Does it Matter Who the “He” is in Daniel 9:27 as Far as the Tribulation is Concerned? Yes.

September 26, 2013 at 8:21 AM 4 comments

70 weeks

The Tribulation begins with the signing of the “firm” covenant by Antichrist – the “he” in Daniel 9:27

When we last dealt with the subject of the Tribulation, we discussed how 70 “weeks” literally means 490 years. You may wish to go back and refresh your memory or if you have not read that article, I would recommend it before delving into this one since it’s been nearly a week.

Since I believe that the Bible specifically teaches an actual, future period of time referred to as the Tribulation/Great Tribulation, it is from that position that this series of articles is written. If you believe something else, that’s between you and the Lord.

I want to pull more detail out of Daniel 9:24-27 in this article and then we’ll delve into the details surrounding the Abomination of Desolation. It is not only germane to the text, but is actually embedded in the last few verses of Daniel 9. Beyond this, Jesus Himself refers to it in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24. Let’s look at verses 24-27 of Daniel 9.

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. So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 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 to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

This is such an important section of Scripture because this is the only place in Scripture where the information of Daniel 9 actually exists. If not for Daniel 9, we would not know about the 70 weeks! It is important that we rightly divide it and seek to gain God’s understanding of this (and all) part of His Word.

We went over this section in a cursory way last time, but we need to break it down more extensively. What is going on in these several verses?

  • 70 weeks have been decreed for Israel (“your people” to Daniel) and Jerusalem (“your holy city”)
  • From the decree issued by Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah, there will be TWO concurrent sections of time:
    • 7 weeks
    • 62 weeks
    • AFTER the 62 weeks ENDS, several things will happen:
      • Messiah will be killed (“cut off”)
      • He will die with “nothing”
      • People of the “prince” to come will destroy Jerusalem (city) and Temple (sanctuary)
      • End of Jerusalem/Temple will come with a “flood”
      • Wars and desolations are determined
      • “He” will make firm covenant with the many for one “week”
      • “He” will stop all sacrifices in rebuilt Temple
      • The one “who makes desolate” will be utterly destroyed

That’s a lot to deal with and we’ve already dealt with some of it in our previous article. We were able to determine that the “prince” mentioned here is connected to the people of Rome. The Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and led to the destruction of the Temple AD 70. However, did everything mentioned above happen then?

My position is no, not everything happened then. Yes, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed with a “flood” of an army that overtook the city in AD 70. The term “flood” unless specifically referring to water, normally refers to a military assault in Scripture. That is the literal meaning. This was God’s judgment on Israel for rejecting God the Son in the form of the Jewish Messiah.

Notice that “wars and desolations are determined” follows the statement that tells us of Jerusalem’s demise. Since AD 70, Jerusalem has continued to be controlled by Gentile nations (cf. Daniel 2). There have also been wars since then. What about desolations? They have been constant without ceasing simply because Gentiles controlled Jerusalem.

Wars have been pretty much non-stop there as well. Even today, tension is thick and at any moment, it seems as though another war could break out in that area of the world. I think it is safe to assume that the last four bulleted points beginning with “Wars and desolations are determined” occur after Jerusalem is destroyed in AD 70. These four points reflect what will occur right up to the time of Jesus’ physical return.

We then get into the “he” referenced in Daniel 9:27. Many people believe this “he” refers to Jesus Himself. Some even suggest that each incidence of “he” in this section of Scripture (verses 24 – 27) all refer to Jesus. If I understand the rules of grammar, I don’t see how that can be the case due mainly to the rule of the first antecedent.

The use of the pronoun “he” in verse 27 has to refer back to someone earlier. People who believe it refers back to “Messiah” do so because they say that “the people of the prince who is to come” also refers to the Messiah (prince). But does it?

It’s as if the text says “the people (of the prince who is to come) will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” In other words, the text is not saying the prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The people (from whom the future prince will come) destroyed the city and temple in AD 70. The prince was not on the scene yet.

Who are “the people” mentioned? They are said to destroy the city. The question then is who or what group of people destroyed the city? The only plausible answer is the Romans, as I’ve mentioned. If that’s the case, then the current ruler of Rome at the time was a type of Antichrist. The final Antichrist then will also come from the same group of people – Europeans likely of Latin (Italian) descent. The Antichrist will not be born Jewish, but may likely identify himself as Jewish (just as Herod did). We dealt with this last time.

If the “he” in the opening words of verse 27 is really pointing to the coming Antichrist (and not the Messiah), then the “he” here is speaking of a future person who will come along and appear to solve the Middle East problem. He’ll do so by making a covenant with “the many” (leaders of Israel) for one “week.”

This “week” just happens to represent the last “week” or final seven years of the 490 years. According to this opinion then, yes, there has been a gap or break between the 69th week and the 70th week.

We know this because of the words “And after this…” which signals to us that after the closing of the 62nd week, several things occur before the start of the 70th week. Only a few of those things have occurred so far:

  • Messiah was killed (“cut off”)
  • Wars and desolations until the end

In closing, we have not seen any one person make a successful covenant with Israel since AD 70. We are still waiting for it to happen. The signing of this covenant then, is what kicks off the Tribulation.

Next time we will look at several things:

  • Why the signing of the covenant starts the Tribulation
  • What is meant exactly by the Abomination that desolates (Matthew 24)
  • How the coming Antichrist will create another abomination that desolates
  • How Antichrist’s actions will cause the cessation of the sacrifice
  • How Antichrist will be utterly destroyed

Join me then!

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

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4 Comments

  • 1. Lance  |  October 5, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    You forgot to mention the baptism of the messiah in the passages Daniel 9:24-27. The 483 years extend to the year 27 AD( to the Messiah) the word messiah means anointed. In acts 10:38 it speaks of Jesus being anointed by the Holy Spirit and we know that took place at His baptism. In Luke 3:1 it confirms the date of His(Jesus) baptism it took place in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, he began his co-rule in the year 12AD so all you do is add 15 to 12 then you get 27AD.

    • 2. modres  |  October 5, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      I think you lost me, Lance. The “anointing” mentioned in that section refers specifically to the “most holy place” (v. 24), not the Messiah. The word “place” references the physical interior of the Temple.

      What exactly is your point? You mentioned that you believe the 483 years extends to AD 27. What is that telling you, Lance? Sorry…

      • 3. Lance  |  October 5, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        No what I mean is look up the word messiah on your pc it means anointed one.

      • 4. Lance  |  October 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        And by the way is there a connection between Dan 8 and Dan 9 and what is the connection.


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