Daniel’s Seventy SevensAfter Daniel had confessed the sins of his people, God sent Gabriel to say this to him: "Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy" (v.24). Since Daniel prayed to God for His people and His holy city, God in His answer also mentioned "thy people and thy holy city." Let us understand that "thy people" points to the children of Israel, and "thy holy city" refers to Jerusalem. What God means is this: When the seventy sevens are passed, the transgression of Israel and the holy city will be finished, their sins will come to an end, their iniquity will receive reconciliation, and the everlasting righteousness will be brought to them. Have all these been fulfilled? No, the children of Israel continue today to be "Lo-ammi . . . not my people" (Hosea 1.9). Hence her restoration is yet in the future. These things still remain unfulfilled because the prophecy concerning the seventy sevens has not been fulfilled. But at the second coming of the Lord Jesus, all the prophecies shall be fulfilled.
We know the Anointed One did come after the sixty-nine sevens (seven sevens plus sixty-two sevens). From the time of the decree concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the moment of the coming of the Anointed One, there were to be four hundred eighty-three years. Now that the sixty-nine sevens have already passed and the Anointed One (Christ) has also come, what is left is the last seven. As soon as the last seven is fulfilled the children of Israel will receive the fullness of blessing of Daniel 9.24. However, within the seven years of the death of Christ, was there any day which could have been deemed as a time when transgression was finished for the children of Israel and upon Jerusalem? No, not even a single day. And have there not been over nineteen hundred more years since the time of Christ and still no end of transgression? Hence, it is quite evident that the seventieth seven did not follow immediately after the sixty-nine sevens.
Why is it that this one seven has not been fulfilled and that the children of Israel have not yet received the full blessing? Because "after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing." Christ has died, and consequently the children of Israel did not receive the blessing. It was because they would not receive Him with willing hearts but crucified Him instead, and therefore punishment came upon them. "The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary" (v.26). When the Jews insisted on killing the Lord Jesus, they openly declared: "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matt. 27.25). Naturally God is treating them according to their own word by temporarily rejecting them and showing grace towards the Gentiles. But after the number of the Gentiles has been fulfilled, He will give grace once again to the children of Israel. And at that time, this last seven shall be fulfilled. As soon as the last seven is over, God will deliver the children of Israel according to promise (Dan. 9.24).
"The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." All students of Revelation know that this refers to the Romans. After the death of Christ the Jews incurred God’s severe judgment: the Romans came and destroyed Jerusalem and its temple sanctuary in 70 A.D. Since the term "the people" refers to the Romans, many accordingly think that the term "the prince" obviously points to the Roman prince Titus who led the Romans. But there are many reasons to refute this conclusion. Why is it that the Scripture here does not say the prince shall destroy the city but rather says the people of the prince? Although the prince must work through his people, it is still unnatural to say the people and not directly say the prince. Since the Holy Spirit mentions both the prince and the people, while nevertheless putting a primary emphasis on the people, can it be that He is implying by this that these people represent the people of that prince who is yet to come? If so, then the prince in question here is not Titus, and the people who attacked Jerusalem in the former day were in spirit and in attitude morally the people of the future prince. This prince whom Daniel prophecies about will be a world renown figure in the future, who is the Antichrist. "The prince that shall come" is therefore the Antichrist.
"The end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined" (v.26). "The end" here is not the end of the city nor of the sanctuary. According to correct grammatical construction, "the end thereof" should be connected to the phrase "the prince that shall come." The fulfillment did not come at the time of Titus but is yet to come in the future. The people of the prince who shall come shall destroy this city and the sanctuary, but "the end thereof" (that is to say, the end of the prince)* shall come as a flood. We know that this superman is soon to come, and the world will have no peace. But thank God, we shall be gone before the Antichrist arrives.
* The Revised Standard Version (1952) recognizes this construction of the verse, as follows: ". . . and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. His end shall come with a flood . . ." (9.26 mg.). And the footnote in the English Standard Version reads: "His end will come with a flood..."
"And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" (v.27a Darby). The preceding verse tells us of the destructive actions of Antichrist; this next verse continues to speak of his action. The last seven is divided into two halves. At the beginning of the last seven, the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with many. This covenant is not the Old Covenant which God singularly covenanted with His people, for the use of the indefinite article "a" here proves it. The phrase "the many" with the use of the definite article "the" refers to a special group of people — even the Jews. So that this covenant will be a political pact between the Jews and the Antichrist. The duration of the pact is to be seven years, but in the middle of this term of years Antichrist will break it. This is the meaning of the words, "he shall think to change the times and the law," found in chapter 7 and verse 25. Here we may see the similarity disclosed between this prince and the little horn mentioned in chapter 7.
In the midst of these seven years in question, Antichrist shall break the covenant, and thus the rest of this period of the seven (that is to say, three years and a half) shall be in his hand. During these three and a half years he shall also wear out the saints (7.25). And during the same three and a half years, this little horn will attempt to change time and season, and cause sacrifice and oblation to cease. At the present moment the Jews have neither sacrifice nor oblation; but in the future these will be restored. We have seen the the return of the Jews to Palestine and have also heard of their desire to restore the Temple. The end is truly near.
Why will the Antichrist cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease? Because at that time he will speak blasphemously against God (see ch. 7). Since sacrifice and oblation are offered to God, he will naturally forbid them. "And upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end" (v.27b). "The wing of abominations" speaks of idols. In the temple of God the wings of the cherubim covered the ark. Yet Antichrist shall enter God’s temple and proclaim himself God (2 Thess. 2), thus having the wings of abominations. Due to this idolatry, God will permit desolations to extend for three and a half years until the end of the seventy sevens. "And that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate" (v.27c). The desolate is Jerusalem. As the end of the seventy sevens approaches, the nations shall gather to attack Jerusalem. Then shall the Lord fight for her (Zech. 14.1-6). And so shall the word of Daniel 9.24 be fulfilled.
We may here perceive just how Satan uses man. Antichrist is only a man; but by his obeying Satan he is given devilish power to rule over nations. Though his actual coming is still in the future, nonetheless even in 70 A.D. the Romans had already become Antichrist’s people! For they had his spirit. Today we see the many turmoils among the nations. Satan is actually manipulating at the back. He gives power to this person and to that, using many in the political arena as his puppets to disturb the world. The last person he is to use will be the Antichrist.
The Church of Christ needs to be matured for rapture!