The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel
“Seventy weeks are determined 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.”
+ Fulfilled Prophecy +
The seventy weeks of Daniel is probably the greatest prophecy ever fulfilled, for it speaks of Jesus Christ's first advent and His accomplishments through Calvary’s cross. This prophecy is a remarkable testimony to the truth of Scriptures, showing that God can be fully trusted to fulfill all that He has said. No other prophecy in the Bible pinpoints the time of Messiah’s appearing as Daniel chapter nine. For all these things were written down over five hundred years before they occurred. The seventy weeks of Daniel validates Jesus Christ as the true Messiah.
The Cross of Christ is the central theme of the Scriptures.
Introduction: Daniel 9:24-27
24: Seventy weeks are determined 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.
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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: 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.
27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The seventy weeks of Daniel is God’s timeline in dealing with the Southern Kingdom of Judah. These seventy weeks ended with the Jewish rejection of Messiah the Prince that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in a.d.70. Daniel received this prophecy near the end of Israel's captivity in Babylon, at which time Jerusalem and the temple were still in ruins. I believe the seventy weeks are fulfilled prophecy. This historic position has been the prevailing view of the church throughout the centuries. The “Gap Theory” that is, the sixty-ninth week being separated from the seventieth week by about 2000 years, is a recent doctrine. This modern teaching became popular a little over a century ago. Historic Christianity did not separate the seventy weeks, but considered them to be consecutive, or a unit. This view was taught by church fathers, many Protestant reformers and Bible scholars throughout the centuries. Many great men of faith held to this historic view, such as John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, John Huss, John Knox, Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, and Matthew Henry. The prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel has to do with Jesus Christ and not Antichrist. This prophecy begins with a decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple and then ends with Messiah the Prince. The Church has become so far removed from God that it does not know the difference between Christ and Antichrist. The prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel was intended by God to confirm our faith in “Thus saith the Lord” and not to bring confusion or speculations. The modern view of this prophecy is dangerous and leads to many misconceptions about Scriptures. For instance, it has led many into erroneous teaching such as the Antichrist will make a covenant or peace treaty with Israel for seven years, a temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem to sacrifice animals, and in the middle of the seven years, the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices and begin to persecute the Jews: these seven years are known as the tribulation period. None of these statements can be established with Scriptures. They are simply the imaginations of men.
Most Christians are in agreement that seventy literal weeks are not intended, because that would be a time period of just a little over one year. The context must determine the designation. Without any doubt, the seventy weeks are symbolic of years, that is, each day represents a year, a total of 490 years. This same year-for-a-day principle was used in Numbers 14:34, “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” This is where Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness. The spies were searching out the promised land for forty days. So, each day was a prophetic scale representing one year of actual time. In like manner, the prophetic measure of the seventy weeks are 490 years. Each prophetic week in Daniel chapter nine equals seven years.
The time period of the prophecy was to begin with the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple and reaching all the way to the coming of Messiah (verse 25). It is quite clear that Cyrus, King of the Persian empire, gave the commandment to the Jews in Babylon to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and temple around 450 b.c. This command is clearly stated in II Chronicles 36:22-23, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.” In Ezra 1:1-4, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” Make no mistake about it, Cyrus was the king that God chose to conquer the Babylonian Kingdom and set His people free. Please note in the Scriptures that Cyrus gave the command to rebuild the city and the temple. The reason I point this out, is that, many object to this and say that Artaxerxes gave the command. We will stay with the Scripture and not be concerned with books written by men on chronology. In Persian history, Cyrus is known as Cyrus the Great. According to Isaiah 44:28, Cyrus was named by God about 150 years before he was born, “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” This would be about 100 years before Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and about 200 years before Babylon was overthrown by Cyrus. In Isaiah 45:1-13, there are certain details given about Cyrus’s conquest over Babylon. These are confirmed in Daniel 5:1-31, the empire of Babylon comes to a sudden end by the Persians. The historical records support the Scriptural account of the fall of Babylon and the rise of Cyrus and the Persian Kingdom.
The seventy weeks of Daniel are divided into three sections, but are consecutive. In verse 25, there is a total of seven weeks (49 years). This is the time it took to actually rebuild the city and temple. The account of this is listed in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. These were troublous times in that, they had much opposition in their work. The second time frame is 62 weeks (434 years). This covers the time from the completion of the city and temple to the coming of Messiah. The third and last section of this prophecy is one week (7 years) according to verse 27.
Before we consider the context of Daniel 9, Daniel was in Babylon. Near the close of the seventieth year of Babylonian captivity, Daniel began seeking the Lord by prayer and fasting to determine the time when Israel would return to her land. Please keep in mind, as I have already stated, Daniel received this prophecy near the end of Israel’s captivity in Babylon and at that time Jerusalem still lay in ruins. Daniel had been in Babylon since the beginning of the captivity (Daniel 1:21, 10:1). According to Daniel 9:2, Daniel understood by the book of Jeremiah that the captivity would end and the Jews could go back to their own land (Jeremiah 25:1, 8-14, 29:1, 8-20). Daniel 9:3-19, records Daniel’s prayer and in verse 20-23, Gabriel gives him this great prophecy. Keep in mind, that according to verse 24, this prophecy is determined upon Daniel’s people (Jews) and Daniel’s city (Jerusalem). This is confirmed by verses 2,7,11,16, and 19-20. The word “determined” in verse 24, means marked off, or divided from other years. This prophecy is centered around the nation of Israel and their Messiah
In verse 24, there is a six-fold prophecy and its fulfillment. This verse comprehends the whole prophecy, while the following verses focus more particularly on the three divisions of the greatest event in human history, the coming of Messiah and His great redemptive work. Within the seventy weeks all these things were fulfilled. This verse is a perfect description of Christ’s accomplishments on Calvary’s cross; for, the purpose of the seventy weeks was to accomplish salvation.
We will now consider the six-fold prophecy and its fulfillment in verse 24.
First: “To Finish the Transgression”
At Christ's first advent, He destroyed the works of Satan, bruised his head and took away his dominion and power (Hebrews 2:14-15, Genesis 3:15 and Colossians 2:15). The Lord established the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men in joy, peace, and righteousness (Romans 14:17). At Calvary’s cross, Jesus finished the transgression through His sacrifice as the Lamb of God. No future sacrifice can ever finish the transgression. Please note Hebrews 9:15, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
Second: “To Make an End of Sins”
That is exactly what Jesus accomplished at Calvary’s cross. The following Scriptures will clearly bear this out:
I Corinthians 15:3 “Christ died for our sins”
John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Matthew 1:21 “For he shall save his people from their sins.”
Isaiah 53:6 “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Hebrews 1:3 “He had by himself purged our sins.”
Hebrews 9:26 “He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
Hebrews 10:12 “He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever.”
I Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.”
I Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins.”
Romans 8:3 “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”
I John 3:5 “He was manifested to take away our sins.”
Third: “To Make Reconciliation for Iniquity”
This also is a present reality because of Calvary. Reconciliation was a part of His redemptive work. God and man were brought together by the cross. The Bible says in Colossians 1:20-21, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” Also, in Ephesians 2:16, we are told that we are reconciled through His death and in Isaiah 53:6, “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In Titus 2:14, “[He] gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” According to Romans 5:10, “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” even when we were enemies. Consider Hebrews 2:17, “To make reconciliation for the sins of the people,” and II Corinthians 5:19, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” The Lord Jesus Christ did reconcile us to God.
Fourth: “To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness”
No one can be saved or enter into God’s Kingdom without righteousness. According to Scripture, there is no one righteous, for our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Jesus Christ has become our righteousness. Please consider the following Scriptures: II Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” I Corinthians 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;” Romans 5:19, “By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous;” Romans 14:17 “For the Kingdom of God is. . . righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;” Isaiah 53:11, “My righteous servant shall justify many;” Matthew 5:17, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The following Scriptures speak of righteousness: Romans 3:21-26, Romans 4:3-5, 10:1-4, I Peter 2:24, I John 2:29, Jeremiah 23:5-6. Perfect righteousness is only found in Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon said, “One of the main desires of Christ coming to earth was to bring in everlasting righteousness.”
Fifth: “To Seal Up the Vision and Prophecy”
The Lord Jesus sealed the Old Testament prophecies that were written about Him by fulfilling them, that is, by doing what they said He would do. Many passages bear this out to be true. In Luke 24:44 we have this statement, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” In John 5:39, Jesus said that the Scriptures testify of Him, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Other passages that clearly state the same thing are Hebrews 1:2, Acts 3:18, II Peter 1:19, Matthew 11:13. The Lord Jesus Christ sealed up the vision and prophecy, proving Himself to be the true Messiah. To seal something is to prove it to be genuine (Jeremiah 32:10, I Kings 21:8).
Sixth: “To Anoint the Most Holy”
This is Christ Himself, the Holy One of God and the Anointed, Acts 4:24, “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together.” In Acts 10:38, Jesus was anointed by God, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Also, consider Hebrews 1:9 and Psalm 2:2. The Lord Jesus is called Holy many times in the Scriptures (Acts 2:27, 3:14, Luke 1:35, I John 2:20, and Revelation 3:7). This has nothing to do with some future temple to be rebuilt, but refers to Christ. The anointing of Jesus Christ (the Most Holy) took place at His baptism, immediately before He began His ministry. According to John 1:29-34, John the Baptist was a witness to Christ’s anointing. John declares in verse 31, “that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” In verse 41, Andrew said to his brother Peter, “We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” The word “Christ” is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning the anointed one. In John 1:10-41, it is clear that people were expecting Messiah to come. The Bible says in Luke 3:15, “And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not.” Jesus Christ was anointed at His baptism in Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended in bodily shape upon Him. God’s approval was upon Messiah with a voice from heaven saying, “Thou art my beloved son; in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22). It was here that His work began as Messiah, for Acts 10:38 says, he was anointed with the Holy Ghost and power. Jesus Christ’s own words declared Himself to be the anointed one in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” He was baptized and anointed before He began his ministry. The phrase in Daniel 9:25, “unto Messiah the prince,” signifies the time of His anointing and not the time of His birth or death; at His anointing is where He rightly assumed the title “Messiah.” The Messiah was presented to Israel at the close of the sixty-ninth week or at the end of the 483 years. The sixty-ninth week terminated at His baptism when His ministry as Messiah began. So, our Lord’s ministry lay entirely within the seventieth week, which is the whole focal point of the prophecy. After His baptism, He was constantly before the people fulfilling His mission as Messiah (Luke 4:18-21). He completed His work as Messiah at His first advent. The seventy weeks of Daniel as a unit glorifies and magnifies His work of redemption. This is why Satan hates the teaching that it is fulfilled prophecy. The Bible says in Acts 3:15, that they “killed the Prince of life,” and in Acts 5:31, “Him hath God exalted. . .to be a Prince and a Saviour for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
In verse 27 of Daniel’s prophecy, we are brought to a blessed climax, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” The seventieth week (last 7 years) is the third division or section of the prophecy. This section reveals the goodness and severity of God, for it speaks of salvation and judgment, Romans 11:22, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” In verse 26, we have a general overview of the last week, but verse 27, gives a detailed account of it. By the way, there is no hint of any second coming in our text nor is there any mention of the Antichrist. This last week is set off by itself because Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry lay entirely within it. It is after the sixty-ninth week that Messiah is cut off (verse 26) by which the New Covenant is confirmed. The seventieth week is not separated by centuries from the other sixty-nine weeks. The prophecy is a unit. The weeks are consecutive, that is, every week follows each other in sequence. There is no hint of a gap between the 69th and 70th week. There is no basis for a gap at all. There is nothing in the context that would even suggest that the seventy weeks are not consecutive. All of the seventy weeks are fulfilled, not future. Before we take a look at individual words in verse 27, may I say again that the theme of this entire prophecy is “Messiah the Prince” and the new covenant, the Antichrist does not figure at all into the prophecy. This modern interpretation that verse 27 is Antichrist, does violence to the text and robs our Lord of His Glory.
At this last point in our study, we must consider each word in verse 27 to clearly understand of whom the prophecy is speaking. The “He” of verse 27 is Messiah the Prince of verses 25-26. Messiah is the subject of the entire text. It was Messiah that was cut off, it was Messiah that confirmed the covenant and caused the sacrifices and oblation to cease. The structure of the sentence links the “He” of verse 27 to Messiah the Prince of verses 25-26. The word “He” is mentioned three times in verse 27 and all three times refer to Messiah the Prince: “He” shall confirm the covenant, “He” shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, “He” shall make desolate. In verse 25, we see the words “Messiah the Prince” and in verse 26, “the people of the Prince” are those whom He used to destroy Jerusalem in a.d.70. The Romans were not the Lord’s people in the sense of them being Christians, but in the sense that they carried out His judgment. Keep in mind that it was Messiah (He) that would make it desolate (Jerusalem and the temple), but it was the Romans that actually carried out the destruction. The desolation of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 was accomplished by the Lord through Titus and the Roman armies. Many times in the Holy Scriptures we see reference to the Lord punishing a nation through heathen armies. In Jeremiah 25:8-11, God used Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Israel and even called him His servant. In Ezekiel 32:9-15, God said He would smite the land of Egypt and yet He used Nebuchadnezzar to carry it out. In Matthew 22:1-7, there is a parable of a marriage feast. This parable fits perfectly God’s divine judgment upon the city of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. If the king in the parable represents God, and the Son represents Jesus Christ, then it was God’s armies that destroyed and burned the city according to verse 7, “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” There are many other examples in the Scriptures (Jeremiah 44:6, 52:12-14, II Chronicles 36:14-19, Nahaum 1:1-2, 2:13, 3:5-7). But, suppose for a moment that the “He” of verse 27 is the Antichrist, as many teach, and the Prince of verse 26 is also the Antichrist, but the people of the “Prince” in verse 26 is the Roman army. This brings more confusion because the Prince would be separated from the people by at least 2000 years. How can the people belong to a Prince who was not to appear until 2000 years after the people had died? The text in no way says that the people were to come at one time and their Prince at a later time. We must look for harmony in Scripture and not confusion, and a text without a context is a pretext. We must rightly divide the Word of Truth and not distort its clear teaching. There are many expositors who wrongly apply these verses such as Dehaan, Ironside, and Scofield. If you have a Scofield Reference Bible please check the footnotes in Daniel 9:24-27. A quote from Dehann says, “The Prince here mentioned is a prince who has not yet come.” Again, we do harm to the text when we separate the people from the Prince by many years.
Also, in verse 27, it says that He (Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. This is the new covenant that Jesus Christ confirmed through His shed blood on Calvary’s cross, Matthew 26:28, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Please notice that it is called the covenant, (testament) letting the reader know that He had already referred to it in verse 24. This verse describes perfectly the new covenant that was promised throughout Holy Scriptures. The primary reason for Christ’s coming was to confirm the new covenant, for there is no salvation, forgiveness, or inheritance in the kingdom of God without it. The word “confirm” means to validate or to put into force. The Lord Jesus Christ became the mediator of the new covenant. The covenant was promised in the Old Testament according to Jeremiah 31:31-34 but was not established until Christ died on the cross, Hebrews 9:15, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Other Scriptures that are clear on this are Hebrews 8:8-13, 9:15-17, 10:4, 19-20. The King James Bible uses the word “confirm,” but the New American Standard Bible says, “He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week.” Many are quoting the wrong Bible and maybe that is why we hear a lot of folks say the Antichrist shall make a covenant with Israel for seven years and in the middle of the seven years, he will break the covenant. Keep in mind, the term “make” or “break” does not appear in the text. The word “covenant” is used 280 times in the Old Testament and not once does it ever speak of Antichrist making a covenant with anybody. Many take Isaiah 28:18 and say this is the Antichrist’s treaty with Israel, but the text reveals that it is Hezekiah’s treaty with Egypt. The entire New Testament is confirmation of the new covenant and especially the book of Hebrews.
Again, in verse 27, it says, “He shall confirm the covenant with many.” The word “many” refers to those who would believe on Christ as their Lord and Savior. His disciples first believed, then many Jews in Israel believed, and later Gentiles also accepted Him as Messiah. According to Matthew 26:28, the blood of the New Testament was shed for many for the remission of sins and Matthew 20:28 says, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” The Bible says in Luke 1:16, “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God,” and in Isaiah 53:11, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Other Scriptures using the word “many” are Luke 2:34 and Romans 5:17-21. This covenant will be made with many for “one week” according to our text, that is, seven years. This week does not refer to the duration of the covenant but to the time when it was confirmed. It was during these seven years that the covenant was confirmed and that many Jews were brought into the kingdom of God. After this week, the gospel begins to go to the Gentile world. Now, in the midst of this week, he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. It was in the 70th week that Christ died on the cross for our sins. According to verse 26, it was after the 69th week that Messiah was cut off. After the 69th week is the 70th week. The first half of the 70th week was the length of our Lord’s ministry. According to the book of John, there are four Passovers that occurred during our Lord’s ministry, which helps us in understanding the length of it (John 2:13, 5:1, 6:9, and 13:1). The words “cut off” in verse 26, clearly refers to the death of Jesus Christ according to Isaiah 53:8. This expression is used in other places in the Scriptures to indicate a violent death and is used in reference to the death penalty (Psalm 37:9, Exodus 12:19, 30:33,38, Leviticus 7:20, 18:19 and 20:17).
In the midst of the week, He would cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, that is, He put an end to all the Old Testament sacrifices, Hebrews 7:27, “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” By the perfect sacrifice of Messiah, the Levitical sacrifices came to an end. The old covenant gave way to the new covenant. Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, offered Himself as the final sacrifice, which caused the animal sacrifice to cease (Hebrews 8:7-13. 9:11-15, 10:10-14). These sacrifices ceased to be legitimate in the eyes of God even though many of the Jews continued to offer them in the temple. Even the veil of the temple was rent from the top to bottom, signifying the end of the old and showing a new and living way (Hebrews 10:19-22). Again, the sacrifices ended at Calvary when Messiah became the final sacrifice, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39). The rest of verse 27 has to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in a.d. 70, “. . .and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consumation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Even though this did not happen during the 70th week, it is still the consequences of the rejection of Messiah during the 70th week. Even though this part of the prophecy was not dated, nor included in the 70th week, we clearly see its fulfillment in a.d. 70. It occurred later as a result of Israel's rejection of Messiah. The crucifixion of Christ is the cause of the desolation of Jerusalem and the temple. In verse 26, there is also a description of the desolation. When it speaks of the destruction of the city and the sanctuary, it says the end thereof shall be with a flood. The word “flood” is a figure often used for an invading army that would overflow the land (Isaiah 59:19, Revelation 12:15-16). The word “war” in verse 26 shows the war of the Jews with the Romans which was very long and bloody. The words “desolations are determined” also show the destruction of the city and temple. “The overspreading of abominations” of verse 27 is referring to the same thing, that is, the Roman armies overspreading the city to make it desolate. These armies would totally destroy it until the “consummation” or complete destruction. In other words, the Roman armies would not stop until there was a complete destruction as Jesus said, “One stone shall not be left upon another that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2).
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke also in Mathew 24:15 about the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel, “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).” The abomination of desolation is the Roman army that brought the desolation upon the city, temple, and people in a.d. 70. The Lord clearly gives us the interpretation concerning these abominations that would make desolate in Daniel 9:27. It is not an idol to be placed in the Holy of Holies of a rebuilt temple by the Antichrist. The abomination was the pagan Roman armies and the desolation was the destruction of the city and temple. An idol can be an abomination but it cannot make desolate because it is powerless. According to Matthew 24:15, the abomination of desolation is the only sign given whereby the believers were to flee from the city. “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).” Parallel passages to Matthew 24 are Mark 13 and Luke 21. In Mark 13:14, the same expression is used as in Matthew, the abomination of desolation. But, in Luke 21:20, it refers to Jerusalem being compassed with armies, then he speaks of the desolation of the city and sanctuary by this invading army, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” According to Luke 21:20-22, they were to flee for their lives when they saw the enemy surround the city. In Luke 19:43, it says, “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.” This is why the Lord said in Matthew 23:38, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate,” and in verse 36, “All these things shall come upon this generation.” The generation of Christ’s day would see these things come to pass for it was this generation that crucified the Son of God (Matthew 23:34-39). All of these verses are connected with the Olivet Discourse.
In Matthew 24:1-2, Jesus spoke of the temple and said, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” In verse 3, the disciples asked the question, “When shall these things be?” It was the temple that was standing in Jerusalem at that time that they asked about and not a rebuilt temple 2000 years in the future. The primary question in Matthew 24:3 is about the destruction of the temple and, in addition to that, they ask the Lord about the sign of His coming and the end of the world. Please consider all three parallel passages of the Olivet Discourse concerning the question, Matthew 24:3, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”; Mark 13:4, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?”; and Luke 21:7, “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” The words “these things,” in reference to the destruction of the temple, are mentioned five times in these three53 verses.
Again, the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel had to do with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple. This was the sign given to the believers to flee in order to escape the judgment of God. This judgment is called “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:21, “affliction” in Mark 13:19, “days of vengeance” in Luke 21:22, “great distress” and “wrath” in Luke 21:23. When they would see the abomination of desolation stand in the Holy Place, the believers were to flee according to Matthew 24:15-22. In Luke 21:20-21, it says, “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies. . . flee to the mountains. . . for then ye know that the desolation thereof is nigh”. The Holy place that the abomination of desolation shall stand has to do with Jerusalem and any part of the land of Israel (Matthew 27:53, Daniel 9:16). It was the Romans that planted their standard in the place that was Holy. It was the Romans that brought Jerusalem and the temple to desolation. The Romans would stand against the Jews to destroy them, Luke 19:43-44, “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” In Luke 23:23-33, the Lord spoke of their judgment. The apostle Paul said that wrath had come upon Israel to the uttermost, I Thessalonians 2:16, “Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.” When the people said in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” this literally came to pass in a.d. 70. In Matthew 24:4-14, the Lord gave a list of things that would happen before the city and temple would be destroyed. He mentions wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, and persecutions. He also lists the fact that false christs shall come, but He says the end is not yet in verse 6. All of this is just the beginning of sorrows according to verse 8. Again, the sign to be given before the city and temple was to be destroyed was the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy place. The siege of Jerusalem was a long and bloody war. Over one million people were killed and thousands were taken captive and sold as slaves. It is said by historians that not one Christian perished in the desolation, for they heeded the Lord’s warning and fled for their lives. The seventy weeks of Daniel is history. It is a great prophecy fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523