We have been studying Daniel 9:25-27. In these three verses is the timeline of the entire seventy week period (490 years), referred to in verse 24. Last time we looked at verse 25. We will pick up our study now in verse 26, which we will see as a gap of time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week.
Daniel 9:26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
Many do not agree that this is a gap of time; they (Preterists) believe that the events described here, and also in verse 27, are all in the seventieth week. And because they say that, since it is clear that the major event described in verse 26 happened in A. D. 70, this tragically would put the seventieth week in our past—which means that the book of Revelation is history! This of course is completely wrong; it denies the clear message of these verses.
When we read this verse, if we understand what is described, we should see clearly that it is impossible for the events in this verse to be a part of the seventy weeks; for the first sixty-nine weeks have already been accumulated (in verse 25)—from the signing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to Christ’s triumphal entry—and so there is only one week left (7 years). Clearly, the span of time in verse 26 is much more than seven years. It spans the time from Christ’s triumphal entry to the time when the city and the sanctuary are destroyed (in A. D. 70), and even far beyond that—“to the end.” Furthermore, the one week that is left is clearly in verse 27—“and he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week.” Therefore, as we have affirmed, the events of this verse come as a gap of time between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth week.
Now, moving on, the first part of the verse says, “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.”
First we need to define these terms. “The Messiah will be cut off and have nothing,” means that Jesus will die without having received His kingdom. In the phrase, “the people of the prince who is to come,” the people are the Romans at that time, and the prince who is to come is the Antichrist. And of course, “the city and the sanctuary” is Jerusalem and the temple.
Therefore, what the prophecy is saying is that Christ will die without having received His kingdom; and then, 37 years later, in A. D. 70 the Romans will destroy the city of Jerusalem and the temple. And of course we know that this indeed happened just as prophesied.
Now the people that destroyed Jerusalem are said to be the people of the prince who is to come. This is the Antichrist. He is the “he” in verse 27, and will be the central figure during the seventieth week.
Also, I think it is important to note that since the people were Romans, and they are the people of the prince, this suggests that when the Antichrist comes on the scene, he will be a prince over Roman people and possibly be Roman himself.
Accordingly, as many have suggested, in the time of the seventieth week, which is the Tribulation period, this will be a time when the old Roman Empire is revived. Have you seen indications in Europe that this is beginning to happen? That Rome is coming together in power as it once was? If so, this I think is an indication that Christ’s coming is near.
The second part of verse 26 says, “Its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.” The phrase, “its end will come with a flood,” refers to the extensive destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A. D. 70. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said to His disciples, “The days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down…There will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people, 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations” (Luke 21:6, 23b-24a).
In the next phrase, “even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined,” this is what Jesus was referring to in the last part of Luke 21:24. He said, “And Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
And when will the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled? It will come when Israel is saved and given her rightful place in the kingdom of God (Rev. 20:1-6).
Therefore, we must conclude by this that war and desolations are decreed for Israel until she is saved. Thus, even though Israel has been set aside during this church age, they will continue to suffer all during this age and on into the last week of Daniel until He comes—and oh, how we know how much all Israel has suffered!
Dr. Dwight Pentecost said,
…That invasion [in A. D. 70], awesome as it was, did not end the nation’s sufferings, for war, Gabriel said, would continue until the end. Even though Israel was to be set aside, she would continue to suffer until the prophecies of the 70 “sevens” were completely fulfilled. Her sufferings span the entire period from the destruction of Jerusalem in a. d. 70 to Jerusalem’s deliverance from Gentile dominion at the Second Advent of Christ.
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen