Sunday, August 2, 2020

Verse of the Week: Daniel 9:26

Verse of the Week: Daniel 9:26

“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even the end there will be war; desolations are determined. Daniel 9:26

The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War, in which the Roman army captured the city of Jerusalem and destroyed both the city and its Temple. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been controlled by Judean rebel factions since 66 AD, following the Jerusalem riots of 66, when the Judean provisional government was formed in Jerusalem.

The siege of the city began on 14 April 70 AD, three days before the beginning of Passover that year. The siege lasted for about four months; it ended in August 70 AD on Tisha B'Av with the burning and destruction of the Second Temple. The Romans then entered and sacked the Lower City. The Arch of Titus, celebrating the Roman sack of Jerusalem and the Temple, still stands in Rome. The conquest of the city was complete on approximately 8 September 70 AD.

Josephus places the siege in the second year of Vespasian, which corresponds to the year 70 AD.[1]

“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even the end there will be war; desolations are determined. Daniel 9:26

After sixty-two weeks- From the completion of the construction of Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah would be sixty-two weeks, or four hundred and thirty-four years. Altogether, from the signing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes on March 14, 1445 BC, to the Messiah would be four hundred and eighty-three years.

                Plus the first seven weeks, for a total of 69 weeks important events were to occur. The events recorded here takes place after the crucifixion of Christ. The two most important events to occur after the 69 weeks were:

1.       The Messiah was to be cut off (crucified), and

2.       The city of Jerusalem and the Temple were to be destroyed.

These events were to occur between the 69th week and the 70th week.

Messiah will be cut off- The crucifixion of the Messiah. Within a few days after the people had shouted, “Hosanna,” they shouted, “Crucify Him!” and in response to their shouts the religious leaders and the people crucified the King. The adulation of the crowd at the triumphal entry and the devotion of those who had been touched by His previous ministry was to no avail. The unbelief of Israel and the calloused indifference of religious leaders when confronted with the claims of Christ combined with the hardness of the heart of Gentile rulers to make the greatest of tragedies. Thus, the cutting off of the Messiah happened after the 69 weeks. We read in Isaiah:

                                By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

                                                And as for His generation, who considered

                                                That He was cut off out of the land of the living,

                                                For the transgression of My people to whom the stroke was due?

                                                Isaiah 53:8

                Christ was not only “cut off” from man and from life, but in His cry on the cross it is indicated that He was forsaken of God for a short time while the sins of the world was placed upon Him. The plaintive cry of “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” reveals not only the awfulness of separation from God but points also the answer- the redemptive purpose.

Have nothing- (Heb. weenlo) This Hebrew word means “nothing” or “no one.” The phrase has been interpreted as:

1.       The destruction of Jerusalem

2.       It was not for His own sins that He was cut off, but the sins of others.

3.       He shall have no kingdom as of yet. Nothing that rightly belonged to Him as Messiah the Prince was given Him at that time. He had not come into His full reward nor the exercise of His regal authority. Looking at the circumstances through human eyes, it would appear that evil won.

4.       He will be bereft of followers, all of them will fell from Him at the time of His arrest, trial, and death. Only if the meaning of the word is “no one.”

5.       It suggests that He will die without any material wealth or resources if the meaning of the word means “nothing.”

From my studies #3 is the best explanation for this passage.

People of the prince who is to come- The destruction of the temple was done by the Romans in 70 AD. Titus, the Roman general, destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. This occurred some 38 years after the end of the end of the 69th week.

                Carefully note the wording of this prophecy. The people of the prince, not the prince himself, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Josephus, who was a captive of the Roman army besieging Jerusalem, wrote that after the death of Nero, General Galba was recalled to be made emperor.

Figure 1Galba

But a conspiracy that opposed him developed and the general was assassinated. After Galba, Otho was made emperor, but he was not capable of ruling; and like Nero, he committed suicide. There followed a period of revolution and political instability. Finally, the general in command of the Roman-Israeli expedition was recalled restoring order and become emperor. This man was General Vespasian, the father of Capatian Titus.

Figure 2Vespasian

When Vespasian left for Rome, he made his son Titus general, and left him in charge of the siege. Just a few days before the assault on Jerusalem, Vespasian was crowned emperor of the Roman Empire, making Titus a prince. Therefore, the army which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple was committed by a prince.

Figure 3Titus

                Since these events were to occur after the 69 weeks had run their course and before the 70th week began, there must be a space of time between conclusion of the sixty-ninth week and the beginning of the seventieth.

                Some have erroneously attributed that the prince is Christ. If this is true, then Christians must have destroyed the city and the sanctuary. There were very few, if any, Christians in Jerusalem at the time of its destruction. In fact, the Christians, heeded the warnings of Jesus in Luke:

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.

21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city;         Luke 21:20, 21

                They fled the city during a temporary withdrawal of the hostile army and reached the mountains of Pella.

Destroy the city- After the Messiah was crucified, the city and the Temple were destroyed. In the forty years in the wilderness, Israel only spent two years going to the Promised Land. But because of unbelief, they spent thirty-eight years in the desert until all that generation died, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. Thirty-eight years after Jesus was crucified, the city and the Temple were destroyed. Not even one stone was left upon another as Christ had predicted:

And He answered and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” Matthew 24:2

And the sanctuary- Titus attempted to spare what was left of the city and the Temple. For some unexplained reason, as recorded by Josephus, the well-trained and disciplined army went berserk, pillaged and burned the city and the Temple. Titus personally intervened at the Temple to save it, but the soldiers, according to Josephus, were seized by a “divine urge” and refused to heed t the hand sings of Titus or his voice. Thus, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the people of the prince.

                It is said that a torch was thrown into the Temple igniting the curtain and the oil. The flames melted the gold objects and the melted gold ran down into the openings between the building stones. In an effort to get to the gold soldiers tore down the Temple, brick by brick. Thus, fulfilling the words of Christ.

with a flood- This is used to denote warlike hosts who annihilate their enemies in Daniel. This seems to be a general reference to the fact that from the time of destruction of the city of Jerusalem, trouble, war, and desolation will be the normal experience of the people of Israel and will end only at the consummation of history. History has demonstrated more than once that this is true.


Next week Daniel 9:27


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