Daniel Chapter Nine
At the end of Daniel chapter Eight Daniel had been given much information but he did not understand what had been given him. Daniel 8:27. It does appear that Daniel was especially confused by the part of the vision concerning the 2300 days. In Daniel 9 Daniel starts studying the book of Jeremiah because Jeremiah had a vision that Israel was to return to Canaan after 70 years. Jeremiah 25:11-12. It would appear that Daniel thought that the 2300 days vision was overriding the 70 years vision and he was confused. So he started doing the best that he knew and that was to study the Bible for himself, and to pray for himself and his people Israel.
It is interesting that in light of what the Little Horn of Daniel 7-8 was seeking to accomplish, to hide or interfere with the intercessory ministry of Jesus, that Daniel started doing on Earth what the Son of man was doing in heaven. In the sanctuary message throughout the Bible there are several phases of ministry. The courtyard phase keeps the focus of God’s people on the coming Sacrifice, that the Son of God Himself would come as a man and die for the sins of mankind. This facet of the sanctuary doctrine was started from the foundation of the world in the promise of His coming. Revelation 13:8. This promise was repeated in Genesis 3:15 and displayed symbolically by the sacrifice conducted by Adam and Eve after their sin, and the exchange of clothing made by Adam for clothing made by God. Genesis 3:21. This phase of ministry would last from the time of sin to the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God, at Calvary. This phase of ministry is also part of the Daily referred to in Daniel 8:11-14; Exodus 29:38-46
After Calvary Jesus would officially enter into the next phase of ministry, and that would be into the Holy Place to ever make intercession in the Heavenly Sanctuary above. See Hebrews and Revelation. Jesus, our Great High Priest, would be in heaven ministering the blood of His own sacrifice for us each and every day. He would also continually supply our needs for food, clothing, shelter, and our needs for light and truth. Each day He would also offer up His merits for each believing person so that they would have a daily connection with the Father through the merits of Jesus.
After the 2300 days ran out, 457 BC to 1844 AD, then Jesus would start the third major facet of the sanctuary and that would be the ministry of the Day of Atonement spoken of in Leviticus 16, and symbolically represented in Revelation 11:19 through Revelation 20:2. This would start the time of the judgment, Revealed in Daniel 7:9-14; and Revelation 14:7. This phase of ministry would continue until Jesus had settled the cases of each person who claimed a relationship with Jesus. When all cases were completed then Jesus would end the Day of Atonement and then conduct that facet of ministry called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16), when Jesus comes the second time to gather His children to Himself and then take them to heaven for a thousand years. II Thessalonians 4:16-17; John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:1-7
Thus Daniel was consumed with the needs of His people Israel for he knew that the captivity in Babylon was a direct result of their refusal to listen to God or His prophets. Daniel 9:5-6; II Chronicles 36:11-17. Daniel recognized the need of prayer and
repentance, and even though Israel did not recognize their need, Daniel prayed and interceded for them, as his Master Jesus was doing in heaven. Not only did Daniel pray for Israel he identified himself WITH Israel. Daniel presented himself to God as one who needed as much prayer as any other sinner in Israel. God allowed Daniel to reveal how Jesus acts and feels regarding our sins. For our Great High Priest has identified Himself with humanity forever. Jesus became a man so that He could be with us. Thus one of the names of Jesus is Emmanuel – God with us. Matthew 1:23 Daniel displayed the intercessory ministry of Jesus, and as a result of this ministry Daniel was blessed with the presence of Gabriel. Gabriel informed Daniel, and thus all of Israel, both near and afar off, that both he and Israel had been blessed by Daniel’s intercessions. Daniel was sanctifying God through his efforts to plead for Israel.
Gabriel informed Daniel that he Daniel was to understand the matter and the vision. It appears that the part of the vision that Daniel was having the most difficulty with was the timed part, as mentioned above. So Gabriel, the one who is sent to explain the mysteries of prophecy (Luke 1:19), came to Daniel to help him, and to help us, understand the prophecy.
In Daniel 9:24 we have a super concentrated portion of Scripture. Gabriel indicates that there is a 7 part prophecy to unfold. The first part of the vision states that 70 weeks have been determined, or cut off from the 2300 days/years of Daniel 8:14, to apply to the nation of Israel. A time period has been allocated to Israel for them to repent, reconcile, and obey God. This time period has been addressed in Daniel 5:26. God weighs and “numbers” each person and each nation. When that time period is up, God will weigh the nation in the balances and pronounce judgment. This is also displayed in Genesis 18-19 in how Jesus – the Judge of all the Earth Genesis 18:25 – pronounces judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. This same process will happen to Israel at the end of the 70 weeks.
The 70 weeks is another example of prophetic time. A literalistic reading of 70 weeks would indicate 1.3 years. A reading of 70 weeks where we use the definition of a day for a thousand years, it would be 490,000 years. However, if we use the day for a year principle we would come up with 490 years from the time of the decree spoken of in Daniel 9:25 or 457 BC the decree spoken of in Ezra 7.
The second phase of the 7 part ministry is that Israel is to finish, or complete, the transgression. They are to have victory over sin in the national and individual life. Thus they would then vindicate the character of God and allow Him to minister to the world through them. See Ezekiel 36 and especially verse 23.
Thirdly, the nation of Israel is to make an end of sins. Israel is to become so surrendered to God that the world will know what it looks like to not be involved in sin. Israel has this privilege and the 490 years would give them ample time to develop a relationship with God.
The fourth section of the prophecy of verse 24 is to make reconciliation for iniquity. This phase is a facet of the Daily ministry of Jesus. Jesus is to be proclaimed by Israel to all of the world. Israel is to have the opportunity and the glory of revealing Jesus in prophecy, and in their lives, as well as in the nation. Israel is to be to the world what King Solomon was when he was totally surrendered to God. I Kings 10:1-13, 24-25.
The fifth part of the prophecy states that Israel was to be given 490 years to bring in everlasting righteousness. God wanted to display His power and love to the world through Israel. He would grant them prophets, the sanctuary, the Scriptures, and finally the Son of God Himself so that they could reveal everlasting righteousness to the world and to prepare the world to receive Jesus when He would come in 5-4 BC.
The sixth fact of verse 24 was that Israel would be given a part in the sealing up of the vision and the prophecy. Israel was to be so sure of the prophecies of God that they would testify in word, deed, and life of the truths of God’s Word. The best way was to testify with their acts of devotion of what was in their hearts and minds. By these activities they would testify that the vision was true and the interpretation sure and they would be ready to receive Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy especially of Daniel 8-9.
In the seventh facet of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24 is that of anointing the Most Holy. Many people believe that Jesus was the Most Holy Thing that was anointed in 27 AD. Luke 3:1-23. But it more likely represents that fact that when Jesus returned to heaven in 31 AD that He anointed all of the heavenly sanctuary with His blood and Spirit as Moses had done to the earthly sanctuary in Exodus 40:9-38
If Israel did not accomplish their part of this prophecy, by asking for help from God to do these things for them and in them Ezekiel 36:26-37, they would be cut off as a nation devoted to the things of God. We know that Israel chose to reject Jesus when He came and they chose Caesar to be their king (John 19:1-22). We also know that God knew their history and accepted their request and cut them off from the root of David. Romans 11:1-21. We also know that in 70 AD that Rome, the king that they had chosen, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple just as Nebuchadnezzar had done in the time of Daniel. II Chronicles 36:17-21
In Daniel 9:25 we are told the time when Messiah would come. Up until this prophecy the specific time of Messiah’s arrival had not been given us. We knew from prophecy that Messiah would come but now we knew exactly when He would come. God told us that from the time of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah was 69 weeks. With this statement we now can explore how long is the 69 weeks that Daniel is speaking of, when does it start, and when does it end. There has been much debate on this subject, but as in all things from God, when we allow His Word to instruct us the answers are simple and straight forward.
God gave us the list of the commands to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in the book of Ezra. The key issue is calculating the time of 69 weeks, or 483 years (69x7=483), from any of the dates of the decrees and see if they bring us to Messiah. So we can use the first decree of Cyrus as an example of this calculation. Ezra 1:1 tells us that Cyrus issued a decree in 536 BC to restore the house of God. So if we were to use this date and calculate the 483 years we would come to 53 BC. 53 BC does not bring us to Messiah the Prince. So it would appear that this decree is not the decree spoken of in Daniel 9:25.
We know that many people favor the decree in Nehemiah because the decree is to focus on building the wall, this decree was granted in 444 BC. If we subtract 483 years from 444 BC we would come to 39 AD or at least 5 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. This date would not seem to give us a good fit for the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25 either. Then we also have a date in 519 BC when Darius gives a decree to continue to work on the temple at Jerusalem. 519 - 483 brings us to 36 BC, again not a good fit.
The decree that seems to fit the best is the decree that counteracts an accusation made in Ezra 4:7-23. In this accusation Rehum and Shimshai wrote to Artaxerxes, or the False Smerdis – Prophets and Kings 573, who reigned for only approximately 1 year. He halted the building of Jerusalem, as well as the temple by his decree. Darius the 1st started his reign and he reinitiated the building of the temple, but did not comment much about the rebuilding of the city. Ezra chapter 5-6 speaks to the decree issued by Darius and the temple was finally completed in the 6th year of Darius. Ezra 6:15. But this decree by Darius does not fit the time period of Daniel 9:25. In Ezra 7 another decree is made and this is by Artaxerxes Longimanus in 457 BC. In this decree Ezra wins the support of the King, helps the people to come into harmony with God – the restoration of Jerusalem-the people of God, and then Artaxerxes gives support to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the establishment of Jerusalem as a government. He indicates the rebuilding of more than the temple by proclaiming that Ezra is to have authorization and support to do whatever needs to be done, as well as set up magistrates and judges to fulfill all the laws of God. Ezra 7:25-26. This decree effectively allows the people of God to finish that which Satan sought to stop in Ezra chapter 4:11-21
Now that we have found the date of the decree let us see if it brings us to Messiah the Prince. If we start at 457 BC then 483 years later we should come to the true Messiah of God. The decree of Artaxerxes went into effect in the fall of 457 BC, and thus the 483 years would end in the fall of 27 AD. In this year Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John the Baptist and is Anointed by the Holy Spirit and is declared to be the Son of God by the Heavenly Father. This year is in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar – 27 AD. See Luke 3:1-23. When Jesus is anointed by the Holy Spirit He officially becomes the Messiah – the Anointed One. Thus we see that 457 BC is the best fit of all of the decrees of Ezra and leads us to the fulfillment of Scripture.
One final note in regards to Daniel 9:25. We are told that the wall and the street shall be built in troublous times. This statement is clearly expressed in Ezra 4:4 “Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building.” All through the experience of Ezra and Nehemiah the Samaritan peoples troubled the work of God, and this concept will be fulfilled all through the experience of God’s people until the second coming of Jesus.
In Daniel 9:26 we have another specific prophecy concerning Messiah the Prince. Verse 26 says that after the 62 weeks, assuming that the 7 weeks of verse 25 is still in effect, that Messiah should be cut off. This could be any time after the 69 weeks or it could be in the 70th week assuming that God wants to be consistent in all of His dealings with men. But it is the sure word of prophecy (II Peter 1:16-21) that declares that Messiah shall be cut off. It is clear that Messiah was killed at Calvary. Cut off means to be killed. See Genesis 9:11; Exodus 9:15; 31:14; Leviticus 18:29. When Jesus became sin for all mankind He died the death for all of mankind that all who would live would accept His death in their place. Jesus did not die for Himself for He was sinless according to the law of God.
The next facet of Daniel 9:26 is that the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Contextually the people of the Prince that shall come are the people of Israel. They were considered God’s people. Daniel 12:1 states that Michael is the Great Prince that stands up for the children of the people of Daniel. This same Michael is Daniel’s Prince. This Prince is Messiah or Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. John 19:19. God says that the people of the Prince that will come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Daniel explained in Daniel 9:3-20, that it was the sins of God’s people that brought the destruction of Jerusalem and the Sanctuary in the time of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon. This same behavior would bring about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Sanctuary in the time just after Jesus. In the Book “Desire of Ages” we are told that “Since the whole ritual economy was symbolical of Christ, it had no value apart from Him. When the Jews sealed their rejection of Christ by delivering Him to death, they rejected all that gave significance to the temple and its services. Its sacredness had departed. It was doomed to destruction. From that day sacrificial offerings and the service connected with them were meaningless. Like the offering of Cain, they did not express faith in the Saviour. In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple. When Christ was crucified, the inner veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying that the great final sacrifice had been made, and that the system of sacrificial offerings was forever at an end.” Desire of Ages 165 The people of the Prince that was to come destroyed the temple and the city because they rebelled against the Only One who could save them. When they chose Rome over Christ they elected to receive whatever their king wanted to give them and Caesar gave them destruction. Thus Israel chose to receive desolations and destructions until the second coming of Christ because they still have not surrendered to Jesus to ask for forgiveness or deliverance from the king of their choice.
In Daniel 9:27 we are given the specific time of the death of Jesus. Jesus declares that He will confirm the covenant with many for one week. This week is the 70th week of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24. Thus since 69 weeks leads us to 27 AD then in the middle of the last week of the 70 weeks the crucifixion of Jesus would be in 31 AD. As we saw above in the quotation from Desire of Ages, the death of Jesus caused the sacrificial system to come to an end. The symbolic had been replaced by the real death of the real Lamb of God.
Finally the prophecy says that as a result of the death of Jesus abominations will be spread and it will cause desolations. Again we must go back to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Israel, the chosen people of God had worshipped so many idols, and conducted so many abominable things (see Ezekiel 8-9), that God could not do anything else for His people other than to send them into captivity. II Chronicles 36:11-21 God did this out of love for His people. Yet Israel rejected God’s love then, and certainly rejected God’s love when He actually came and lived among them as a man. Israel, the literal nation, has still not repented of their abominations and they remain a desolate group for they have not repented of their sin, nor sought out Jesus to be their Saviour and Messiah. Thus literal Israel will remain desolate until the consummation – the second coming of Jesus. Yet the instigator of all of this sin, Satan, will not get off free. He will suffer immensely for his role in the rebellion of Israel.
The moral of chapter nine of Daniel is that literal Israel had the full attention of God to rescue them and to fulfill the wonderful purposes of God. Yet they chose to reject God’s entreaties and turn against Him and to hire Rome to kill Jesus. Daniel 11:22. God told them in Daniel 9 that their probationary time had been set. Yet Israel did not respond to the warning. They rejected Jesus and Jesus proclaimed their temple, and their city, and their experience to be desolate because of the abomination of rejecting Messiah Himself. Matthew 23:31-38. Now the great question is will the spiritual Israel of God, the church of the firstborn Hebrews 12:22-23, respond to the warnings given in Daniel 9 and will they repent and allow God to fulfill in them the promises of Ezekiel 36, 37, Zechariah 3, and Revelation 14:1-12? We will have a more fearful fate than even rebellious Israel if we do not accept the lessons that they failed to accept. It is our awesome privilege to come into full harmony with Messiah and to live out His life on Earth, and thus we will sanctify God Himself, by allowing Him to fulfill the totality of the sanctuary message in us. May God grant us His great mercies and love.