I can't believe I did that! What you might ask? I glanced over Daniel nine and found myself wanting to ignore about half of it. Why? Because at first look it seems like it is merely one man's conversation with God. Daniel does not seem to say anything in particular, and he states the obvious, Israel, the nation and people have sinned.
Mind you these aspects are not the major topic here and maybe I didn't need to bring any of that up, but as I prepared these notes so that I could lead appropriately, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that there is nothing insignificant in God's word. I felt prompted after that to pay close attention to what Daniel was saying.
I found some amazing insights into the man Daniel, and some correlations between what he said and what we do in recovery. For example: in recovery, we take ownership of the wrongs we have done to others. In the case of Israel, their sins were many, but ignoring God's commands is a huge mistake. I thought about this last statement for a moment thinking that what they did was in the past, but I was reminded that their blatant ignorance continues still today.
If you choose to pursue what I have written then I implore you to allow the Holy Spirit to instruct you, and consider my words to be merely a guide.
God bless you on this journey of faith you are on.
Gabriel brings an answer.
“while I was still speaking in prayer,”
Daniel had just spent an extended period of time accepting responsibility, and repenting for his nation, and yet watch what Gabriel says.“the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering.”
While I cannot be positive, for Daniel speaks of visions that he saw in: Daniel chapter two; seven; eight, and now nine. Chapter eight gives us some definition that we did not get when Daniel explains the statue Nebuchadnezzar saw. While the theologians around you espouse that Rome is the fourth empire, Daniel never said, nor saw that; what he did see though was the Grecian empire, and it is remnants of the Grecian empire being played out before us in chapter 11. So, maybe the vision he refers to is the one from Daniel chapter eight.
"He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding."
Skill is the Hebrew word sakal and means to be intelligent. If there was a man of intelligence it was Daniel. Clearly, he did not know everything and the future was a part of that.
Understanding is the word bı̂ynâh meaning understanding, comprehension, and discernment. However, it comes from a root word bı̂yn and means to separate mentally (or distinguish).
The Webster's dictionary conveys the idea of comprehension; apprehending the idea, or being informed.
Whether Daniel could comprehend what he heard was another story altogether. To give you an example: In Daniel 11, The angel Gabriel gives Daniel a very precise history that covered an intense period of several hundred years and reaches over 2500 years into the future. When you apply some logic to the information Daniel received, a man potentially in his eighties, he will most likely never live to see any of it, and what he received was such detailed information that the critics of biblical prophecy tend to think that chapter 11 was written after the events happened. We know that is not the case. His mission then was to pass this understanding along to us. Assuming then that you have read Daniel or some of the other prophetic books, did you understand any of it? I know that for years I did not until I came across Joel Richardson's book, The Islamic Antichrist. After that, it all began to make sense.
"At the beginnng of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.”
- “ At the beginning of your supplications, the command was issued”
Lesson one: Never give up.
- “ I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed;”
God is not playing favorites, for you also are highly esteemed.
- “ so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision”
I cannot be positive if the vision Gabriel speaks of is referring to chapter eight, for Daniel speaks of visions that he saw in: chapter two; seven; eight, and now nine. Chapter eight however, gives us some definition that we did not get when Daniel explained the statue Nebuchadnezzar saw. While the theologians around you espouse that Rome is the fourth empire; attempting to explain the vagueness of the legs of Iron, Daniel never said, nor saw that; what he did see though was the Grecian empire, and it is those same remanants of the Grecian empire being played out before us as we read Daniel chapter 11. So, maybe the vision he refers too is the one from Daniel chapter eight.
The Seventy Weeks – What Gabriel had to say.
What did the angel Gabriel say?
“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression,”
Seventy weeks? Everyone seems to get hung up on this. A greater understanding will come when you concede to the fact that this book you are trying to understand is a Jewish book. It is written in terminology that had intense meaning to God's people, the Jews. Consider the number of things that God did that seven attached to them: creation; completion; the Sabbath coming on the seventh day, and the time of Jubilee. Seven is key. 70 years x 7 = 490 years. What did this have to do with Daniel's prayer?
What then did Gabriel mean when he said transgression?
peša‛: A masculine noun meaning transgression, rebellion.
What is the problem here?
Rebellion is an integral part of who we are since SIN.
Did Jesus death cause transgression to cease? NO! However, we were relieved from the penalty of that transgression when we accepted Jesus as the final sacrifice.
- “to make an end of sin,”
Releasing Israel from captivity did not accomplish this; it only happened on the cross.
So, is Gabriel talking about a cessation of sins or an end of their impact and outcome?
- “to make atonement for iniquity,”
Atonement is the Hebrew word kaphar and means to cover over or pacify.
- “ to bring in everlasting righteousness”
Once again, this can go two ways.
1. One is to perceive that Christ's death and resurrection did just that, bringing about an everlasting righteousness in those who follow Him.
2. The other is to see this as a future event that initiates with the Millennial reign.
- “to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.”
This is the one thing that I cannot wholeheartedly attribute to Christ's death and resurrection. And yet, there is this:
Hebrews 9:11-12 MKJV But when Christ had become a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building 12) nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
According to Hebrews Jesus did anoint the most holy place?
While that seems to be the case, is the final prophecy sealed and closed? Now one might think that eternal redemption should have sealed up the vision.
The word Seal is the Hebrew word châtham and means to close up.
But isn't closure an aspect of the Great White Throne judgment we see in the book of the Revelation?
Did you notice that this puts an end to prophecy?
Remember that we now see in part, but the day is coming when we shall see face to face. 1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB
What is it that seals, with finality, the end of time?
The one thing that initiates the end of time is:
Zechariah 14:3-4 NASB Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4) In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
".. from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;...
483 years, and yet the message from Gabriel said there were to be 490 years.
When was the decree issued?
Ezra 1:1-2 NASB Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying: 2) "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Cyrus reigned from 550-530BC. It appears that Ezra might have come into captivity at this point as well.
“ after the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing”
The blunt way of understanding this is that the Messiah will be killed. 434 years after the decree to build the temple.
As a side note, here Daniel calls him the Messiah and yet Israel will not accept Him.
“the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.”
This is the primary statement that motivates “scholars” to look to Rome as the source of the beast in Revelation. The Assyrians are the Persians, and the lasting enemy of Israel. They are descendants of Ishmael.
Note: it does not say that the prince will destroy the city, it says his people.
“And he will make a firm covenant with the many”
This does not say Israel or the Jews. We cannot, however, discount the possibility of a peace treaty with Israel, but, if this person is a Muslim, then his covenant will most likely be with Muslims, and against Israel.
“for one week”
This is a seven-year peace treaty. Do not anticipate it lasting for that long.
“in the middle of the week, he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering”
How long is this period? 1260 days, three-and-one half years, and in some referrences 42 months.
We now have several problems to contend with:
This says nothing about the treaty.
Stopping the sacrifice means that he is stopping the “work” within the temple.
How would an outsider be able to do this without violence?
“and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate,"
We now have another player coming on the scene. Islam calls this man Isa Ben Maryiam – Jesus, the son of Mary (Not God.)
“even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
What is complete destruction imply?
Being thrown into the lake of fire, the ultimate and eternal separation from God.