Is Jesus the One who Confirms a Covenant with Many in Daniel 9, 27?
This is a big question that I was asking myself after listening to a few of the modern Protestant Preachers. One of them was a globally well-known Pastor from the second largest Christian denomination in the world. Others were from the evangelical background.
All these Preachers were of the opinion that it is Jesus who makes the Covenant in Daniel 9, 27. I also searched on the internet a bit more about this issue and it seems like there is a widespread belief among many of the mainstream Evangelical Christians that Jesus is the one who makes the Covenant in Daniel 9, 27.
In fact, until recently I too believed that the author of this Covenant was Lord Jesus. But it was not based on my own personal Bible Study but on the teachings of the Pastors and Preachers who I often listen to.
Anyway, as usual, I believed what they taught as accurate and did not doubt their interpretations of Daniel 9. But recently, as part of a group Bible Study on the book of Daniel, I had to look into chapter 9 a bit more intensively and found the facts to be completely different from what I heard from those reputed preachers. Also, those facts led me to the conclusion that:
The One who confirms a Covenant with many in Daniel 9, 27 is not Lord Jesus.
Here, if you are on the other camp, you might wonder why I am saying this and what is the evidence to support this claim. Well, that is what I am going to discuss next.
In the First year of Darius, the Mede, Daniel decides to enquire of the LORD about the desolation of the city of Jerusalem and the future of his people, the Israelites. And Daniel begins the intercession with prayer and fasting and in sack clothes. While Daniel was still in prayer, Gabriel, one of the Arch Angels from God, visits him in a vision and gives him the following answer:
24“Seventy ‘sevens’ c are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish d 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 Place.
25“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, f the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. g 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.
27He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ h In the middle of the ‘seven’ i he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple j he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.(Daniel 9, 25-27).
In verse 24, it says – “Seventy – sevens” have been assigned for the Israelites and the city of Jerusalem to:
- Finish Transgression
- And 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 place
24“Seventy ‘sevens’ c are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish d 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 Place. .(Daniel 9, 24).
So, Seventy – Sevens (seventy weeks) are the total time period assigned for the Israelites and the above activities will be finished in 69 weeks (69×7 = 483 years). The last one seven or one week (Seven Years) will be the period of the Ruler of the People who will appear after the death of the Anointed One.
In verse 25, it says – from the time the Word or Decree goes out to rebuild and restore Jerusalem until the Anointed One and the coming of the Ruler:
There will be Seven – Sevens and Sixty-two Sevens. That is 49+434 = 483 Years. The balance seven years (from the total of 490 years) will be the time of the Ruler and what we see in Daniel 9, 26 – 27 are the things that he does during this period.
25“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, f the ruler, 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)
(As per the prophetic calendar that is – 70×7 – 490 prophetic days and converting them into years by assigning a year for each day – it is 490 calendar years. This is the generally accepted way of calculating prophetic years among Bible Scholars and I have just taken their calculation for the convenience of discussion)
So, the next question is: When did these 70 weeks begin?
It began from the time the Decree was issued to rebuild and restore Jerusalem and this happened in 445.BC when Artaxerxes made a decree giving Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2, 1-8) permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the walls.
Now, I think you might already have a clear picture of the timeline associated with the “Seventy – Sevens” and am sure this will help you understand better the events taking place within this timeline.
Next let us examine Daniel 9, 26 and 27.
In verse 26; it says: after “Sixty-two – Sevens” the anointed one will be put to death and will have nothing. To be more specific, there is a “Seven – Sevens” that precedes the “sixty-two sevens.” So, the death of the Anointed One takes place after the 69 weeks (7+62) the verse below makes this fact clear.
Next, after the death of the Anointed One, the Ruler of the People appears and his people will destroy the City (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (Temple), the details of this destruction can be found in verse 27.
26After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. g 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, 26)
And verse 27 says:
27He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ h In the middle of the ‘seven’ i he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple j he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.(Daniel 9, 27).
- He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven.
- He will put an end to Sacrifice and Offering. (In the middle of the Seven)
- He will set up an abomination at the temple that causes desolation
As you read in verse 27, the above three things are done by the same person; The Ruler of the People and not by the Anointed One. Furthermore, these three things are taking place during the 70th week or during the “last Seven”
Here, the main points we need to keep in mind is:
- The above three things are taking place after 69th week and also after the death of the Anointed One. Therefore, definitely, the subject of the above three actions are not the Anointed One (Christ). Because, all of the above three actions are performed by the same person.
As some believe, if the Anointed One is the person who makes the Covenant with many, then, He is also responsible for the rest of the two actions:
- putting an end to Sacrifice and Offering
- Setting up of an abomination that causes desolation.
So, let us examine if the Anointed One was responsible for the above two actions too.
Did Jesus Put an end to the Sacrifice and Offering at the Temple?
No – He did not put an end to the Sacrificial System at the Temple. Nor did he speak anything against the Temple Sacrificial System while He walked up on the face of the Earth. But rather we could find scriptural evidence for Lord Jesus instructing the people to follow the Ceremonial System introduced through Moses:
In verse 14 Lord Jesus is instructing the man who was cured of leprosy to go to the temple and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for cleansing. This proves that Lord Jesus still respected the Sacrificial System and wanted the Israelites to keep them.
This leads us to the next question:
If it was not Lord Jesus, then, who put an end to the Sacrificial System at the Temple?
The Sacrificial System continued until 70 A.D; until the destruction of the Temple by the Romans. The Reason for the destruction was the rebellion of the Jews in Judea against the Roman rule.
In 66 AD the Jews began the rebellion and in response; Emperor Nero dispatched an army under the leadership of Vespasian to quell the uprising.
By 68 AD the Romans were able to put an end to the rebellion in the Northern part and then, they moved towards Jerusalem. However, in the same year Emperor Nero died and Vespasian took control of the throne in Rome; later, his son Titus led the Roman army and conquered Jerusalem which culminated in the destruction of the Temple.
What is the difference between the Temple Sacrificial System and the Eternal Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross at Calvary?
The eternal sacrifice of Christ was for the sins of the whole humanity and it is eternal in nature. It brought reconciliation between the fallen man and an eternally Holy God; it established peace between man and God. Through the sacrifice of Christ, the doors of Heaven were opened for man’s dwelling.
Whereas, the temple sacrificial system was temporary in nature, a sinner had to go through the rituals every year for the forgiveness of his sins and the forgiveness received was purely personal; it did not have a wider application on anyone else. Moreover, the reconciliation between man and God was temporary in nature.
However, the forgiveness received through the sacrifice of Christ is permanent in nature and is available only for those who believe in Christ and not for an unbeliever. Once a person is forgiven, he is accepted into the family of God and he lives as a child of God.
Also, Faith in Christ exempts the believers from the necessity of offering sacrifices at the Temple every year. Actually, the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross at Calvary made the sacrificial system at the temple redundant.
However, an unbelieving Jew do not have the privilege of receiving forgiveness for his sins through the blood of Christ. So, he has to go to the temple every year with an animal as a sin offering to receive forgiveness which was temporary in nature.
Anyway, it reminded him of the need for a permeant solution (which is faith in Christ) for his sin problem. In a way, the sacrificial system was the shadow of the Supreme Sacrifice of Christ and it, in fact, pointed the unbelieving Jews towards Christ.
That means the sacrificial system established by God Almighty had a purpose and it was to point the unbelieving Jews to Christ. So, absolutely there is no need for believers in Christ to show disdain or contempt for the Sacrificial Systems at the Temple.
Remember, the Rules, Regulations, Laws, Rituals and Sacrificial Systems found in the Holy Bible were established as per the Instructions of God Almighty and He had a clear purpose for introducing them; but we may not understand this purpose in its entirety.
Though we, believers in Christ, might find the Sacrificial System unnecessary for our walk with Christ, we should not ridicule or criticise them. By doing so, we are not doing anything good for the Kingdom of God, but rather challenging the wisdom and authority of God Almighty who introduced them into the lives of the Israelites.
Also, another point we need to bear in mind is: The sacrificial system is associated with the Temple. An Altar is an inseparable part of the Temple and the Sacrifices are an inseparable part of the Altar. The very purpose of an Altar is to offer sacrifices. Therefore, if there is a Temple, definitely it will have an Altar and if there is an Altar defintely there will be sacrifices on that Altar.
The book of Ezekiel talks about the construction of a future temple and we see the Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrificial System being re-introduced in this future temple; I don’t know when that is going to happen but definitely it will happen. I often wonder why the sacrificial system is reintroduced in the Temple of Ezekiel.
Anyway, the Temple Sacrificial System, whether in the past or in the future, always points the sinner towards Christ and reminds him of the need for a permanent solution that is available only through faith in Christ. Therefore, believers in Christ should stay away from disparaging the Temple Sacrificial System as it is not going to make them better Christians.
Did Jesus set up an abomination that causes desolation at the Temple?
No, He did not set up an abomination that causes desolation at the Temple. Just imagine, Jesus setting up an abomination in His Own Temple – this is absolutely unbelievable. I don’t think anyone would dare to say this.
So, this leads us to the conclusion that: The Covenant mentioned in Daniel 9, 27 was not made by Christ but by the Ruler of the People who appeared after the 69th week, after the death of the Anointed One.
Moreover, the things mentioned in Daniel 9, 27 were done by this Ruler of the people during the 70th week, that is during the last seven years or the last one week of Daniel’s 70 weeks.
For more details on these events of the last seven years of the 70th week, you need to read Matthew 24 and Luke 21 together; because both the chapters do not have complete information. What is missing in Matthew 24 can be found in Luke 21. Therefore, to get a clear picture, you need to read both the chapters and put the details in order.
The Main Differences between the Covenant of Christ and the Covenant of the Ruler of the People in Daniel 9, 27.
The Covenant of Christ is an eternal one; it is everlasting and it came into force at the Last Supper on the night Jesus was betrayed into the hands of the Jewish leaders.
Whereas, the Ruler of the people makes a covenant for one seven; that is 7 years and that too after the death of the Anointed One – The Christ.
The Covenant of Christ brought forgiveness of sins and salvation for those who believed in HIM.
Whereas, the covenant of the Ruler of the people was between him and the leaders of Israel, it was a political agreement that helped him to gain political victories and keep the Israelites under his control.
I think I have given enough evidence to support my claim that – The One who confirms a Covenant with many in Daniel 9, 27 is not Lord Jesus.
If these facts do not convince you, then, nothing else is going to convince you. Anyway, it is your choice.
Saints, the Problem with the mainstream American Evangelical Christianity is – they follow the traditions of men more than the teachings of Christ. They trust the words of their Preachers and Teachers more than the Word of God.
The sad part is; Most of the believers do not even study the Word of God for themselves, they often rely on the teachings of their Pastors and Teachers to gain understanding about the Holy Scriptures.
Unfortunately, the teachings of these Shepherds are often loaded with their own personal interpretations and denominational bias. What is often presented as truth do not contain much truth. Anyway, without God’s intervention it is difficult to change the status quo.
Saints, there are many voices in the Spiritual Realm on earth and we do hear many voices but there is only one voice that is true; and it is the Voice of Christ.
In John 10, 27 Lord Jesus says: My Sheep Listen to MY Voice.