Intro. The background to the chapter is Daniel's interest in prophecy. He knew from the prophecies of Isaiah that the 70 years of captivity were almost over. He began to seek the Lord with fasting and prayer. I believe that his purpose was to make himself available to the Lord.
I. THE PRAYER OF DANIEL.
A. He acknowledged that faithfulness of God and the unfaithfulness of the people.
B. He acknowledged the righteousness of God and the unrighteousness of the people.
C. He saw the mercy of God as he dealt with the sinful people.
D. He saw the faithfulness of God in keeping His word, for the things they were presently experiencing were things which God had warned them would come if they forsook the Lord.
E. He appealed to God on the basis of God's mercy, not their deserving.
II. THE ANSWER TO PRAYER.
A. The angel Gabriel appeared to him to give him skill and understanding.
1. It is interesting that when Jesus made reference to this prophecy of Daniel, he said, "Let him who reads understand."
B. The message: 70 sevens determined upon the nation of Israel and the holy city.
C. What things were to transpire in those 70 sevens? Which were sevens of years?
1. To finish the transgression.
2. To make an end of sin.
3. To make reconciliation for iniquity.
4. To bring in everlasting righteousness.
5. To seal the vision and prophecy.
6. To anoint the most holy.
D. He then broke the prophecy up, and gave a future starting point for the beginning of the fulfilling.
1. From the time that the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince, will be seven sevens and 62 sevens, or 69 sevens or 483 years.
a. The angel had appeared to Daniel in the first year of the reign of Darius the king which was the year 538 B.C.
b. Note that this is not the commandment to rebuild the temple. That was given by Cyrus the king to Ezra about two years later in 536 B.C.
c. This is the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and was not given until almost 90 years later when Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. gave to Nehemiah the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. It was on that day the countdown began of the 483 years until the Messiah the Prince.
d. A note of interest, the Babylonian calendar was predicated on a 360-day year. So to be precise, from the day the commandment was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince would be 173,880 days.
e. It is also interesting that Nehemiah records for us the month and the year that the commandment was given to him by the King.
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king.
f. The 1st of Nisan in 445 B.C. would be equivalent in the Julian calendar to the 14th of March. In 445 B.C. the new moon began in 445 B.C. began on March 13th at seven nine in the morning, so the new moon would have begun that evening which would have been the 14th of march.
g. From March 14th 445 B.C., 173,880 days brings you to April 6th, 32 A.D. or the day that Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey.
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 ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head [stone] of the corner.
This is the LORD'S doing; it [is] marvelous in our eyes.
This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
Blessed [be] he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
God [is] the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, [even] unto the horns of the altar.
III. AN INTERESTING TWIST IN THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL. "BUT THE MESSIAH SHALL BE CUT OFF, BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF." THAT NOT FOR HIMSELF COULD READ AND RECEIVE NOTHING FOR HIMSELF. THAT IS, HE WILL NOT AT THAT TIME RECEIVE THE KINGDOM.
A. Indeed we know that Jesus was cut off and did not receive the kingdom at that time.
B. Before the week was over, He was rejected by the rulers, and was hung on the cross.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
C. Daniel now introduces us to the prince of the people that will come. We are told that he would destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the people would be dispersed. History confirms the accuracy of this prophecy. (We must note that at this point that we have been dealing with only 69 of the 70 weeks of years that were appointed to the nation and Jerusalem.) We have a missing year.
IV. SPEAKING OF THE PRINCE OF THE PEOPLE THAT WOULD COME AGAINST JERUSALEM, DANIEL WENT ON TO PROPHESY THAT HE WOULD CONFIRM A COVENANT WITH MANY FOR ONE WEEK. HERE WE FIND OUR MISSING WEEK, IT IS YET FUTURE, AFTER THE MESSIAH HAS BEEN CUT OFF.
A. We are told that in the midst of the week, that he would break that covenant and cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. We are told that because of his abominations, he shall make it desolate even to the end.
B. There are three other references to this event.
1. In Daniel 12:11
, as Daniel is questioning as to how long until the end, the Lord answered him, from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Note that here it is called the abomination that makes the desolation. The desolation is the great tribulation, the time of God's wrath to be poured out upon the earth. This will be the final blasphemy that will trigger the great judgment of God against sinning and rebellious man."
2. Jesus made reference to this prophecy in talking to His disciples about the signs of His second coming.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Note that we are encouraged to understand this.)
3. Paul gives us further insight on this event in 2 Thessalonians.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
4. Evidently after making the covenant with Israel which no doubt will include granting them permission to build their temple, 3 1/2 years later he will come to the rebuilt temple, and stand in the Holy of Holies and declare that he must be worshipped as God.
C. The Jews today will tell you that they reject the claims of Jesus as to being the Messiah, because He said that He was the Son of God. They say that the Messiah will not be the Son of God but is a man as Moses. If you then ask them how that they will know that He is the Messiah, they will tell you that he will lead them in the building of the temple.
D. Jesus said, "I have come to you in My Father's name and you did not receive Me, another will come in his own name, Him you will receive."
E. In Israel, they are looking for the Messiah to come, they are primed and ready to receive the anti-christ to make the covenant with them for the rebuilding of their temple. When this same leader returns 3 1/2 years later and stops the sacrifices and prayers and demands to be worshipped as God, the final countdown begins, it will be 1290 when Jesus will return with ten thousands of His saints to set up His kingdom on the earth.