shall be pervaded by religion, and moulded by it; when there shall be no hinderance to the free exercise of religion, and when in fact the reigning power on the earth shall be the kingdom which the Messiah shall set up. There is nothing more certain in the future than such a period, and to that all things are tending. Such a period would fulfill all that is fairly implied in this wonderful prophecy, and to that faith and hope should calmly and confidently look forward. For that they who love their God and their race should labor and pray; and by the certain assurance that such a period will come, we should be cheered amidst all the moral darkness that exists in the world, and in all that now discourages us in our endeavors to do good.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/daniel-9.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Daniel 9:24

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people.

Shutting, Sealing, and Covering: or, Messiah’s Glorious Work

The Lord God appointed a set time for the coming of His Son into the world; nothing was left to chance. Infinite wisdom dictated the hour at which the Messiah should be born, and the moment at which he should be cut off. Note, again, that the Lord told His people somewhat darkly, but still with a fair measure of clearness, when the Christ would come. Thus he cheered them when the heavy clouds of woe hung over their path. This prophecy shone like a star in the midst of the sorrows of Israel; so bright was it that at the period when Christ came there was a general expectation of Him. The first advent of our Lord is spoken of in our text as ordained to be ere the seventy weeks were finished, and the city should be destroyed; and so it was even as the prophet had spoken.

I. First, LET US SURVEY THE MESSIAHS WORK. The first work of our Lord Jesus Christ is the overthrow of evil, and it is thus described--“To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity.” But our Lord’s labour is not all spent upon down-pulling work; He comes to build up, and His second work is the setting up of righteousness in the world, described again by three sentences: “To bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” The first work of the Messiah is the overthrow of evil. This overthrow of evil is described by three words. If I were to give you a literal translation from the Hebrew I might read the passage thus: “To shut up the transgression, to seal up sin, and to cover up iniquity.” According to learned men, those are the words which are here used, and the three put together are a singularly complete description off the putting away of sin. First, it is “shut up”; it is, as it were, taken prisoner, and confined in a cell; the door is fastened, and it is held in durance; it is out of sight; held to a narrow range: unable to exercise the power it once possessed. In a word, it is, restrained”--so the margin of our Bibles reads it. The Hebrew word signifies to hold back, to hold in, to arrest, to keep in prison, to shut in or shut up. Its dominion is finished, for sin itself is bound. Christ has led captivity captive. But it is not enough to shut up the vanquished tyrant, unless he be shut up for ever; end, therefore, lest there should be any possibility of his breaking loose again, the next sentence is, “To seal up.” The uses of the seal are many, but here it is employed for certainty of custody. Thus is sin placed doubly out of sight; it is shut up and sealed up, as a document put into a case and then sealed down. “Finished” and “made an end of” are the two words used in our authorised version, and they give the essence of the meaning. To borrow a figure--Arabi, the Egyptian rebel, is shut up as our prisoner, and his defeat is sealed, therefore his rebellion is finished and an end is made of it. Even thus is it with transgression; our Lord has vanquished evil, and certified the same under the hand and seal of the Omnipotent, and therefore we may with rapture hear Him say, “It is finished,” and also behold Him rise from the dead to seal our justification. Yet, as if this might not suffice, the next term in the Hebrew is “to cover up”; for the word to make reconciliation or expiation is usually in the Hebrew to cover over. “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Christ has come to cover sin, to atone for it, and so to hide it. The two former sentences speak of finishing transgression and making an end of sin, and these expressions are full and complete, while this third one explains the means by which the work is done, namely, by an expiation which covers up every trace of sin. Thus in the three together we have a picture of the utter extinction of sin both as to its guilt and its power, ay, and its very existence; it is put into the dungeon and the door is shut upon it; after this the door is sealed and then it is covered up, so that the place of sin’s sepulchre cannot be seen any more for ever. Observe that the terms for sin are left in an absolute form. It is said, “to finish transgression,” “to make an end of sins,” “to make reconciliation for iniquity.” Whose transgression is this? Whose sins are these? It is not said. There is no word employed to set out the persons for Whom atonement is made, as is done in verses like these--“Christ loved the church and gave himself for it”; “I lay down my life for the sheep.” The mass of evil is left unlabelled, that any penitent sinner may look to the Messiah and find in Him the remover of sin. What transgression is finished? Transgression of every kind. The Messiah came to wipe out and utterly destroy sin, and this is, and will he, the effect of His work. Put all the three sentences into one and this is the sum of them. I take the sentences separately and press each cluster by itself. And first notice that it is said He came to finish the transgression. As some understand it, our Lord came that in His death transgression might reach its highest development, and sign its own condemnation. Sin reached its finis, its ultimatum, its climax, in the murder of the Son of God. It could not proceed further; the course of malice could no further go. Now hath sin finished itself, and now hath Jesus come to finish it. “Thus far,” saith He, “thou shalt go, but no further; here in my wounds and death shall thy proud waves be stayed.” The huge leviathan of evil has met its match, and is placed under the power of the Avenger. Thus saith the Lord, “Behold, I will put my hook in thy nose and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee by the way by which thou earnest.” The Lord hath set bounds to the transgression which aforetime broke all bounds. Where sin abounded, grace doth much more abound. Sin is shut up that grace may have liberty. Now take the second sentence, which in our version is, “To make an end of sin.” Messiah has come to proclaim so free, so rich, so gracious a pardon to the sons of men that when they receive it sin virtually ceases to he; it is made an end of. But the Hebrew has it “to seal up sins.” Now I take it to mean just this. There are certain handwritings which are against us, and they would be produced against us in court, but by the order of the judge all these handwritings are sealed up, and regarded as out of sight; no man dare break the seal, and no man can read them unless the seal be broken; therefore they will never be brought against us. They have become virtually null and void. Everything that can be brought as an accusation against God’s people is now sealed up and put out of the way once for all, never to be opened and laid to their charge before the living God. Or, if you regard sin as a captive prisoner, you must now see that by Christ’s death the prison wherein sin lies is so sealed that the enemy can never come forth again in its ancient power. But now, the last expression is in English, He hath come “to make reconciliation for iniquity”; that is, to end the strife between God and man by a glorious reconciliation, a making again of peace between these twain; so that God loveth man, and, as a consequence, man loveth God. In the blessed atonement of Christ, God and man meet at a chosen meeting-place. Now, take the Hebrew for it, and read the sentence thus--to cover iniquity. Oh, what bliss this is; to think that sin is now once for all covered! I fail to describe this triumphant overthrow of sin and Satan. I have neither wisdom nor language answerable to such a theme. I invite you now to consider the second work, namely, the setting up of righteousness. This is set before us in three expressions; first, in the words “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” And what is that? Why, his own righteousness which is from everlasting to everlasting. Happy are those spirits to whom Christ gives an everlasting righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom and in it they shall shine forth as the sun. Next, in order to the setting up of a kingdom of righteousness He is come that He may “seal up vision and prophecy.” That is, by fulfilling all the visions and the prophecies of the Old Testament in Himself, He ends both prophecy and vision. He seals up visions and prophecies so that they shall no more be seen or spoken; they are closed, and no man can add to them; and therefore--and that is the point to note--the gospel is for ever settled, to remain eternally the same. Christ has set up a kingdom that shall never he moved. His truth can never be changed by any novel revelation. There always was something better yet to come in all times till Christ arrived; but after the best there cometh none. This, then, is an essential part of the setting up of that which is good--namely, to settle truth on a fixed basis, whereon we may stand steadfast, immovable. The candles are snuffed out because the day itself looks out from the windows of Heaven. Then, as if this were not enough, He is also come to anoint the Most Holy, or the Holy of holies, as you may read it And what means this? Nothing material, for the Holy of holies, the place into which the High Priest went of old is demolished, and the veil is rent. The most holy place is now the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; He was anointed that God might dwell in Him. Together with Christ the Holy of holies is now His Church, and that Church was anointed or dedicated when the Holy Ghost fell at Pentecost, to be with us, and to abide in us for ever. That was a noble part of the setting up of the great kingdom of righteousness, when tongues of fire descended and sat upon each of the disciples, and they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Heaven rings with the praises of the Messiah who came to destroy the work of sin, and to set up the kingdom of righteous-hess in the midst of the world.

II. LET US NOW ENQUIRE AS TO OUR PARTICIPATION IN THESE TWO WORKS. First, Christ has come into the world to do all this good work, but has He done it for us? There is a general aspect to the atonement, but there is quite as surely a special object in it. The first question that is to help you to answer that enquiry is this--Is your sin shut up as to its power? “Sin shall not have dominion over you” if Christ is in you. How is it between your soul and evil? Is there war or peace? The next question arising out of the text is, Is your sin sealed up as to its condemning power? Have you ever felt the power of the Holy Spirit in your soul, saying to you, “Go in peace; thy sins which are many, are all forgiven thee”? “There is no peace saith my God, to the wicked.” There is no peace to any of us till Christ hath made an end of our sin. How is it with your hearts? And next, is your sin covered as to its appearance before God? Has the Lord Jesus Christ made such an expiation for your sin that it no longer glares in the presence of the Most High, but you can come unto God without dread? Further, let me question you about the next point. Has the Lord Jesus Christ made you righteous? Do you glory in His blood and righteousness, and do you now seek after that which is pure and holy? Furthermore, are the prophecies and visions sealed up as to you? Are they fulfilled in you? When God declares that He will wash us and make us whiter than snow, is it so with you? When He declares that He will cleanse our blood, which has not yet been cleansed, is it so with you? Nor is this all; are you anointed to be most holy to the Lord? Are you set apart that you may serve Him?

III. Lastly, THE RESULTS OF PARTICIPATING IN ALL THIS. The results! They are, first of all, security. How can that man be lost whose transgression is finished, and whose sin has ceased to be? What is there for him to dread on earth, in Heaven, or in hell? And now, inasmuch as you are secure, you are also reconciled to God, and made to delight in Him. God is your friend, and you are one of the friends of God. Rejoice in that hallowed friendship, and live in the assurance of it. But now, suppose when I put the question, you had to shake your head and say, “No, it is not so with me.” Then hear these few sentences. If the Messiah has not done this for you, then your sin will be finished in another way--sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. An awful death awaits you--death unto God, and purity and joy. If Christ has never made an end of your sin, then mark this, your sin will soon make an end of you, and all your hopes, your pleasures, your boasting, your peace will perish. Has not Christ reconciled you? Then mark this, your enmity will increase. Have you never had the righteousness of Christ brought in? Then mark this, your unrighteousness will last for ever. One of these days God will say, “He that is unholy, let him be unholy still; he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.” Are not the prophecies fulfilled in you, the prophecies of mercy? Then listen. The prophecies of woe will be written large across your history. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.” Lastly, will you never be anointed to be most holy? Then remember, holiness and you will stand at a distance for ever, and to be far off from holiness must necessarily be to be far off from Heaven and happiness. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Seventy-Sevens

A general summary of what those seventy-sevens are to see accomplished is the first thing explained by the angel. If we ask for what these periods are thus divided out, we here get the answer.

1. “To consummate transgression”--finish it, bring it to its final stopping-point, after which there will be no more of it.

2. “To make an end of sins”--seal them up, shut them in prison, so as never to break forth again.

3. “To cover iniquity”--expiate it by adequate satisfaction, blot it out, hide it for ever.

4. “To bring in everlasting righteousness”--put man in normal relations with God, set human life into thorough accord with Jehovah’s will and law, induce a condition of moral rectitude, which thenceforward shall never again be interrupted, but endure for all the ages.

5. “To seal vision and prophet”--authenticate and vindicate by fulfilment, make good and finish out in fact and deed all that God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

6. “To anoint”--consecrate, put into place and effectiveness--a “holiness of holinesses,” which is the literal sense of the words in this last clause. It can refer to nothing less than the completed outcome of the redemptive administrations as a whole--the ultimate result and crown of grace and providence, of which all the prophets speak. Everything promised, prophesied, or ever to be hoped for Israel is thus summed up in what these seventy-seven years are to bring. (Joseph, A. Seiss, D.D.)

God’s Set Times

This text was an answer to a prayer--one of the warmest, humblest, and most earnest prayers that was ever offered up. In answer, the angel told Daniel of the time when the Son of God was to come down, and of all the blessed things He was to do for man’s salvation.

1. As to the time. Seventy weeks. Punctually the Lord came.

2. See the description of what He was to do. His name is expressive, “Most holy.” His qualification is “anointed and consecrated,” What was His undertaking? Something He came to do away with. “Finish the transgression, and make an end of sin.” And to make reconciliation for iniquity.” Jesus not only does away with the guilt of the sins which men have committed, but He breaks sin’s power in them for the time to come. See what He comes to do. “To bring everlasting righteousness.” He “sealed up the vision and the prophecy” by bringing it to pass. Reflections.

And to bring in everlasting righteousness.

An Everlasting Righteousness

1. What we are to understand by the word “righteousness.” Some would say “moral honesty,” doing justice between man and man. It likewise signifies inward holiness, wrought in us by the Spirit of God. I think the word here used means “imputed righteousness.” When Christ’s righteousness is spoken of, we are to understand Christ’s obedience and death; all that Christ has done and suffered for an elect world--for all that will believe on Him. It might be called a blessed righteousness, a glorious righteousness, an invaluable righteousness; the angel here calls it an “everlasting righteousness.”

2. On what account is it called an “everlasting righteousness”?

3. What are we to understand by Christ’s bringing this righteousness in?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Daniel 9:24". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/daniel-9.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem unto the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: 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 even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined. And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate."

THE FAMED PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS

There is not a single word in this prophecy that is not disputed; and we shall note some of these opinions; however, in the overall sense, there is not anything very hard about this prophecy. First we shall notice some of what we hold to be impossible interpretations of it.

(a) The critics who deny the trustworthiness and dependability of the holy Bible refer this prophecy to Antiochus Epiphanes in the Maccabean period about the year 160 B.C. The desolation is caused by Antiochus, and the anointed one is Onias III; and the passage is robbed of any reference whatever to the Messiah. "The objections to this type of interpretation are so serious that it cannot possibly be regarded as correct."[8]

(b) A second school of interpreters (the dispensationalists) has many shades of beliefs; but generally, they deny that the six things to be accomplished in Daniel 9:24 were achieved by Christ in his First Advent. They interpose a gap between the 69th and 70th week and suppose that at the 2nd Advent of Christ, following the Church Age, the Christ will return and the seventieth week will resume at that time. The Scofield Bible gives a general presentation of this interpretation. We cannot possibly accept such notions about this prophecy, principally because they nullify the great work of Christ in his atoning death, burial and resurrection. Also, Christ gave his blood for the church (Acts 20:28), which is ample proof of the absolute necessity and importance of the Church. Such premillennial theories as these are guilty of downgrading the Church and of stripping it of its genuine place in the economy of redemption.

THE TRUE INTERPRETATION

As Keil said, "Most of the church fathers and the older orthodox interpreters find prophesied here the appearance of Christ m the flesh, His Death, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70."[9] That this is indeed the true interpretation is plainly indicated by the words of Jesus Christ who definitely applied "the abomination" spoken of by Daniel as an event that would occur in the siege of Jerusalem, as prophesied by Christ repeatedly in Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21. Furthermore, Christ warned the Christians that, "When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then let them that are in Judea flee unto the mountains" (Matthew 24:15,16). Many Christian commentators have pointed out that the Christians indeed heeded that warning. Eusebius tells how the Christians fled from Jerusalem when the Romans most unpredictably lifted their siege, a fact that even Josephus noted.[10] No Christian is said to have lost his life in the final destruction of Jerusalem.

Now, for the believer in Christ, one such indication from our Lord and Redeemer is worth more than thousands of human opinions. Since, therefore, Jesus Christ himself related this vision to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, that settles it; and we may therefore reckon the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. as an event that was indeed accomplished within the prescribed "seventy weeks" of this vision. That is what these verses actually say.

WHAT THE PROPHECY SAYS

Note that six things are to be accomplished within the seventy weeks:

1. To finish transgression.

2. To make an end of sins.

3. To make reconciliation for iniquity.

4. To bring in everlasting righteousness.

5. To seal up vision and prophecy.

6. To anoint the most holy. (as in Daniel 9:24).

"To finish transgression" is a reference to the fairness of Israel's sins culminating in their rejection of the Messiah. As a result of that "finishing" of their transgressions, they were judicially condemned and hardened, their city and religious economy destroyed, and the people scattered all over the world. For almost 2,000 years they disappeared as a nation; and, even with the revival of a modern "Israeli" today, it has no legitimate connection whatever with ancient Israel.

"To make an end of sins ..." This was accomplished when Christ "condemned sin in the flesh." Only in Jesus Christ has there ever been any such thing as the absolute forgiveness of sins. This line alone makes it certain that Christ's coming is here foretold.

"To make reconciliation for iniquity ..." "This means `to pardon, to blot out by means of a sin-offering, to forgive.'"[11] Here is a certain reference to the atonement for human transgression wrought by Jesus Christ on Calvary, as a result of which "reconciliation of men to God" could occur. This is precisely the thing that restored the broken fellowship between man and his God. We are indebted to Thomson who tells us that the word used here, "`To make an atonement,' is the technical word used fifty times in Leviticus for the offering of atoning sacrifice."[12]

"To bring in everlasting righteousness ..." The only righteousness our poor world ever saw was the righteousness wrought by Christ. He is indeed "the righteousness of God"; there cannot possibly be any other source of it. The notion that this bringing in of everlasting righteousness could pertain to any other person that Christ is impossible of acceptance. This righteousness came from above; it did not rise out of the earth; Jesus brought it.

"To seal up vision and prophecy ..." We regard this as a figure referring to the confirmation of the ancient prophecies by their most marvelous fulfillment in the events of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some 333 prophecies of the Old Testament pointing to the coming of Jesus Christ were most circumstantially fulfilled in his life, death, resurrection, etc.

"To anoint the most holy ..." This is so obviously a reference to Jesus Christ that we still marvel that the expression Most Holy is not capitalized, as in KJV or as in Douay which reads it, "Saint of saints may be anointed." As we noted above, however, every word of this prophecy is disputed, and even Keil did not allow that this expression can refer to a person, making it a reference to some thing, not a person. Keil could not have so misunderstood this if he had consulted 1 Chronicles 23:23, where without the article (the basis of Keil's rejection) the phrase applies to an individual. "It is indeed applied most frequently to persons: to Aaron (Exodus 40:13), to Saul (1 Samuel 10:10), and to David (1 Samuel 16:3);"[13] Therefore the ancient renditions of this place are correct. "This understanding of it was accepted by the Jews, and the old Syriac translates this text, `To the Messiah, the Most Holy.'"[14]

The shenanigans of the critical community regarding the interpretation of this anointing were discussed by Keil. He noted that they refer all of this to the times of Maccabees or a little earlier, alleging that the "anointing" here refers to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering which was restored by Zurabbel and Joshua, or to the consecration of the altar following its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes. Keil stated categorically that, "None of these interpretations can be justified."[15] To begin with, there were not any anointings during the era of the 2temple! "According to the definite uniform tradition of the Jews, the holy anointing oil did not even exist during the times of the second temple!"[16]

These six things therefore pertain exclusively to the times of the First Advent of Christ and the setting up of his eternal kingdom.

Daniel 9:25 advances the prophecy by giving the "terminus a quem" for the seventy weeks, namely from the date of the commandment to restore and to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. This of course was somewhat subsequent to the end of the Babylonian captivity; and the difficulty is compounded by our ignorance of just exactly when that commandment went forth. It is not even known if this means the commandment "from God" or by some kingly edict. There are several proposals as to just exactly when we should begin counting the seventy weeks. There is another problem. The weeks, understood as "weeks of years" theory is widely accepted and generally taken for granted; and yet it has not been actually proved. The nearest thing we have to proof that these 490 days should actually be understood as 490 years derives from the fact that Christ identified this prophecy as reaching to 70 A.D., which definitely favors the day for a year understanding of it.

The big message in Daniel 9:25, from Daniel's viewpoint was that God definitely promised that "The city shall be built again ... in troublous times." For a city that had already lain in desolation for the better part of a century, this must have been welcome news indeed to the grieving prophet.

The whole seventy weeks were not to pass before Messiah came; that event would occur at the expiration of 69 weeks, interpreted by many as 483 years. Here again is the difficulty of any certainty as to what part of Jesus' life is reached by this calculation. His anointing (baptism) took place in A.D. 26; his death, burial, and resurrection in April of A.D. 30. Added to the uncertainty as to the "terminus a quem", it is almost impossible to be dogmatically certain as to the exact times specified. Nevertheless there is great utility in the prophecy.

Thomson calculated the starting point of the "seventy weeks" as 445 B.C., relating it to a positive command for Nehemiah to build "the walls." Allowing this, the 490 years would bring us to 32. A.D. (about the time, but not exactly the time, of Christ's Ascension); and the sixty-nine weeks would bring us to A.D. 25 (about the time of Christ's baptism, that is, his anointing).[17] No one can fail to be impressed with how nearly these calculations correspond to sacred occasions in the life of Our Lord. Allowing for the fact, that the seventy years of Israel's captivity turned about to be only about 68 or 69 years, one can see that such calculations as these commend themselves to many people.

Daniel 9:26 begins with the statement, "After the threescore and two weeks"; and the interesting thing is that there has been no previous mention of any "threescore and two weeks." There is a mention of the seven weeks and three-score and two weeks (69 weeks); and therefore it is hard to resist the conclusion that perhaps a word has fallen out of the text here, thus making the meaning to be, "Now after the sixty nine weeks." Some scholars have raised the question of a defective text here; and we are not personally able to evaluate such claims. Nevertheless, it is perfectly clear that the 69th week takes us to "The Prince" who can be none other than the Christ. The cutting off of "the prince" followed quickly upon the appearance of Christ in his ministry; and although the destruction of Jerusalem which is mentioned in Daniel 9:26 as something to be accomplished within the seventy weeks, it is not necessary to suppose that the seventieth week needed to be extended unduly to reach the actual terminal date of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Christ indeed prophesied the total destruction of the city repeatedly, declaring that not one stone should be left on top of another within the temple complex itself, that her enemies would come and cast a trench about her and dash her little ones in pieces within her. True to the language of all the prophets, what God (or Christ) prophesied would happen was spoken of in the past tense, as something already done. That is why the destruction of Jerusalem was to be accomplished (in that sense) within the actual terminus of the seventy weeks.

It is apparent that in this interpretation, we have ignored altogether the "sixty and two weeks," there being no way that we can discover any meaning in them. That they are indeed a part of the seventy weeks, and that they do not constitute a gap and an extension of the seventieth week to some far off end of time appearance, has been discerned by many scholars.

The destruction of Jerusalem is here plainly included in the seventy weeks; and we have interpreted this to mean that within that time, Christ indeed condemned the city to total destruction, a prophecy actually fulfilled nearly forty years after Christ spoke. "Even unto the end ..." would appear to be a reference to the end of the Jewish nation. That there could also be overtones of the final termination of human probation in this is also freely admitted.

Now, the prophecy in Daniel 9:27, to the effect that Christ should make the covenant firm with many for one week is a clear reference to the public ministry of Jesus Christ. It is here called "a week," indicating a seven year period; but with this limitation! He the Messiah was cut off "in the midst of the week," that is after three and one half years, which corresponds exactly to the facts. The further references to the destruction of Jerusalem, "the flood," and "the war," etc. are prophecies of the great tribulations that should overwhelm Jerusalem at the times when her doom was executed by the armies of Vespasian and Titus in the year 70 A.D.

CONCERNING THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

Jesus Christ interpreted this as an event that would be openly visible to all, saints and sinners alike; he associated it with the destruction of Jerusalem; and in the light of the fact that the destruction of that city was itself a type of the final holocaust on the eternal Judgment Day, and that many of the conditions existing in God's Israel prior to that event would also be manifested a second time in the New Israel prior to final Judgment, it appears that a second abomination of desolation shall occur in the final days of Adam's race on earth.

Exactly what was this "abomination of desolation?" Notice that there are two things in this, namely, abomination, and desolation.

The abomination referred to the gross pollution of the "holy place," a reference to the temple sanctuary, or more properly, the Holy of Holies itself. This was to be the signal that indicated the approaching "desolation," thus it is said that the desolation was to come upon the "wing" of abominations (note the plural), indicating that the desolations would be a direct result of the gross pollution of the holy place.

What happened? The Jewish people requested that a robber, named Barabbas, should be released to them instead of Christ (Mark 15:11); and it was appropriate that the consequences of such a choice should have been received by them making it. Josephus devotes twenty pages to a description of the sordid details of how a band of ruthless outlaw robbers took complete charge of the city, along with the entire temple complex, long before the Romans came, and who committed wholesale barbarity, rapines, plunderings, and murders, "over 12,000 of the nobility being brutally put to death, along with countless thousands of the common people. They even filled up the Holy of Holies itself with dead bodies! The robbers fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals and cut their throats in what place soever they caught them!"[18] Josephus commented on this thus: "I cannot but think that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, that he cut off those great defenders, namely, the nobility."[19] In this connection Josephus also related how:

"There was a certain ancient oracle of those men (the Jews), that the city should be taken and the sanctuary burnt, by right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews, and their own hands should pollute the temple of God."[20]

Bickersteth's discerning comment on this is that, "Their outrages against God were the special cause of the desolation of Jerusalem ... theirs was the abomination that filled up the measure of their iniquities and caused the avenging power of Rome to come down upon them and crash them."[21] Thus the Jews made the holy place desolate morally; and the Romans made it (and the city) desolate by their ruthless destruction of them.

Almost certainly, here is the portion of this prophecy that may be applied to the end of all things culminating in the Final Judgment. Just as the Old Israel finally turned totally against God; so also shall it be in the final days of the New Israel when "the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled." Revelation 16 describes a time when the moral environment of the whole earth shall be corrupted in a near-total degree. It is of that period that Jesus asked, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth" (Luke 18:8). In Christ's multiple prophecy of the end of the world (Matthew 24:9-11), Christ warned that the ordinary upheavals of history such as wars and rumors of wars, floods, earthquakes, famines, etc. were not to be understood as "signs" of the end. The significant thing was what was happening among God's people themselves! When the time comes that the Church herself has forsaken the fundamentals of her faith in Christ, the abomination that makes desolate shall again appear in the "holy place," in the last instance of it, in the Church herself. There are many shameful developments in the visible Christendom of our own times that are frightening!

All of this prophecy appears to this writer as clearly understandable except the matter of the 62 weeks which we cited above. What ever this may mean, granted that it could indeed be a faithful record of the sacred text, we have been unable to discover any means of arriving at a scriptural explanation of it. There remains the strong possibility that "the sixty two weeks" was not originally a reference to a period of sixty-two weeks (no such period having been mentioned previously in the whole Bible), but rather to the "seven weeks and threescore weeks and two weeks" just mentioned in the previous verse, namely, the 69 weeks. Certainly, we are justified in the rejection of the irresponsible millennial views that are imported into the passage. Some things are simply not revealed; and, as far as we can discern, the matter of these alleged 62 weeks is one of them.

One thing stands out - these seventy weeks were about to be completed, as indicated by Christ's reference to the abomination that makes desolate, which was soon to be fulfilled. This was clearly stated by Christ. Therefore, when Christ charged the Pharisees with being weather prophets who were nevertheless unable to "discern the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3), it was most likely that one of the signs the Pharisees could not discern was that of the "seventy weeks" of Daniel approaching their termination.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/daniel-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city,..... Or, "concerning thy people, and concerning thy holy city"F19על עמך "de populo tuo", Helvicus. ; that is, such a space of time is fixed upon; "cut out"F20נהתך "decisae", Pagninus: Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. , as the word signifies; or appointed of God for the accomplishment of certain events, relative to the temporal good of the city and people of the Jews; as the rebuilding of their city and temple; the continuance of them as a people, and of their city; the coming of the Messiah to them, to obtain spiritual blessings for them, and for all the people of God; who also were Daniel's people and city in a spiritual sense, to which he belonged; and likewise what was relative to the utter ruin and destruction of the Jews as a people, and of their city: and this space of "seventy" weeks is not to be understood of weeks of days; which is too short a time for the fulfilment of so many events as are mentioned; nor were they fulfilled within such a space of time; but of weeks of years, and make up four hundred and ninety years; within which time, beginning from a date after mentioned, all the things prophesied of were accomplished; and this way of reckoning of years by days is not unusual in the sacred writings; see Genesis 29:27. The verb used is singular, and, joined with the noun plural, shows that every week was cut out and appointed for some event or another; and the word, as it signifies "to cut", aptly expresses the division, or section of these weeks into distinct periods, as seven, sixty two, and one. The first events mentioned are spiritual ones, and are not ascribed to any particular period; but are what should be done within this compass of time in general, and were done toward the close of it; and are first observed because of the greatest importance, and are as follow:

to finish the transgression; not the transgression of Adam, or original sin, which, though took away by Christ from his people, yet not from all men; nor the actual transgression of man in general, which never more abounded than in the age in which Christ lived; but rather the transgressions of his people he undertook to satisfy for, and which were laid on him, and bore by him, and carried away, so as not to be seen more, or to have no damning power over them. The word used signifies "to restrain"F21לכלא "cohibendo", Junius & Tremellius; "ad cohibendum", Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; "ad coercendum", Cocceius. ; now, though sin greatly abounded, both among Jews and Gentiles, in the age of the Messiah; yet there never was an age in which greater restraints were laid on it than in this, by the ministry of John the Baptist, and of Christ in Judea and by the apostles in the Gentile world:

and to make an end of sins; so that they shall be no more, but put away and abolished by the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ for them, as to guilt and punishment; so that those, for whose sins satisfaction is made, no charge can be brought against them, nor the curse of the law reach them, nor any sentence of it be executed, or any punishment inflicted on them; but are entirely and completely saved from all their sins, and the sad effects of them. Our version follows the marginal reading; but the textual writing is, "to seal up sins"F23לח־תאם "obsignando", Junius & Tremellius; "ad sigilandum", Montanus; "ut obsignet", Piscator. ; which is expressive of the pardon of them procured by Christ; for things sealed are hid and covered, and so are sins forgiven, Psalm 32:1,

and to make reconciliation for iniquity: to expiate it, and make atonement for it; which was made by the sacrifice of Christ, by his sufferings and death; whereby the law and justice of God were fully satisfied, full reparation being made for the injury done by sin; and this was made for all kind of sin, expressed here by several words; and for all the sins, iniquities, and transgressions of the Lord's people; to do which was the grand end of Christ's coming into the world; see Hebrews 2:17, and to bring in everlasting righteousness; which is true only of the righteousness of Christ, by which the law is magnified and made honourable, justice satisfied, and all that believe in him justified from all their sins: this Christ, by his obedience, sufferings, and death, has wrought out, and brought into the world; and which phase designs, not the manifestation of it in the Gospel; nor the act of imputation of it, which is Jehovah the Father's act; nor the application of it, which is by the Spirit of God; but Christ's actual working of it out by obeying the precept and bearing the penalty of the law: and this may be truly called "everlasting", or "the righteousness of ages"F24צדק עולמים "justitiam seculorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis. , of ages past; the righteousness by which the saints in all ages from the beginning of the world are justified; and which endures, and will endure, throughout all ages, to the justification of all that believe; it is a robe of righteousness that will never wear out; its virtue to justify will ever continue, being perfect; it will answer for the justified ones in a time to come, and has eternal life connected with it:

and to seal up the vision and prophecy; not to shut it up out of sight; rather to set a mark on it, by which it might be more clearly known; but to consummate and fulfil it: all prophecy is sealed up in Christ, and by him; he is the sum and substance of it; the visions and prophecies of the Old Testament relate to him, and have their accomplishment in him; some relate to his person and office; others to his coming into the world, the time, place, and manner of it; others to the great work of redemption and salvation he came about; and others to his miracles, sufferings, and death, and the glory that should follow; all which have been fulfilled: or, "to seal up the vision and prophet"F25ונביא "et prophetam", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. ; the prophets were until John, and then to cease, and have ceased ever since the times of Jesus; there has been no prophet among the Jews, they themselves do not deny it; Christ is come, the last and great Prophet of all, with a full revelation of the divine will, and no other is to be expected; all that pretend to set up a new scheme of things, either as to doctrine or worship, through pretended vision or prophecy, are to be disregarded:

and to anoint the most Holy; not literally the most holy place in the temple; figuratively, either heaven itself, anointed, and prepared for his people by the Messiah's ascension thither, and entrance into it; or rather most holy persons, the church and people of God, typified by the sanctuary, the temple of God; and in a comparative sense are most holy, and absolutely so, as washed in the blood of Christ, clothed with his righteousness, and sanctified by his Spirit; and by whom they are anointed, some in an extraordinary and others in an ordinary way, and all by the grace of Christ: or it may be best of all to understand this of the Messiah, as Aben Ezra and others do; who is holy in his person, in both his natures, human and divine; sanctified and set apart to his office, and holy in the execution of it; equal in holiness to the Father and the Spirit; superior in it to angels and men, who have all their holiness from him, and by whom they are sanctified; and of whom the sanctuary or temple was a type; and who was anointed with the Holy Ghost as man, at his incarnation, baptism, and ascension to heaven; and Abarbinel owns it may be interpreted of the Messiah, who may be called the Holy of holies, because he is holier than all other Israelites.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/daniel-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Seventy p weeks are determined upon q thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the r 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.

(p) He alludes to Jeremiah's prophecy, who prophesied that their captivity would be seventy years: but now God's mercy would exceed his judgment seven times as much, which would be 490 years, even until the coming of Christ, and so then it would continue forever.

(q) Meaning Daniel's nation, over whom he was careful.

(r) To show mercy and to put sin out of remembrance.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/daniel-9.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

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; Daniel 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 7:11, etc.). 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 Psalm 46:1-11; Psalm 48:1-14; Psalm 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; Seutonius, 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 fulfillment 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 (Psalm 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 Psalm 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 fulfillment.

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; Acts 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.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

Seventy weeks are determined . - שׁבעים from שׁבוּע, properly, the time divided into sevenths, signifies commonly the period of seven days, the week, as Genesis 29:27. (in the sing.), and Daniel 10:2-3, in the plur., which is usually in the form שׁבעות ; cf. Deuteronomy 16:9., Exodus 34:22, etc. In the form שׁבעים there thus lies no intimation that it is not common weeks that are meant. As little does it lie in the numeral being placed after it, for it also sometimes is found before it, where, as here, the noun as the weightier idea must be emphasized, and that not by later authors merely, but also in Genesis 32:15., 1 Kings 8:63; cf. Gesen. Lehrgeb . p. 698. What period of time is here denoted by שׁבעים can be determined neither from the word itself and its form, nor from the comparison with ימים שׁבעים, Daniel 10:2-3, since ימים is in these verses added to שׁבעים, not for the purpose of designating these as day-weeks, but simply as full weeks (three weeks long). The reasons for the opinion that common (i.e., seven-day) weeks are not intended, lie partly in the contents of Daniel 9:25, Daniel 9:27, which undoubtedly teach that that which came to pass in the sixty-two weeks and in the one week could not take place in common weeks, partly in the reference of the seventy שׁבעים to the seventy years of Jeremiah, Daniel 9:2. According to a prophecy of Jeremiah - so e.g., Hitzig reasons - Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years, and now, in the sixty-ninth year, the city and the temple are as yet lying waste (Daniel 9:17.), and as yet nowhere are there symptoms of any change. Then, in answer to his supplication, Daniel received the answer, seventy שׁבעים must pass before the full working out of the deliverance. “If the deliverance was not yet in seventy years, then still less was it in seventy weeks. With seventy times seven months we are also still inside of seventy years, and we are directed therefore to year-weeks, so that each week shall consist of seven years. The special account of the contents of the weeks can be adjusted with the year-weeks alone; and the half-week, Daniel 9:27, particularly appears to be identical in actual time with these three and a half times (years), Daniel 7:25.” This latter element is by others much more definitely affirmed. Thus e.g., Kranichfeld says that Daniel had no doubt about the definite extent of the expression שׁבוּע, but gave an altogether unambiguous interpretation of it when he combined the last half-week essentially with the known and definite three and a half years of the time of the end. But - we must, on the contrary, ask - where does Daniel speak of the three and a half years of the time of the end? He does not use the word year in any of the passages that fall to be here considered, but only עדּן or מועד, time, definite time. That by this word common years are to be understood, is indeed taken for granted by many interpreters, but a satisfactory proof of such a meaning has not been adduced. Moreover, in favour of year-weeks (periods of seven years) it has been argued that such an interpretation was very natural, since they hold so prominent a place in the law of Moses; and the Exile had brought them anew very distinctly into remembrance, inasmuch as the seventy years' desolation of the land was viewed as a punishment for the interrupted festival of the sabbatical years: 2 Chronicles 36:21 (Hgstb., Kran., and others). But since these periods of seven years, as Hengstenberg himself confesses, are not called in the law שׁבעים or שׁבעות, therefore, from the repeated designation of the seventh year as that of the great Sabbath merely (Leviticus 25:2, Leviticus 25:4-5; Leviticus 26:34-35, Leviticus 26:43; 2 Chronicles 36:21), the idea of year-weeks in no way follows. The law makes mention not only of the Sabbath-year, but also of periods of seven times seven years, after the expiry of which a year of jubilee was always to be celebrated (Leviticus 25:8.). These, as well as the Sabbath-years, might be called שׁבעים . Thus the idea of year-weeks has no exegetical foundation. Hofmann and Kliefoth are in the right when they remark that שׁבעים does not necessarily mean year-weeks, but an intentionally indefinite designation of a period of time measured by the number seven, whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds. The ἁπ . λεγ . חתך means in Chald. to cut off, to cut up into pieces, then to decide, to determine closely, e.g., Targ. Esther 4:5; cf. Buxtorf, Lex . talm ., and Levy, Chald. Wörterb. s.v. The meaning for נחתּך, abbreviatae sunt ( Vulg . for ἐκολοβώθησαν, Matthew 24:22), which Wieseler has brought forward, is not proved, and it is unsuitable, because if one cuts off a piece from a whole, the whole is diminished on account of the piece cut off, but not the piece itself. For the explanation of the sing. נחתּך we need neither the supposition that a definite noun, as עת ( time ), was before the prophet's mind (Hgstb.), nor the appeal to the inexact manner of writing of the later authors (Ewald). The sing. is simply explained by this, that שׁבעים שׁבעים is conceived of as the absolute idea, and then is taken up by the passive verb impersonal, to mark that the seventy sevenths are to be viewed as a whole, as a continued period of seventy seven times following each other.

Upon thy people and upon thy holy city . In the על there does not lie the conception of that which is burdensome, or that this period would be a time of suffering like the seventy years of exile (v. Lengerke). The word only indicates that such a period of time was determined upon the people. The people and the city of Daniel are called the people and the city of God, because Daniel has just represented them before God as His (Hävernick, v. Lengerke, Kliefoth). But Jerusalem, even when in ruins, is called the holy city by virtue of its past and its future history; cf. Daniel 9:20. This predicate does not point, as Wieseler and Hitzig have rightly acknowledged, to a time when the temple stood, as Stähelin and v. Lengerke suppose. Only this lies in it, Kliefoth has justly added, - not, however, in the predicate of holiness, but rather in the whole expression, - that the people and city of God shall not remain in the state of desolation in which they then were, but shall at some time be again restored, and shall continue during the time mentioned. One must not, however, at once conclude that this promise of continuance referred only to the people of the Jews and their earthly Jerusalem. Certainly it refers first to Israel after the flesh, and to the geographical Jerusalem, because these were then the people and the city of God; but these ideas are not exhausted in this reference, but at the same time embrace the New Testament church and the church of God on earth.

The following infinitive clauses present the object for which the seventy weeks are determined, i.e., they intimate what shall happen till, or with the expiry of, the time determined. Although ל before the infinitive does not mean till or during, yet it is also not correct to say that ל can point out only the issue which the period of time finally reaches, only its result. Whether that which is stated in the infinitive clauses shall for the first time take place after the expiry of, or at the end of the time named, or shall develope itself gradually in the course of it, and only be completed at the end of it, cannot be concluded from the final ל, but only from the material contents of the final clauses. The six statements are divided by Maurer, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others into three passages of two members each, thus: After the expiry of seventy weeks, there shall (1) be completed the measure of sin; (2) the sin shall be covered and righteousness brought in; (3) the prophecy shall be fulfilled, and the temple, which was desecrated by Antiochus, shall be again consecrated. The masoretes seem, however, to have already conceived of this threefold division by placing the Atnach under עלמים צדק (the fourth clause); but it rests on a false construction of the individual members especially of the first two passages. Rather we have two three-membered sentences before us. This appears evident from the arrangement of the six statements; i.e., that the first three statements treat of the taking away of sin, and thus of the negative side of the deliverance; the three last treat of the bringing in of everlasting righteousness with its consequences, and thus of the positive deliverance, and in such a manner that in both classes the three members stand in reciprocal relation to each other: the fourth statement corresponds to the first, the fifth to the second, the sixth to the third - the second and the fifth present even the same verb חתם .

In the first and second statements the reading is doubtful. Instead of לחתּם ( Keth .), to seal, the Keri has להתם, to end (R. תּמם, to complete ). In לכלּא a double reading is combined, for the vowel-points do not belong to the Keth ., which rather has לכלא, since כּלא is nowhere found in the Piel, but to the Keri, for the Masoretes hold כלא to be of the same meaning as כלה, to be ended . Thus the ancient translators interpreted it: lxx, τὰς ἀδικίας σπανίσαι ; Theod., συντελεσθῆναι, al . συντελέσαι ; Aquil., συντελέσαι τὴν ἀθεσίαν ; Vulg., ut consummetur praevaricatio . Bertholdt, Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Winer, Ewald, Hitzig, Maurer, have followed them in supposing a passing of ה into . א But since כּלה occurs frequently in Daniel, always with ה htiw (cf. v. 27; Daniel 11:36; Daniel 12:7), and generally the roots with ה take the form of those with א much seldomer than the reverse, on these grounds the reading לכלא thus deserves the preference, apart from the consideration that almost all the Keris are valueless emendations of the Masoretes; and the parallel להתם, decidedly erroneous, is obviously derived from Daniel 8:23. Thus the Keri does not give in the two passages a suitable meaning. The explanation: to finish the transgression and to make full the measure of sin, does not accord with what follows: to pardon the iniquity; and the thought that the Jews would fill up the measure of their transgression in the seventy year-weeks, and that as a punishment they would pass through a period of suffering from Antiochus and afterwards be pardoned, is untenable, because the punishment by Antiochus for their sins brought to their full measure is arbitrarily interpolated; but without this interpolation the pardon of the sins stands in contradiction to the filling up of their measure. Besides, this explanation is further opposed by the fact, that in the first two statements there must be a different subject from that which is in the third. For to fill up the measure of sin is the work of God. Accordingly the Kethiv alone is to be adopted as correct, and the first passage to be translated thus: to shut up the transgression . כּלא means to hold back, to hold in, to arrest, to hold in prison, to shut in or shut up; hence כּלא, a prison, jail. To arrest the wickedness or shut it up does not mean to pardon it, but to hem it in, to hinder it so that it can no longer spread about (Hofm.); cf. Zechariah 5:8 and Revelation 20:3.

In the second passage, “ to seal up sin,” the חטּאות are the several proofs of the transgression. חתם, to seal, does not denote the finishing or ending of the sins (Theodrt. and others). Like the Arab. chtm, it may occur in the sense of “to end,” and this meaning may have originated from the circumstance that one is wont at the end of a letter or document to affix the impress of a seal; yet this meaning is nowhere found in Hebr.: see under Exodus 28:12. The figure of the sealing stands here in connection with the shutting up in prison. Cf. Daniel 6:18, the king for greater security sealed up the den into which Daniel was cast. Thus also God seals the hand of man that it cannot move, Job 37:7, and the stars that they cannot give light, Job 9:7. But in this figure to seal is not = to take away, according to which Hgstb. and many others explain it thus: the sins are here described as sealed, because they are altogether removed out of the sight of God, altogether set aside; for “that which is shut up and sealed is not merely taken away, entirely set aside, but guarded, held under lock and seal” (Kliefoth). Hence more correctly Hofmann and Kliefoth say, “If the sins are sealed, they are on the one side laid under custody, so that they cannot any more be active or increase, but that they may thus be guarded and held, so that they can no longer be pardoned and blotted out;” cf. Revelation 20:3.

The third statement is, “ to make reconciliation for iniquity .” כּפּר is terminus techn ., to pardon, to blot out by means of a sin-offering, i.e., to forgive.

These three passages thus treat of the setting aside of sin and its blotting out; but they neither form a climax nor a mere συναθροισμός, a multiplying of synonymous expressions for the pardoning of sins, ut tota peccatorum humani generis colluvies eo melius comprehenderetur (M. Geier). Against the idea of a climax it is justly objected, that in that case the strongest designation of sin, הפּשׁע, which designates sin as a falling away from God, a rebelling against Him, should stand last, whereas it occurs in the first sentence. Against the idea of a συναθροισμός it is objected, that the words “to shut up” and “to seal” are not synonymous with “to make reconciliation for,” i.e., “to forgive.” The three expressions, it is true, all treat alike of the setting aside of sin, but in different ways. The first presents the general thought, that the falling away shall be shut up, the progress and the spreading of the sin shall be prevented. The other two expressions define more closely how the source whence arises the apostasy shall be shut up, the going forth and the continued operation of the sin prevented. This happens in one way with unbelievers, and in a different way with believers. The sins of unbelievers are sealed, are guarded securely under a seal, so that they may no more spread about and increase, nor any longer be active and operative; but the sins of believers are forgiven through a reconciliation. The former idea is stated in the second member, and the latter in the third, as Hofmann and Kliefoth have rightly remarked.

There follows the second group of three statements, which treat of the positive unfolding of salvation accompanying the taking away and the setting aside of sin. The first expression of this group, or the fourth in the whole number, is “ to bring in everlasting righteousness .” After the entire setting aside of sin must come a righteousness which shall never cease. That צדק does not mean “happiness of the olden time” (Bertholdt, Rösch), nor “innocence of the former better times” (J. D. Michaelis), but “righteousness,” requires at present no further proof. Righteousness comes from heaven as the gift of God (Ps. 85:11-14; Isaiah 51:5-8), rises as a sun upon them that fear God (Mal. 3:20), and is here called everlasting, corresponding to the eternity of the Messianic kingdom (cf. Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:18, Daniel 7:27). צדק comprehends the internal and the external righteousness of the new heavens and the new earth, 2 Peter 3:13. This fourth expression forms the positive supplement of the first: in the place of the absolutely removed transgression is the perfected righteousness.

In the fifth passage, to seal up the vision and prophecy, the word חתם, used in the second passage of sin, is here used of righteousness. The figure of sealing is regarded by many interpreters in the sense of confirming, and that by filling up, with reference to the custom of impressing a seal on a writing for the confirmation of its contents; and in illustration these references are given: 1 Kings 21:8, and Jeremiah 32:10-11, Jeremiah 32:44 (Hävernick, v. Lengerke, Ewald, Hitzig, and others). But for this figurative use of the word to seal, no proof-passages are adduced from the O.T. Add to this that the word cannot be used here in a different sense from that in which it is used in the second passage. The sealing of the prophecy corresponds to the sealing of the transgression, and must be similarly understood. The prophecy is sealed when it is laid under a seal, so that it can no longer actively show itself.

The interpretation of the object ונביא חזון is also disputed. Berth., Ros., Bleek, Ewald, Hitzig, Wieseler, refer it to the prophecy of the seventy weeks (Jer 25 and 29), mentioned in Daniel 9:2. But against this view stands the fact of the absence of the article; for if by חזון that prophecy is intended, an intimation of this would have been expected at least by the definite article, and here particularly would have been altogether indispensable. It is also condemned by the word נביא added, which shows that both words are used in comprehensive generality for all existing prophecies and prophets. Not only the prophecy, but the prophet who gives it, i.e., not merely the prophecy, but also the calling of the prophet, must be sealed. Prophecies and prophets are sealed, when by the full realization of all prophecies prophecy ceases, no prophets any more appear. The extinction of prophecy in consequence of its fulfilment is not, however (with Hengstenberg), to be sought in the time of the manifestation of Christ in the flesh; for then only the prophecy of the Old Covenant reached its end (cf. Matthew 11:13; Luke 22:37; John 1:46), and its place is occupied by the prophecy of the N.T., the fulfilling of which is still in the future, and which will not come to an end and terminate ( καταργηθήσεται, 1 Corinthians 13:8) till the kingdom of God is perfected in glory at the termination of the present course of the world's history, at the same time with the full conclusive fulfilment of the O.T. prophecy; cf. Acts 3:21. This fifth member stands over against the second, as the fourth does over against the first. “When the sins are sealed, the prophecy is also sealed, for prophecy is needed in the war against sin; when sin is thus so placed that it can no longer operate, then prophecy also may come to a state of rest; when sin comes to an end in its place, prophecy can come to an end also by its fulfilment, there being no place for it after the setting aside of sin. And when the apostasy is shut up, so that it can no more spread about, then righteousness will be brought, that it may possess the earth, now freed from sin, shut up in its own place” (Kliefoth).

The sixth and last clause, to anoint a most holy, is very differently interpreted. Those interpreters who seek the fulfilment of this word of revelation in the time following nearest the close of the Exile, or in the time of the Maccabees, refer this clause either to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering (Wieseler), which was restored by Zerubbabel and Joshua (Ezra 3:2.), or to the consecration of the temple of Zerubbabel (J. D. Michaelis, Jahn, Steudel), or to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering which was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 Macc. 4:54 (Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others). But none of these interpretations can be justified. It is opposed by the actual fact, that neither in the consecration of Zerubbabel's temple, nor at the re-consecration of the altar of burnt-offering desecrated by Antiochus, is mention made of any anointing. According to the definite, uniform tradition of the Jews, the holy anointing oil did not exist during the time of the second temple. Only the Mosaic sanctuary of the tabernacle, with its altars and vessels, were consecrated by anointing. Exodus 30:22., 40:1-16; Leviticus 8:10. There is no mention of anointing even at the consecration of Solomon's temple, 1 Kings 8 and 2 Chron 5-7, because that temple only raised the tabernacle to a fixed dwelling, and the ark of the covenant as the throne of God, which was the most holy furniture thereof, was brought from the tabernacle to the temple. Even the altar of burnt-offering of the new temple (Ezekiel 43:20,Ezekiel 43:26) was not consecrated by anointing, but only by the offering of blood. Then the special fact of the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering, or of the temple, does not accord with the general expressions of the other members of this verse, and was on the whole not so significant and important an event as that one might expect it to be noticed after the foregoing expressions. What Kranichfeld says in confirmation of this interpretation is very far-fetched and weak. He remarks, that “as in this verse the prophetic statements relate to a taking away and כּפּר of sins, in the place of which righteousness is restored, accordingly the anointing will also stand in relation to this sacred action of the כפר, which primarily and above all conducts to the significance of the altar of Israel, that, viz., which stood in the outer court.” But, even granting this to be correct, it proves nothing as to the anointing even of the altar of burnt-offering. For the preceding clauses speak not only of the כפר of transgression, but also of the taking away (closing and sealing) of the apostasy and of sin, and thus of a setting aside of sin, which did not take place by means of a sacrifice. The fullest expiation also for the sins of Israel which the O.T. knew, viz., that on the great day of atonement, was not made on the altar of burnt-offering, but by the sprinkling of the blood of the offering on the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies, and on the altar of incense in the most holy place. If משׁח is to be explained later the כּפּר, then by “holy of holies” we would have to understand not “primarily” the altar of burnt-offering, but above all the holy vessels of the inner sanctuary, because here it is not an atonement needing to be repeated that is spoken of, but one that avails for ever.

In addition to this, there is the verbal argument that the words קדשׁים קדשׁ are not used of a single holy vessel which alone could be thought of. Not only the altar of burnt-offering is so named, Exodus 29:37; Exodus 40:10, but also the altar of incense, Exodus 30:10, and the two altars with all the vessels of the sanctuary, the ark of the covenant, shew-bread, candlesticks, basins, and the other vessels belonging thereto, Exodus 30:29, also the holy material for incense, Exodus 30:36, the shew-bread, Leviticus 24:9, the meat-offering, Leviticus 2:3, Leviticus 2:10; Leviticus 6:10; Leviticus 10:12, the flesh of the sin-offering and of the expiatory sacrifice, Leviticus 6:10,Leviticus 6:18; Leviticus 10:17; Leviticus 7:1, Leviticus 7:6; Leviticus 14:13; Numbers 18:9, and that which was sanctified to the Lord, Leviticus 27:28. Finally, the whole surroundings of the hill on which the temple stood, Ezekiel 43:12, and the whole new temple, Ezekiel 45:3, is named a “most holy;” and according to 1 Chronicles 23:13, Aaron and his sons are sanctified as קדשׁים קדשׁ .

Thus there is no good ground for referring this expression to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering. Such a reference is wholly excluded by the fact that the consecration of Zerubbabel's temple and altar, as well as of that which was desecrated by Antiochus, was a work of man, while the anointing of a “most holy” in the verse before us must be regarded as a divine act, because the three preceding expressions beyond controversy announce divine actions. Every anointing, indeed, of persons or of things was performed by men, but it becomes a work of God when it is performed with the divinely ordained holy anointing oil by priests or prophets according to God's command, and then it is the means and the symbol of the endowment of equipment with the Spirit of God. When Saul was anointed by Samuel, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, 1 Samuel 10:9. The same thing was denoted by the anointing of David, 1 Samuel 16:13. The anointing also of the tabernacle and its vessels served the same object, consecrating them as the place and the means of carrying on the gracious operations of the Spirit of God. As an evidence of this, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle after it was set up and consecrated. At the dedication of the sanctuary after the Exile, under Zerubbabel and in the Maccabean age, the anointing was wanting, and there was no entrance into it also of the glory of the Lord. Therefore these consecrations cannot be designated as anointings and as the works of God, and the angel cannot mean these works of men by the “anointing of a most holy.”

Much older, more general, and also nearer the truth, is the explanation which refers these words to the anointing of the Messiah, an explanation which is established by various arguments. The translation of the lxx, καὶ εὐφράναι ἅγιον ἁγίων, and of Theod., τοῦ χρῖσαι ἅγιον ἁγίων, the meaning of which is controverted, is generally understood by the church Fathers as referring to the Messiah. Theodoret sets it forth as undoubtedly correct, and as accepted even by the Jews; and the old Syriac translator has introduced into the text the words, “till the Messiah, the Most Holy.”

(Note: Eusebius, Demonstr. Ev . viii. 2, p. 387, ed. Colon., opposes the opinion that the translation of Aquila, καὶ ἀλεῖψαι ἡγιασμένον ἡγιασμένων, may be understood of the Jewish high priest. Cf. Raymundis Martini, Pugio fidei, p. 285, ed. Carpz., and Edzard ad Abodah Sara, p. 246f., for evidences of the diffusion of this interpretation among the Jews.)

But this interpretation is set aside by the absence of the article. Without taking into view 1 Chronicles 23:13, the words קדשׁים קדשׁ are nowhere used of persons, but only of things. This meaning lies at the foundation of the passage in the book of Chronicles referred to, “that he should sanctify a קדשׁים קדשׁ קד, anoint him (Aaron) to be a most holy thing.” Following Hävernick, therefore, Hengstenberg (2nd ed. of his Christol . iii. p. 54) seeks to make this meaning applicable also for the Messianic interpretation, for he thinks that Christ is here designated as a most holy thing. But neither in the fact that the high priest bore on his brow the inscription ליהוה קדשׁ, nor in the declaration regarding Jehovah, “He shall be למקדּשׁ,” Isaiah 8:14, cf. Ezekiel 11:16, is there any ground for the conclusion that the Messiah could simply be designated as a most holy thing. In Luke 1:35 Christ is spoken of by the simple neuter ἅγιον, but not by the word “object;” and the passages in which Jesus is described as ὁ ἅγιος, Acts 3:14; Acts 4:30; 1 John 2:20; Revelation 3:7, prove nothing whatever as to this use of קדשׁ of Christ. Nothing to the purpose also can be gathered from the connection of the sentence. If in what follows the person of the Messiah comes forward to view, it cannot be thence concluded that He must also be mentioned in this verse.

Much more satisfactory is the thought, that in the words “to anoint a קדשׁים קדשׁ ” the reference is to the anointing of a new sanctuary, temple, or most holy place. The absence of the article forbids us, indeed, from thinking of the most holy place of the earthly temple which was rebuilt by Zerubbabel, since the most holy place of the tabernacle as well as of the temple is constantly called הקדשׁים קדשׁ . But it is not this definite holy of holies that is intended, but a new holy of holies which should be in the place of the holy of holies of the tabernacle and the temple of Solomon. Now, since the new temple of the future seen by Ezekiel, with all its surroundings, is called (Ezekiel 45:3) קדשׁים קדשׁ, Hofmann ( de 70 Jahre, p. 65) thinks that the holy of holies is the whole temple, and its anointing with oil a figure of the sanctification of the church by the Holy Ghost, but that this shall not be in the conspicuousness in which it is here represented till the time of the end, when the perfected church shall possess the conspicuousness of a visible sanctuary. But, on the contrary, Kliefoth (p. 307) has with perfect justice replied, that “the most holy, and the temple, so far as it has a most holy place, is not the place of the congregation where it comes to God and is with God, but, on the contrary, is the place where God is present for the congregation, and manifests Himself to it.” The words under examination say nothing of the people and the congregation which God will gather around the place of His gracious presence, but of the objective place where God seeks to dwell among His people and reveal Himself to them. The anointing is the act by which the place is consecrated to be a holy place of the gracious presence and revelation of God. If thus the anointing of a most holy is here announced, then by it there is given the promise, not of the renewal of the place already existing from of old, but of the appointment of a new place of God's gracious presence among His people, a new sanctuary. This, as Kliefoth further justly observes, apart from the connection, might refer to the work of redemption perfected by the coming of Christ, which has indeed created in him a new place of the gracious presence of God, a new way of God's dwelling among men. But since this statement is closely connected with those going before, and they speak of the perfect setting aside of transgression and of sin, of the appearance of everlasting righteousness, and the shutting up of all prophecy by its fulfilment, thus of things for which the work of redemption completed by the first appearance of Christ has, it is true, laid the everlasting foundation, but which first reach their completion in the full carrying through of this work of salvation in the return of the Lord by the final judgment, and the establishment of the kingdom of glory under the new heavens and on the new earth, - since this is the case, we must refer this sixth statement also to that time of the consummation, and understand it of the establishment of the new holy of holies which was shown to the holy seer on Patmos as ἡ σκηνὴ τοῦ Θεοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, in which God will dwell with them, and they shall become His people, and He shall be their God with them (Revelation 21:1-3). In this holy city there will be no temple, for the Lord, the Almighty God, and the Lamb is its temple, and the glory of God will lighten it (Revelation 21:22). Into it nothing shall enter that defileth or worketh abomination (Revelation 21:27), for sin shall then be closed and sealed up; there shall righteousness dwell (2 Peter 3:13), and prophecy shall cease (1 Corinthians 13:8) by its fulfilment.

From the contents of these six statements it thus appears that the termination of the seventy weeks coincides with the end of the present course of the world. But Daniel 9:24 says nothing as to the commencement of this period. Nor can this be determined, as many interpreters think, from the relation in which the revelation of the seventy weeks stands to the prayer of Daniel, occasioned by Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy years of the desolation of Jerusalem. If Daniel, in the sixty-ninth year of the desolation, made supplication to the Lord for mercy in behalf of Jerusalem and Israel, and on the occasion of this prayer God caused Gabriel to lay open to him that seventy weeks were determined upon the city and the people of God, it by no means thence follows that seventy year-weeks must be substituted in place of the seventy years prophesied of, that both commence simultaneously, and thus that the seventy years of the Exile shall be prolonged to a period of oppression for Israel lasting for seventy year-weeks. Such a supposition is warranted neither by the contents of the prophecy of Jeremiah, nor by the message of the angel to Daniel. Jeremiah, it is true, prophesied not merely of seventy years of the desolation of Jerusalem and Judah, but also of the judgment upon Babylon after the expiry of these years, and the collecting together and bringing back of Israel from all the countries whither they were scattered into their own land (Jeremiah 25:10-12; Jeremiah 29:10-14); but in his supplication Daniel had in his eye only the desolation of the land of Jeremiah's prophecy, and prayed for the turning away of the divine anger from Jerusalem, and for the pardon of Israel's sins. Now if the words of the angel had been, “not seventy years, but seventy year-weeks, are determined over Israel,” this would have been no answer to Daniel's supplication, at least no comforting answer, to bring which to him the angel was commanded to go forth in haste. Then the angel announces in Daniel 9:24 much more than the return of Israel from the Exile to their own land. But this is decided by the contents of the following verses, in which the space of seventy weeks is divided into three periods, and at the same time the commencement of the period is determined in a way which excludes its connection with the beginning of the seventy years of the Exile.

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/daniel-9.html. 1854-1889.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

Seventy weeks are determined . - שׁבעים from שׁבוּע, properly, the time divided into sevenths, signifies commonly the period of seven days, the week, as Genesis 29:27. (in the sing.), and Daniel 10:2-3, in the plur., which is usually in the form שׁבעות ; cf. Deuteronomy 16:9., Exodus 34:22, etc. In the form שׁבעים there thus lies no intimation that it is not common weeks that are meant. As little does it lie in the numeral being placed after it, for it also sometimes is found before it, where, as here, the noun as the weightier idea must be emphasized, and that not by later authors merely, but also in Genesis 32:15., 1 Kings 8:63; cf. Gesen. Lehrgeb . p. 698. What period of time is here denoted by שׁבעים can be determined neither from the word itself and its form, nor from the comparison with ימים שׁבעים, Daniel 10:2-3, since ימים is in these verses added to שׁבעים, not for the purpose of designating these as day-weeks, but simply as full weeks (three weeks long). The reasons for the opinion that common (i.e., seven-day) weeks are not intended, lie partly in the contents of Daniel 9:25, Daniel 9:27, which undoubtedly teach that that which came to pass in the sixty-two weeks and in the one week could not take place in common weeks, partly in the reference of the seventy שׁבעים to the seventy years of Jeremiah, Daniel 9:2. According to a prophecy of Jeremiah - so e.g., Hitzig reasons - Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years, and now, in the sixty-ninth year, the city and the temple are as yet lying waste (Daniel 9:17.), and as yet nowhere are there symptoms of any change. Then, in answer to his supplication, Daniel received the answer, seventy שׁבעים must pass before the full working out of the deliverance. “If the deliverance was not yet in seventy years, then still less was it in seventy weeks. With seventy times seven months we are also still inside of seventy years, and we are directed therefore to year-weeks, so that each week shall consist of seven years. The special account of the contents of the weeks can be adjusted with the year-weeks alone; and the half-week, Daniel 9:27, particularly appears to be identical in actual time with these three and a half times (years), Daniel 7:25.” This latter element is by others much more definitely affirmed. Thus e.g., Kranichfeld says that Daniel had no doubt about the definite extent of the expression שׁבוּע, but gave an altogether unambiguous interpretation of it when he combined the last half-week essentially with the known and definite three and a half years of the time of the end. But - we must, on the contrary, ask - where does Daniel speak of the three and a half years of the time of the end? He does not use the word year in any of the passages that fall to be here considered, but only עדּן or מועד, time, definite time. That by this word common years are to be understood, is indeed taken for granted by many interpreters, but a satisfactory proof of such a meaning has not been adduced. Moreover, in favour of year-weeks (periods of seven years) it has been argued that such an interpretation was very natural, since they hold so prominent a place in the law of Moses; and the Exile had brought them anew very distinctly into remembrance, inasmuch as the seventy years' desolation of the land was viewed as a punishment for the interrupted festival of the sabbatical years: 2 Chronicles 36:21 (Hgstb., Kran., and others). But since these periods of seven years, as Hengstenberg himself confesses, are not called in the law שׁבעים or שׁבעות, therefore, from the repeated designation of the seventh year as that of the great Sabbath merely (Leviticus 25:2, Leviticus 25:4-5; Leviticus 26:34-35, Leviticus 26:43; 2 Chronicles 36:21), the idea of year-weeks in no way follows. The law makes mention not only of the Sabbath-year, but also of periods of seven times seven years, after the expiry of which a year of jubilee was always to be celebrated (Leviticus 25:8.). These, as well as the Sabbath-years, might be called שׁבעים . Thus the idea of year-weeks has no exegetical foundation. Hofmann and Kliefoth are in the right when they remark that שׁבעים does not necessarily mean year-weeks, but an intentionally indefinite designation of a period of time measured by the number seven, whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds. The ἁπ . λεγ . חתך means in Chald. to cut off, to cut up into pieces, then to decide, to determine closely, e.g., Targ. Esther 4:5; cf. Buxtorf, Lex . talm ., and Levy, Chald. Wörterb. s.v. The meaning for נחתּך, abbreviatae sunt ( Vulg . for ἐκολοβώθησαν, Matthew 24:22), which Wieseler has brought forward, is not proved, and it is unsuitable, because if one cuts off a piece from a whole, the whole is diminished on account of the piece cut off, but not the piece itself. For the explanation of the sing. נחתּך we need neither the supposition that a definite noun, as עת ( time ), was before the prophet's mind (Hgstb.), nor the appeal to the inexact manner of writing of the later authors (Ewald). The sing. is simply explained by this, that שׁבעים שׁבעים is conceived of as the absolute idea, and then is taken up by the passive verb impersonal, to mark that the seventy sevenths are to be viewed as a whole, as a continued period of seventy seven times following each other.

Upon thy people and upon thy holy city . In the על there does not lie the conception of that which is burdensome, or that this period would be a time of suffering like the seventy years of exile (v. Lengerke). The word only indicates that such a period of time was determined upon the people. The people and the city of Daniel are called the people and the city of God, because Daniel has just represented them before God as His (Hävernick, v. Lengerke, Kliefoth). But Jerusalem, even when in ruins, is called the holy city by virtue of its past and its future history; cf. Daniel 9:20. This predicate does not point, as Wieseler and Hitzig have rightly acknowledged, to a time when the temple stood, as Stähelin and v. Lengerke suppose. Only this lies in it, Kliefoth has justly added, - not, however, in the predicate of holiness, but rather in the whole expression, - that the people and city of God shall not remain in the state of desolation in which they then were, but shall at some time be again restored, and shall continue during the time mentioned. One must not, however, at once conclude that this promise of continuance referred only to the people of the Jews and their earthly Jerusalem. Certainly it refers first to Israel after the flesh, and to the geographical Jerusalem, because these were then the people and the city of God; but these ideas are not exhausted in this reference, but at the same time embrace the New Testament church and the church of God on earth.

The following infinitive clauses present the object for which the seventy weeks are determined, i.e., they intimate what shall happen till, or with the expiry of, the time determined. Although ל before the infinitive does not mean till or during, yet it is also not correct to say that ל can point out only the issue which the period of time finally reaches, only its result. Whether that which is stated in the infinitive clauses shall for the first time take place after the expiry of, or at the end of the time named, or shall develope itself gradually in the course of it, and only be completed at the end of it, cannot be concluded from the final ל, but only from the material contents of the final clauses. The six statements are divided by Maurer, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others into three passages of two members each, thus: After the expiry of seventy weeks, there shall (1) be completed the measure of sin; (2) the sin shall be covered and righteousness brought in; (3) the prophecy shall be fulfilled, and the temple, which was desecrated by Antiochus, shall be again consecrated. The masoretes seem, however, to have already conceived of this threefold division by placing the Atnach under עלמים צדק (the fourth clause); but it rests on a false construction of the individual members especially of the first two passages. Rather we have two three-membered sentences before us. This appears evident from the arrangement of the six statements; i.e., that the first three statements treat of the taking away of sin, and thus of the negative side of the deliverance; the three last treat of the bringing in of everlasting righteousness with its consequences, and thus of the positive deliverance, and in such a manner that in both classes the three members stand in reciprocal relation to each other: the fourth statement corresponds to the first, the fifth to the second, the sixth to the third - the second and the fifth present even the same verb חתם .

In the first and second statements the reading is doubtful. Instead of לחתּם ( Keth .), to seal, the Keri has להתם, to end (R. תּמם, to complete ). In לכלּא a double reading is combined, for the vowel-points do not belong to the Keth ., which rather has לכלא, since כּלא is nowhere found in the Piel, but to the Keri, for the Masoretes hold כלא to be of the same meaning as כלה, to be ended . Thus the ancient translators interpreted it: lxx, τὰς ἀδικίας σπανίσαι ; Theod., συντελεσθῆναι, al . συντελέσαι ; Aquil., συντελέσαι τὴν ἀθεσίαν ; Vulg., ut consummetur praevaricatio . Bertholdt, Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Winer, Ewald, Hitzig, Maurer, have followed them in supposing a passing of ה into . א But since כּלה occurs frequently in Daniel, always with ה htiw (cf. v. 27; Daniel 11:36; Daniel 12:7), and generally the roots with ה take the form of those with א much seldomer than the reverse, on these grounds the reading לכלא thus deserves the preference, apart from the consideration that almost all the Keris are valueless emendations of the Masoretes; and the parallel להתם, decidedly erroneous, is obviously derived from Daniel 8:23. Thus the Keri does not give in the two passages a suitable meaning. The explanation: to finish the transgression and to make full the measure of sin, does not accord with what follows: to pardon the iniquity; and the thought that the Jews would fill up the measure of their transgression in the seventy year-weeks, and that as a punishment they would pass through a period of suffering from Antiochus and afterwards be pardoned, is untenable, because the punishment by Antiochus for their sins brought to their full measure is arbitrarily interpolated; but without this interpolation the pardon of the sins stands in contradiction to the filling up of their measure. Besides, this explanation is further opposed by the fact, that in the first two statements there must be a different subject from that which is in the third. For to fill up the measure of sin is the work of God. Accordingly the Kethiv alone is to be adopted as correct, and the first passage to be translated thus: to shut up the transgression . כּלא means to hold back, to hold in, to arrest, to hold in prison, to shut in or shut up; hence כּלא, a prison, jail. To arrest the wickedness or shut it up does not mean to pardon it, but to hem it in, to hinder it so that it can no longer spread about (Hofm.); cf. Zechariah 5:8 and Revelation 20:3.

In the second passage, “ to seal up sin,” the חטּאות are the several proofs of the transgression. חתם, to seal, does not denote the finishing or ending of the sins (Theodrt. and others). Like the Arab. chtm, it may occur in the sense of “to end,” and this meaning may have originated from the circumstance that one is wont at the end of a letter or document to affix the impress of a seal; yet this meaning is nowhere found in Hebr.: see under Exodus 28:12. The figure of the sealing stands here in connection with the shutting up in prison. Cf. Daniel 6:18, the king for greater security sealed up the den into which Daniel was cast. Thus also God seals the hand of man that it cannot move, Job 37:7, and the stars that they cannot give light, Job 9:7. But in this figure to seal is not = to take away, according to which Hgstb. and many others explain it thus: the sins are here described as sealed, because they are altogether removed out of the sight of God, altogether set aside; for “that which is shut up and sealed is not merely taken away, entirely set aside, but guarded, held under lock and seal” (Kliefoth). Hence more correctly Hofmann and Kliefoth say, “If the sins are sealed, they are on the one side laid under custody, so that they cannot any more be active or increase, but that they may thus be guarded and held, so that they can no longer be pardoned and blotted out;” cf. Revelation 20:3.

The third statement is, “ to make reconciliation for iniquity .” כּפּר is terminus techn ., to pardon, to blot out by means of a sin-offering, i.e., to forgive.

These three passages thus treat of the setting aside of sin and its blotting out; but they neither form a climax nor a mere συναθροισμός, a multiplying of synonymous expressions for the pardoning of sins, ut tota peccatorum humani generis colluvies eo melius comprehenderetur (M. Geier). Against the idea of a climax it is justly objected, that in that case the strongest designation of sin, הפּשׁע, which designates sin as a falling away from God, a rebelling against Him, should stand last, whereas it occurs in the first sentence. Against the idea of a συναθροισμός it is objected, that the words “to shut up” and “to seal” are not synonymous with “to make reconciliation for,” i.e., “to forgive.” The three expressions, it is true, all treat alike of the setting aside of sin, but in different ways. The first presents the general thought, that the falling away shall be shut up, the progress and the spreading of the sin shall be prevented. The other two expressions define more closely how the source whence arises the apostasy shall be shut up, the going forth and the continued operation of the sin prevented. This happens in one way with unbelievers, and in a different way with believers. The sins of unbelievers are sealed, are guarded securely under a seal, so that they may no more spread about and increase, nor any longer be active and operative; but the sins of believers are forgiven through a reconciliation. The former idea is stated in the second member, and the latter in the third, as Hofmann and Kliefoth have rightly remarked.

There follows the second group of three statements, which treat of the positive unfolding of salvation accompanying the taking away and the setting aside of sin. The first expression of this group, or the fourth in the whole number, is “ to bring in everlasting righteousness .” After the entire setting aside of sin must come a righteousness which shall never cease. That צדק does not mean “happiness of the olden time” (Bertholdt, Rösch), nor “innocence of the former better times” (J. D. Michaelis), but “righteousness,” requires at present no further proof. Righteousness comes from heaven as the gift of God (Ps. 85:11-14; Isaiah 51:5-8), rises as a sun upon them that fear God (Mal. 3:20), and is here called everlasting, corresponding to the eternity of the Messianic kingdom (cf. Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:18, Daniel 7:27). צדק comprehends the internal and the external righteousness of the new heavens and the new earth, 2 Peter 3:13. This fourth expression forms the positive supplement of the first: in the place of the absolutely removed transgression is the perfected righteousness.

In the fifth passage, to seal up the vision and prophecy, the word חתם, used in the second passage of sin, is here used of righteousness. The figure of sealing is regarded by many interpreters in the sense of confirming, and that by filling up, with reference to the custom of impressing a seal on a writing for the confirmation of its contents; and in illustration these references are given: 1 Kings 21:8, and Jeremiah 32:10-11, Jeremiah 32:44 (Hävernick, v. Lengerke, Ewald, Hitzig, and others). But for this figurative use of the word to seal, no proof-passages are adduced from the O.T. Add to this that the word cannot be used here in a different sense from that in which it is used in the second passage. The sealing of the prophecy corresponds to the sealing of the transgression, and must be similarly understood. The prophecy is sealed when it is laid under a seal, so that it can no longer actively show itself.

The interpretation of the object ונביא חזון is also disputed. Berth., Ros., Bleek, Ewald, Hitzig, Wieseler, refer it to the prophecy of the seventy weeks (Jer 25 and 29), mentioned in Daniel 9:2. But against this view stands the fact of the absence of the article; for if by חזון that prophecy is intended, an intimation of this would have been expected at least by the definite article, and here particularly would have been altogether indispensable. It is also condemned by the word נביא added, which shows that both words are used in comprehensive generality for all existing prophecies and prophets. Not only the prophecy, but the prophet who gives it, i.e., not merely the prophecy, but also the calling of the prophet, must be sealed. Prophecies and prophets are sealed, when by the full realization of all prophecies prophecy ceases, no prophets any more appear. The extinction of prophecy in consequence of its fulfilment is not, however (with Hengstenberg), to be sought in the time of the manifestation of Christ in the flesh; for then only the prophecy of the Old Covenant reached its end (cf. Matthew 11:13; Luke 22:37; John 1:46), and its place is occupied by the prophecy of the N.T., the fulfilling of which is still in the future, and which will not come to an end and terminate ( καταργηθήσεται, 1 Corinthians 13:8) till the kingdom of God is perfected in glory at the termination of the present course of the world's history, at the same time with the full conclusive fulfilment of the O.T. prophecy; cf. Acts 3:21. This fifth member stands over against the second, as the fourth does over against the first. “When the sins are sealed, the prophecy is also sealed, for prophecy is needed in the war against sin; when sin is thus so placed that it can no longer operate, then prophecy also may come to a state of rest; when sin comes to an end in its place, prophecy can come to an end also by its fulfilment, there being no place for it after the setting aside of sin. And when the apostasy is shut up, so that it can no more spread about, then righteousness will be brought, that it may possess the earth, now freed from sin, shut up in its own place” (Kliefoth).

The sixth and last clause, to anoint a most holy, is very differently interpreted. Those interpreters who seek the fulfilment of this word of revelation in the time following nearest the close of the Exile, or in the time of the Maccabees, refer this clause either to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering (Wieseler), which was restored by Zerubbabel and Joshua (Ezra 3:2.), or to the consecration of the temple of Zerubbabel (J. D. Michaelis, Jahn, Steudel), or to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering which was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 Macc. 4:54 (Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others). But none of these interpretations can be justified. It is opposed by the actual fact, that neither in the consecration of Zerubbabel's temple, nor at the re-consecration of the altar of burnt-offering desecrated by Antiochus, is mention made of any anointing. According to the definite, uniform tradition of the Jews, the holy anointing oil did not exist during the time of the second temple. Only the Mosaic sanctuary of the tabernacle, with its altars and vessels, were consecrated by anointing. Exodus 30:22., 40:1-16; Leviticus 8:10. There is no mention of anointing even at the consecration of Solomon's temple, 1 Kings 8 and 2 Chron 5-7, because that temple only raised the tabernacle to a fixed dwelling, and the ark of the covenant as the throne of God, which was the most holy furniture thereof, was brought from the tabernacle to the temple. Even the altar of burnt-offering of the new temple (Ezekiel 43:20,Ezekiel 43:26) was not consecrated by anointing, but only by the offering of blood. Then the special fact of the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering, or of the temple, does not accord with the general expressions of the other members of this verse, and was on the whole not so significant and important an event as that one might expect it to be noticed after the foregoing expressions. What Kranichfeld says in confirmation of this interpretation is very far-fetched and weak. He remarks, that “as in this verse the prophetic statements relate to a taking away and כּפּר of sins, in the place of which righteousness is restored, accordingly the anointing will also stand in relation to this sacred action of the כפר, which primarily and above all conducts to the significance of the altar of Israel, that, viz., which stood in the outer court.” But, even granting this to be correct, it proves nothing as to the anointing even of the altar of burnt-offering. For the preceding clauses speak not only of the כפר of transgression, but also of the taking away (closing and sealing) of the apostasy and of sin, and thus of a setting aside of sin, which did not take place by means of a sacrifice. The fullest expiation also for the sins of Israel which the O.T. knew, viz., that on the great day of atonement, was not made on the altar of burnt-offering, but by the sprinkling of the blood of the offering on the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies, and on the altar of incense in the most holy place. If משׁח is to be explained later the כּפּר, then by “holy of holies” we would have to understand not “primarily” the altar of burnt-offering, but above all the holy vessels of the inner sanctuary, because here it is not an atonement needing to be repeated that is spoken of, but one that avails for ever.

In addition to this, there is the verbal argument that the words קדשׁים קדשׁ are not used of a single holy vessel which alone could be thought of. Not only the altar of burnt-offering is so named, Exodus 29:37; Exodus 40:10, but also the altar of incense, Exodus 30:10, and the two altars with all the vessels of the sanctuary, the ark of the covenant, shew-bread, candlesticks, basins, and the other vessels belonging thereto, Exodus 30:29, also the holy material for incense, Exodus 30:36, the shew-bread, Leviticus 24:9, the meat-offering, Leviticus 2:3, Leviticus 2:10; Leviticus 6:10; Leviticus 10:12, the flesh of the sin-offering and of the expiatory sacrifice, Leviticus 6:10,Leviticus 6:18; Leviticus 10:17; Leviticus 7:1, Leviticus 7:6; Leviticus 14:13; Numbers 18:9, and that which was sanctified to the Lord, Leviticus 27:28. Finally, the whole surroundings of the hill on which the temple stood, Ezekiel 43:12, and the whole new temple, Ezekiel 45:3, is named a “most holy;” and according to 1 Chronicles 23:13, Aaron and his sons are sanctified as קדשׁים קדשׁ .

Thus there is no good ground for referring this expression to the consecration of the altar of burnt-offering. Such a reference is wholly excluded by the fact that the consecration of Zerubbabel's temple and altar, as well as of that which was desecrated by Antiochus, was a work of man, while the anointing of a “most holy” in the verse before us must be regarded as a divine act, because the three preceding expressions beyond controversy announce divine actions. Every anointing, indeed, of persons or of things was performed by men, but it becomes a work of God when it is performed with the divinely ordained holy anointing oil by priests or prophets according to God's command, and then it is the means and the symbol of the endowment of equipment with the Spirit of God. When Saul was anointed by Samuel, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, 1 Samuel 10:9. The same thing was denoted by the anointing of David, 1 Samuel 16:13. The anointing also of the tabernacle and its vessels served the same object, consecrating them as the place and the means of carrying on the gracious operations of the Spirit of God. As an evidence of this, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle after it was set up and consecrated. At the dedication of the sanctuary after the Exile, under Zerubbabel and in the Maccabean age, the anointing was wanting, and there was no entrance into it also of the glory of the Lord. Therefore these consecrations cannot be designated as anointings and as the works of God, and the angel cannot mean these works of men by the “anointing of a most holy.”

Much older, more general, and also nearer the truth, is the explanation which refers these words to the anointing of the Messiah, an explanation which is established by various arguments. The translation of the lxx, καὶ εὐφράναι ἅγιον ἁγίων, and of Theod., τοῦ χρῖσαι ἅγιον ἁγίων, the meaning of which is controverted, is generally understood by the church Fathers as referring to the Messiah. Theodoret sets it forth as undoubtedly correct, and as accepted even by the Jews; and the old Syriac translator has introduced into the text the words, “till the Messiah, the Most Holy.”

(Note: Eusebius, Demonstr. Ev . viii. 2, p. 387, ed. Colon., opposes the opinion that the translation of Aquila, καὶ ἀλεῖψαι ἡγιασμένον ἡγιασμένων, may be understood of the Jewish high priest. Cf. Raymundis Martini, Pugio fidei, p. 285, ed. Carpz., and Edzard ad Abodah Sara, p. 246f., for evidences of the diffusion of this interpretation among the Jews.)

But this interpretation is set aside by the absence of the article. Without taking into view 1 Chronicles 23:13, the words קדשׁים קדשׁ are nowhere used of persons, but only of things. This meaning lies at the foundation of the passage in the book of Chronicles referred to, “that he should sanctify a קדשׁים קדשׁ קד, anoint him (Aaron) to be a most holy thing.” Following Hävernick, therefore, Hengstenberg (2nd ed. of his Christol . iii. p. 54) seeks to make this meaning applicable also for the Messianic interpretation, for he thinks that Christ is here designated as a most holy thing. But neither in the fact that the high priest bore on his brow the inscription ליהוה קדשׁ, nor in the declaration regarding Jehovah, “He shall be למקדּשׁ,” Isaiah 8:14, cf. Ezekiel 11:16, is there any ground for the conclusion that the Messiah could simply be designated as a most holy thing. In Luke 1:35 Christ is spoken of by the simple neuter ἅγιον, but not by the word “object;” and the passages in which Jesus is described as ὁ ἅγιος, Acts 3:14; Acts 4:30; 1 John 2:20; Revelation 3:7, prove nothing whatever as to this use of קדשׁ of Christ. Nothing to the purpose also can be gathered from the connection of the sentence. If in what follows the person of the Messiah comes forward to view, it cannot be thence concluded that He must also be mentioned in this verse.

Much more satisfactory is the thought, that in the words “to anoint a קדשׁים קדשׁ ” the reference is to the anointing of a new sanctuary, temple, or most holy place. The absence of the article forbids us, indeed, from thinking of the most holy place of the earthly temple which was rebuilt by Zerubbabel, since the most holy place of the tabernacle as well as of the temple is constantly called הקדשׁים קדשׁ . But it is not this definite holy of holies that is intended, but a new holy of holies which should be in the place of the holy of holies of the tabernacle and the temple of Solomon. Now, since the new temple of the future seen by Ezekiel, with all its surroundings, is called (Ezekiel 45:3) קדשׁים קדשׁ, Hofmann ( de 70 Jahre, p. 65) thinks that the holy of holies is the whole temple, and its anointing with oil a figure of the sanctification of the church by the Holy Ghost, but that this shall not be in the conspicuousness in which it is here represented till the time of the end, when the perfected church shall possess the conspicuousness of a visible sanctuary. But, on the contrary, Kliefoth (p. 307) has with perfect justice replied, that “the most holy, and the temple, so far as it has a most holy place, is not the place of the congregation where it comes to God and is with God, but, on the contrary, is the place where God is present for the congregation, and manifests Himself to it.” The words under examination say nothing of the people and the congregation which God will gather around the place of His gracious presence, but of the objective place where God seeks to dwell among His people and reveal Himself to them. The anointing is the act by which the place is consecrated to be a holy place of the gracious presence and revelation of God. If thus the anointing of a most holy is here announced, then by it there is given the promise, not of the renewal of the place already existing from of old, but of the appointment of a new place of God's gracious presence among His people, a new sanctuary. This, as Kliefoth further justly observes, apart from the connection, might refer to the work of redemption perfected by the coming of Christ, which has indeed created in him a new place of the gracious presence of God, a new way of God's dwelling among men. But since this statement is closely connected with those going before, and they speak of the perfect setting aside of transgression and of sin, of the appearance of everlasting righteousness, and the shutting up of all prophecy by its fulfilment, thus of things for which the work of redemption completed by the first appearance of Christ has, it is true, laid the everlasting foundation, but which first reach their completion in the full carrying through of this work of salvation in the return of the Lord by the final judgment, and the establishment of the kingdom of glory under the new heavens and on the new earth, - since this is the case, we must refer this sixth statement also to that time of the consummation, and understand it of the establishment of the new holy of holies which was shown to the holy seer on Patmos as ἡ σκηνὴ τοῦ Θεοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, in which God will dwell with them, and they shall become His people, and He shall be their God with them (Revelation 21:1-3). In this holy city there will be no temple, for the Lord, the Almighty God, and the Lamb is its temple, and the glory of God will lighten it (Revelation 21:22). Into it nothing shall enter that defileth or worketh abomination (Revelation 21:27), for sin shall then be closed and sealed up; there shall righteousness dwell (2 Peter 3:13), and prophecy shall cease (1 Corinthians 13:8) by its fulfilment.

From the contents of these six statements it thus appears that the termination of the seventy weeks coincides with the end of the present course of the world. But Daniel 9:24 says nothing as to the commencement of this period. Nor can this be determined, as many interpreters think, from the relation in which the revelation of the seventy weeks stands to the prayer of Daniel, occasioned by Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy years of the desolation of Jerusalem. If Daniel, in the sixty-ninth year of the desolation, made supplication to the Lord for mercy in behalf of Jerusalem and Israel, and on the occasion of this prayer God caused Gabriel to lay open to him that seventy weeks were determined upon the city and the people of God, it by no means thence follows that seventy year-weeks must be substituted in place of the seventy years prophesied of, that both commence simultaneously, and thus that the seventy years of the Exile shall be prolonged to a period of oppression for Israel lasting for seventy year-weeks. Such a supposition is warranted neither by the contents of the prophecy of Jeremiah, nor by the message of the angel to Daniel. Jeremiah, it is true, prophesied not merely of seventy years of the desolation of Jerusalem and Judah, but also of the judgment upon Babylon after the expiry of these years, and the collecting together and bringing back of Israel from all the countries whither they were scattered into their own land (Jeremiah 25:10-12; Jeremiah 29:10-14); but in his supplication Daniel had in his eye only the desolation of the land of Jeremiah's prophecy, and prayed for the turning away of the divine anger from Jerusalem, and for the pardon of Israel's sins. Now if the words of the angel had been, “not seventy years, but seventy year-weeks, are determined over Israel,” this would have been no answer to Daniel's supplication, at least no comforting answer, to bring which to him the angel was commanded to go forth in haste. Then the angel announces in Daniel 9:24 much more than the return of Israel from the Exile to their own land. But this is decided by the contents of the following verses, in which the space of seventy weeks is divided into three periods, and at the same time the commencement of the period is determined in a way which excludes its connection with the beginning of the seventy years of the Exile.

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/daniel-9.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Seventy weeks — These weeks are weeks of days, and these days are so many years.

To finish the transgression — The angel discovers first the disease in three several words, which contain all sorts of sin, which the Messiah should free us from by his full redemption. He shews the cure of this disease in three words1. To finish transgression2. To make an end of sin3. To make reconciliation: all which words are very expressive in the original, and signify to pardon, to blot out, to destroy.

To bring in everlasting righteousness — To bring in justification by the free grace of God in Christ, and sanctification by his spirit: called everlasting, because Christ is eternal, and so are the acceptance and holiness purchased for us. Christ brings this in, 1. By his merit2. By his gospel declaring it3. By faith applying, and sealing it by the Holy Ghost.

To seal up — To abrogate the former dispensation of the law, and to ratify the gospel covenant.

To anoint — This alludes to his name Messiah and Christ, both which signify anointed. Christ was anointed at his first conception, and personal union, Luke 1:35. In his baptism, Matthew 3:17, to his three offices by the holy Ghost, 1. King, Matthew 2:22. Prophet, Isaiah 61:13. Priest, Psalm 110:4.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/daniel-9.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Seventy weeks

These are "weeks" or more accurately, sevens of years; seventy weeks of seven years each. Within these "weeks" the national chastisement must be ended and the nation re- established in everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24). The seventy weeks are divided into seven = 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (Daniel 9:25-27). In the seven weeks = 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in "troublous times." This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks = 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Daniel 9:25). This was fulfilled in the birth and manifestation of Christ (Daniel 9:26). Daniel 9:26 is obviously an indeterminate period. The date of the crucifixion is not fixed. It is only said to be "after" the threescore and two weeks. It is the first event in Daniel 9:26. The second event is the destruction of the city, fulfilled A.D. 70. Then, "unto the end," a period not fixed, but which has already lasted nearly 2000 years. To Daniel was revealed only that wars and desolations should continue (cf. Matthew 24:6-14.) The N.T. reveals, that which was hidden from the O.T. prophets; Matthew 13:11-17; Ephesians 3:1-10 that during this period should be accomplished the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven Matthew 13:1-50 and the out-calling of the Church; Matthew 16:18; Romans 11:25. When the Church- age will end, and the seventieth week begin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfilment. Daniel 9:27 deals with the last week. The "he" of Daniel 9:27 is the "prince that shall come" of Daniel 9:26, whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70. He is the same with the "little horn" of chapter 7. He will covenant with the Jews to restore their temple sacrifices for one week (seven years), but in the middle of that time he will break the covenant and fulfil; Daniel 12:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Between the sixty-ninth week, after which Messiah was cut off, and the seventieth week, within which the "little horn" of Daniel 7. will run his awful course, intervenes this entire Church-age. Daniel 9:27 deals with the last three and a half years of the seven, which are identical with the "great tribulation." Matthew 24:15-28 "time of trouble" Daniel 12:1 hour of temptation" Revelation 3:10. (see "Tribulation,"; Psalms 2:5; Revelation 7:14). (See Scofield "Psalms 2:5").

make reconciliation

There is no word in the O.T. properly rendered reconcile. In the A.V. the English word is found 1 Samuel 29:4; 2 Chronicles 29:24; Leviticus 6:30; Leviticus 8:15; Leviticus 16:20; Ezekiel 45:15; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 45:20; Daniel 9:24 but always improperly; atonement is invariably the meaning. Reconciliation is a N.T. doctrine Romans 5:10 (See Scofield "Colossians 1:21")

thy people Cf. Hosea 1:9 The Jews, rejected, are "thy people," i.e. Daniel's, not Jehovah's though yet to be restored.

reconciliation Heb. kaphar, atonement. See this verse note 1, and see note, Exodus 29:33 (See Scofield "Exodus 29:33")

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Daniel 9:24". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/daniel-9.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE MESSIAH CUT OFF

‘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

The leaders of the new school of criticism agree that this is a prophecy fulfilled only in Christ.

I. Let us look at this marvellous prophecy.—The words are vague enough to be indefinite, and yet they are so marvellously definite too, that we can apply them only to that one death—the only death in history which fulfils them. The cutting off of this Prince is the central point of the prophecy. Notice what this cutting off is to bring. It is ‘to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.’ Is there any death in all history, but one, of which you can say all that? Try these words on Socrates, on Confucius, on Zoroaster. It is a difficult thing to fit the event to the prophecy, but the marvellous terms of this prophecy do it. Mark this, that there was not a single human being who could understand these words: not even Peter, James, and John could see how that death of their Master should bring in everlasting righteousness. We think that if they had not been slow of heart, these disciples might have understood it better. But at the critical moment they all forsook Him and fled, and on the day of His glorious resurrection they were saying, ‘We trusted that it had been He Which should have redeemed Israel.’ Even the women, who were last at His cross and first at His sepulchre, were inspired by love rather than by faith. Did not the fact of their bringing spices for His embalming show that their faith in Him was gone? From their present point of view the prophecy was reversed. Sin had made an end of Him, transgression had finished Him. His crucifixion seemed the final triumph of iniquity. Does it relieve this gloom at all to speak of His perfect holiness and purity? Nay, rather, so much the blacker is the crime, so much the more hideous the triumph of iniquity. ‘Anointing the Most Holy!’ The coronation of hellish hate and iniquity rather! No wonder that Unitarians make so little of the death of Christ on the Cross. They only see sin making an end of a good man, and what sort of gospel is that? But wait till the resurrection, and you see the seeming Victim become the Victor. The death on Calvary was not the end—it was only the dark passage to light and life. From the darkness He issues forth in triumph, with the banner of salvation in His hand. We understand all the prophecy of the text now—all stands luminous in the light of the risen Sun of Righteousness. Reading the story of the Cross in this light it is no longer the darkest event in all the world’s history, but it fills us with the hope of the ultimate triumph of righteousness.

His loving voice comes to each of us, ‘Thou canst love Me, Who hast died for thee.’

II. It seemed that God had deserted the innocent Sufferer.—‘In all our afflictions He was afflicted.’ That is true, but there is something more. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.’ Jesus not only suffers with, but suffers for us. It meant that He finished our transgressions and made an end of our sins. But do you point me to the history of the world to-day, nineteen centuries since that crucifixion? Does that look like making an end of sin? Is this prophecy half fulfilled? In one sense it is; in another sense not quite yet; and in a third sense, scarcely at all.

(1) Jesus, Son of God, was also the Son of Man, the representative of humanity, and He bears the transgression of humanity, and dies the death of humanity. In His person, as our representative, He has made an end of sin. This is an important fulfilment of the prophecy, and we can point to the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world.

But it takes two to make a bargain! The representative must be accepted by humanity. His constituents, let us call them, as soon as they are united to Him by loyalty of heart, have their sins blotted out. There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. But there must be a bond between, so that His grace may flow into you. Your heart must be open to His, as His is all the time to you.

(2) Is there not still sin in us? Yes, the prophecy of making an end of sin is only in part fulfilled; but a time is coming, and for some of us coming soon, when we shall be entirely free. We are perfect in our purpose, though not in our life. All true Christians make an end of sin in purpose—they are eager to have every sin destroyed. Though conscious of great weakness, yet the purpose is pure. If you are not willing to be made free from every sin, you are still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity, and on the road to death. What a terrible thing to choose sin and let Him go! Rather let us welcome this great salvation to our hearts and lives.

(3) The final fulfilment will be in the time coming. The advance seems slow to the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, but this is God’s method. If we stagger not at the æons which elapsed before the evolution of things terrestrial, whystagger at the millions of years in the evolution of things spiritual? ‘One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ ‘But the day of the Lord will come.’ Then shall the great words of this prophecy be completely fulfilled.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/daniel-9.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people,] i.e., Seventy weeks of years; ten jubilees, which make up four hundred and ninety years. Thus the very time is here particularly foretold when the Messiah should be revealed and put to death. The like hereunto is not to be found in any other of the prophets, as Jerome well observeth. This, therefore, is a noble prophecy, and many great wits have been exercised about it. Cornelius a Lapide speaketh of one learned gentleman who ran out of his wits, after many years’ study upon it. The doctors are much divided about the beginning and ending of these seventy weeks. "From the outgoing of the word," [Daniel 9:25] seemeth to me to fix the beginning of these weeks on Cyrus’s decree concerning the holy city and the temple to be rebuilding. The end and period of them must he at the death of Christ, though some will have it at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. I choose rather thus to compute than to dispute. It is well observed by the learned that the Jews, after their seventy years’ captivity, have seven seventies of years granted for the enjoying of their own country (God’s mercies bear the same proportion to his punishments which seven - a complete number - have to n unit), besides the mercy of mercies, the grace of the Messiah.

Upon thy people.] Of whose welfare thou art so solicitous and inquisitive.

To finish the transgression.] Transgressionem illam; that great transgression of our first parents in paradise; that whereby sin entered into the world, and death by sin. [Romans 5:12] Now Christ, by his death, took away the power, and destroyed the dominion of all sin. [Romans 6:11-12]

And to make an end of sins.] Heb., To seal up sins, that they come not into God’s sight against us, ever to be charged upon us. A metaphor, say some, from the Jews’ manner of writing in rolls, which, being wrapped up, and sealed on the backside, all the writing was covered.

And to make reconciliation for iniqulty,] viz., By the expiatory and propitiatory sacrifice of himself for his elect, whereby the divine justice is fully satisfied.

And to bring in everlasting righteousness.] Those "righteousnesses of the saints," [Revelation 19:8] both imputed and imparted righteousness, called here "everlasting," as that which shall make the saints accepted of God for ever, never can be lost as Adam’s was.

And to seal up the vision and prophecy,] i.e., To fulfil all the prophetic predictions concerning the life and death of the Lord Christ.

And to anoint the most holy.] This was done when Christ was baptized, say some; but others better, when he ascended into heaven, consecrating it to the service of God therein to be performed by the elect throughout all eternity; like as Moses once consecrated the most holy place to the ceremonial service there to be performed by the high priest.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/daniel-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Daniel 9:24. Seventy weeks are determined, &c.— The sum of Calmet's observations on this prophesy is as follows: Daniel is afflicted before the Lord, with a desire to know when the end of those seventy weeks' captivity shall appear, which are foretold by Jeremiah. But God reveals to him a much more sublime and important mystery; namely, the time of the finishing transgressions, and of the coming of the Messiah, of the reign of everlasting righteousness, and of the perfect accomplishment of the prophesies. All this was to be brought about after a space of seventy weeks of years, which make four hundred and ninety. "You are solicitous to know when the seventy years of captivity, foretold by Jeremiah, shall have an end: I am going to announce to you a deliverance infinitely more important, and of which that foretold by Jeremiah is only a figure." The whole verse may be thus paraphrased: "The space of seventy weeks is invariably fixed and determined. This is no conditional or uncertain prediction, whose execution depends upon a future contingency,—the fidelity or infidelity of the people. It is not one of those promises, the accomplishment of which may be protracted or invalidated by the malice of men. It is a prophesy, the event of which is certain, and which shall be executed at a fixed period;—in seventy weeks, which are to begin from the time of the edict that enjoins the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and which will terminate with the death of the Messiah, and the abolition of sacrifices." The Hebrew word כלא callei, rendered finish, may be translated to restrain; and the sense will then be, "To put a stop to hypocrisy or sin."—To make an end of sins; either by the atonement to be made for them, or by the exemplary punishment to be inflicted upon the offenders.—To seal up the vision, &c. things which are fulfilled and perfected, are usually sealed up; because they were to receive their accomplishment in Christ. It is thus that the Jews commonly interpret the words, and both Rabbi Levi Ben-Gerson and Abarbanel expressly assert on this passage, that "All the prophesies shall be fulfilled in the Messiah." The sealing up of the prophesy, and the anointing of the Most Holy, were fulfilled in Christ's appearance among the Jews, and in their putting him to death, which was indeed the unction or consecration of the Holy One of God to his priestly office. See Dr. Chandler's Vindication of Daniel, p. 156 and Bishop Chandler's Defence, p. 124 and Vind. p. 297. Houbigant renders the 25th verse, Know therefore and understand; from the edict which shall be promulged for the return, and for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, shall be seven weeks; then shall the city be built again in solicitude and in troublous times; when, to Messiah the prince, shall be threescore and two weeks. See his note, where this version is fully justified. By the people of the prince who was to come, are meant the Romans, who are strongly pointed out at the close of the prophesy: see Matthew 22:7; Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 where our Saviour refers to this prophesy. The former words, but not for himself, (though the passage has been otherwise translated) refer to our Lord's suffering, through his rich mercy, solely for the sins of the world. The aera usually fixed upon for the commencement of the seventy weeks, is the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/daniel-9.html. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1140

THE TIME AND ENDS OF CHRIST’S ADVENT

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.

IT has pleased God on many occasions to manifest his regard to prayer; and to give such speedy and gracious answers to it as should encourage all his people to pour out their hearts before him. Daniel, having understood by books that the seventy years’ captivity in Babylon were drawing to a close, set himself by fasting and prayer to implore mercy for himself and his captive nation: and God instantly sent an angel to testify the acceptance of his prayers, and to reveal to him the period fixed for that far greater deliverance, which should in due time be effected by the Messiah. “Seventy weeks,” according to the prophetic language, mean seventy weeks of years, that is, four hundred and ninety years, a day for a year [Note: Ezekiel 4:6. There is a remarkable coincidence between the seventy years at the end of which this temporal deliverance was to take place, and the seventy weeks of years when the great Deliverer was to come. That space of time (four hundred and ninety years) includes ten Jubilees; at the last of which, not one nation only, but all the nations of the world should hear the sound of the gospel-trumpet, and be restored to their forfeited inheritance.]. Commentators are not agreed respecting the precise year from which the numeration of them begins [Note: The more approved calculations are those which are dated from the seventh, or from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, and the latter by lunar years.]: but, according to any calculation, the Messiah must have long since come into the world; and the Jews are inexcusable in rejecting so decisive a testimony. The ends of the Messiah’s advent, which are here set forth in a rich variety of expression, will form the subject of our present discourse.

God sent him,

I. To open a way for our salvation—

There were two great obstacles to the salvation of man, namely, guilt and corruption — — — And

For the removal of these the law made no adequate provision—

[There were sacrifices and various other services appointed for the removal of guilt: and the person who complied with the ordinances prescribed, was considered as absolved from his sin. But in the nature of things “it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin.” Indeed the annual repetition of the same offerings on the great day of atonement shewed, that the transgressions, which had been before atoned for, were not fully and finally forgiven: these repeated sacrifices were so many “remembrances of sins,” intended to lead the minds of men to that greater sacrifice, which alone could “make them perfect as pertaining to the conscience,” or procure to them a complete and “eternal redemption [Note: Hebrews 9:9-12; Hebrews 10:1-4.].”]

But what the law could not do, God sent his only dear Son to effect [Note: Romans 8:3.]—

[“The Messiah was to be cut off, but not for himself [Note: Daniel 9:27.]:” by him Divine justice was to be satisfied, and the hand-writing that was against us, being nailed to his cross, was to be for ever cancelled [Note: Colossians 2:14.]: he was so to “finish transgression, and make an end of sin” that no further sacrifice for it should ever be necessary: by his one offering he was to perfect for ever them that are sanctified [Note: Hebrews 10:11-14.]. All this has been done: through the blood of his cross, reconciliation is made between God and man [Note: Colossians 1:21-22.]: God no more abhors the sinner, seeing that he is cleansed from sin in the Redeemer’s blood, and is clothed in that spotless righteousness which Jesus has brought in [Note: 2 Corinthians 5:21.]: nor does the sinner any longer hate God, because he is enabled to behold him as his God and Father in Christ. Thus is the breach completely closed: thus is man restored to the favour and love of God: thus are all typical sacrifices abrogated and annulled [Note: Daniel 9:27.]: and thus are men delivered, no less from the love and practice of sin than from the curse and condemnation due to it [Note: Titus 2:14.]. Sin is no more remembered on the part of God, nor any more practiced on the part of man.]

Thus far the subject is plain. What remains of our text is more difficult to be understood. But I conceive that the true sense of it will be marked, if we consider it as exhibiting yet farther the way devised for our salvation, and the sending of the Messiah,

II. To complete all that was necessary for its full accomplishment—

Two things were necessary to be effected by him:

1. He was to fulfil for us all that had been predicted

[There were a great variety of types and prophecies which designated the Messiah’s work and character. The first promise, given immediately after the fall, represented him as “the seed of the woman who should bruise the serpent’s head.” In process of time other prophecies declared the family from which he should spring, the time and place of his birth, the minutest circumstances of his life and death, together with his subsequent exaltation and glory: moreover the whole nature of his undertaking, the various offices he was to sustain, with all the effects of his mission, were exactly delineated. Besides these, there were also many figurative representations instituted of God for the purpose of exhibiting to the world, as in a shadow, those things which were afterwards to be realized and substantially effected. Our first parents were clothed by God himself with the skins of beasts, which they had before been directed to otter in sacrifice; that, in that type, they might see the only true way of atoning for their sin, or covering their shame from the eyes of God. The various ordinances that were appointed under the Mosaic dispensation, the paschal lamb, whose sprinkled blood averted from the Israelites the sword of the destroying angel, while its flesh, eaten with bitter herbs, nourished their bodies; the daily and annual sacrifices, with all the sprinklings and other ceremonies; the habits and services of the priests, the form and furniture of the tabernacle, with many other things, which it would be tedious to enumerate, declared in ten thousand forms the work and offices of the promised Messiah.

All of these Christ was in the exactest manner to fulfil. Some parts of the inspired volume represented him as God, others as a man, yea, as “a worm and no man;” some as victorious, others as suffering; some as living for ever, others as dying; some as the priest, others as the sacrifice; some as a sanctuary, and others as a stumbling-block: all manner of opposites were to unite in him as lines in their centre, in order that, when he should appear, there should not exist a doubt in any unprejudiced mind, but that he was the person foretold; and that every thing respecting him had been fore-ordained in the Divine counsels. Accordingly when he came, he shewed himself to be that very Messiah, who, like a seal, engraven with strokes infinitely diversified, corresponded exactly with the impression which had been given of it to the Church two thousand years before. Thus did he “seal up the vision and prophecy,” completing it in all its parts, and leaving no further occasion for such methods of instruction.]

2. He was to impart to us all that had been promised

[“The anointing of the most Holy” is generally thought to import, that Christ himself should receive the Spirit; but we apprehend that it imports also his communicating of the Spirit to his Church.

Christ is certainly “the Holy One and the Just,” to whom the character of “The Most Holy” eminently belongs. It is certain also that he was anointed with the Spirit from his very first designation to preach the glad tidings of salvation [Note: Isaiah 61:1.]; and that lie received a further unction when the Spirit descended upon him in a bodily shape like a dove [Note: Matthew 3:16.]. But these do not appear to be the seasons alluded to in the text: the unction there spoken of seems to follow the other ends of his mission; and consequently to relate to something which took place after his ascension to heaven. The Psalmist speaks of Christ after his ascension, and consequent inauguration, when lie says, “Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows [Note: Psalms 45:7.],” In another psalm he declares the same truth in still plainer terms; “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them [Note: Psalms 68:18.].” By consulting the Apostle Paul, we shall find that this gift which Jesus then received, was the Holy Spirit; and that he received it in order that he might communicate it to his Church; for, quoting this very passage, he alters one word in it, and says, “he gave gifts unto men;” and then adds, that he gave these “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ [Note: Ephesians 4:8; Ephesians 4:11-12.].” But the testimony of another Apostle is absolutely decisive on this point: while St. Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost came down upon all the Apostles, and abode on each of them in the shape of cloven tongues of fire: the Apostle then declared that this was an accomplishment of Joel’s prophecy respecting “the pouring out of God’s Spirit;” and referred them to Jesus as the author of it, and as having received, at this time, the gift of the Spirit for this very end; “therefore,” says he, “being exalted by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, Jesus hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear [Note: Acts 2:3; Acts 2:16; Acts 2:33.].” Thus was this holy oil poured out upon the head of our great High Priest, that it might flow down to the skirts of his garments, and reach to the meanest of his members [Note: Psalms 133:2.].]

The ends of the Messiah’s advent being so clearly and so fully declared, I wish you to observe—

1. What abundant provision God has made for our salvation—

[What can we conceive either as necessary or desirable beyond what our blessed Redeemer has done for us? What could the most guilty and abandoned sinner upon earth desire more of Christ, than that he should “finish transgression, make an end of sin, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in for him an everlasting righteousness, and anoint him” with that same Spirit wherewith he himself is “anointed without measure [Note: John 3:34.]?” Or what evidence of his ability and willingness to do these things would any man have, beyond what the accomplishment of so many types and prophecies affords him? And shall God freely offer us this glorious salvation, and we not deign to receive it? O let us open our eyes, and behold our truest interest: let us not perish in the midst of mercy: let us not be famished when so rich a feast is set before us [Note: Isaiah 25:6.]; but let us comply with the Saviour’s invitation, “Eat, O friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved [Note: Song of Solomon 5:1.].”]

2. How deeply we are interested in obtaining the knowledge of Christ—

[When the Apostles were asked by our Lord whether they also intended to forsake him, Peter well replied, “Lord, whither shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Thus must we say; for assuredly “there is salvation in no other; there is no other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ [Note: Acts 4:12.].” In vain will be all our self-righteous endeavours to reconcile ourselves to God, or to renew our polluted hearts. “If Christ wash us not, we have no part with him [Note: John 13:8.]:” if he put not away our sins, they must abide upon us for ever: if he do not impart to us that “unction of the Holy One, whereby we know all things [Note: 1 John 2:20.],” and “can do all things [Note: Philippians 4:13.],” we must perish in our impotency, even as new-born infants that are left to themselves. Shall we then be regardless of the Saviour, and “perish for lack of knowledge,” when God is thus labouring to instruct us? Shall we not rather, like Daniel, pray day and night that we may obtain a clearer knowledge of his will? Our neglect of this is the true reason why, with the Bible in our hands, we understand so little of this subject, and feel so little its sanctifying and saving efficacy. Would to God there were more Daniels in the midst of us! O let us henceforth “give more earnest heed to the things that are spoken;” and treasure up in our minds that truth of God, which alone can sanctify us, which alone can save us.]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/daniel-9.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Seventy weeks: these weeks are weeks of days, and these days are so many years; though neither days, nor months, nor years are expressed, (which makes it somewhat the more obscure,) but weeks only. It is yet plain and obvious that the angel useth the number seventy to show the favour of God towards them, that they might have so much liberty and joy as their seventy years’ bondage and sufferings amounted to. Yet was this but a type of the time of grace which was to follow after by the coming of Christ. Upon thy people, and upon thy holy city. Why doth he call them Daniel’s people?

1. Because they were his by nation, blood, laws, and profession.

2. Thine because thou dost own them, and art so tender of them, and so zealous for them.

To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Note,

1. The angel discovers first the disease, in three several words, havh Nwe evk which contain all sorts of sin, which the Messiah should free us from by his full redemption, see Exodus 34:6,7 Mt 1:21 viz. original, actual, of ignorance, presumption, &c.; also fault and punishment, which we may prove by Scripture.

2. The angel shows us also the cure of this disease in three words, le callee, le chatem, le capper:

1. To finish transgression;

2. To make an end of sin;

3. To make reconciliation: all which words are very significant in the original, and signify to pardon, to blot out, mortify, expiate.

To bring in everlasting righteousness, i.e. to bring in justification by the free grace of God in Jesus Christ the Lord our Righteousness, Isaiah 53:6 Jeremiah 23:6 33:16 1 Corinthians 1:30; called everlasting because Christ is eternal, and he and his righteousness is everlasting. Christ brings this in,

1. By his merit;

2. By his gospel declaring it;

3. By faith applying and sealing it by the Holy Ghost.

To seal up the vision and prophecy; to abrogate the former dispensation of the laws, and to fulfil it, and the prophecies relating to Christ, and to confirm and ratify the new testament or gospel covenant of grace. The Talmud saith, all the prophecies of the prophets related to Christ.

To anoint the most Holy; by which alluding to the holy of holies, which was anointed, Exodus 30:25-31 40:9-16. This typified the church, which is called anointed, 2 Corinthians 1:21, and heaven, into which Christ is entered, Hebrews 8:1 9:24 10:19; but chiefly Christ himself, who is the Holy One, Acts 3:14. He received the Spirit

without measure, John 3:34. His human nature is therefore called the temple, John 2:19, and tabernacle, Hebrews 8:2 9:11: moreover Christ is he that held the law, by which the will of God is revealed; the propiatory, appeasing God; the table, that nourisheth us; the candlestick, that enlightens; the altar, that sanctifies the gift and offering. All these were anointed and holy: by this word anointing he alludes to his name Messiah and Christ, both which signify anointed. Christ was anointed at his first conception and personal union, Luke 1:35; in his

baptism, Matthew 3:17; to his three offices by the Holy Ghost,

(1.) King, Matthew 2:2,

(2.) Prophet, Isaiah 61:1,

(3.) Priest, Psalms 110:4.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/daniel-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.The R.V. (with marginal references in brackets) reads, “Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish [to restrain] [the] transgression, and to make an end of [to seal up] sins, and to make reconciliation for [to purge away] iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy [prophet], and to anoint the most holy [a most holy place].” Kautzsch freely translates, “to bring to end the wickedness and to make full the measure of sin’ and to seal the prophetic revelations and to consecrate (again) a most holy.” All expositors agree that these terms relate to the Messianic hope. Whatever the author of Daniel saw or thought of when he penned these lines, such a vision could only be fully realized in Him who alone could atone for sin and bring in everlasting righteousness. That the prophet saw this Messianic glory break in upon the world immediately upon the close of the Antiochian persecution is in accordance with all other prophetic utterances. (See our discussion of “The Seventy Weeks,” Introduction to Daniel, II, 10, and compare Matthew 24.)

Seventy weeks — Literally, seventy sevens; that is, “sevens of years” (as Genesis 29:27). The period of desolation prophesied by Jeremiah was to be seventy years (ten “sevens”), but this Danielic period of affliction was to be at least seven times longer. (Compare Leviticus 26:18.)

To finish the transgression — That is, to fill up the full measure of the “transgression,” described Daniel 7:12, and elsewhere.

To make an end of sins — This either means, as the preceding phrase, to fill up the measure of sin (Hitzig) or, more probably, “to abolish sin” (Bevan). That is, an end will now be put to this flood of crime and wickedness.

To make reconciliation for iniquity — That is, to make atonement for sin. This is the common meaning of this familiar phrase which occurs again and again in the Pentateuch. It has reference to the mediatorial work of the Messiah, “which is here conceived as following the judgment of those transgressors whose sins are come to the full” (Terry).

To bring in everlasting righteousness — “Bring in! then it was to dwell, to make its abode, to have its home there. Everlasting! Then it was never to be removed, never worn-out, never to cease, not to pass with this passing world, but to abide thenceforth, coeternal with God, its Author and Giver.” — Pusey.

To seal up the vision and prophecy — That is, either to “seal” in the sense of “closing” — there being no more need of visions or prophets, since the old order has now given place to the new (see Wolf, who refers to 1 Corinthians 13:8) — or more probably “seal” in the sense of vindication. The predictions previously made by many prophets, of a glorious era which should follow all the back-slidings and afflictions of God’s people, should have the seal of Jehovah set to them by their fulfillment. (Compare John 3:33; John 6:27.)

Prophecy — Rather, prophet.

To anoint the most Holy — “A most holy place” (R.V., margin); “the most holy thing” (Bevan); “a holy of holies” (Terry). This may refer either to the anointing of the sacrificial altar (Exodus 29:37; Exodus 40:10), a holy sanctuary (Exodus 30:26; Exodus 40:9), or a holy one (Exodus 40:13; Isaiah 61:1) — although this phrase is never used elsewhere of an individual unless in one doubtful verse (1 Chronicles 23:13). It is possible this may have primary reference to the reconsecration of the altar, defiled by Antiochus; though this altar was probably never “anointed,” literally, as the Jews had no holy anointing oil at this period (Keil, Wolf, etc.). But in any case, coming at the close of a passage confessedly full of the Messianic hope, this reference should not be pushed back and confined within the narrow scope of the prophet’s natural vision, but must be allowed its wider and richer Messianic meaning. In that new and blessed era which Daniel so dimly saw it was made known that all former altars and sanctuaries and high priests were but types and shadows of the “true tabernacle which the Lord pitched,” with its cross altar and its holy living sacrifices (Hebrews viii-x). “Anointing” had always been the symbol of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 61:1; compare 1 John 2:20-27).

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/daniel-9.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Seventy sevens are decreed on your people, and on your holy city, to finish transgression, and to make and end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy (‘one’ or ‘place’).”

The seventy sevens are here seen as not only making the situation right between the nation and God, resulting at the commencement in the rebuilding of the city and the sanctuary in the first ‘seven’, (which was what the seventy years of Jeremiah had in mind), but also as resulting in the making of a way of final full restoration and acceptability with God, and the final fulfilment of all prophecy, which includes all nations. The whole world is in mind.

‘Seventy sevens.’ These seventy ‘sevens’ are in contrast with Jeremiah’s seventy ‘years’. Thus the idea is that final and full deliverance will occur in God’s timing. What Gabriel is saying is that far beyond the limited statement of Jeremiah concerning seventy years there was rather to be a period of seventy ‘sevens’ which would result in the fulfilment of God’s final purposes. In other words the ‘sevens’ (divinely perfect time periods) replace years. This expresses the ultra divinely perfect period. Seven is the number of perfection and seventy is an intensification of that number (see Genesis 4:24). Thus there are to be a divinely perfect number, not of years per Jeremiah, but of divinely perfect periods. God has them measured, even if man does not, and they are perfect within His will. The word for ‘sevens’ is unusually in the masculine plural, as in Daniel 10:2-3 (and in Genesis 29:27 in the singular). Perhaps this was to stress the importance of these periods. They would be powerfully effective. (Further consideration will shortly be given to the interpretation of ‘sevens’).

‘Are determined on your people and on your holy city.’ The limited view that suggests that therefore these verses only refer to Israel misses the point. God’s purpose for Israel and the holy city (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-3; Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:8-9) was that finally they should be a blessing to the world. So Israel was not here for itself, it was here for the world. From the time of the first promise to Abraham of blessing on all nations (Genesis 12:3), through the appointment of Israel as a kingdom of priests in the Sinai covenant (Exodus 19:6), to the recognition that they were to be God’s servant to the nations in Isaiah 42 onwards, the divine emphasis was always on their status and position as world functionaries (see Isaiah 49:6). What God determined on His people He determined for the sake of the world. Thus this prophecy has a world view.

The result of the seventy sevens is to be:

1) ‘To shut up (restrain) transgression.’ This and 2). are parallel ideas. Transgression has raged through the world since man’s first days. Men have flouted God’s laws. Now it is to be restrained, to be brought under control, to be imprisoned, to be finally dealt with.

2) ‘And to make an end of sins (or ‘seal up sin’).’ Job 14:17 refers to ‘the sealing up of sin’ where the idea is that God has sealed it up so as to bring it to account. The restraining and imprisonment of transgression and the making an end of or sealing up of sin could only have in mind both the binding and restraining of the Evil One and the cessation of the power of sin over men’s lives both in penalty and effectiveness. This would be brought about through a sufficient sacrifice for sin which put away sin (Hebrews 9:26), and effective transformation through the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18) so that men became blameless before God. Sin would finally be dealt with by mercy and judgment.

3) ‘And to make reconciliation for (or more literally ‘cover’) iniquity.’ This means such a reconciliation that man can come to God and be received as His with no shadow of failure between (2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 2:16). It was to remove any shadow or barrier between God and man. Transgression, sin and iniquity will all have been dealt with.

4) ‘To bring in everlasting righteousness.’ This signifies that the stain of sin and evil is removed for ever, both judicially before God as men are covered in perfect righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 2:21), and in fact, so that man will actually be holy, blameless and unreproachable before Him for ever (Colossians 1:22; Ephesians 5:27). Note that everlasting righteousness is ‘brought in’ from outside. There is clear reference here 1). to God ‘bringing near’ righteousness and salvation (Isaiah 46:13), everlasting salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 51:5-6), and 2). to the work of the One Who came to do it as the perfectly righteous one, bringing His righteousness for men (Romans 5:17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and sacrificing Himself for sin.

5) ‘To seal up vision and prophecy.’ This signifies its final and complete fulfilment so that it is no longer required and is past instead of future.

6) ‘To anoint ‘the most holy’ (literally ‘the holy of holies’ - that which is most holy)’. Anointing indicates a new dedication to God, a setting apart for Him, within His purposes. This can refer either to the anointing of the everlasting King (as mentioned later in the chapter of ‘the anointed One’) or more likely to the anointing of the supreme everlasting sanctuary, in the heavenly Jerusalem (Exodus 40:9; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21), the eternal dwellingplace of God with men. Whichever we choose, it is an indication of the fulfilment of God’s final purposes in holiness.

In our view these descriptions cancel out any interpretation of these seventy ‘sevens’ that falls short of resulting in final perfection. There is no space for an inadequate ‘kingdom age’ to follow. Perfection has been achieved. And although there is a genuine sense in which Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection fulfilled what is described here up to a point, it did not at that time bring it to complete fulfilment. That awaits the coming of Christ in glory and the final judgment. In our view it is not sufficient to stop short in a partial fulfilment at Christ’s first coming, glorious and initially complete though that was. Daniel is clearly, in the end, thinking of the final consummation.

It has been said that there is no clear indication of what closes off the seventieth ‘seven’, but we find this suggestion quite remarkable. For we have it stated here quite clearly. It is closed by the final fulfilment of all God’s purposes brought to a state of perfection and completion. In terms of Daniel 9:27 it is closed by ‘the consummation’.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/daniel-9.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Hebrew word translated "weeks" (shabu"im) literally means "sevens." It can refer to seven days ( Genesis 29:27-28) or seven years ( Leviticus 25:3-5). The Jews observed a seven-year celebration (the sabbatical year), as well as a seven-day celebration (the Sabbath). Most scholars believe that this word here represents seven years. Daniel had been thinking of God"s program for Israel in terms of years. He had read Jeremiah"s prophecy that the exile would last70 years ( Daniel 9:1-2). It would have been normal then for him to interpret these sevens as years. [Note: For defense of this view based on additional internal evidence in the Book of Daniel, see Otto Zckler, "The Book of the Prophet Daniel," in Lange"s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, 7:2:194. See also Pentecost, " Daniel," p1361; and The New Scofield ..., p913.] Furthermore, the fulfillment of the first sixty-nine years shows that these sevens are years. In addition, the last half of the seventieth seven is described elsewhere as consisting of three and one-half years, or42months, or1260 days. [Note: For an example of how interpreting the numbers in this passage as both symbolic and literal leads to confusion, see Waltke, An Old ..., pp549-50.]

Seventy seven-year periods totals490 years. As Jerusalem was suffering under the hand of Gentiles for70 years ( Daniel 9:2), so the Jews and Jerusalem would suffer under the hand of Gentiles for490 years. "Your people" and "your holy city" are obvious references to the Jews and Jerusalem (cf. Daniel 9:7; Daniel 9:11; Daniel 9:20). They do not refer to the church, which is a distinct entity from Israel (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:32). However, as the following verses clarify, these will not be uninterrupted years. Similarly, Israel"s rule by Davidic monarchs has suffered interruption: the last king being Zedekiah-and the next, Messiah.

God had decreed these years. He had ordained them, and they were as certain to come as anything else that God had foreordained. This verse states that the purpose for God decreeing this period is six-fold. First, it will end rebellion against Him. Second, it will end human failure to obey God. Third, it will provide time for atonement that will cover human wickedness. Fourth, it will inaugurate a new society in which righteousness prevails. Fifth, it will bring in the fulfillment of the vision that God has for the earth. Sixth, it will result in the anointing of the most holy, probably a reference to a new and more glorious temple.

God has already achieved some of these goals: specifically the third one, and to some extent the first two. However, other goals have not yet seen fulfillment. Therefore it is reasonable to look for a future fulfillment from our perspective in history. [Note: Cf. Barker, pp143-46.]

"By the time these490 years run their course, God will have completed six things for Israel. The first three have to do with sin, and the second three with the kingdom. The basis for the first three was provided in the work of Christ on the cross, but all six will be realized by Israel at the Second Advent of Christ." [Note: Pentecost, " Daniel," p1361.]

Young believed Christ completed all six things for the church at His first coming. [Note: Young, p201.]

"This prophecy, it must be noted, concerns three deliverances. Daniel was greatly burdened about an early deliverance of the Jews from Babylon to return to Jerusalem. God was also interested in their deliverance from bondage to sin (at Christ"s first advent) and in the final deliverance of the Jews from oppression (at Christ"s second coming) ..." [Note: Campbell, p108. See also Wood, A Commentary ..., p244.]

"This vs. is a Divine revelation of the fact that a definite period of time has been decreed for the accomplishment of all that which is necessary for the true restoration of God"s people from bondage." [Note: Young, p195.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/daniel-9.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Daniel 9:24. Seventy weeks, &c. — Weeks not of days, but of years, or, seventy times seven years, that is, four hundred and ninety years, each day being accounted a year according to the prophetic way of reckoning, (see note on Daniel 7:25,) a way often used in Scripture, especially in reckoning the years of jubilee, which correspond with these numbers in Daniel: see Leviticus 25:8. See also Genesis 29:27, where, to fulfil her week, is explained by performing another seven years’ service for Rachel; and Numbers 14:34, where we read, that according to the number of the days which the spies employed in searching out the land of Canaan, even forty days, the Israelites were condemned to bear their iniquities, even forty years. Thus God says likewise to Ezekiel, cotemporary with Daniel, I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days three hundred and ninety days. I have appointed thee EACH DAY FOR A YEAR. Nor was this mode of expression in use only among the Jews; for Varro, speaking of himself, says, he was entered into the twelfth week of his age, at the close of which he would have been eighty-four years old. In these instances, the days evidently denote solar years, which were in use throughout the Jewish history; so that there is no probability that the angel should here intend any such singularity, as counting by lunar years. Are determined upon, or concerning, thy people Hebrew נחתךְ, are decided. The great event specified was not to be protracted beyond this period, fixed and determined in the counsels of God.

To finish the transgression — The reader will observe, the expression is not, to finish transgressions, but הפשׂע, the transgression; a word which is derived from a theme which signifies, “to revolt, to rebel, to be contumacious, to refuse subjection to rightful authority, or obedience to a law which we ought to observe.” To finish such transgression, is expressed by a word ( לכלא) which denotes universality, to cancel, or annihilate. Dr. Apthorp, in his Discourses on Prophecy, vol. 1. p. 262, justly observes, that the diversity of expression respecting the several benefits here promised to the world by the Messiah, may be well supposed to intend so many distinct and determinate ideas. “In a prophecy of such moment,” says he, “we cannot suppose a mere co-acervation of synonymous terms, but each word is emphatic, and proper to its subject. The appropriate sense of each may be investigated, from their use and significance in other passages of Holy Scripture.” Accordingly, by the word transgression, he here understands man’s first disobedience, with its direful effects, the depravation and mortality of human nature. And by finishing this transgression he understands, “cancelling the primeval guilt of Adam’s apostacy, and reversing the sentence of mortality then passed on all the human race.” In other words we may properly understand by the expression, the abolishing the guilt and fatal effects of that disobedience, in such a manner that no man shall perish eternally merely on account of the sin of our first parents, or the depravity entailed upon us thereby; to counteract the influence of which, sufficient grace is procured for us, and offered to us in the gospel of Christ. Concerning this first benefit of our redemption, the apostle treats explicitly Romans 5:12-21, a passage which the reader is particularly requested carefully to consider, as containing a full justification of the exposition here given of the first clause of this verse; man’s first disobedience, termed by the apostle the one offence, and the offence of one, being represented by him as introducing death into the world, and all our misery; and the obedience, or righteousness of one, and the free gift, procured for all mankind, and actually conferred on all penitent believers, as the one meritorious cause and source of our salvation. “No words can express, or thought conceive, the greatness of this redemption. Imagination faints under the idea of a Divine Benefactor effacing sin, annihilating death, and restoring eternal life.”

And to make an end of sins — “As, in the appropriate sense of the words, the transgression denotes one original act of apostacy and rebellion against a positive command of God; sins, in the plural, emphatically express all the vices [offences] against conscience, all the crimes against civil society, and all sins against God, which have ever reigned among men. The redemption by Christ hath abolished all the fatal effects of moral evil, with respect to such as believe and obey the gospel;” not only cancelling their actual guilt by a gracious remission, but even renewing their fallen nature, stamping them with the divine image, and thus both entitling them to, and preparing them for, the immortality lost by the fall.

And to make reconciliation for iniquity — In these words is expressed the manner in which our redemption from death and sin hath been effected. “The word כפר, rendered reconciliation here, is the etymon of our English word, to cover. Its primary meaning is, to hide, or conceal, the surface of any substance, by inducing another substance over it. Thus the ark is commanded to be pitched, or covered, within and without, to secure it from the waters of the deluge. Sin, when grievous, and ripe for punishment, is said to be before God, or in his sight: a propitiation is the covering of sin, [procuring] God’s hiding his face from our sins, and blotting out our iniquities: see Romans 3:23; Romans 3:25. The word redemption implies a price paid for those who are set at liberty: the price is the blood of Christ; that blood a sacrifice; and the sacrifice an expiation for sinners, that is, for all mankind. This is the first and leading notion of the divine expedient for saving sinners, the sacrifice and blood of Christ. The second principal idea under which this redemption is represented, is that of substitution, and satisfaction, by another’s suffering for our guilt; and in this way of stating the doctrine, still the principal and leading idea is that of a sacrifice, and the blood of a victim;” namely, Christ’s dying for the ungodly: see Romans 5:6-9. Inasmuch as Christ, by dying in our stead, “hath prevented either the extinction or [eternal] misery of a whole species, and hath obtained for us a positive happiness, greater than we lost in Adam; every considerate man must think it fit, that to effect such a redemption, some great expedient should be proposed by God himself, to vindicate his wisdom and moral government, in suffering so much vice and confusion to end so happily.” Add to this, that “so congenial to the most generous sentiments of the human mind is the idea of one devoting himself for another, for many, and for all, that all antiquity abounds with such examples and opinions. Not that the Scripture doctrine of Christ’s satisfaction, in itself so luminous, needs any support from foreign testimony; but it is certain that a general consent, founded in nature, or divine institution, or both, hath led men to seek expiation of conscious guilt, in the way of voluntary substitution, and vicarious devotement. The chief reason of that prejudice, which is by some entertained against a doctrine so essential to peace of conscience, is founded on inattention to ancient religious customs. By the sacrifice of Christ, victims and sacrifices are abolished; but all the ancient religions abounded with them to a degree which we should think astonishing, and scarcely credible. Oceans of blood flowed round their altars; and the Levitical rites were instituted on purpose to adumbrate Christ’s expiation, and to introduce all that admirable spirituality and [pious] devotion, which is now the distinguishing excellence of Christianity.” — Dr. Apthorp.

To bring in everlasting righteousness — The three former particulars already considered import the removing the greatest evils; this, and the two following, imply the conferring of the greatest benefits, and all by Jesus Christ. This clause, says Dr. Apthorp, “may admit of two interpretations, which both concur in Christ, and are consistent with each other: our justification by faith in him, and our subsequent study [practice] of personal virtue. The first is a gratuitous act of Christ; the second is characteristic of his true disciples. In the former sense, Jeremiah styles him by his divine title, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. And in both senses Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” To speak a little more distinctly: to bring in everlasting righteousness, according to the gospel, evidently includes three things: 1st, To bring in Christ’s righteousness, or his obedience unto death, as the ground of our justification and title to eternal life, he being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 2d, To bring holiness, the divine nature, or the Spirit of God, with his various graces, into our souls, making us conformable to his image, as our meetness for that future felicity. And, 3d, For our direction in the way that leads to it; to lay before us, for our observation, a complete rule of life and manners. Of this last particular, which Dr. Apthorp includes in the everlasting righteousness here spoken of, as being immutable in its obligations, and eternal in its sanctions, he speaks as follows: “When we consider the Christian morality in its ground of obligation, [namely, the will of God,] its principle of charity, and in its detail of special duties, we are struck with admiration at the simplicity and perfection of a rule of life, which, without any artificial system, extended the Jewish law, and combined all the excellences of Gentile philosophy; the elevation of Plato, without his mysticism; the reasonableness of Aristotle, without his contracted selfishness, and worldly views; tempering the rigour of Zeno with the moderation of Epicurus; while, by the greatness of its end, it reforms, refines, and elevates human nature from sense to spirit, from earth to heaven.”

And seal up the vision and prophecy — Hebrew, ולחתם חזון ונביא, to seal vision and prophet; prophet being put for prophecy. The words are a Hebraism, and when expressed in modern language signify, 1st, The accomplishing, and thereby confirming, all the ancient predictions relating to the most holy person here intended. God had spoken of the Messiah, by the mouths of his holy prophets, from the foundation of the world; had foretold his coming, pointed out the place of his birth, and specified the extraordinary circumstances of it; described the manner of his life, the nature of his doctrine, and the variety and splendour of his miracles, with the treatment he should receive from his countrymen; had foretold repeatedly, and set forth at large, his humiliation, sufferings, and death, his resurrection, ascension, and the glory that should follow. Now by making the events exactly to answer the predictions, he confirmed them, as the setting of a seal to any writing confirms its authenticity. 2d, To seat implies, to finish, conclude, and put an end to any thing. Thus also were the vision and prophecy sealed among the Jews. They were shut up and finished. The privilege and use of them were no longer to be continued in their church. And this also happened accordingly; for, by their own confession, from that day to this they have not enjoyed either vision or prophet. But, 3d, To seal, is to consummate and perfect; and to seal the vision and prophecy here, may include the adding the New Testament revelations and predictions to those of the Old, and thereby supplying what was wanting to perfect the book of God, and render it a complete system of divine revelation. It is only necessary to add, 4th, That as things are frequently sealed in order to their security, the preservation of the divine records and oracles included in both Testaments may be also here intended by the expression.

And to anoint the Most Holy — Hebrew, קדשׂ קדשׂים, literally, the holy of holiest an expression often used of holy places, or things, especially of the most holy place of the Jewish tabernacle and temple. It is here very properly applied to the Messiah, whose sacred body was the temple of the Deity; agreeable to his own declaration, Destroy this temple, pointing to himself by some expressive action, and in three days I will raise it up; and who was greater than the temple. Now this most holy person, in whom dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and who, even as man, had the Holy Spirit without measure, was by that divine unction (which is here principally intended) at once designated and qualified for the sundry offices he was to sustain, especially the prophetic, sacerdotal, and kingly offices, for the various characters he was to bear, and the work he was to do on earth, and is now doing in heaven, and hence is properly termed the Messiah, or the Anointed One. To this may be added, that, as the Jewish temple was evidently a type of the church of God, especially the Christian Church, termed in the Psalms and Prophets the city of God, and the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High; by anointing the holy of holies here, may be also intended the effusion of the Holy Spirit, in his rich variety of gifts and graces, upon the Christian Church, foretold in innumerable passages of the Prophets, and eminently fulfilled, as the Acts of the Apostles, the epistles contained in the New Testament, and the writings of the ancient fathers abundantly prove.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/daniel-9.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Seventy weeks (viz. of years, or seventy times seven, that is, 490 years) are shortened; that is, fixed and determined, so that the time shall be no longer. (Challoner) --- This is not a conditional prophecy. Daniel was solicitous to know when the seventy years of Jeremias would terminate. But something of far greater consequence is revealed to him, (Worthington) even the coming and death of the Messias, four hundred and ninety years after the order for rebuilding the walls should be given, (Calmet) at which period Christ would redeem the world, (Worthington) and abolish the sacrifices of the law. (Calmet) --- Finished, or arrive at its height by the crucifixion of the Son of God; (Theod.) or rather sin shall be forgiven. Hebrew: "to finish crimes to seal (cover or remit) sins, and to expiate iniquity." --- Anointed. Christ is the great anointed of God, the source of justice, and the end of the law and of the prophets, (Acts x. 38. and 1 Corinthians i. 30; Romans x. 4.) (Calmet) as well as the pardoner of crimes. These four characters belong only to Christ. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/daniel-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Seventy weeks = Seventy sevens: i.e. of years. Not on any "yearday" theory. If "days" had been intended, it would be so expressed, as in Daniel 10:3 (compare Leviticus 25:8). Moreover, "years" had been the subject of Daniel"s prayer (Daniel 9:2). The last "seven" is "one", and it is divided in half in Daniel 9:27, and the half is three and a half years (Daniel 7:25; Compare Daniel 8:11-14; Daniel 11:33). In Revelation 11:2 this half is expressed by "forty-two months"; and in the next verse as" 1,260 days". See App-90. The whole period is therefore 490 years.

determined = cut off: i.e. divided off from all other years. The verb is in the singular to indicate the unity of the whole period, however it may be divided up. Hebrew. hathak. Occurs only here.

thy People: i.e. Daniel"s People, Israel, with which alone the prophecy is concerned.

thy holy city: i.e. Jerusalem (verses: Daniel 9:2, Daniel 9:7, Daniel 9:16).

finish = put an end to.

transgression. Hebrew. pasha"(with Art.) App-44. Compare Daniel 8:12, Daniel 8:23.

make an end of. Hebrew. hatham, as below ("to seal up").

sins. Hebrew. chata". App-44. Hebrew margin, with four early printed editions, some codices, and Vulgate, read "sin" (singular)

make reconciliation = make expiation or atonement.

iniquity. Hebrew. "avah. App-44.

seal up, &c. = make an end of by fulfilling all that has been the subject of prophecy.

prophecy = prophet.

the most Holy = a Holy of Holies. Never used of a person. This answers to the cleansing of the sanctuary (Daniel 8:14) which immediately precedes "the end". See App-89.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city - "seventy weeks," namely, of years; literally, 70 sevens; 70 heptads or hebdomads; 490 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 until 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 70 years of the captivity begin.

Heretofore Israel had a right, if subjugated by a foreign king, to shake off the yoke, as an unlawful one, at the first opportunity (Judges 4:1-24; Judges 5:1-31; 2 Kings 18:7), "The Lord was with him (Hezekiah), and he prospered wheresoever he went forth; and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not"). But the prophets (Jeremiah 27:9-11) declared it to be God's will that they should submit to Babylon, "The nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein." 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 (e.g., 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 using, 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 (cf. Daniel 9:1-27 with Daniel 2:34-35; Daniel 2:44, and Daniel 12:7); In the second and seventh chapters Christ's first coming is not noticed (except that His lowliness at His first coming is implied in the fact that His kingdom, which ultimately, after breaking the image, became a mountain filling the whole earth, was at first but a "stone," possibly lying neglected on the earth); because Daniel's object was to prophesy to his nation as to the whole period from the destruction to the reestablishment of Israel; but this ninth chapter minutely predicts Christ's first coming, and its effects on the covenant-people.

The 70 weeks date 13 years before the rebuilding of Jerusalem; for then the re-establishment of the theocracy began-namely, at the return of Ezra to Jerusalem, 457 BC So Jeremiah's 70 years of the captivity begin 606 BC, 18 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 (who was 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 included permission to rebuild the city.

This decree was afterward confirmed to and carried out by Nehemiah in the twentieth year (Ezra 9:9; Ezra 7:11, etc.); 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, 'determined upon the holy city,' but "upon thy people and thy holy city;" thus, the restoration of the religions 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, "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem." "Jerusalem" represents both the city, the body, and the congregation, the soul of the state. Compare Psalms 46:1-11; Psalms 48:1-14; Psalms 87:1-7. The starting-point of the 70 weeks dated from 81 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 Judes at the very time, (Tacitus, 'Histories,' Daniel 9:13; 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 fulfillment of the prophecy, (Daniel 9:1-27.) (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, 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, what is meant by "thy ... thy" is 'the people whom thou art so anxious praying for;' such weight does God give to the intercessions of the righteous (James 5:16-18, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much").

To finish the transgression - literally, to shut up; to remove from God's sight - i:e., abolish (Psalms 51:9, "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities") [ l

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/daniel-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) Seventy weeks.—Great difficulty is experienced in discovering what sort of weeks is intended. Daniel 9:25-27 are sufficient to show that ordinary weeks cannot be meant. Possibly, also, the language (Daniel 10:2, margin “weeks of days”) implies that “weeks of days” are not intended here. On the other hand, it is remarkable that in Leviticus 25:1-10 the word week should not have been used to signify a period of seven years, if year-weeks are implied in this passage. However, it is generally assumed that we must understand the weeks to consist of years and not of days (see Pusey’s Daniel, pp. 165, 166), the principle of year-weeks depending upon Numbers 14:34, Leviticus 26:34, Ezekiel 4:6. The word “week” in itself furnishes a clue to the meaning. It implies a “Heptad,” and is not necessarily more definite than the “time” mentioned in Daniel 7:25.

Are determined.—The word only occurs in this passage. Theod. translates συνετμήθησαν; LXX., ἐκρίθησαν; Jer. “abbreviatœ sunt.” In Chaldee the word means “to cut,” and in that sense “to determine.”

The object “determined” is twofold: (1) transgression and sin; (2) reconciliation and righteousness.

To finish.—The Hebrew margin gives an alternative rendering, “to restrain,” according to which the meaning is “to hold sin back” and to “prevent it from spreading.” If this reading is adopted it will be parallel to the second marginal alternative, “to seal up,” which also implies that the iniquity can no more increase. Although the alternative readings may be most in accordance with the Babylonian idea of “sealing sins,” the presence of the word “to seal” in the last clause of the verse makes it more probable that the marginal readings are due to the conjectures of some early critics, than that they once stood in the text. However, it must be observed that while St. Jerome translates the passage “ut consummetur prœvaricatio, et finem habeat peccatum,” Theodotion supports the marginal reading “to seal.”

To make reconciliation—i.e., atonement. (Comp. Proverbs 16:6; Isaiah 6:7; Isaiah 27:9; Psalms 78:38.) The two former clauses show that during the seventy weeks sin will cease. The prophet now brings out another side of the subject. There will be abundance of forgiveness in store for those who are willing to receive it.

Everlasting righteousness.—A phrase not occurring elsewhere. The prophet seems to be combining the notions of “righteousness” and “eternity,” which elsewhere are characteristics of Messianic prophecy. (Isaiah 46:13; Isaiah 51:5-8; Psalms 89:36; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:27.)

To Seal Up.— σϕραγίσαι, Theod.; συντελεσθῆναι, LXX.; impleatur, Jer.; the impression of the translators being that all visions and prophecies were to receive their complete fulfilment in the course of these seventy weeks. It appears, however, to be more agreeable to the context to suppose that the prophet is speaking of the absolute cessation of all prophecy. (Comp. 1 Corinthians 13:8.)

To anoint the most Holy.—The meaning of the sentence depends upon the interpretation of the words “Most Holy” or “Holy of Holies.” In Scripture they are used of (1) the altar (Exodus 29:37); (2) the atonement (Exodus 30:10); (3) the tabernacle and the sacred furniture (Exodus 30:29); (4) the sacred perfume (Exodus 30:36); (5) the remnant of the meat offering (Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 2:10); (6) all that touch the offerings made by fire (Leviticus 6:18); (7) the sin offering (Leviticus 10:17); (8) the trespass offering (Leviticus 14:13); (9) the shewbread (Leviticus 24:9); (10) things devoted (Leviticus 27:28); (11) various offerings (Numbers 18:9); (12) the temple service and articles connected with it, or perhaps Aaron (1 Chronicles 23:13); (13) the limits of the new temple (Ezekiel 43:12); (14) the sanctuary of the new temple (Ezekiel 45:3); (15) the territory set apart for the sons of Zadok (Ezekiel 48:2). Which of these significations is to be here adopted can only be discovered by the context. Now from the careful manner in which this and the following verse are connected by the words “Know therefore,” it appears that the words “most Holy” are parallel to “Messiah the Prince” (Daniel 9:25), and that they indicate a person. (See Leviticus 6:18; 1 Chronicles 23:13.) This was the opinion of the Syriac translator, who renders the words “Messiah the most Holy,” and of the LXX. εὐϕρᾶναι ἃγιον ἁγίων, on which it has been remarked that εὐϕρᾶναι would have no meaning if applied to a place, and the phrase employed in this version for the sanctuary is invariably τὸ ἃγιον τῶν ἁγίων. Any reference to Zerubbabel’s temple, or to the dedication of the temple by Judas Maccabæus, is opposed to the context.

EXCURSUS G: THE SEVENTY WEEKS (Daniel ).

It may be questioned in what way this prophecy presents any meaning to those who follow the punctuation of the Hebrew text, and put the principal stop in Daniel 9:25 after “seven weeks,” instead of after “three score and two weeks.” The translation would be as follows, “From the going out . . . until Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks; and during sixty-two weeks the city shall be rebuilt . . . and after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off” . . . This can only be explained upon the hypothesis that the word “week” is used in an indefinite sense to mean a period. The sense is then as follows:—The period from the command of Cyrus or of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem, down to the time of Messiah, consisted of seven such weeks; during the sixty-two weeks that followed the kingdom of Messiah is to be established amidst much persecution. During the last week the persecution will be so intense that Messiah may be said to be annihilated by it, His kingdom on earth being destroyed. At the end of the last week the Antichristian prince who organises the persecution is himself exterminated, and destroyed in the final judgment.

According to this view the seventy weeks occupy the whole period that intervenes between the times of Cyrus or Artaxerxes and the last judgment. The principal objection to it is that it gives no explanation of the numbers “seven” and “sixty-two,” which seem to have been chosen for some particular purpose. Nor does it furnish any reason for the choice of the word “weeks” instead of “times” or “seasons,” either of which words would have equally served the same indefinite purpose.

The traditional interpretation follows the punctuation of Theodotion, which St. Jerome also adopted, and reckons the seventy weeks from B.C. 458, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes. From this date, measuring seven weeks of years—that is, forty-nine years—we are brought to the date B.C. 409. It is predicted that during this period the walls of Jerusalem and the city itself should be rebuilt, though in troublous times. It must be remembered that very little is known of Jewish history during the times after Ezra and Nehemiah. The latest date given in Nehemiah is the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, or B.C. 446. It is highly probable that the city was not completely restored till nearly forty years later. Reckoning from B.C. 409 sixty-two weeks or 434 years, we are brought to A.D. 25, the year when our Saviour began His ministry. After three and a half years, or in the “midst of a week,” he was cut off. The seventy weeks end in A.D. 32, which is said to be the end of the second probation of Israel after rejecting the Messiah. The agreement between the dates furnished by history and prediction is very striking, and the general expectation that there prevailed about the appearance of a Messiah at the time of our Saviour’s first advent points to the antiquity as well as to the accuracy of the interpretation. However, the explanation of the latter half of the seven weeks is not satisfactory. We have no chronological account of events which occurred shortly after the Ascension, and there are no facts stated in the New Testament that lead us to suppose that Israel should have three and a half years’ probation after the rejection of the Messiah.

The modern explanation adheres in part to the Masoretic text, and regards the sixty-two year-weeks as beginning in B.C. 604. Reckoning onwards 434 years, we are brought to the year B.C. 170, in which Antiochus plundered the Temple and massacred 40,000 Jews. Onias III., the anointed prince, was murdered B.C. 176, just before the close of this period; and from the attack upon the Temple to the death of Antiochus, B.C. 164. was seven years, or one week, in the midst of which, B.C. 167, the offering was abolished, and the idolatrous altar erected in the Temple. The seven weeks are then calculated onwards from B.C. 166, and are stated to mean an indefinite period expressed by a round number, during which Jerusalem was rebuilt after its defilement by Antiochus. This explanation is highly unsatisfactory. It not only inverts the order of the weeks, but arbitrarily uses the word week in a double sense, in a definite and in an indefinite sense at once. There is still a graver objection to assuming that the starting point of the seventy weeks is the year B.C. 604. No command to rebuild Jerusalem had then gone forth.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/daniel-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
Seventy weeks
That is, seventy weeks of years, or 490 years, which reckoned from the seventh year of Artaxerxes, coinciding with the 4,256th year of the Julian period, and in the month Nisan, in which Ezra was commissioned to restore the Jewish state and polity, (Ezr 7:9-26) will bring us to the month of Nisan of the 4,746th year of the same period, or A.D. 33, the very month and year in which our Lord suffered, and completed the work of our salvation.
Leviticus 25:8; Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6
finish
or, restrain.
Matthew 1:21; 1 John 3:8
and to
Lamentations 4:22; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 9:26; 10:14
make an end of
or, seal up.
Ezekiel 28:12
to make
Leviticus 8:15; 2 Chronicles 29:24; Isaiah 53:10; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 2:17
to bring
Isaiah 51:6,8; 53:11; 56:1; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Romans 3:21,22; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 9:12-14; 2 Peter 1:1; Revelation 14:6
seal up
Matthew 11:13; Luke 24:25-27,44,45; John 19:28-30
prophecy
Heb. prophet.
Acts 3:22
and to anoint
Psalms 2:6; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18-21; John 1:41; 3:34; Hebrews 1:8,9; 9:11
the most
Mark 1:24; Luke 1:35; Acts 3:14; Hebrews 7:26; Revelation 3:7
Reciprocal: Exodus 12:41 - selfsame;  Exodus 29:37 - and sanctify it;  Exodus 32:7 - Go;  Leviticus 1:4 - atonement;  Leviticus 4:20 - an atonement;  Leviticus 14:7 - let;  Leviticus 16:17 - no man;  Leviticus 23:28 - GeneralNumbers 29:11 - beside;  Nehemiah 11:18 - the holy;  Job 14:5 - his days;  Psalm 16:10 - thine;  Psalm 72:3 - by righteousness;  Psalm 103:17 - his righteousness;  Psalm 111:3 - righteousness;  Psalm 119:142 - an everlasting;  Isaiah 8:16 - seal;  Isaiah 9:6 - The Prince of Peace;  Isaiah 10:27 - because;  Isaiah 40:2 - warfare;  Isaiah 42:21 - well;  Isaiah 45:11 - Ask;  Isaiah 48:2 - they call;  Isaiah 53:5 - But he was;  Ezekiel 35:5 - in the;  Ezekiel 45:15 - to make;  Daniel 9:22 - he informed;  Daniel 10:2 - full weeks;  Micah 7:19 - cast;  Habakkuk 2:3 - the vision;  Zechariah 3:9 - remove;  Zechariah 4:14 - These;  Zechariah 13:7 - smite;  Matthew 2:1 - Herod;  Matthew 11:3 - Art;  Matthew 20:18 - and the;  Matthew 20:28 - and to;  Matthew 24:6 - but;  Matthew 26:54 - GeneralMatthew 26:56 - that;  Matthew 27:53 - holy;  Mark 9:12 - he must;  Mark 10:45 - and to;  Mark 14:21 - goeth;  Mark 14:49 - but;  Luke 1:70 - which;  Luke 2:11 - which;  Luke 2:26 - the Lord's;  Luke 4:34 - the Holy One;  Luke 7:19 - Art;  Luke 12:56 - that;  Luke 19:44 - because;  Luke 22:22 - truly;  Luke 24:27 - and all;  Luke 24:47 - that;  John 1:24 - that Christ;  John 4:25 - Messias;  John 16:10 - righteousness;  John 19:30 - It is;  Acts 2:23 - being;  Acts 10:43 - him;  Acts 13:32 - how;  Acts 13:38 - that;  Acts 26:6 - the promise;  Acts 26:23 - Christ;  Romans 4:6 - imputeth;  Romans 4:25 - Who was;  Romans 5:19 - so by;  Romans 10:3 - God's righteousness;  Romans 11:15 - the reconciling;  Romans 14:17 - but;  1 Corinthians 15:3 - according;  Galatians 3:13 - redeemed;  Galatians 4:4 - the fulness;  Ephesians 1:7 - whom;  Ephesians 1:10 - in the;  Titus 1:3 - in;  Hebrews 5:9 - being;  Hebrews 9:14 - without;  1 Peter 1:11 - the sufferings;  1 Peter 1:12 - that not;  1 Peter 1:19 - with;  1 John 4:10 - and sent

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/daniel-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

This passage has been variously treated, and so distracted, and almost torn to pieces by the various opinions of interpreters, that it might be considered nearly useless on account of its obscurity. But, in the assurance that no prediction is really in vain, we may hope to understand this prophecy, provided only we are attentive and teachable according to the angel’s admonition, and the Prophet’s example. I do not usually refer to conflicting opinions, because I take no pleasure in refuting them, and the simple method which I adopt pleases me best, namely, to expound what I think delivered by the Spirit of God. But I cannot escape the necessity of confuting’ various views of the present passage. I will begin with the Jews, because they not only pervert its sense through ignorance, but through shameful impudence. Whenever they’re exposed to the light which shines from Christ, they instantly turn their backs in utter shamelessness, and display a complete want of ingenuousness. They are like dogs who are satisfied with barking. In this passage especially, they betray their petulance, because with brazen forehead they elude the Prophet’s meaning. Let us observe, then, what they think, for we should condemn them to little purpose, unless we can convict them by reasons equally firm and certain. When Jerome relates the teaching of the Jews who lived before his own day, he attributes to them greater modesty and discretion then their later descendants have displayed. He reports their confession, that this passage cannot be understood otherwise than of the advent of Messiah. that perhaps Jerome was unwilling to meet them in open conflict, as he was not fully persuaded of its necessity, and therefore he assumed more than they had allowed. I think this very probable, for he does not let fall a single word as to what interpretation he approves, and excuses himself for bringing forward all kinds of opinions without any prejudice on his part. Hence, he dares not pronounce whether or not the Jewish interpreters are more correct than either the Greek or the Latin, but leaves his readers entirely in suspense. Besides, it is very clear that all the Rabbis expounded this prophecy of Daniel’s, of that continual punishment which God was about to inflict upon his people after their return from captivity. Thus, they entirely exclude the grace of God, and blame the Prophet, as if he had committed an error in thinking that God would be propitious to these miserable exiles, by restoring them to their homes and by rebuilding their Temple. According to their view, the seventy weeks began at the destruction of the former Temple, and closed at the overthrow of the second. In one point they agree with us, — in considering the Prophet to reckon the weeks not by days but by years, as in Leviticus. (Leviticus 25:8.) There is no difference between us and the Jews in numbering the years; they confess the number of years to be 490, but disagree with us entirely as to the close of the prophecy. They say — as I have already hinted — the continual calamities which oppressed the people are here predicted. The Prophet hoped the end of their troubles was fast approaching, as God had testified by Jeremiah his perfect satisfaction with the seventy years of captivity. They say also — the people were miserably harassed by their enemies again overthrowing their second Temple; thus they were deprived of their homes, and the ruined city became a sorrowful spectacle of devastation and disaster. In this way, I shewed how they excluded the grace of God; and to sum up their teaching shortly, this is its substance, — the Prophet is deceived in thinking the state of the Church would improve at the close of the seventy years, because seventy weeks still remained; that is, God multiplied the number in this way, for the purpose of chastising them, until at length he would abolish the city and the Temple, disperse their nation over the whole earth and destroy their very name, until at length the Messiah whom they expected should arrive. This is their interpretation, but all history refutes both their ignorance and their rashness. For, as we shall afterwards observe, all who are endued with correct judgment will scarcely approve of this, because all historians relate the lapse of a longer period between the monarchy of Cyrus, and the Persians, and the coming of Christ, than Daniel here computes. The Jews again include the years which occurred from the ruin of the former Temple to the advent of Christ, and the final overthrow of their city. Hence, according to the commonly received opinion, they heap together about six hundred years. I shall afterwards state how far I approve of this computation, and how far I differ from it. Clearly enough, however, the Jews are both shamefully deceived and deceive others, when they thus heap together different periods without any judgment.

A positive refutation of this error is readily derived from the prophecy of Jeremiah, from the beginning of this chapter, and from the opinion of Ezra. That deceiver and impostor, Barbinel, who fancies himself the most acute of all the Rabbis, thinks he has a convenient way of escape here, as he eludes the subject by a single word, and answers only one objection. But I will briefly shew how he plays with frivolous trifles. By rejecting Josephus, he glories in an easy victory. I candidly confess that I cannot place confidence in Josephus either at all times or without exception. But what conclusions do Barbinel and his followers draw from this passage? Let us come to that prophecy of Jeremiah which I have mentioned, and in which he takes refuge. He says, the Christians make Nebuchadnezzar reign forty-five years, but he did not complete that number. Thus he cuts off half a year, or perhaps a whole one, from those monarchies. But what is this to the purpose? Because 200 years will still remain, and the contention between us concerns this period. We perceive then how childishly he trifles, by deducting five or six years from a very large number, and still there is the burden of 200 years which he does not remove. But as I have already stated, that prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the seventy years remains immovable. But when do they begin? From the destruction of the Temple? This will not suit at all.

Barbinel makes the number of the years forty-nine or thereabouts, from the destruction of the Temple to the reign of Cyrus. But we previously perceived the Prophet to be then instructed concerning the close of the captivity. Now, that impudent fellow and his followers are not ashamed to assert that Daniel was a bad interpreter of this part of Jeremiah’s prophecy, because he thought the punishment completed, although some time yet remained. Some of the Rabbis make this assertion, but its frivolous character appears from this, Daniel does not here confess any error, but confidently affirms that he prayed in consequence of his learning from the book of Jeremiah the completion of the time of the captivity. Then Ezra uses the following words, — When the seventy years were completed, which God had predicted by Jeremiah, he stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, to free the people in the first year of his monarchy. (Daniel 1:1.) Here Ezra openly states, that Cyrus gave the people liberty by the secret impulse of the Spirit. Had the Spirit of God become forgetful, when he hastened the people’s return? For then we must necessarily convict Jeremiah of deception and falsehood, while Ezra treats the people’s return as an answer to the prophecy. On the other hand, they cite a passage from the first chapter of Zechariah, (Zechariah 1:12,) Wilt thou not, O Lord, pity thy city Jerusalem, because the seventy years are now at an end? But here the Prophet does not point out the moment at which the seventy years were finished, but while some portion of the people had returned to their country by the permission of Cyrus, and the building of the Temple was still impeded, after a lapse of twenty or thirty years, he complains of God not having completely and fully liberated his people. Whether or not this is so, the Jews must explain the beginning of the seventy years from the former exile before the destruction of the Temple; otherwise the passages cited from Daniel and Ezra would not agree. We are thus compelled to close these seventy years before the reign of Cyrus, as God had said he should then put all end to the captivity of his people, and the period was completed at that point.

Again, almost all profane writers reckon 550 years from the reign of Cyrus to the advent of Christ.

I do not hesitate to suppose some error here, because no slight difficulty would remain to us on this calculation, but I shall afterwards state the correct method of calculating the number of years. Meanwhile, we perceive how the Jews in every way exceed the number of 600 years, by comprehending the seventy years’ captivity under these seventy weeks; and then they add the time which elapsed from the death of Christ to the reign of Vespasian. But the facts themselves are their best refutation. For the angel says, the seventy weeks were finished. Barbinel takes the word חתך , chetek, for “to cut off,” and wishes us to mark the continual miseries by which the people were afflicted; as if the angel had said, the time of redemption has not yet arrived, as the people were continually wretched, until God inflicted upon them that final blow which was a desperate slaughter. But when this word is taken to mean to “terminate” or “finish,” the angel evidently announces the conclusion of the seventy weeks here. That impostor contends with this argument — weeks of years are here used in vain, unless with reference to the captivity. This is partially true, but he draws them out longer than he ought. Our Prophet alludes to the seventy years of Jeremiah, and I am surprised that the advocates of our side have not considered this, as no one suggests any reason why Daniel reckons years by weeks. Yet we know this figure to be purposely used, because he wished to compare seventy weeks of years with the seventy years. And whoever will take the trouble to consider this likeness or analogy, will find the Jews slain with their own sword. For the Prophet here compares God’s grace with his judgment; as if he had said, the people have been punished by an exile of seventy years, but now their time of grace has arrived; nay, the day of their redemption has dawned, and it shone forth with continual splendor, shaded, indeed, with a few clouds, for 490 years until the advent of Christ. The Prophet’s language must be interpreted as follows, — Sorrowful darkness has brooded over you for seventy years, but God will now follow up this period by one of favor of sevenfold duration, because by lightening your cares and moderating your sorrows, he will not cease to prove himself propitious to you even to the advent of Christ. This event was notoriously the principal hope of the saints who looked forward to the appearance of the Redeemer.

We now understand why the angel does not use the reckoning’ of years, or months, or days, but weeks of years, because this has a tacit reference to the penalty which the people had endured according to the prophecy of Jeremiah. On the other hand, this displays God’s great loving kindness, since he manifests a regard for his people up to the period of his setting forth their promised salvation in his Christ. Seventy weeks, then, says he, were finished upon thy people, and upon thy holy city I do not approve of the view of Jerome, who thinks this an allusion to the rejection of the people; as if he had said, the people is thine and not mine. I feel sure this is utterly contrary to the Prophet’s intention. He asserts the people and city to be here called Daniel’s, because God had divorced his people and rejected his city. But, as I said before, God wished to bring some consolation to his servant and all the pious, and to prop them up by this confidence during their oppression by their enemies. For God had already fixed the time of sending the Redeemer. The people and the city are said to belong to Daniel, because, as we saw before, the Prophet was anxious for the common safety of His nation, and the restoration of the city and Temple. Lastly, the angel confirms his previous expression — God listened to his servant’s prayer, and promulgated the prophecy of future redemption. The clause which follows convicts the Jews of purposely corrupting Daniel’s words and meaning, because the angel says, the time was finished for putting an end to wickedness, and for sealing up sins, and for expiating iniquity We gather from this clause, God’s compassionate feelings for His people after these seventy weeks were over. For what purpose did God determine that time? Surely to prohibit sin, to close up wickedness, and to expiate iniquity. We observe no continuance of punishment here, as the Jews vainly imagine; for they suppose God always hostile to his people, and they recognize a sign of most grievous offense in the utter destruction of the Temple. The Prophet, or rather the angel, gives us quite the opposite view of the case, by explaining how God wished to finish and close up their sin, and to expiate their iniquity He afterwards adds, to bring in everlasting righteousness We first perceive how joyful a message is brought forward concerning the reconciliation of the people with God; and next, something promised far better and more excellent than anything which had been granted under the law, and even under the flourishing times of the Jews under David and Solomon. The angel here encourages the faithful to expect something better than what their fathers, whom God had adopted, had experienced. There is a kind of contrast between the expiation’s under the law and this which the angel announces, and also between the pardon here promised and that which God had always given to his ancient people; and there is also the same contrast between the eternal righteousness and that which flourished under the law.

He next adds, To seal up the vision and the prophecy Here the word “to seal” may be taken in two senses. Either the advent of Christ should sanction whatever had been formerly predicted — and the metaphor will imply this well enough — or we may take it otherwise, namely:, the vision shall be sealed up, and so finally closed that all prophecies should cease. Barbinel thinks he points out a great absurdity here, by stating it to be by no means in accordance with God’s character, to deprive his Church of the remarkable blessing of prophecy. But that blind man does not comprehend the force of the prophecy, because he does not understand anything about Christ. We know the law to be distinguished from the gospel by this peculiarity,-they formerly had a long course of prophecy according to the language of the Apostle. (Hebrews 1:1.) God spake formerly in various ways by prophets, but in these last times by his only-begotten Son. Again, the law and the prophets existed until John, says Christ. (Matthew 11:11; Luke 16:16; Luke 7:28.) Barbinel does not perceive this difference, and as I have formerly said, he thinks he has discovered an argument against us, by asserting that the gift of prophecy ought not to be taken away. And, truly, we ought not to be deprived of this gift, unless God desired to increase the privilege of the new people, because the least in the kingdom of heaven is superior in privilege to all the prophets, as Christ elsewhere pronounces. tie next adds, that the Holy of Holies may be anointed Here, again, we have a tacit contrast between the anointings of the law, and the last which should take place. Not only is consolation here offered to all the pious, as God was about to mitigate the punishment which he had inflicted, but because he wished to pour forth the fullness of all his pity upon the new Church. For, as I have said, the Jews cannot escape this comparison on the part of the angel between the state of the Church under the legal and the new covenants; for the latter privileges were to be far better, more excellent, and more desirable, than those existing in the ancient Church from its commencement. But the rest tomorrow. (114)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Daniel 9:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/daniel-9.html. 1840-57.