On Accurately Pinpointing Daniel 9:24

I am recovering from a bout of the flu and am not yet fit enough to write anything new.  Hope this piece is a decent stop-gap.

In Daniel 9:24, Gabriel’s words are absolutely essential for a correct interpretation of the Seventy Weeks’ prophecy; the location of the last week especially.  Gabriel says the entire period involves Daniel’s people and Jerusalem, and these referents are not to be swapped out with ecclesial ones[1]  There are then six particular things to be accomplished which are enumerated in the verse, things which are determined to occur.[2]  These are arranged with three negatives followed by three positives:

To finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. – Daniel 9:24

Can these six items be identified?  It depends upon ones eschatological commitments.  I think if we keep to the gradually emerging eschatology which I have been following in the Prophets until now all the data has to be understood in one way.  Let me explain.

The first item concerns finishing “the transgression”.  Daniel has been praying about it (9:4-14), and any reader, especially of the historical and prophetic books, is intimately aware of the problem.  To finish the transgression of Israel could only end in the destruction or salvation of the Jews (e.g. Isa. 59:20-21).[3]    The making a complete “end of sins” is perhaps more inclusive, since not all sins are transgressions (pesa).  This is best viewed as a curtailment of Israel’s historic waywardness, and invites the thought of a fresh start (Amos 9:8; Hos. 2; Mic. 7:14-20; Isa. 1:25-27; 62:1-7; Jer. 3:12-17).  The third achievement is to “make reconciliation for iniquity”, which while accomplished at the Cross[4], here points more to the time of Israel’s attainment of that reconciliation.  Even more, this recalls God’s stated intention to redeem His people (e.g. Jer. 30:11; 31:11-12; Ezek. 36:25-29).  These three things tie in with the covenantal expectations raised by God in the prophets.  As they stand they have not been fulfilled.  Israel is still in sin.

The three positive achievements in 9:24 could not be more optimistic.  What could be better than the introduction of “everlasting righteousness”?  The first of the second set of achievements is “to bring in everlasting righteousness.”  It is very difficult to imagine, even with the most sanguine imagination, how any phase of earth’s history so far qualifies for such a description.  Again, this prediction is about Israel and Jerusalem in particular.[5]  As I stated in my comments on Jeremiah 31:31f. “in those places where righteousness and salvation are in view, the context is unwaveringly a New covenant eschatological context.”  This is a rational understanding of the close of Daniel’s petition in 9:16-19.  It is what is someday expected (e.g. Isa. 25:8-9; 51:11; 61:2b-3).  The fifth thing Gabriel mentions is the sealing up of vision and prophecy.  If it is right to link all the previous accomplishments to Israel’s New covenant era, then this is readily comprehended.  Since this era is marked by the setting up of the earthly kingdom of the promised Messiah (e.g. Isa. 11:1-10; 32:1; Jer. 23:5-6; Dan. 7:13-14), when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9; cf. Jer. 31:34), there will be no need for prophets.[6]  This is lent support by a rather strange text in Zechariah.

It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, `You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the LORD.’ And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.

 And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive. – Zechariah 13:3-4

At first sight this passage is disturbing.  What righteous parent would think of killing their own son, even if he were acting the part of a prophet?  But the passage hints at the blatant act of temerity of the son’s action, as if to don the mantle was a vicious blasphemy.  If one fits this action into the kingdom age when the prophet’s function becomes obsolete because of the worldwide knowledge of God, then it would make good sense.[7]  Hence, to seal up visions and prophecy would certainly occur in the New covenant aeon as envisaged from an Old Testament perspective.

Finally, the sixth and most debated item in Daniel 9:24 is the anointing of “the most holy”.  But from Daniel’s historical point of view the meaning is straightforward, the “most holy place” or qodesh qadashim is the most holy or sacred place, the new temple as predicted by Ezekiel (Ezek. 37:26-28; 40:1-44:27).  Out of the thirty-nine occurrences in the Old Testament only one is possibly not referring to the holy of holies or implements used in its service.  The term never implies a person, as amillennial interpreters have been wont to bend the text into saying.[8]  This is not a reference to Christ but to a rebuilt temple.

We see then that all six things which have to come to pass after the seventy weeks concern the New covenant age as able to be understood from Daniel’s vantage point.[9]  In the language of chapter 2, these things await the arrival of the “stone cut out without hands.”  This is what we now know as the second coming of Christ.

———————————————————————————–

[1] Observe this comment by post-tribulationist author Robert H. Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 189:  “The seventy weeks have to do with the Jews.  We cannot spiritualize the phrase ‘your people’ (v.24) into a spiritual Israel inclusive of the Gentiles without doing violence to the plain sense of the passage.  For example, the destruction of Jerusalem, spoken of prominently in the prophecy, deals with Israel the nation.  And yet, since in the seventy weeks the goals listed in verse twenty-four were to be accomplished, the seventy weeks cannot have entirely elapsed, for the finishing of Israel’s transgression, the purging of her iniquity, and the bringing in of her everlasting righteousness have not reached completion.  Paul writes of these as still in the future for Israel (Rom. 11:25-27).”

[2] These six things all occur on earth. – see Kenneth L. Barker, “Evidence from Daniel”, in A Case for Premillennialism, eds., Donald K. Campbell and Jeffrey L. Townsend, 143

[3] Israel’s transgression could in no conceivable way been considered “finished” in the first part of the first century A.D.  Paul cannot be bypassed (see 1 Thess. 2:14-15).  The Jews as a people have continued to reject Jesus as their promised Messiah even to this day.  Any reader of Romans 11:25 knows why.  It is not until they look on Him whom they pierced and mourn for their rejection of Him (Zech 12:10) that they will be saved and their sins will be forgiven (cf. Isa. 59:20).  We have seen that Israel’s salvation and restoration are contingent upon their acceptance of Jesus at the second coming.  That is when they will enter into the terms of the New covenant (Ezek. 36:24-36).  The decisive turn in world history will be the wresting of power out of the hands of the creature and into the hands of the God-man.  This is the event that intervention that will finish the transgression, especially of Israel.  The Cross made this event possible, but it did nothing to curtail human rebellion (see Matt. 10:34).

[4] As in e.g., Gleason L. Archer, “Daniel”, EBC, 112-113

[5] “The concern of v.24 is thus Israel and Jerusalem.  It does not have a worldwide perspective…” – John E. Goldingay, Daniel, 258.  Neither does he believe it refers to end times.  This seems short-sighted since there has never been a realization of these prophecies otherwise.

[6] The sealing up of “vision and prophecy” implies a time when such things are no longer necessary.  This could apply to the post-apostolic period where we have a completed canon of Scripture.  But coming as it does after the mention of everlasting righteousness and reconciliation this is very unlikely.  I think rather that this refers to a time in the future (Christ’s reign) when to presume to speak for God will actually be an act of high-handed rebellion.

[7] I shall revisit the setting of this prophecy in the next chapter

[8] See John E. Goldingay, Daniel, 260. Those who need the term to apply to Christ point to 1 Chronicles 23:13, but even there it is patently obvious that the reference is to the most holy things.

[9] “While the basis for these matters is found in Jesus’ death at His first coming, the full realization of these predictions awaits the coming of His kingdom.” – Michael J. Vlach, He Will Reign Forever, 217

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8 comments

  1. Splendid, thanks for this Paul. These recent posts on Daniel are very valuable and of course getting Dan. 9:24 right is pivotal to understanding the rest of the prophecy. So if this post came about as a result of a bout of flu then I’m sorry but I’m glad you got the flu :)!

  2. Good afternoon Dr. Henbury,

    I hope for your speeding recovery from the flu. This season seems to have been particularly nasty.

    Always appreciate your writings, especially your structured and disciplined approach. For a high school educated layman like myself your writings provide a valuable model in my own studies of YHWH’s wonderful words. I am especially looking forward to the release your book The Words of the Covenant as I share your appreciation of the importance covenants play in revealing YHWH’s redemptive plan through Yeshua. I apologize in advance for the length of this reply but this is an important subject that is often neglected.

    I hope you’ll forgive me if I display my ignorance too boldly, but after reading your latest post ‘On Accurately Pinpointing Daniel 9:24’ I came away with the impression that your explanation was uncharacteristically incongruent. From my point of view (again as a layman) your explanation didn’t live up to your normal disciplined and systematic approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

    I know this an older article or part of an older article but there are two aspects of the subject that are essential to providing a more accurate context for understanding Daniel 9:24 which I do not believe you have addressed.

    • #1 – First is the chronological context of Daniel 9
    • #2 – Second is the covenantal context of Daniel 9:4 & 9:27.

    Regarding the former I quote your post above:

    “In Daniel 9:24, Gabriel’s words are absolutely essential for a correct interpretation of the Seventy Weeks’ prophecy; the location of the last week especially.”

    If you statement above is true then how much more so the terminus a quo of the prophecy itself. From reading your blog posts over the years the few times you’ve addressed the 70 Weeks I’ve gathered that your starting point of the prophecy is based upon an Artaxerxes assumption regarding the contemporaneous relationship between the Persian king Longimanus and Ezra & Nehemiah. I may be wrong but I do not believe that to date you provided Scriptural evidence that explains why such an assumption is warranted. If a rock solid Biblical case cannot be made for the terminus a quo of this prophecy how do we know the contextual lens through which we are focusing the prophecy is providing us with a clear view of the prophecy’s intended interpretation as it relates to the six messianic goals?

    Interpreting the 70 Weeks without a clearly defined terminus a quo would be like one of my customers giving me all the rough in plumbing pipe and fittings for their new house and telling me to install their plumbing system without a foundation or blueprint from which to provide the contextual point of reference. Even if I had a good idea of what the finished house was intended to look like it would be nearly impossible to install the plumbing system for the house according to the design intended. Without a starting point firmly established upon reasonable chronological evidence from the Bible we cannot, with any certainty, be dogmatic about the finer points of the prophecy.

    Regarding the terminus a quo, there are several serious Biblical challenges to the Artaxerxes assumption which need to be addressed before a contextual foundation can be laid for the prophecy and doubly so before any additional conclusions are built upon such a foundation:

    • The age of Ezra (his father died in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar)
    • The age of the priests and Levites who came up with Joshua and Zerubbabel under the decree of Cyrus (Neh. 12) & were still alive by the 20th year of a Persian “Artaxerxes”. (Neh. 10)
    • The age of the porters
    • The identity of the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra 6:13-15 who helped complete the temple by the 6th year of Darius.
    • The chronological context of Ezra 6 & 7 as it relates to Darius and the unnamed Persia “Artaxerxes”.

    #2 – Regarding the covenantal context of Daniel 9, I would hope you’d agree that no interpretation of the six goals of Daniel 9:24 can be properly understood without first filtering them through the covenantal lens of Daniel 9. As you state so eloquently in your blog post, ‘Christ At The Center: Conclusion’ :

    “Hence, the plan of God outline in the biblical covenants converges on the crucified Jesus and emerges from the resurrected Jesus!”

    It would be hard to find a place in the Biblical record where your statement is more perfectly exemplified than in Daniel 9, yet in your interpretation of the 70 Weeks you seem to overlook the significant role the covenants play in understanding the context of this prophecy, especially the six messianic goals of Daniel 9:24.

    You know, I overlooked it for decades but the very first words out of Daniel’s mouth are a plea for YHWH to remember His “covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandmnets”. (Dan. 9:4)

    What is so wonderfully congruent about this plea from Daniel is that it is a quote taken from Deut. 7:6-12 and confirmed by Deut. 4:31. I quote in part:

    “Deuteronomy 7:6-12 – For thou art an holy people unto YHWH thy God: YHWH thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. YHWH did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

    But because YHWH loved you, and because he would keep the oath [shebuw’ah] which he had sworn [shaba] unto your fathers, hath YHWH brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

    Know therefore that YHWH thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations…

    ….Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that YHWH thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware [shaba] unto thy fathers:…”

    Later in Deu. 9:5, Moses explains that these “fathers” were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Following this covenantal thread back to where we have the first record of it being sworn, we come to Gen. 22. In this passage we find the first oath YHWH swore with any man in the Bible. It was and oath sworn with Abraham on the mountain (Jehovahjireh – YHWH sees), when Abraham in his wonderful display of faith was willing to offer up his son Isaac. (see also Gen. 26:3-6; Psa. 105:9; Deu. 7:8; Jer. 11:1-5)

    —“Genesis 22:15-18 And the angel of YHWH called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn [shaba], saith YHWH, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

    And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

    I think this is really awesome! The very first words out of Daniel’s mouth, when he called upon the YHWH, was a plea to remember (in part) the covenant and mercy of the promised seed which YHWH first swore (shaba) with Abraham. While Daniel was still speaking in prayer, YHWH sent Gabriel with prophecy of 70 sevens.

    (As an aside I’m no Hebrew linguist but it seems worth mentioning that oath (shabuw’ah), seven (shiba), sevens (shabuwa), and seventy (shib’iym) all find their origins in the Hebrew word to swear (shaba).)

    After Daniel pleas with YHWH to remember his covenant and mercy, he then goes on to petition for YHWH’s redemptive mercy on behalf his people Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the temple. From Daniel’s perspective (under the constraints of the Torah) Jerusalem, the temple and its sacrificial service was an essential part of reestablishing Israel’s right-ness (albeit temporary) with YHWH. Without the temple and the Torah’s sacrificial service Israel’s sins were not being atoned for. Daniel ends his prayer with the following words:

    —“Daniel 9:16-19 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

    Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

    O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.”—

    With this context in mind the author of Hebrews explains the temporary and symbolic nature of animal sacrifices as would have been understood by Daniel before the Messiah, as opposed to the everlasting sanctification and perfection offered by the shed blood of Yeshua.

    — “Hebrews 10:1-16 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins…

    Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool…

    For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”—

    This brings us back to the six goals of Daniel 9:24 and their context. Again I quote you:

    “Hence, the plan of God outline in the biblical covenants converges on the crucified Jesus and emerges from the resurrected Jesus!”

    To illustrate your wonderful point still further compare the following two quotes which point us back to the “covenant and mercy” of Daniel 9:4 and Due. 7:6-12. The first perspective as seen through the eyes of Zachariah the father of John before the death and resurrection of Yeshua & the second perspective as see through the eye of the apostle Peter after the resurrection:

    –“Luke 1:67-75 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

    To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”—

    —“Acts 3:18-26 18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

    For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

    Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”—

    Notice in these passage Zacharias saw the ‘covenant and mercy’ of YHWH as promise, primarily to restore Israel’s national fortunes by providing a “horn of salvation in the house of his servant David”, who would deliver Israel “from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hates us…” so that we “might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”

    The apostle Peter on the other hand provided his Jewish audience with the sobering reality that Yeshua came first to restore Israel’s spiritual fortunes, then after ascending into heaven, at some point in the future he would return to provide the promised “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

    Getting back to Daniel 9:24, your interpretation of these six messianic goals seems to be informed by Daniel’s and Zachariah’s perspective of YHWH’s covenant and mercy instead of the apostles Peter who was informed by the “resurrected Jesus”. If I’m understanding your interpretation correctly your view of Daniel 9:24 sees the six goals as primarily a testimony to Israel’s restored national fortunes at the 2nd coming, instead of a testimony to YHWH’s intention to first restore Israel’s spiritual fortunes at Yeshua first coming.

    Yeshua himself stated that He came for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and that had they allowed Him he would “gathered them as a hen does her chicks.”

    As we now know, thanks to the New Testament witness and history, the first century Jewish people’s rejection of Yeshua was used by YHWH to provide an interlude during which all mankind who accept Yeshua’s sacrificial atonement are gathered into the family of God. (both believing Jews and Gentiles) At some point in the future national Israel will restored and Yeshua will be that horn of salvation upon the throne of David.

    Consider what your view of Daniel 9:24 requires of the 70 Weeks and its implications for the Christological / covenantal context of the prophecy:

    • It requires that the primary thrust of the 69 sevens (98.6% of the prophecy) be focused on the coming death of the Messiah.
    • With none of the six goals fulfilled in Yeshua, (by the constraints of Daniel 9:24 this would require them to be fulfilled during the 70 weeks) the messianic redemptive nature of the prophecy shifts to Israel’s national restoration and the coming Anti-Christ.
    • For the final week (1.4%) of the prophecy, instead of a risen Redeemer who confirms and strengthens the covenant and mercy of YHWH with a believing remnant of the Jewish people (in confirmation of multiple New Testament passages) we shift our focus to an unknown and future covenant with a messianic imposter.

    —“Galatians 3:16-21 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

    And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

    For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

    Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”—

    • Instead of the Yeshua’s blood anointing the most holy place in heaven as described by the author of Hebrews, we see a future anointing of the millennial temple sometime – after – the 70 weeks have already been completed.

    —“Hebrews 9:11-12 11 But Christ being come an 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; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us….

    Saying, This is the blood of the testament [covenant] which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”—

    • Instead of contrasting the temporary sacrificial atonement of the Torah (as understood by Daniel) with the everlasting atonement of Yeshua by which the individual Jewish believer is sanctified and “perfected for ever”, we defer to a period of time – after – the 70 weeks during the millennial reign of Christ, where sin still must be atoned for by faith in Yeshua. Where Jewish and gentile children are still born in sin. Where the nations still rebel against Yeshua’s authority.

    If “everlasting righteousness” is not understood within the context of Hebrews 10 it makes no sense at all until the end of the millennial reign of Christ when all things are finally restored to their intended state.

    —“Hebrews 10:10-14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

    – For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”—

    In closing, I have a great deal of respect for your work but regarding Daniel 9 your interpretation does not seem to meet the standards you’ve set in the balance of your work. I believe sacrificing the Christological covenantal context of Daniel 9 upon the alter of a flaw dispensational interpretation of the 70 Weeks does a great disservice to a futurist view of eschatology.

    But more importantly in order for Yeshua to return and rule from the throne of David, the Jewish people must understand and accepted the redemptive sacrificial nature of their Messiah as so beautifully described in 70 Weeks in general and Daniel 9:24 in particular.

    —“Matthew 23:37-39 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”—

    Indeed, blessed is He who comes as YHWH’s Salvation (Yeshua)

    “Hence, the plan of God outline in the biblical covenants converges on the crucified Jesus and emerges from the resurrected Jesus!” – Dr Paul Martin Henebury

    Maranatha!

    Warm regards to you in Yeshua,
    William

    1. William,

      I do not as a rule permit such long comments on my blog (yours is longer than my article!). I will not allow another.

      I favor the decree in the 20th year of Artaxerxes I (445-444 B.C.) and ‘prophetic years’ as determined by Scripture. A full account may be found in Paul D. Feinberg’s essay “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Daniel 9:24-27” in the book ‘Tradition and Testament’, edited by John & Paul Feinberg.

      But I think you are under the impression that I am writing about the computation of the seventy weeks when I am not. I am simply stating that the fulfillment of the six goals of verse 24 take place at the close of or (perhaps) very shortly after the seventy weeks are fulfilled. My review of the accomplishments makes a brief case for that point. That the first 69 weeks culminate in the cutting off of Messiah is hardly in question (9:26). The determination of the seventieth week is in question, and it does not follow, especially considering the two precedents in Daniel 2:44-45 & 7:13-14, 22, that the events of the seventieth week must come directly on the heels of week sixty-nine.

      I cannot ascertain where you stand on the fulfillments of the six goals despite the length of your comment, neither do understand your concerns about the ages of the priests and porters, but I trust this clarification helps. Thank you for your kind words.

      God bless,

      Paul H

  3. Good evening Dr. Henebury,

    Thank you for your courteous reply and your forbearance towards my lengthy comments. I will be more judicious in the future.

    I purchased Paul D. Feinberg’s essays today and look forward to understanding your position more fully once I receive them.

    I do understand that you were writing about the six goals and their fulfillment in or after the 70th week. But I hope you’d agree that any certainty about the six goals and their fulfillment in the final week must find their origins in the terminus a quo of the prophecy.

    Please forgive me if I am too blunt, but if you do not understand why the ages of the priests and porters are relevant to Daniel 9 then you do not have a firm grasp of the Biblical basis for your assumption regarding Artaxerxes.

    If Artaxerxes Longimanus gave the decree to restore and build Jerusalem as you suggest then this makes Ezra, the priests, porters and Levites roughly a quarter century older than Moses when they lived during the reign of Longimanus. The Biblical record simply does not support such a rendering of the 2nd temple chronology.

    Look at it another way. The 2nd temple was completed in the 6th year of Darius (Ezra 6). Ezra’s father, Seraiah was the last high priest of Solomon’s temple and he was killed in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar. This means that Ezra was (at his youngest) 69-70 years old when the temple was completed in 516 BC. By your proposed chronology, Ezra the priest and scribe (already an ancient man by 2nd temple standards) then waited nearly another 60 more years (after the temple was completed) before he went up to Jerusalem to teach the people the Torah as is required by the law. This is simply not a reasonable or justified interpretation of the Biblical facts.

    Dr. Henebury, I want to stress that I have a great deal of respect for you and your disciplined approach to interpreting the Scriptures. I’ve read your blog posts over the years and your reviews of other people’s works and you hold the bar very high.

    I’m respectfully asking you to take another look at Daniel 9 in light of the rigid standards you hold so dear.

    Warm regards,
    William

    1. Williwm,

      my article does not hinge on the point of origin of the 70 weeks. It seeks to identify the terminous a quem of the six goals of verse 24. However, I shall look at your conundrum further when I get the time.

      Paul H

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