Daniel 9- 10- seventy weeks/ Terrifying Vision of a Man
Intro- We are going to spend the first part of our time discussing the latter part of chapter 9. Focusing especially on the seventy weeks.
Seventy Weeks -
in 1987 Edgar Whisenant wrote the book “Why the rapture might be in 1988”
In 1992 Harold camping wrote a book Claiming that 1994 would be the end of the world. When that year came and went he adjusted his prognostication to 2011.
Both of these were based on their views of
One of the most well-known scholars in the church Jack Lewis stated “Few biblical passages have been subject to more speculation than this one”
I say all of that to say have have 0 confidence I can completely describe each detail in this text, but I think it is worthy of our attention nonetheless.
Daniel began studying the book of Jeremiah, particularly chapters 25, and 29 and came to the understanding that the Jews would be in exile for 70 years.
He began praying, fasting, and asking for relief.
V.13 seems to reveal that if at any point the Jews would have repented, this calamity would have been stopped, yet, they did not.
While Daniel was still praying and announced that 70 weeks were required to accomplish 6 goals related to the Jews and Jerusalem
Are these 70 literal weeks? Many interpreters view this a 490 years or 70 7’s.
It comes down to, should we read this as weeks or years? We will come back to that question. For now let’s focus on the goals that are laid out.
“to finish the transgression”
“to put an end to sin”
“to atone for iniquity”
“to bring in an everlasting righteousness”
“to seal both vision, and prophet”
“to anoint a most holy place”
Gabriel divided these weeks into 3 segments:
7 weeks - “The going out of the world to rebuild and restore Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince”
62 weeks- Included the rebuilding of Jerusalem complete with “squares and moat” meaning it is a complete legitimate city once again.
1 week- an anointed one would be cut off, and have nothing. Jerusalem would then be destroyed, and the destroyer would then be destroyed.
“Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold for your sins.
Moses warned the Israelites that God would punish them sevenfold. I believe it is likely that the seventy weeks or seventy sevens is not meant to be taken as literal years or weeks. Rather symbolically, as perfect upon perfect.
All the goals are accomplished in Jesus.
Jesus finished the transgression and put an end to Sin
for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
He atoned for iniquity
He thereby ushered in everlasting righteousness
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
Jesus sealed (was the fulfillment of the OT Prophecy)
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
By His death and resurrection He anointed a new most holy place in our hearts
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
the final two verses in chapter 9 allude to the destruction of Jerusalem which occured in A.D. 70 at the Hands of the Romans.
I believe that the seventy weeks are not to be interpreted as seventy weeks or years. Rather as God’s fullness of time in which He would bring Christ into the world.
In a sense, God was revealing to Daniel, that even for him, and his people, and their suffering, Jesus was the only answer.
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.
This Final vision came to Daniel in Cyrus’ 3rd year which was 536 B.C. The same year that the foundation for the second temple would be laid
The description of “the man” given in V. 5-6 is nearly identical to the description that John gives of Jesus
and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
We are left with the image of Daniel frightened and facedown upon seeing this man.
Who is this man?- many scholars due to the similarities in the way they are described view this as the pre-incarnate Christ.
Identifying this man with God would explain why it affected Daniel the way it did when Daniel did not have the same reaction upon seeing Gabriel in chapter 8
This is one of the strangest exchanges in scripture.
The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia,
This man wanted to let Daniel know that the reason he had not come to Daniel sooner was because he had been delayed
We are not told how or why the delay was successful. It is possible that the “prince of Persia” was behind hinderances to rebuilding the temple.
Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come.
What in the world is all of this about? Why is there this man, and Michael fighting against princes? - My submission is that these princes are not kings, but actual demons, or evil spirits. One reason is because he refers to Michael ad Daniel’s prince. It would then follow that the prince that delayed this spiritual being, was also a spiritual being.
A few passages for consideration;
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria. As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.
Elisha prayed that his servants eyes would be opened to the spiritual army that was all around him.
The fact of the matter is, sometimes when we read scripture we don’t understand because we can’t see. We can’t see what is all around us. We forget that there is a real spiritual realm with real forces.
Big picture: When we pray, we affect the spiritual realm. states prayer has “great power” it affects another dimension. We must never take our prayer lives lightly.