The Keys To Understanding The Book Of Daniel
Key Studies in Daniel - Series No. 3
1. The Ram and the He-Goat (Daniel 8)
In Daniel 8 and on through the following chapters, we find a detailed unfolding of events helping to complete the great outline of Chapter 2.
It is interesting to notice that the Book of Daniel was written in two different languages: Aramaic and Hebrew. All of chapter 1 and the first three verses of chapter 2 are written in the Hebrew tongue. Then a new section begins and from chapter 2:4 on to chapter 8, Aramaic, the popular language of that day in Babylon, is used. From chapter 8 through chapter 12 the Hebrew tongue is employed again by Daniel.
This in itself is a strong argument for the genuineness and inspiration of the Book for had it been written by an impostor he would have used Aramaic exclusively.
Let us keep in mind that Daniel deals with two great truths:
First, the history of God's covenant people, Israel;
Second, the "Times of the Gentiles" (The Church Age) when Israel is set aside and the Millennial Kingdom postponed.
In chapter 1, we have the personal history of the four Hebrew men in the court of the heathen Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. Naturally, this is written in the Hebrew language. But beginning with Daniel 2:4 and going through chapter 7, we have a series of dreams, visions, and revelations that came to Nebuchadnezzar and were interpreted by Daniel, and which deal with the history of the nations. This portion is naturally written in the popular language of the day. Then from chapter 8 to the end of the Book we have the history of Daniel's people, the Jews, particularly in the end time of the Great Tribulation. These last five chapters are again written in Hebrew.
Daniel, in his vision of chapter 8, saw a ram with two long horns. "And the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last" (verse 3). He then saw the ram charging off in all directions. No other beast was able to stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power.
"I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great" (verse 4). After some time, Daniel saw a "he-goat" that "had a notable"(conspicuous)"horn between his eyes" coming from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground (verse 5).
Approaching the ram, the goat ran at him in his mighty wrath and struck the ram and broke his two horns; and the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled upon him; and there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Therewith the ram disappeared from the scene. When the he - goat became strong, his "great horn" was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. Read verses 6 - 8.
In explaining the vision to Daniel, the angel Gabriel told him that the ram with its two horns represented Media and Persia and the he - goat represented Greece. The Medes were strong at first, but Persia eventually became the dominant force within the empire. The directions in which the ram charged - - north, west, and south - - are the very directions which the Persian conquests took, their main thrust being westward.
Let us keep in mind that Daniel saw these historic events before they took place. Here is history pre - written, for all these visions were revealed when the Babylonian empire was still flourishing. No wonder higher critics and kindred infidels have tried to attack the authority of Daniel and have invented their own clever theories to show that Daniel was written after the Medo - Persian empire had come into existence. If they spent their time getting rid of sin and Satan instead of trying to get rid of the Scripture there would be fewer devils and more Daniels in the world.
After Persia came the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the "conspicuous horn" whom Gabriel specifically declared to be their "first king". Daniel saw the great horn "broken" almost as soon as the goat became "strong" and history tells us that Alexander died soon after his conquests were completed. Like the four heads of the leopard beast of Daniel 7, the four horns which then arose toward the four points of the compass represent the divisions of Alexander's empire.
Visions of Daniel 7 and 8 Compared
The Great Beasts of Daniel 7
1. A Bear - Verses 5,17
2. A Leopard - Verses 6, 17
3. The Leopard's Four Heads - Verse 6
The Great Beasts of Daniel 8
1. A Ram specifically identified by the Angel as Persia- Verses 3, 4, 20
2. A He-Goat, specifically identified by the angel as Greece- Verses 5-8, 21
3. The he-goat's Four Horns, specifically identified by the angel as the divisions of the Greek empire- Verses 8, 22
Babylon is absent from the vision of Daniel 8 because the Babylonian Empire was soon to disappear from the stage of world history. Although the symbols of chapter 8 are different from those of chapter 7, they speak of the same events. The ram and he - goat of the one are counterparts of the bear and leopard in the other. In chapter 7, for example, the bear was raised up on one side, (verse 5), whereas in chapter 8:3 the higher of the two horns on the ram came up last. Also the four heads of the leopard correspond exactly with the four horns of the he - goat.
Now let us see some of the main prophetic teachings of chapter 8.
speaks of Jerusalem as "the
The different names given to the land of Palestine are:
(1) "Canaan" (Lev. 14:34);
(2) "The Holy Land" (Zech. 2:12);
(3) "The Lord's land" (Hosea 9:3);
(4) "Immanuel's Land" (Isaiah 8:8);
(5) "Land of Israel" (1 Sam. 13:19);
(6) "Land of the Hebrews" (Gen. 40:15);
(7) "Land of Judah" (Isa. 26:1);
(8) "Land of Promise" (Heb. 11:9);
(9) "The Pleasant Land" (Dan. 8:9).
The phrases "the latter time" and "the time of the end" and "in the last end of the indignation" appear several times in these latter chapters of Daniel. They describe the same period of time discussed in the 7th chapter, "a time and times and the dividing of time" which is three years and a half, the prophetic 1260 days or 42 months in the Book of Revelation. It is the Great Tribulation with which the times of the Gentiles close. This Great Tribulation is the "time of Jacob's trouble" as mentioned in Jeremiah 30:7.
Our Lord in Matthew 24 calls attention to the Prophet Daniel and immediately after He said, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Jerusalem, which has been the TRUTH CENTRE since the time of Christ, will be the GREAT STORM CENTRE of that predicted Tribulation, the Great One. Jerusalem will be the PEACE CENTRE during the Millennial reign of Christ and the HOME CENTRE to all Israel throughout the ages to come.
Notice the words in Daniel 8:19, "The last end of the indignation." Daniel speaks of the "indignation" and "the last end of the indignation." The "indignation" refers to God's punishment of His people, Israel, because of their continued disobedience. it sets forth the tribulation through which Israel and Judah would be pruned, purged and purified otherwise perish in their sin. Such indignation began in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, was continued by Antiochus Epiphanes the Syrian, and later by Titus the Roman who in A.D. 70 murdered and massacred the people of God and scattered them to the four corners of the earth.
The indignation continues until today and shall continue until the end of this present age of Grace or the Church age. After the coming of Christ and the rapture of the Church the indignation will break out with added fury for seven long years of suffering and death. Antichrist of course will arise as typified here by Antiochus. The "last end of the indignation" began with Antiochus, and is yet to increase in momentum until it reaches its consummation in the Great Tribulation Period under Antichrist.
The "king of fierce countenance" of Daniel 8:23 is another picture of Antichrist. The condition of the heart is often seen on the countenance. Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian ruler, was to be an impudent, insolent, vicious king. Fearing neither God nor man he was to be Satan's masterpiece of iniquity before the coming Antichrist of whom he was a striking shadow.
Chapter 8:24 tells us that this Syrian madman Antiochus "shall destroy...the holy people". Because of their transgressions God's people had been given into the hands of Pharaoh who oppressed them 400 years. Despite the miracle deliverance wrought for them in Egypt and at the Red Sea they still rebelled against God and they were oppressed again. Over and over they were delivered by such leaders as Othniel, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Samson, and David, and yet they continued to rebel. The indignation, started by Nebuchadnezzar, was continued by the Syrian king, who wasted the holy land and ruthlessly murdered the holy people.
The future mad-man of history, Antichrist, will be revealed after the rapture, and will be after the working of Satan with all power and lying wonders and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:9-10). But just as the hand of God was against the Syrian king, so the hand of God will be against Antichrist. Antichrist shall destroy many of God's holy people in the Great Tribulation, then God will destroy him, and cast him into the lake of fire.
2. Daniel's Seventy Weeks
"Seventy weeks are determined" (decreed) "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. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after (the) threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself" (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 unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in he midst of the seek he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Daniel 9:24-27).
There are many today who make light of prophecy and tell us that in teaching prophecy we are but riding a hobby horse. The fact of the matter is that the Bible is a prophetic book and it is difficult to understand why people can be satisfied to sit under so - called Bible teachers who have little or nothing to say about the great prophetic truths of the Word of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ was a prophetic Teacher. It is impossible to understand His prophetic discourse in Matthew 24:15-22 and Mark 13:14-20, apart from a knowledge of Daniel's seventy weeks. You will remember Jesus said in Mark 13:14, "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand), then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains."(Read also Matthew 24:15-16). How is it possible to understand prophecy if we do not study to understand it?
Let us notice that the Lord Jesus refers to "Daniel the prophet." This simply means that the Book of Daniel is a prophetic book; yet how little teaching we hear today on these important matters.
Daniel 9 teaches us that Daniel himself was a student of prophecy. Though he was a busy man, he had time to study the prophetic Scriptures. Daniel was not discouraged by the Neo - evangelicals of his day nor was he disturbed by date - setters. He believed in the prophets and in the study of prophecy. Those who are labelled as specialists of prophecy or are looked down upon by the intelligent pulpiteers of our day, are in glorious company, for Daniel was a student of prophecy.
The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks was given to Daniel after he made a study of other prophecies. "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem" (Daniel 9:2).
Daniel and his people had been carried away captive into the land of Babylon. As Daniel studied Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:5-10 he found out that these "desolations" were to last for a period of seventy years. Thanks to Daniel's prophetic study much of what was difficult to understand is now made plain. According to "the books" the period of divine judgement is drawing to a close. In Jeremiah 29:10 the Lord said that "After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I WILL VISIT YOU." Here was a wonderful prophetic promise from the Lord which Daniel saw as nearing the time of fulfilment.
Then in Daniel 9:3-19 we have the earnest prayer of Daniel as he poured out his soul unto God to find out God's plan for Israel. Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, and Daniel 9 are important prayer chapters as God's servants are found upon their knees before God. Daniel's prayer is a model of confession, supplication, and intercession.
But the prayer was never finished. Notice verse 21, "Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation." This was about three o'clock in the afternoon. It was the same hour that Abel offered his lamb. It was the same hour that the passover lamb was slain. Yes, and at three o'clock Christ, the Lamb of God, bowed His head and died. It was the time of the evening oblation.
Verse 23, "At the beginning of they supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." So it was the angel Gabriel and not Daniel who first uttered the great prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
In Daniel 8:27 the prophet was disappointed that "none understood" but now Gabriel gives him full assurance that he could "understand the matter" (verse 23). In verses 24-27 we have the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
There are several facts that should be noticed in relation to this prophecy:
1. This prophecy has to do with "thy people" which is Israel and "thy holy city" which is Jerusalem (verse 24).
2. The seventy weeks are determined or decreed. The word "decreed" carries with it the connotation of "cutting off" from a larger portion. Thus the seventy weeks are a fixed period of time, forming part of a longer period which is not definitely set forth. This longer period from which the seventy weeks are "cut off" is the whole Gentile dominion or "times of the Gentiles." This Gentile period is clearly presented in Nebuchadnezzar's vision of Chapter 2; in Daniels' vision of four beasts in Chapter 7; and also in the visions of Chapters 8 and 11.
3. The seventy weeks are decreed specifically for six main reasons in relation to Israel. The first three deal with the removal of sin and the last three speak of the righteous results of doing way with sin.
(a) "To finish the transgression." This refers to Israel's transgression of turning away from God, and in particular, to their rejection of Christ as their Messiah.
(b) "and to make an end of sins." Literally this means to "seal up" the deliberate wickedness of Israel. Ezekiel expresses it in 37:23, "Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions."
(c) "and to make reconciliation for iniquity." This is God's provision for the guilty nation during this period referred to in the prophecy. It is not for our age for now "there is no respect of persons with God" (Romans 2:11). Paul refers to this time in Romans 11:26-27, "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."
(d) "and to bring in everlasting righteousness." Now God begins to bring Israel to the place of blessing with a new covenant so often promised in the Old Testament. Read Jer. 31:31-34 for example.
(e) "and to seal up the vision and prophecy." Actually the prophets were brought on the scene by God because of the perverseness of God's people. The prophets were there because of the people's disobedience. But with "everlasting righteousness" brought in, such prophets will no longer be necessary.
(f) "and to anoint the most Holy." Literally this means "to anoint a most holy place." In the Millennium period the Temple will again be the centre of worship with Christ the King before them.
4. Let us notice that there are two different princes mentioned. The first is named "Messiah the Prince" (verse 25); and the second "the prince that shall come" (verse 26). We shall enlarge on these two princes in future studies.
5. The time period referred to is exactly Seventy Weeks (verse 24). These Seventy Weeks are divided into three periods: First, a period of seven weeks; then a period of three - score and two weeks; and finally, a period of one week (verses 25-27).
3. The Sixty-Nine Weeks
In the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 we find that the 69 weeks are first mentioned in verse 25, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks."
The word "weeks" in the Hebrew means "a seven" so we can better translate this as "69 sevens" or 483 periods of time or a time of some length.
The Jews used the word "seven" for years as well as days. There is therefore in the Old Testament a "seven" of years as well as a "seven" of days. First, let us notice Leviticus 25:3-4 "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof. But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, not prune thy vineyard." Here we have the seventh as a year of sabbath for the land.
In Leviticus 25:8-9 we read, "And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land." Here again the Jewish people thought of "sevens" in relation to years rather than days.
There are several reasons for believing that the "sevens" of Daniel's prophecy refer to "sevens of years" rather than days:
1. In Daniel 9:2 we find Daniel thinking of years rather than days, "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the YEARS, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem."
2. Daniel knew that the length of the Babylonian captivity, 70 years, had been based on Jewish violation of the divine law of the Sabbatic year. We read of this in 2 Chronicles 36:21, "To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." God would allow His people to remain in captivity until the land had enjoyed her sabbath again. Daniel is therefore thinking in terms of years.
3. In Daniel 10:2-3 we read, "In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."
The Hebrew here is different than the word "weeks" as used in Daniel 9. The expression here in Daniel 10:2 says, "In those days I Daniel was mourning three sevens of days." If Daniel meant the "sevens" of Daniel 9 to mean "sevens of days" he would certainly have used the same Hebrew expression as Daniel 10. If he meant "sevens of weeks" in Daniel 10 he would not have used the expression which he did, namely, "sevens of days".
It is certainly clear by every rule of interpretation that the "weeks" of Daniel 9 means "weeks of years" so we have 490 years to consider in the Seventy Weeks or 483 years to consider in the 69 weeks.
The next question we must answer is this: How long is a year? Our year as we know it is 365 days, or more accurately, about 365 1/4 days. How long was the Jewish year?
Let us turn to Genesis 7:11, "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." The flood began on the 17th day of the 2nd month.
In Genesis 8:4 we read, "And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat." The flood came to an end on the 17th day of the 7th month. This means that from the 2nd month to the 7th month we have five months. In Genesis 7:24 and 8:3 we are told that the length of the flood was 150 days. Therefore the length of the month is 30 days so that 12 months would give us 360 days. This is the length of the Jewish year for our present considerations.
The next question is: When did the 69 Weeks begin? Notice again Daniel 9:25, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks..."
When did the commandment go forth to rebuild the city of Jerusalem? Not as recorded in Ezra for that deals primarily with the rebuilding of the Temple. The only other place to find this commandment i sin Nehemiah who under God went forth to rebuild the city.
In Nehemiah 2:1 we read, "And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, the in twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been before time sad in his presence." According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Artaxerxes came to the throne in 465 B.C. The twentieth year of Artaxerxes would be 445 B.C.
The Davis Dictionary of the Bible shows that the month Nisan is also called Abib and is mentioned in Exodus 23:15. It corresponds to the time of the Passover and is regarded as being April 14, which here would be April 14, 445 B.D. This is the beginning of the 69 Weeks.
The last question we consider is this: "When do the 69 Weeks end?" The total number of days in the 69 Weeks consists of 69x7x360 or 173,880 days. Beginning with April 14th, 445 B.C., the 69 Weeks would bring us to about 32 A.D. This as the time when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the young donkey (Ass).
Let us now turn to Luke 19:28-44 to study this important passage. Let us notice that this entire passage is prophetical in its fulfilment. John's Gospel tells us in John 12:14, "And Jesus, when He had found a young donkey (Ass), sat thereon, 'AS IT IS WRITTEN'."
The obtaining of the colt as recorded in verse 30 is the literal fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an donkey (Ass), and upon a colt the foal of a donkey (Ass)."(Read verse 30 and entire passage.)
Again when they cried unto Him: "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest" (verse 38). This is taken from the prophetic passage of Psalm 118:22-26.
Notice verses 39-40, "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Why? Time and again Jesus did not want these things to be revealed publicly. Here we have something happening that has never happened before that can be seen only in the light of prophetic vision.
Verse 41-42,"And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this THY DAY, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now are they hid from thine eyes."
What day does Jesus refer to? He is referring to Daniel's 173,880th day. This is the end of Daniel's 69th Week of prophecy.
What "things" belong to their peace? He is speaking now to the nation of Israel. These "things" are the blessings promised Israel in Daniel 9:24, "Seventy weeks are determined" (decreed) "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."
4. The Time Period Between the Sixty - Ninth and Seventieth Week
In our previous studies on Daniel's prophecy of the Seventh Weeks the following facts were presented:
The "weeks" of the prophecy are weeks of years not days. The length of time for these prophetic years is 360 days per year. The sixty - nine weeks began with the "commandment" to rebuild Jerusalem, which was issued by Artaxerxes on April 14 (some say March 14), 445 B.C. (Neh. 2:1 - 8).
The sixty - nine weeks came to an end with the appearance of Messiah as the "Prince" of Israel, 483 years later, when our Lord Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem in April, 32 A.D. Messiah came riding on the "foal of an ass (Donkey)" in fulfilment of the well - known prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.
Before studying the Seventieth Week it is important to consider the time element between the two periods of the 69th Week and the 70th Week. There are Bible teachers who do not believe there is a gap between these two periods. This means that the 70th Week is finished already, having come to an end somewhere in the Book of Acts. According to this teaching the prophecy of Daniel's Seventy Weeks has nothing to do with the prophecy of the last days.
We believe, however, that the 70th Week does not immediately follow the 69th Week. Indeed there is a great period of time between these two that has already lasted for nearly two thousand years. The 70th Week is yet to be fulfilled in the future.
Why do we believe this?
1. A careful reading of Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 indicates a period of time between the 69th Week and the 70th Week. In verse 24 we have the 70 Weeks decreed. In verse 25 we have a period of 69 Weeks presented and ending with a definite historical event, the appearance of Messiah the Prince.
Notice verse 26, "And after THE" (omitted in the King James Version but found in the Hebrew)"threescore and two weeks" come two important events:
the death of Messiah, and
(2) the destruction of the city.
Then, after these two events, comes the final ONE WEEKin verse 27. Certainly there is a period of time between the 69th and the 70th Weeks in this prophecy.
2. The events mentioned in verse 24 which constitute the time element between the 69th and 70th Weeks have not yet been fulfilled - "to finish the transgression", "to make an end of sins", "to make reconciliation for iniquity", "to bring in everlasting righteousness", "to seal up the vision and prophecy", and "to anoint the most Holy" (place). Let us remember that these events have to do with the JEWISH people and they are included within the scope of the prophecy of Seventy Weeks.
If the Seventy Weeks are continuous, then they must have ended in the Book of Acts. But there is nothing in the Acts to indicate that these events have taken place.
For example, where can you find the Jewish transgression coming to an end? Or where is the end of the Jewish sins as a nation? The Acts of the Apostles point out that the transgression of the Jewish nation increases from chapter to chapter until the 28th chapter when Paul turns to the Gentiles. Notice Acts 28:28, "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."
Again, where can you find in the Acts of the Apostles the sealing up of "the vision and prophecy"! As a matter of fact, there is much of prophecy presented in the Acts and in the following epistles. But at the revelation of Christ which takes place at the close of the Seventieth Week, vision and prophecy will no longer be needed.
3. A careful study of Old Testament prophecy often presents such a gap in prophetic time. Let us turn to Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born...and the government shall be upon his shoulder." We all rejoice in the fulfilment of this prophecy of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. This has been literally fulfilled. But we must surely agree that the next part has not yet been fulfilled. "And the government shall be upon his shoulder." This means that there is a gap in prophetic time between the first part of the prophecy and the second part, and this gap has now extended to nearly tow thousand years.
Notice Isaiah 61:1-2, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God."
Our Lord, in Luke 4:16-21, had a special interest in this prophecy concerning Himself. He read it as far as the words: "To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." He then closed the book and said, "This day is THIS Scripture fulfilled in your ears." Why did He stop here in the middle of a sentence? The answer is that "the day of vengeance of our God" was not to be fulfilled for over nineteen hundred years and is still future. Our Lord Himself revealed the fact that within Old Testament prophecies there are often gaps of prophetic time.
In the light of such prophetic passages we are not surprised therefore to find a gap of time in Daniel's important prophecy of Seventy Weeks.
4. The testimony of our Lord shows that the Seventieth Week is still future. Let us notice the expression in Daniel 9:27(Lit.),"Upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate." The same general expression is found in Daniel 12:11, "...the abomination that maketh desolate." Now read carefully the whole 27th verse, "And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and for the half of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation" (meal offering) "to cease; and upon the wing of abomination shall come one that maketh desolate."
Here we have a picture of the Antichrist making an agreement and a covenant with Israel as a nation. This will last seven years which corresponds to the Tribulation Period. In the midst of the period he will set up the abomination of desolation which is the image of Rev. 13 before whom all must bow in worship.
In Matthew 24:15 Jesus refers to this same period, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place." The reason for this warning is given in verse 21,"For THEN shall be great tribulation." But in verses 29-30 He sounds forth some encouragement for them, "IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation of those days...they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
It therefore becomes clear that the "abomination of desolation" will come in at the end of the seventieth week, before the Lord's second coming in glory. The Seventieth Week is still in the future according to the plain teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. There must therefore be a gap of time (The Church Age-The Age of Grace) between the 69th and 70th Week of Daniels' prophecy.
time gap represents the church age in which we live today. The
church which is a new creation by our Lord was unknown in the Old
Testament Scriptures and it became Paul's primary ministry to reveal
to us through his epistles. The hope of the church is the
coming of our Lord and until He returns the final stage of Daniels'
prophecy cannot be fulfilled.
Go to lesson Four - Key Studies in Daniel - Series No. 4