Daniel 9:26-27; The Final Seven ~ 20221002 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

10/02_Daniel 09:26-27; Understanding the Final Seven; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20221002_dan09_26-27.mp3

We’ve been looking at Daniel 9, Daniel’s prayer about Jeremiah’s prophecy of seventy years captivity for God’s disobedient people. He understands that they are nearing the end of the seventy years, and he confesses his sins and the sins of his people, and prays that God would turn away his anger and wrath and make his face shine once again on his desolate sanctuary. In answer to his prayer, he is given a prophecy about seventy times seven, 490 years;

Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

This prophecy is bigger than Daniel could have imagined. God will finally put an end to his people’s iniquity, transgression, and sin, bring them an unending righteousness, fulfill every vision and prophet, and anoint his sanctuary. This seventy sevens is broken down into three sections; seven sevens, sixty-two sevens, and one final seven.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

The ESV punctuates this differently than many other versions. Most translations allow the sentence to flow;

NASB(95): So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, ...

Seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, add up to 69 sevens; 483 years – whether we start from either of the decrees of Artaxerxes to Ezra or to Nehemiah, we land at the time of Jesus’ ministry. This is an amazing prediction of the coming of King Jesus, the promised Messiah, who will be cut off for the transgressions of his people.

The Final Seven

Daniel 9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

What is this talking about? The final seven is divided into halves, and has to do with a strong covenant, an end to sacrifice and offering, one who makes desolate on the wing of abominations, and it runs until the decreed end is poured out on the one who makes desolate.

We need to remember to tread with humility and grace as we study a passage on which good Christians disagree. But we need not give up in hopeless despair. Rather we should approach a passage like this the way Daniel approached Jeremiah’s prophecy, with prayerful humility and bold confidence in God who keeps his promises.

Between The Weeks

If we understand the seven sevens and 62 sevens to climax with the coming of Messiah the prince, verse 26 mentions two events that happen after the first 69 sevens, but before the final seven. The events of the final week are described in verse 27. After the sixty-two weeks, Messiah is cut off and will have nothing. Jesus is crucified for the sins of others.

About 40 years later, rebellious Jerusalem is under seige by the the Roman general Vespasian who, after the death of Nero, became emperor and appointed his son Titus to complete the conquest of Jerusalem. By 70 AD the city and sanctuary are utterly destroyed, as Jesus predicted of the temple ‘there will not be left here one stone upon another’ (Mt.24:2).

From this it seems that the first 69 sevens ended with the coming of Christ, and that between the 69th and 70th seven there are at least 40 intervening years.

Telescoping Prophecy; Divine Comma

There are some who believe that all seventy sevens have to be strictly consecutive with no breaks in the chronology. But we should not be surprised by Old Testament prophecy telescoping events together that we now know are not adjacent. When Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth, he read:

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

But if we go back to Isaiah 61:1-2, we see that Jesus stopped his reading in the middle of a sentence, at a comma. The next phrase reads ‘and the day of vengeance of our God’. That comma has lasted over 2,000 years. Jesus came the first time to fulfill the first section of that prophecy. He will come back again to carry out ‘the day of veageance of our God.’

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

We have already seen this in Daniel. Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the multi-metallic statue represented the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay will be struck with a stone cut out without hands that pulverizes all the kingdoms of this world, and grows to become a great mountain that fills the earth. We have seen those four kingoms rise and fall, but it is not entirely clear what the iron mixed with clay is all about, and the kingdom crushing stone has not yet obliterated all the kingdoms of mankind and grown to fill the whole earth.

The same is true of Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 of the four great beasts; we can identify the four as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, but we aren’t clear on the ten horns and the little boastful horn who was allowed to persecute the saints for a time, times and half a time. The Ancient of Days seated in judgment and the books opened hasn’t happened yet, the boastful horn hasn’t been judged yet, and Jesus hasn’t yet appeared riding on the clouds to receive the eternal kingdom from his Father.

Each of these prophecies start in Daniel’s own day and run up to the time of the coming of Jesus, but then skip ahead to the final judgment at the end of time.

That seems to be the best way to understand the prophecy of the seventy sevens. Sixty-nine of the sevens run from Daniel’s day up to the first coming of Jesus, after wich Messiah is cut off, and Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed. The final seven will come just before the end of all things. We are living in the intermission between what has already been fulfilled and what has not yet come to pass.

The Prince Who Is To Come

With this framework in mind, let’s begin to look at the details of this prophecy. After Messiah is cut off, it is the people of the prince who is to come who destroy the city and sanctuary. Some assume that since Titus was the one who destroyed Jerusalem, that he is the prince who is to come. But it is not the prince who destroys, but the people of the prince. And verse 27 doesn’t fit well with anything that Titus did.

Some have attempted to connect this prince who is to come with Messiah the prince from verse 25. But it was not the followers of Jesus who destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, it was the Roman legions and those employed by Rome who conquered. If the people of the prince who is to come are those employed by Rome, then the prince who is to come must be a future world ruler. That he is not the same as Messiah the prince should be clear from the fact that Messiah came at the climax of the 69 sevens, but this one is said to be still future, one who is to come after the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened 40 years after Jesus was crucified.

This prince is distinguished from Messiah grammatically by the use of the definite article; it is ‘the prince who is to come’, where Messiah is left without the article; a prince. This indicates either that he is one who has been mentioned before, or that more is about to be said of him. In this case, both are true. A case can be made that he is the coming little horn who was introduced in chapter 7, and he will be the subject of verse 27.

Daniel 9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Who Is The He?

In verse 27 the first question we are faced with is ‘who is the ‘he’? Some have suggested that this also refers back to Jesus, who gives us the new covenant and put an end to sacrifices by the once-for-all sacrifice of himself. But Jesus’ new covenant is eternal, where this covenant is only intended to last 7 years. And normally a pronoun is to be taken with its nearest antecedent unless there is a compelling reason not to. The nearest antecedent to ‘he’ is ‘the prince who is to come’ in verse 26, not ‘Messiah the prince’ from verse 25.

A Strong Covenant

He will make a strong covenant with the many for one seven. This idea of the strength of the covenant may imply that he imposes the covenant on the many by strength. The many are likely many of Daniel’s people; not all but many will agree to this covenant.

But in the middle of the seven (at the three and a half year mark) he will put a stop to blood sacrifices and grain offerings. Putting a stop to sacrifices and offerings implies that at the time there is a functioning temple in Jerusalem in which to make these sacrifices. In verse 26 the sanctuary was destroyed, and now in verse 27 there are sacrifices being made that will be stopped halfway through the final seven. This also points to this being sacrifices in a yet future temple.

The Middle of the Week

The final seven is divided in half. The first half is the time when the strong covenant is in place. The final half of the final seven is when sacrifices and offerings are made to stop. Half of seven is three and a half. This is another connection with the little horn of chapter 7.

Daniel 7 says:

Daniel 7:20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. ... 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. 25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 ​But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.

This arrogant horn made war against the saints and prevailed over them; they were given into his hands for a time, times and half a time; three and a half times. This is a terrible time, but it is well defined. It is short. It will have an end. God is sovereign.

Daniel 7:9 “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10 ​A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. 11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.

The decreed end will be poured out on the desolator. God is sovereign. There is a decreed end. Even in the midst of difficult times we can take refuge in him.


2022.10.02 Sermon Notes

Daniel 9:26-27; Understanding the Final Seven

Seventy Sevens; 7 Sevens + 62 Sevens + 1 Seven

The time between the weeks; ‘after the sixty-two’

Messiah cut off; Isaiah 53:8

70 AD Jerusalem and temple destroyed; Matthew 24:1-2

Intermission in prophecy

Luke 4:18-21; Isaiah 61:1-2

Daniel 2; Daniel 7

The prince who is to come; ‘he’

not Titus

not Jesus

Daniel 7:20-26

a strong covenant with the many for seven years

ends sacrifice and offering in the middle of the week

until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator

Daniel 7:9-11

*God is sovereign!


Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org