The Prophet Daniel
As we recall during the Olivet Discourse Jesus directed our attention to the prophet Daniel (Matthew 24:15). By referring to Daniel, Jesus was drawing our attention to some of the most amazing last days prophecies of the Bible. Daniel’s prophecies were written during the sixth century BC, after the Babylonians had conquered Israel and taken them into captivity. Daniel received several visions and prophecies during this time, beginning when he was a youth under king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
Daniel’s first vision and prophecy was regarding a dream received by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel received the vision of this dream and its interpretation from God. The vision revealed that four world kingdoms would come to power before God would establish His Kingdom on earth. The first of the four kingdoms was Babylon (Daniel 2:38) which fell to the second kingdom of Medo-Persia. After the kingdom of Medo-Persia, the third kingdom of Greece came to power under Alexander the Great. Daniel’s prophecies also revealed the identity of these first three kingdoms. See Daniel’s prophecy below.
The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king (Daniel 8:20-21).
After the first three world kingdoms had risen and fallen another kingdom appeared, Rome. While Rome fulfilled some aspects of Daniel’s prophecy regarding the fourth kingdom it did not fulfill all that was written. Since Rome did not fulfill all that was written regarding the fourth beast kingdom, we can be sure that there will be another kingdom that will be the final fulfillment of this prophecy. Therefore, Daniel’s prophecy regarding the fourth kingdom is for the future.
Following the fall of Babylon and during the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, Daniel received from God one of the most amazing prophecies of the Bible. This prophecy we will refer to as “Daniel’s Seventy Sevens” prophesy. This prophecy provides specific information which enables us to determine the exact time of the First coming of Christ as King. This same prophecy also provides several details describing key events of the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy, which we call Daniel’s 70th Week. First we will examine the prophecy regarding the coming of Christ as King and then we will study the last seven-year period.
At the time Darius ruled from Babylon, Daniel came to understand from the prophecies of Jeremiah that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. When Daniel realized the desolation of Jerusalem was coming to a close he began to seek the Lord in prayer and petition for the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple. While Daniel was praying he received the “Seventy Sevens” prophecy which he was told to consider and understand.
The “Seventy Sevens” prophecy consist of four-verses which have astounded scholars and students for centuries. So accurate are the details of this prophecy that skeptics have insisted that the book of Daniel must have been written after Christ’s coming. However, since the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1948 and 1952, the skeptics have been relatively quiet. The Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries included the book of Daniel, and it has been determined that these predated Christ by at least two hundred years. Therefore, these discoveries seem to have provided archeological evidence confirming that the prophecies of Daniel predated Christ’s first coming.
Now let’s turn to the first verse of Daniel’s prophecy. In this verse the time frame of the Daniel’s prophecy is established.
Seventy 'sevens' [shabuwa] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy (Daniel 9:24).
In Hebrew shabuwa is translated “sevens.” Shabuwa means sevened, seven or a week.1 The fulfillment of the first part of this prophecy in history has verified that the meaning of shabuwa, here, means seven years. As we will shortly see the first 69 of the 70 “sevens” have been fulfilled exactly as prophesied. Therefore, we know with great certainty that shabuwa in “Daniel’s Seventy Sevens” prophecy means seven years. Therefore, “seventy sevens” equals four hundred and ninety (490) years.
Therefore, the total duration of this prophecy is 490 years which are decreed for “your people and your holy city” Jerusalem to:
1. Finish transgression
2. End sin
3. Atone for wickedness
4. Bring in everlasting righteousness
5. Seal up vision and prophecy
6. Anoint the most holy
These six items list of what the prophecy says will be accomplished for the people of God and the holy city (Jerusalem) at the conclusion of the 490 years. While we could debate whether or not Christ accomplished some of these things on the cross, it is evident that not all these things have been fulfilled at the present time. For example, regarding the sealing up of prophecy, Scripture reveals that prophecy will continue to the very end of the age, because we know that the two witnesses will prophesy through the last days of the Great Tribulation, see Revelation 11:3. Therefore, since prophecy has not yet been sealed up, the final fulfillment of Daniel’s “seventy sevens” prophecy is still in the future. And even though Christ paid the atonement price for sin, we still see that sin is still present and everlasting righteousness has not yet been achieved.
The first verse of this prophecy indicates that after 490 years God will essentially restore everything to the people of God and His holy city Jerusalem. So, the key question would be when does this 490 year period begin?
From the decree - March 14, 445 BC
The second verse of the prophecy says that we are to “know and understand this.” We are told to know and understand this prophecy because with this prophecy the people of God would be able determine the exact time of the coming of the Messiah. We have already seen from Jesus’ statements to the Jewish leaders, in Luke 19:44, that He expected them to know the time of His coming.
Since we know that the entire prophecy is 490 years in duration, we need to determine when the 490 years begins. Daniel provides the answer in this next verse.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Messiah], the ruler [King], comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble (Daniel 9:25).
Daniel tells us that there will be a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Also implied in the rebuilding of Jerusalem is the rebuilding of the temple. We know this because Daniel was seeking God in prayer for the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple 2 and because when the decree was issued it included the temple and Jerusalem.
There has, however, been debate over the years about which decree was the decree that started the timing for this prophecy. There were a total of four decrees that were issued to rebuild the temple. The first three decrees called for the rebuilding of only the temple and they are recorded in the book of Ezra. In Ezra 1:1-4 (Cyrus mentions only the temple); Ezra 6:1-12 (mentions the decree to rebuild the temple issued by Darius Hystaspis); and Ezra 7:11-26 (records the third decree, issued by Artaxerxes Lonimanus during the seventh year of his reign). Each of these decrees were issued for the rebuilding of the temple, the rebuilding of Jerusalem was not included in any of the first three.
However, there was a fourth decree which did call for the rebuilding of Jerusalem. This decree which is recorded in Nehemiah 2:5-18, allows us to identify the exact date when this prophecy of the “seventy sevens” begins. This decree was made on March 14, 445 BC.3
Remember, that from the time of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem there will be “seven sevens” and “sixty-two sevens” or 69 sevens (483 years) until “the anointed one, the ruler” comes.
So that we understand clearly who this prophecy is about let’s look at the Hebrew words for “the anointed one, the ruler.” The Hebrew word mashiyach means “anointed one” and nagiyd means “ruler, prince or leader.”4 The Hebrew word mashiyach is where we get the word Messiah. Nagiyd is the title which was used to refer to Saul the first King of Israel, in Samuel 9:16. Therefore, it would also be correct to translate “mashiyach nagiyd” as “Messiah the King.” If we where to put “Messiah the King” into New Testament terms we would say “Christ the King.” Therefore, this verse tells us that from the decree until Christ the King comes there will be 483 years. Let's see how this appears when presented in a timeline.
Daniel's 70 Weeks
To understand the timing of this prophecy we will refer to the work of Sir Robert Anderson who first published his classic study on the interpretation of Daniel’s prophecy, titled the ‘The Coming Prince’ in 1895.5 In his research Anderson demonstrated that the time from the decree in March 14, 445 BC to April 6, 32 AD was exactly 483 years to the day. The calculation was made using the Jewish calendar, at the time of the prophecy, which contained 360 days. The scholarship of his work was so sound that his book continues to be an authoritative work and is still being reprinted today.
To the Messiah the King - April 6, 32 AD
At the time of Christ’s First Advent some of the Jewish people understood that Daniel’s prophecy would find its fulfillment with the coming of the Messiah the King. Scripture was clear that the Messiah would reign over the people of the earth from David’s throne at the restoration of all things. For example:
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever (Isaiah 9:7).
They also knew that the reign of Christ would be a time of righteousness and all nations of the earth would live in peace. That is what the Jewish people were waiting for as they looked forward to the coming of the Messiah the King. Because of the details of Daniel’s prophecy they also had a very good idea when the Messiah was to be expected. That is very likely why we find in the gospels that the whole nation of Israel was looking for the Messiah at the very time of Christ’s First Advent. They knew, just as we know today, that Scripture cannot be broken and all Scripture must be fulfilled. The Messiah was coming to fulfill prophecy at the appointed time. So how do we know that April 6, 32 AD was the correct time for the Messiah’s coming from Daniel’s prophecy? Good question! How does the Bible answer this question? April 6, 32 AD is the date Jesus rode the colt of a donkey into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.
From before Jesus’ First Advent, He was destined to be King, but the timing of His coming as King could only be at the appointed time as foretold in the Scripture. As we read through the gospels we find times when the people wanted to take Jesus and make Him King, but He would not allow it. Then one day He began to make specific arrangements to fulfill the timing of the prophets, just as written. Both King David and Zechariah prophesied of the coming Messiah, allowing us to determine the circumstances that would take place at the time of the King’s arrival.
Look at the picture David portrays in this Psalm. He writes an account of Jesus’ entry into the holy city of Jerusalem complete with festival procession, boughs being waved and shouts of “save us.” David even seems to see the sacrifice that would follow the Messiah’s coming when he writes “to the horns of the altar,” signifying that Jesus was going to make a sacrifice. It is at “the horns of the altar” where the atonement for sin was made.
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar (Psalm 118:24-27).
This is an amazingly descriptive prophecy showing Jesus Christ’s coming to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem and His subsequent sacrifice. This and several other prophecies substantiate that this was the appointed time for the coming of the Messiah the King.
Zechariah also prophesied about the coming King, saying He would enter Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. When we compare these prophecies with the record of their fulfillment below, there can be no doubt that this is the coming of Messiah, as foretold in Daniel 9:25.
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
The crowds in Jerusalem shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" Hosanna means save and the “Son of David” is a reference to the Messiah. In Psalm 118:25 above there is a festival procession with people shouting “save us; O LORD.” Compare the passages to see the exact fulfillment of these prophecies which mark the exact date of the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25. Jesus Christ offered Himself as King when He entered Jerusalem on April 6, 32 AD. See how this prophesied event is recorded in the gospel of Matthew.
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this’ (Matthew 21:4-10)?
If only they had known the time of His coming and had recognized their King!
Jesus makes a covenant by sacrifice
After Jesus the Messiah entered Jerusalem as the King, Daniel says in his prophecy that the Messiah “will be cut off.”
After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off [karath] and will have nothing (Daniel 9:26a).
When Daniel writes that after the 62 sevens, he is saying that after the second series of sevens the Messiah will be cut off, which is the same as saying after the 69 sevens. Therefore, after Jesus’ coming on April 6, 32 AD, Daniel tells us that the Messiah the King will be cut off. This corresponds exactly to the Gospel account which indicates that Jesus was crucified four days after his triumphal entry into the holy city of Jerusalem.
To understand what is being prophesied it will be helpful to understand what is meant by the expression “cut off.” Almost every English Bible translation of Daniel 9:26a renders the Hebrew word karath as “cut off.” Since the term “cut off” seems a bit obscure, we might ask what is the meaning of the word karath? According to Strong’s Concordance, karath means to make a covenant (i.e. make an alliance or bargain, orig. by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces).5 In other words karath means to make a covenant by sacrifice.
Now, we know from Scripture that after the coming of the Messiah, Christ laid down His life as an offering for the forgiveness of sin, see Ephesians 5:2.
… just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2).
So what is the connection between the Hebrew word karath and the sacrifice which Christ made for sin? The meaning of karath is a perfect description of what Jesus Christ did when He went to the cross. Since karath means to make a covenant by sacrifice we can understand Daniel 9:26a to say, “[a]fter 483 years, Messiah the King will make a covenant by sacrifice and will have nothing.” Which is exactly what we see happened after Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on April 6, 32 AD. He then made a covenant in His own blood on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. This covenant, for the forgiveness of sin, is still available today for all who would receive it by faith.
Destruction of Jerusalem and the temple
After the Messiah makes a covenant by sacrifice, Daniel then tells us that the people of the ruler who will come, will destroy Jerusalem and the temple.
The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed (Daniel 9:26b).
Jesus’ also predicted this same destruction of Jerusalem and the temple when He told the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders of the result of their failing to recognize the time of His coming. Remember, that God had told them in Daniel 9:25 “To know and understand.” And they did not! Underlining added for emphasis.
The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you (Luke 19:43-44)
In 70 AD, just as Jesus and Daniel predicted, the Roman army under general Titus came to besiege Jerusalem.6 The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, documented this event, estimating that 1,100,000 Jews were killed in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.7 He recorded that the Roman army set fire to the temple causing the gold in the temple to melt down into the cracks of the stonework. The Roman army then took down every stone one from another to get the gold, just as Jesus had predicted.
After Daniel predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple he then says “[t]he end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” This description sounds much like the description Jesus gave in the Olivet Discourse for the time between His first and second advents. Jesus said,
You will hear of war and rumors of wars, … but the end is still to come (Matthew 24:6).
Interruption in Daniel’s 70 Weeks
So, at this point 483 years of the 490-year prophecy have already been fulfilled. Now, if the last seven years of the 490-year prophecy had run continuously it would have been completed from 32 AD to 39 AD. However, thirty-eight more years elapsed until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the final seven years of the prophecy still remain unfulfilled. Understanding Daniel’s 70th Week in relation to last days prophecy is key to understanding the events leading up to the return of Christ. Most likely that is why Jesus referred us to this specific prophecy when He gave us the Olivet Discourse. Let’s view the chart below.
Daniel's 70 Weeks
The interruption in this prophecy is not unique to Scripture. As a matter of fact, this same interruption between the two Advents of Christ is actually found several times in Scripture. One example comes from John the Baptist when he described two aspects of the ministry of Jesus.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).
This prophecy from John the Baptist reveals that Jesus will first baptize us with the Holy Spirit, which He fulfilled on the day of Pentecost almost two thousand years ago. The second part of this prophecy states that He will baptize us with fire, which He will do on the Day of the Lord when Jesus will judge His people by fire. See how Paul describes this below.
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
Another example is found in the gospel of Luke. Jesus revealed that He was fulfilling Scripture in the peoples hearing when He read from the prophecies of Isaiah. He did not, however, finish reading the complete prophecy as recorded in Isaiah 61. He stopped in mid sentence at the point where it says “the Lord’s favor.” The reason He did not continue reading the remainder of Isaiah’s prophecy is because the remainder of the prophecy, just as we have seen in John the Baptist’s prophecy above, would not be fulfilled until His return on the Day of the Lord. Compare the passage in Luke’s record with Isaiah’s prophecy and see the interruption between the first and second advents of Christ.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.’[-/-] Then he rolled up the scroll gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’ (Luke 4:18-21)
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor [-/-] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-( Isaiah 61:2-3)
Jesus fulfilled the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy “the year of the Lord’s favor” at His First Coming. The second part, “the day of vengeance,” Jesus will fulfill at His Second Coming on the Day of the Lord.
As we can see these prophecies have two parts with an interruption separating the two Advents of Christ. The first part of each was fulfilled about 2000 years ago in relationship to Christ’s First Coming and the second part will be fulfilled at the Christ’s Second Coming.
We are currently living during the time of the interruption between the two Advents of Christ. We also know that several prophesied events have already occurred during this interruption period. The first was when Jesus made the New Covenant in His blood on the cross. The next was the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD. And then Israel’s restoration to their land as a nation on May 14, 1948 which is, most likely, another fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess, says the LORD (Jeremiah 30:3)
Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again' (Ezekiel 11:17)
This brings us to Daniel’s 70th Week, a key to understanding the last days and the return of Christ.
Now that we have reviewed the completed portion of Daniel’s Seventy Sevens prophecy, lets read about the final seven-year period, we call Daniel’s 70th Week.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (Daniel 9:27).
Daniel’s 70th Week
He will confirm a covenant
Because of the importance of this prophecy, we will break it down into its components to see the key elements of what is going to take place as the world moves through the last days toward the return of Christ.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven’ (Daniel 9:27a).
The “He” in this verse is a preposition which refers back to the ruler in the previous verse (Daniel 9:26). As we have already seen the ruler was the Roman general Titus. Titus fulfilled the part of the prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem, however, he did not fulfill the rest of this prophecy. Therefore, Titus is not the fulfillment of this prophecy he is only a “type” of the world leader who will come in the last days. This means the “He” in Daniel 9:27 is referring to the future world leader who will come from the fourth beast kingdom. This will be the world leader referred to in Scripture as the Beast, the Antichrist and the “man of lawlessness.”9
Before we continue with our examination of Daniel’s 70th Week we will first examine Daniel’s prophecies relating to the “fourth beast kingdom.” For it is out of this fourth beast kingdom that the Antichrist will rise to power in the last days, confirms the covenant with Israel, sets up the abomination that causes desolation until the last seven years are fulfilled.
The fourth beast kingdom
Daniel wrote several times about the four beast kingdoms. In the first year of Belshazzar’s reign over Babylon, Daniel had a dream which provided an apocalyptic picture of the four beast kingdoms that would to rise to power on the earth. During the time of that vision he was also given an explanation of its meaning. In Daniel 7:23-24, the brief but insightful explanation of that vision is recorded for us.
He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.’ The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings (Daniel 7:23-24).
Here the Lord has given us a description of what He calls the fourth beast kingdom. We are told that it will be different from the earlier kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. One of the differences is that this last beast kingdom will have power and dominion over the whole earth. Another difference is revealed in a previous prophecy of Daniel. This final beast kingdom will be a kingdom of diverse nations and this diversity will be both a source of its strength and cause of its weakness.
... this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. ... the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, (Daniel 2:42-43)
The fourth beast kingdom will originally be composed of ten leaders. Then another leader will arise and take the place of one of the original ten. This new leader will be different from the original ten, because of his superior ambition and ability. He will then conquer three of the original leaders, leaving the fourth beast kingdom with seven heads. The fourth beast kingdom will then be described as having “seven heads and ten horns.” This new leader who rises from within the fourth beast kingdom will be the beast also known as the Antichrist. Therefore, whenever we see the fourth beast kingdom described in Scripture as having “seven heads and ten horns,” we will know that the Antichrist will be leading that kingdom. For example see Revelation 17:4.
Rise of the Antichrist
Daniel received many prophecies during his time in Babylon relating to the Antichrist who he called the beast (Daniel 7:11). Daniel’s prophecies provide insight into some of the political, military and religious conditions of the times as well as revealing various aspects to the character and nature of the Antichrist. Below are examples of Daniel’s prophecies that give us insight into the character of this coming world leader.
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time [3 ½ years] (Daniel 7:25).
He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes (Daniel 8:24-25).
With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him (Daniel 11:32).
The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of [God’s] wrath is completed, (Daniel 11:36)
Daniel has told us a great deal about this future world leader who will rise to power and then confirm a covenant with Israel. This covenant will ensure Israel’s peace and security for 3 ½ years until “he” (the Antichrist) turns against Israel.
The abomination that causes desolation
In this next part of Daniel’s 70th Week prophesy we see how the Antichrist turns against Israel.
In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, (Daniel 9:27b)
In the middle of the seven-year period or after three-and-a-half years the Antichrist will put an end to the Jewish practice of temple worship. At that time the Antichrist will also set himself up in the temple of God saying that he is God. Daniel tells us about this same situation again below as he describes circumstances of the abomination that causes desolation.
His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him (Daniel 11:31-32).
In order for the Antichrist to put an end to the practice of sacrifice and offering, the temple will first need to be rebuilt. Today, in 2002 AD, there is no Jewish temple nor is there practiced animal sacrifice and offering in Jerusalem. Since 70 AD when the Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple the Jewish people have had no temple. Therefore, since there is no place for the Jewish sacrifice and offering today, the temple will need to be rebuilt before this prophecy can be fulfilled.
In these passages of Scripture we will see that the abomination that causes desolation occurs in the temple during the time the Antichrist stops sacrifice and offering. The “abomination that causes desolation” is the name given to the event that takes place when the Antichrist sets himself up to be God in the temple of God. Paul also described what happens during the abomination that causes desolation in his second letter to the Thessalonians.10
Recalling what Jesus told us in the Olivet Discourse, we know that immediately after the abomination that causes desolation there will be a time of persecution, which Jesus called the Great Tribulation.11 We also know from Daniel’s prophecy and numerous others in Scripture that the duration between the abomination that causes desolation and the end of the Great Tribulation will be “a time, times and half a time”12 or 3 ½ years.
The Great Tribulation
So, we know the Great Tribulation starts with the abomination that causes desolation, lasts 3 ½ years. Jesus described the Great Tribulation13 in very similar terms to those used in Daniel’s description of the same period, see passage below.
At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise [amad]. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. (Daniel 12:1).
In this passage Daniel tells us that after the archangel Michael arises, the Great Tribulation begins. The Hebrew word amad is translated “arise.” Amad also means to take one's stand and to rise up against.14 If we want to see what Michael is doing when he takes his stand we can read it here in Revelation 12.
And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him (Revelation 12:7-9).
When we compare these passages, we find when Michael takes his stand he defeats Satan and throws him to the earth. Both Michael arising and the abomination of desolation occur before the Great Tribulation. Later in our study, we will see that these two events not only happen at the same time but are actually related to each other. We will discuss this in more detail when we examine 2 Thessalonians 2.
Daniel also tells us that at the time of the Great Tribulation everyone whose name is found written in the book (of Life) will be delivered, many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake. These references are to the believers being delivered at the resurrection following the Great Tribulation.
Scripture is clear that all believers have their names written in the Book of Life. The Book of Life is God’s record of true believers, see the scriptural references to the Book of Life below.
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous (Psalm 69:28).
Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life (Philemon 4:3).
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
Therefore, we can safely say that following the Great Tribulation all believers, whose names are found written in the Book of Life, will be delivered at the resurrection of the living and the dead. This conclusion is also exactly what Jesus Christ explained to us when He answered the disciples’ question about His return in Matthew 24:29-31.
The end is poured out on him
In this last portion of Daniel’s 70th Week prophecy he indicates the Antichrist will continue through the Great Tribulation until the very end.
until the end that is decreed is poured out on him [Antichrist] (Daniel 9:27d).
Daniel closes the “seventy sevens” prophecy by describing the end as being poured out on the Antichrist. The end of the age as we have read in Jesus’ teachings is going to be a time of judgment and wrath on the unbelieving world. The Bible often describes the wrath of God as being poured out which we also see in Revelation when John describes what will happen to the Antichrist as the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out on the beast [Antichrist] and his kingdom.
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness (Revelation 16:10).
Daniel gives us additional information regarding the final outcome of the Antichrist in another vision below when he tells us that the saints will inherit the Kingdom of God on earth.
But the court will sit, and his [Antichrist] power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High (Daniel 7:26-27).
Thy Kingdom come on earth
Returning a moment to the first verse of Daniel’s Seventy Sevens prophecy we see that God will restore everything to the state before the fall of man when the Seventy Sevens are fulfilled.
Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy (Daniel 9:24).
Daniel was given various visions regarding the restoration of all things when the Kingdom of God would be established on earth. Read how he saw the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth.
"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever (Daniel 2:44).
The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever-- yes, for ever and ever (Daniel 7:17, 18)
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. ‘This is the end of the matter...’(Daniel 7:27, 28)
Finally, during Daniel’s vision above he is told, “This is the end of the matter.”15 This is the same expression Solomon used as he concluded his writings in Ecclesiastes.
Now all has been heard; here is the end of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).
Let’s consider the Wisdom of Solomon as we conclude our study of Daniel regarding the last days. Next we will study Paul’s writings, starting with 1 Corinthians 15.
Richard H Perry
1 Strong’s Concordance transliterated Hebrew and Greek – H7620 shabuwa
2 Daniel 9:17-18
3 The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson, 1895 - Kregel Classics 1957
4 Strong’s Concordance transliterated Hebrew and Greek – mashiyach H4899, nagiyd H5057
5 Strong’s Concordance transliterated Hebrew and Greek - karath: H3772
6 Flavius Josephus, The complete Works, Book 5
7 Flavius, Book 6.9.3
8 Luke 19:44
9 2 Thessalonians 2:3
10 2 Thessalonians 2:4-5
11 Matthew 24:21
12 Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:14
13 Matthew 24:21