Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
3. The vision of the seventy weeks of years
1In the first year of [to] Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes 2[Media], which [who] was made king over the realm of the Chaldæans; in the first year of [to] his reign, I Daniel understood by [the] books the number of the years, whereof [which] the word of the Lord [Jehovah] came [was] to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish [for fulfilling] seventy years in [for] the desolations of Jerusalem. 3And I set [gave] my face unto the Lord God, to seek1 by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.
4And I prayed2 unto the Lord [Jehovah] my God, and made my confession, and said,3 O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy4 to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by [and there has been a] departing from thy precepts [commandments], and from thy judgments; 6neither have we [and we have not] hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which [who] spake in thy name to our kings, our 7princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee; but [and] unto us confusion [shame] of faces,4 as at this day; to the men [man] of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through [in] all the countries [lands] whither [where] thou hast driven them, because of [in] their trespass [treachery] that they have trespassed [done treacherously] against [with] thee. 8O Lord, to us belongeth confusion [shame] of face [faces], to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we [or, we who] have sinned against [to] 9thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies4 and forgivenesses,4 though [for] we have rebelled against [with] him; 10neither have we [and we have not] obeyed the voice of the Lord [Jehovah] our God, to walk in his laws, which he set [gave] before us by [the hand of] his servants the prophets.
11Yea, [And] all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by [and there has been a] departing, that they might not [so as not at all to] obey thy voice; therefore [and] the curse is [has] poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against [to] him. 12And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing [to bring] upon us a5 great evil; for [,which] under the whole heaven [heavens] hath not been done as [it] hath been done 13upon [in] Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, [as to] all this evil [,it] is [has] come upon us; yet [and] made we not our prayer before [we besought not the face of] the Lord [Jehovah] our God, that we might [to] turn 14from our iniquities, and understand [become wise in] thy truth. Therefore [And] hath the Lord [Jehovah] watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us; for the Lord [Jehovah] our God is righteous in [upon] all his works which he doeth [has done]; for [and] we obeyed not his voice.
15And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten [made for] thee renown [a name], 16as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to [in] all thy righteousness [righteousnesses], I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away [return] from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain [the mountain of thy sanctuary]; because for [in] our sins, and for [in] the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become [are for] a reproach to 17all that are about us. Now, therefore [And now], O our God, hear [hearken to] the prayer of thy servant, and [to] his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon 18thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold [see] our desolations, and the city which is called by the name [upon which thy name has been called]: for we do not present6 our supplications before thee for [upon] our righteousness, but [for it is] for [upon] thy great mercies. 19O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken, and do; defer not: for thine own sake, O my God; for thy city and thy people are called by thy name [thy name has been called upon thy city and upon thy people].
20And while I was [And I was yet] speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord [Jehovah] my God for the holy mountain [upon the mountain of the sanctuary] 21of my God; yea, while I was [and I was yet] speaking in prayer,4 even [and, i.e., then] the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at [in] the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched [reached] me about the time of the evening oblation. 22And he informed me, and talked [spoke] with me, and said, O 23Daniel, I am [have] now come forth to give thee skill and7 understanding. At [In] the beginning of thy supplications the commandment [word] came [went] forth, and I am [have] come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved,8 therefore [and] understand [in] the matter [word], and consider [have understanding in] the vision [appearance].
24Seventy weeks [sevens] are determined9 upon thy people and upon thy holy city [the city of thy sanctuary], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of [seal up] sins, and to make reconciliation for [cover] iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint 25the Most Holy [holy of holies]. Know, therefore [And thou shalt know], and understand [be wise], that from the going forth of the commandment [word] to restore [return] and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks [sevens], and threescore and two weeks [sevens]: the street shall be built again, and the wall [trench], even [and, i.e., but] in troublous [trouble 26of the] times. And after [the] threescore and two weeks [sevens] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself [and there shall be nothing to him]: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [or, his end] shall be with a [the] flood, and unto [till] the end of the war desolations are determined [there is a decision of desolations]. 27And he shall confirm the covenant with [to] many for one week [seven]: and in the midst [half] of the week [seven] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for [upon] the overspreading [wing] of abominations he shall make it desolate [there shall be a desolator], even [and] until the consummation, and that determined [decided], shall be poured [it shall pour] upon the desolate.
Daniel 9:1–3. The time of the penitential prayer which led to the vision, and the occasion which inspired it. In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus. Concerning both Darius the Mede and his father Ahasuerus (Theodot., Sept., Vulg., “Assuerus”) or Astyages, see the Introd. § 8, note 4. The point of time referred to in the text belongs to a period later than that of the vision in the preceding chapter by more than twenty years, or about B.C. 537;10 cf. on Daniel 5:30 and 6:1.—Of the seed of the Medes. The nationality of the new ruler is noticed, because the subject of the prayer which follows, and also of the prophecy respecting the seventy weeks of years vouchsafed in consequence, was conditioned by the circumstance that at the time when this incident transpired in the experience of Daniel, he was a Medo-Persian subject, and hence, had seen the second world-power of his former vision replace the first. The overthrow of Babylon by the Median king would naturally lead him to meditate on the question concerning the time of the restoration of Jerusalem and the realization of the further theocratic hopes connected with that event. In the nature of the case, such meditations would connect themselves at once with Jeremiah’s prophecy relating to the seventy years which were to elapse, before Jerusalem, the desolate, should be restored; and such a reference was unavoidable in the case of a vir desideriorum (see Daniel 9:23, Vulg.), like Daniel, who searched the Scriptures.—Which was made king. The passive הָמְלַךְ denotes that he did not become king over the Chaldæan realm in the ordinary way and by right of inheritance, but that he reached the throne in an extraordinary and violent manner, through the agency of the victorious Persian army (led by his nephew, Cyrus).
Daniel 9:2. I Daniel, understood (or “observed”) in books the number of years, i.e., I gave attention to that question, meditated upon it. With regard to בּינוֹתִי, a shortened Hiphil-form like בִּין, Daniel 10:1, or like רִיבוֹתָ, for הֲרִיבוֹתָ, Job. 33:13, cf. Ewald, Lehrb. § 127 a, 111—The construction with an accusative is similar to Daniel 10:1; Prov. 7:7; 23:1. Von Lengerke renders it incorrectly, “I sought understanding in the books, in the number,” etc., as if הבין were here construed with בְּ, as in Daniel 9:23, and this בְּ were then dropped before the more definite מִסְפַּר.12—The “books” (or “writings,” ספרים) in which Daniel observed the number seventy, and thus made it the subject of his meditations, were, according to the context, those which would engage the attention of a captive, be familiar and adapted to him. They did not probably include the whole collection of O.-T. writings, the Torah, Nebiim, and Kethubim (as v. Lengerke, Hitzig, Ewald, and other defenders of the Maccabæan origin of the book suppose), nor were they limited to the letter of Jeremiah (Jer. 29, although the plural הַסְּפָרִים might, without difficulty, designate a single letter; cf. Jer. 29:25; 2 Kings 19:14) which contained the prophecy concerning the seventy years, but they were simply a collection of prophetic writings which Daniel had at command. It cannot be decided how great the extent of this collection was. Perhaps it was confined merely to prophecies by Jeremiah—possibly including only those which are now contained in chapters 25 and 29 (to which Wieseler, Die 70 Wochen, etc., p. 4, limits the סְפָרִים, as being the particular rolls of writing in which these oracles of Jeremiah were recorded), or extending to a larger number, or even comprehending all that are now found in the book of Jeremiah. Perhaps it comprehended a larger circle of prophetic and other writings, similar to the private collection which Jeremiah already must have owned (cf. Hengstenberg, Beiträge, etc., p. 33 et seq.). It is likely of itself that the Pentateuch was included among the sacred books belonging to Daniel, although no positive evidence of that fact can be derived from Daniel 9:11 and 13 of this chapter; for the mention of the תּוֹרָה in those passages does not prove that the prophet classed them among the סְפָרִים which are here referred to.13—To what passage in Jeremiah’s prophecies, then, does Daniel allude? Chiefly and primarily, no doubt, to chap. 25, from which the term חֳרָבוֹת, “ruins,” is evidently borrowed (see Jer. 25:9, 11); but likewise to chap. 29, the 10th verse of which clearly refers back to Daniel 25:11 et seq., and with which our prophet was doubtless as well acquainted as with the former.—Whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet. אֲשֶׁר, “whereof, in regard to which” (namely, years); cf. the use of אֲשֶׁר in the same sense in Daniel 8:26. יִרְמְיָח, as found also in Ezra 1:1, and in chapters 27–29 in the book of Jeremiah itself, is the later form of the name.—That he would accomplish seventy year in the desolation of Jerusalem; or, “that seventy years should be full in the ruins,” etc. חֳרָבוֹת, “ruins, desolate condition;” cf. Lev. 24:31; Ezek. 36:10, 33; 38:12, etc. Our prophet, as appears in Daniel 9:25 a, regards the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, in the year B.C. 587, as the terminus a quo of the seventy years of desolation, while, on the other hand, Jeremiah uttered his prophecy relating to the seventy years (Jer. 26 cf. 29:1 et seq.) as early as the “fourth year of Jehoiakim,” i.e., B.C. 605, or 19 years before that date, and accordingly seemed to favor the method which reckoned the seventy years from the first conquest of Judæa by Nebuchadnezzar, and ended them with Cyrus (606–536).14 When and how the end of the seventy years should be realized, was therefore a question which would engage his special attention when the Chaldæan monarchy was supplanted by the Medo-Persian.15
Daniel 9:3. And I set my face unto the Lord God, i.e., probably, heavenward (cf. Gen. 21:17; 1 Kings 8:22; John 17:3); for the turning of his face toward Jerusalem or the site of the temple (cf. 6:11), would certainly not be disregarded in this instance, when about to pray for the restoration of the city and temple. The name אֲדֹנָי is used here to designate God (instead of יְהוָֹח, which is found in several MSS.), as in Daniel 1:2; Ezra 10:3; Neh. 1:11; 4:8, and as in several places in the prayer itself, Daniel 9:4 et seq.—To seek by prayer and supplications; rather, “to seek prayer,” etc. Prayer is conceived of as an operation of the Divine Spirit (cf. Zech. 12:10; Rom. 8:26), which must be sought after or elicited from within, by means of fasting, putting on mourning garments, etc.; cf. 2 Sam. 7:27; 12:16; Ezra 9:3; Ecclus. 34:21; Luke 2:37, etc. Upon this subject see my Geschichte der Askese, p. 136 et seq. תְּפִלָּה is “prayer” generally considered (Psa. 65:3), while תַּחֲנוּנִים, like תְּחִנָּח, Daniel 9:20, is “prayer for mercy, importunate, moving prayer.”
Daniel 9:4–19. Daniel’s prayer. In order to justly appreciate the impressive beauty of this prayer, and to understand its plan and aim, cf. Ewald, p. 430 et seq.: “The motives that led him to pray are scarcely indicated in the introductory statements, Daniel 9:1–3, and must be discovered in the nature of the circumstances. He had long been deeply afflicted because the sufferings of his people were protracted during so long a period, and thus found and meditated on those passages from Jeremiah in the Bible (?); but the difficulty of understanding the Divine meaning of the number, redoubled his grief. He comprehended, however, that if the period of Israel’s punishment at the hand of God was so protracted, and the mystery relating to himself and the whole nation was so hard to solve, it must be charged solely to the consequences of the former grossly wayward course of the people as a whole, and in this concurrence of the most incongruous emotions he sought and found the proper plea to present before God. He does not plead for ability merely to solve this numerical riddle—the entire prayer contains no allusion to this; and what, indeed, is a mere number in the sight of God? The mystery of the number is oppressive to the heart of this individual supplicant who prays for light, and likewise to the whole nation, only because of other and entirely different errors, darknesses, and faults; and not until this supplicant has put forth all the powers of his soul in wrestling with God for the removal of those general sins, can he hope that the next uncertainty which bows him down and troubles him shall be dispelled by a gracious ray from the original source of all light. Thus the moving stream of this deeply agitated prayer gushes forth from a profound sense that only when the most earnest desire for renewed purification, forgiveness, and elevation at the hand of God shall take possession of the people as a whole, can Divine help be expected for the desolations of Jerusalem, for which after all Daniel also pleads. His words, resulting from the oppressive darkness of the present and from a further retrospect of all former history relating to this state, thus become at first the expression of a true confession, and then of genuine confidence and supplication. They become a sincere confession in view of the present, Daniel 9:4–10, but still more so, Daniel 9:11–14, in consequence of a retrospect of all former history, which is the more proper in this connection, because the blame for this exceeding great destruction and disintegration dates back, in the first instance, to the older times; but in Daniel 9:15–19 the trustful prayer and supplication for mercy become gradually more fervent (at first in the name of the whole people, Daniel 9:15 et seq., but ultimately in the name of the individual supplicant himself, Daniel 9:17 et seq.), until they cease, so to speak, in disconnected sighs, and as if exhausted with the last glow of the fire (Daniel 9:19).”—However appropriate we may find this analysis to be in general,16 we are nevertheless obliged to enter a decided protest against the presumption of a Maccabæan composition of the prayer, which forms its background. The proof of this presumption is found by Ewald, Hitzig, v. Lengerke, etc., in the similarity between this prayer and the penitential prayer found in Ezra 9:6 et seq.; Neh. 1:5–11 and 9:6 et seq., Bar. 1:14–2:19, which unquestionably exists, and which they believe indicates the imitation of those passages by an alleged pseudo-Daniel, who lived at a much later time. The points of contact referred to, however, are in part merely indirect and accidental, such as sprang naturally from the general type of thought produced by the period of the captivity and the age immediately subsequent to it. Other features belonging to them in common are more specific and direct; but in these cases the prayer before us must be regarded as the original, instead of the others (as, e.g., בּשֶׁת הַפָּנִים, Daniel 9:7, 8, cf. Ezra 9:7; סְלִיחוֹת, Daniel 9:9, cf. Neh. 9:17; also the combination “our kings, princes, fathers, and all the people of the land,” Daniel 9:6, which is exactly repeated in Neh. 9:32, and again in 9:34, where [as here in Daniel 9:8] “all the people of the land” is omitted, etc.). The more verbose and diffuse style of these prayers, and especially of those found in Nehemiah and Baruch, is of itself sufficient to arouse the suspicion at a glance, that Daniel’s prayer, with its comprehensive brevity and freshness, must be the original (cf. particularly, Zündel, Kritische Unterss., etc., p. 191, whose exposition has not been controverted in a single feature by anything adduced by Ewald, p. 485). The fact, moreover, that it represents the sufferings of Israel as deserved, but does not allude with a syllable to the damnable character of the human agent who executed the Divine punishment, nor yet to the raging of Israel’s oppressors, which still continued, and to the Divine judgment which was certainly impending over them—all this is surely not conformable to the idea that this section is a compilation made in imitation of older models and dating as late as the Maccabæan age. “It is certainly conceivable that an author writing in the midst of the sufferings of the Maccabæan period, might occasionally avail himself of the opportunity to remind the people that their affliction was partly deserved, because of their general sinful conduct toward the God of their fathers, and thus attempt to remove their bitterness of heart in view of the fact that God had permitted such misery to come upon them. But it does not seem natural that he should fail to strengthen the courage of his nation by a direct reference, to say nothing of a passing allusion, to the excessive wickedness of the course of the persecuting despot, the μιαρός, at a juncture when they took their stand upon the ground of that very law of their fathers for which they suffered. Still more unnatural is it that here, where practical encouragement was needed in a time of decisive and terrible conflicts, he should neglect this for the mere purpose of keeping up a conformity to the prayers of Ezra and Nehemiah, which originated in circumstances of a totally different character and involved a reference to the earlier fact of the conquest and destruction of Jerusalem” (Kranichfeld). Cf. in addition the remarks in the Introd. § 6, respecting the relation of the book of Daniel to the writings of the period subsequent to the captivity, which refer to it; and also the exposition of the several passages.
Daniel 9:4–10. The introduction. A penitential confession of sin in the name of the people. And I prayed.… made my confession, and said. הִתְוַדֶּה, “to confess, acknowledge,” as in Daniel 9:20; Ezra 10:1.—O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy. The same address to the mighty and terrible God, but who is good and merciful when His conditions are met, occurs also in, Neh. 1:5; with this difference only, that the article is carelessly omitted before הֶסֶד, the second object of שֹׁמֵר, in the latter passage, while in the present instance and in Neh. 9:32 and Deut. 7:9, it is retained.
Daniel 9:5. We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled. Properly, “and sinned and rebelled,” for the וְ in וְהִרְשַׁעְנוּ is probably to be retained; its omission from several MSS. is explained from the desire to assimilate this passage to the parallels Daniel 9:15 and 1 Kings 8:47. The Hiphil הרשיע, “to sin, do wickedly,” is used instead of the more usual Kal רשע; cf. 11:32; Neh. 9:33; Psa. 145:6.—By departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments. The infinitive סור is used as a continuation of the v. finit., as in Daniel 9:11; cf. Neh. 9:8, 13; Esth. 3:13; 9:1, 12, 16; 6:9, etc.
Daniel 9:6. The prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, etc. The “fathers” in this place and in Daniel 9:8, as well as in Jer. 44:17, 21, denote the ancestors of the Israel of that day, including all but those who were of royal and princely blood; cf. the comprehensive “and to all the people of the land,” which immediately follows. The same language occurs in Neh. 9:32, where, however, the “prophets and priests” are also specially included, between the princes and the fathers—an extension which clearly reveals the thought of a later age, and which appears the more superfluous, inasmuch as both prophets and priests might unquestionably be comprehended in the term “fathers” (cf. Judg. 17:10; 18:19).
Daniel 9:7. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, i.e., the confusion which depicts itself on the face (by blushing) because of our sin and the consequent disgrace and tribulation; cf. the familiar use of בּוֹשׁ, and the passage Ezra 9:7, which paraphrases the thought here presented.—As at this day (so from time immemorial). In כְּ ,כַּיּוֹם חַזֶּה does not indicate the indefinite temporal sense of “about, at” (as v. Lengerke, Hävernick, etc., think), but that of comparison, as always in this form of speech; cf. Daniel 9:15; Neh. 9:10; Jer. 25:18, etc. Consequently the expression of God’s righteousness and the contrasted being put to shame or disgrace of Israel are both described as having always been apparent and as being still evident.—To the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Vs. 16–18, which represent Jerusalem as being in ruins, show clearly that this reference is not to inhabitants of Jerusalem who were contemporary with the prophet (Bertholdt, v. Lengerke, Stähelin, etc.).
Daniel 9:8. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, etc. cf. Jer. 3:25; 14:20; Neh. 9:34, etc.
Daniel 9:9. Though (rather “for”) we have rebelled against him. מָרַדְנוּ, as in Daniel 9:5. The clause with כִּי serves to explain why the mercy and forgiveness of God (סְלִיהוֹת; cf. Neh. 9:17, and סְלִחָח, Psa. 130:4) are referred to, namely, because the children of Israel need mercy, etc., before all else, since they are guilty of rebellion against God. The thought is still farther developed in the following verse.
Daniel 9:10. Neither (rather “and we”) have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws; cf. Jer. 44:23; 1 Kings 8:61; Luke 1:6 etc. The תּוֹרוֹת here mentioned differ from the תּוֹרה of the next verse merely in the form of the word, the latter comprehending the commandments, i.e., the several manifestations of God’s will in a united whole. The prophets accordingly appear as the guardians, teachers, and enforcers of the law; cf. Isa. 21:11, where the term שֹׁמְרִים is applied to them; Jer. 6:17; Ezek. 33:2; Mic. 7:4, etc., which designate them by צֹפִים.
Daniel 9:11–14. Continuation.17 Reference to the past history of the nation. Therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath. As in other places the anger of God (Jer. 42:18; 44:6; 2 Chron. 12:7; 34:21, etc.), so here the curse which represents it, is characterized as, so to speak, a fiery hail (Gen. 19:24; Ex. 9:33; Nah. 1:6) which is poured out on the sinner. It is, moreover, not a simple curse, but stands connected with an oath, which supports and strengthens it; cf. Num. 5:21; Neh. 10:30; Psa. 95:11; Heb. 3:11, 18; 6:17.—That is written in the law of Moses the servant of God. Lev. 26:14 et seq.; Deut. 28:15 et seq.; 29:19. Concerning the designation as the servant of God, cf. Ex. 4:10; 14:31; Num. 11:11; 12:7; Josh. 1:2; Heb. 3:5. See also Daniel 9:5, where the same predicate is applied to the prophets
Daniel 9:12. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake. הֵקִים, usually “to raise up,” here signifies “to preserve intact, to maintain, to confirm in act;” cf. Num. 30:14, 15.—Instead of דְּבָרָיו the Keri has דְּבָרוֹ, referring back to the curse, Daniel 9:11; but all the ancient versions and also the parallels Neh. 9:8; Bar. 2:3 support the plural.—Against us, and against our judges; literally “over us,” etc. שֹׁפְטֵינוּ, a comprehensive term denoting “our superiors” generally; cf. Psa. 2:10; 148:11, and above, Daniel 9:6 and 8, the separation of this idea into “kings and princes.”—By bringing upon us a great evil, etc.; rather, “that he would bring upon us,” etc.; cf. Lam. 1:12; 2:17; Ezek. 5:9, etc.
Daniel 9:13. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us; rather, “as all this evil is written in the law of Moses, that is come,” etc.18 אֵת before כָּל־הָרָעָה serves to introduce the subject, as in 2 Kings 10:6; Jer. 45:4; Ezek. 44:3.19 Concerning כַּאֲשֶׁר cf. Isa. 14:24 b.—Yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God; rather, “yet conciliated we not the face of the Lord,” etc.,—who prepares for our just punishment. It appears from the following verse that this neglect of propitiating his anger, hence an obstinate and hardened persistence in sin, was the immediate cause that brought misfortune to the nation. With regard to פ׳ חִלּהָ פְּנַי which literally signifies “to stroke one’s face, to smooth its stern furrows,” cf. Ex. 32:11; 1 Sam. 13:12; 1 Kings 13:6, etc.—That we might (or “should”) turn from our iniquities, and understand (or “observe”) thy truth. The truth of God which was not observed by the people is His immutability, by virtue of which He actually permits the punishment threatened against the sinner to be inflicted—hence His faithful adherence to His pledges from a negative point of view, which is identical with His punitive justice (cf. 1 John 1:9). Hitzig’s adoption of a hendiadys, “that observing thy faithfulness, we should turn from our sins,” is unnecessary.
Daniel 9:14. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, i.e., “He cared for it, was concerned about it;” cf. Jer. 1:12; 44:27.—For the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth; literally, “on the ground of all his works” (עַל־כָּל־מַעֲשַׂיו); cf. Neh. 9:33. אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה “which he doeth,” is aorist, like Jon. 1:14 (not pret., “which he has done”).—For (rather “and”) we obeyed not his voice, i.e., despite that we obeyed not; cf. the similar expression, with וְלא וְגן׳, in Daniel 9:13.
Daniel 9:15–19. Conclusion. The petition itself in its intensity and importunity, which increase from sentence to sentence. That hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand; a glorious and striking proof of the grace and mercy which God formerly manifested towards his people; cf. Ex. 20:2, etc.; Psa. 105; 114 etc.—And hast gotten thee renown, as at this day, i.e., by that wonderful act of deliverance hast acquired renown that continues to this day; cf. Jer. 32:20; Neh. 1:10; 9:10.
Daniel 9:16. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness…. let thine anger … be turned away, i.e., according to the displays of thy righteousness. צְדָקוֹת, whether it is to be regarded as the plural of צְדָקָה, as a majority hold, or as the plural of a singular צֶדֶק, which is Hitzig’s view (cf. Isa. 41:10; 42:6, 21), certainly denotes “proofs of righteousness” and not of mercy; but it is decidedly erroneous, and involves a gross weakening of the sense of the Scriptures, to assign the meaning “mercy” to the Old-Test term “righteousness,” in a single instance.20—From thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain. The opposition is the more appropriate, as in Daniel’s time nothing remained of Jerusalem but its site, its mountain.—Jerusalem …. (are become) a reproach to all that are about us; cf. Psa. 79:4.
Daniel 9:17. Now therefore, O our God, hear. וְעַתָּה is a conclusion from Daniel 9:16 b, and does not serve to resume Daniel 9:15.—The prayer of thy servant, and his supplications. Daniel applies the designation עַבְדְּךָ to himself in full consciousness of the mediatorial position occupied by him, as by Moses and the earlier prophets (cf. Daniel 9:11:5).—Cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate. The ruined temple here takes the place of the city and the mountain which were mentioned before, indicating that the prayer constantly increases in fervor and importunity, and addresses God with motives whose effective character steadily grows stronger.—For the Lord’s sake, i.e., for thine own sake, for thy name’s sake (Daniel 9:19). The noun is repeated, to the neglect of the pronoun, for the sake of emphasis, as in Gen. 19:24, and as often in the usage of the New Test., e.g., Rom. 15:5, 6; Eph. 2:21, etc.
Daniel 9:18. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, etc. The Kethib פְּקָחָה is to be retained, in opposition to the Niphalizing Keri פְּקַח; cf. Daniel 9:19; Psa. 41:5; Isa. 7:11; 32:11.—The though of the phrase “incline thine ear” (cf. Psa. 88:3; 86:1; 102:3; 116:2, etc.), is also frequently expressed in the plural, “thine ears,” e.g., Psa. 130:2; cf. Isa. 59:1; Ezek. 8:18; Psa. 34:16; 1 Pet. 3:12; Jas. 5:4. Luther’s translation generally disregards this distinction, and in almost every instance employs the plural, even where the original has the singular.—And behold our desolations (שֹׁמֵמוֹת, as in Daniel 9:26, instead of the former חֳרָבות, Daniel 9:2; cf. Isa. 61:4) and the city which is called by thy name, literally, “upon which thy name is called;” cf. Jer. 7:10; 25:29; 34:15; Psa. 48:3, 9, etc.—For we do not present (lit. “lay down”) our supplications before thee for our righteousness. On the expression הִפִּיל תח׳, “to lay down or pour out supplications at one’s feet,” cf. Daniel 9:20; Jer. 38:26. [“The expression is derived from the custom of falling down before God in prayer.”—Keil.] On the thought cf. Isa. 57:12; 58:2; Neh. 9:19, 27, 31, etc.
Daniel 9:19. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken, etc. The two-fold repetition of the name Adonai, “Lord,” denotes the highly importunate and almost uncontrollable character which the prayer assumes at the close; cf. Isa. 6:3; Jer. 7:4; 22:29.—And do it, defer not. It cannot be proved that Daniel intended to refer to the long delay attendant on the fulfilment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of the seventy weeks by the expression “defer not” (cf. Psa. 40:18; 70:6), as Ewald thinks. The expression is not sufficiently definite for this; and at any rate, nothing in favor of the Maccabæan origin of this passage can be deduced from it.—For thine own sake, O my God; for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. The explanatory clause “for … are called by thy name,” implies that לְמַעַנְךָ is equivalent to לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ (Isa. 48:9; Psa. 23:3; 25:11), and therefore signifies, “for the sake of thy honor, of thy renown” (cf. on Daniel 9:18).
Daniel 9:20–23. Arrival of the angel Gabriel, who was sent from God to interpret Jeremiah’s prophecy of the seventy weeks. And while I was speaking, and praying, etc. This does not mean, “before I ceased praying”—for the prayer had evidently reached its conclusion with Daniel 9:19—but rather, “I was concluding my remarks, I was just speaking the last words,” etc. Cf. Isa. 28:4.—My supplication … for the holy mountain of my God; properly, “on the basis (or ground) of the holy mountain.” The preposition עַל, by virtue of its fundamental meaning “over,” may signify “against” (Daniel 9:12) as well as “for.” According to Daniel 9:16 and 17 the “holy mountain” includes the “holy city” (Matt. 4:5) and the temple.
Daniel 9:21. Yea (lit., “and”), while I was (yet) speaking in prayer; rhetorical epanalepsis or brief repetition, designed to favor the connection.—Even (or “and”) the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning (or “formerly”), a reference to Daniel 8:15 et seq., where the designation of the angel as a “man” was explained as being derived from his human form. Concerning בַּתְּהִלָּח see on Daniel 8:1.—Being caused to fly swiftly; rather, “come to me with flying speed.” The expression מֻעָף בִּיעָף is difficult. The rendering, “wearied with an extended (or rapid) course,” which is adopted by Ibn Ezra, Gesenius, etc. (substantially also by Kranichfeld, “very weary”) appears to be supported by the circumstance that the same root יעף, which always signifies “to weary, become exhausted,” lies at the bottom of both words. The sense of “being wearied,” however, will not apply to angels generally, nor is it appropriate in the present instance, where the יָצָאתִי עַתָּה of the following verse clearly alludes to the rapidity of the angel’s coming. This rapid approach does not indicate that he ran swiftly (Hävernick, v. Lengerke, etc.), but denotes nasty flying, with lightning speed, as may be seen (1) from the root יעף, which is unquestionably related to עוף, “to fly,” and therefore may involve that idea; (2) from the testimony of the ancient versions, which unanimously express the idea of flying rapidly (Sept. τάχει φερόμενος; Theodotion, πετόμενος; Vulg., cito volans, and also Syrus); (3) from the fact that the Scriptures frequently represent the angels as flying—a trait which is not confined to the New Test. (ReDaniel 9:14:6), but is found in the Old Test. also, as Isa. 6:2 et seq.; Judg. 13:20; Psa. 104:4, etc., demonstrate, despite the assertion to the contrary of Hitzig, Hävernick, and others (cf. also Matt. 28:3 etc.).21—About the time of the evening oblation, or about sundown (Num. 28:4). This theocratic and Levitical designation of time finds a simple explanation in the prophet’s yearning recollection of the sacrifice that was offered at that hour in the temple-worship, and therefore does not in any way militate against the belief that this chapter originated during the captivity. It is no more remarkable, as uttered by the captive Daniel in the reign of Darius Medus, than it would be if a Christian youth of the Middle Ages who had fallen into the power of the Saracens, should, after being separated from scenes of Christian worship for many years, still have spoken of matins, or vespers, or the completorium. Cf. supra, on Daniel 6:11.
Daniel 9:22. And he informed me, or “gave me to understand.” Thus it is rendered, correctly, by most expositors; cf. חֵבִין in Daniel 8:16. Hitzig’s version, “and he became aware”—namely that the, time of evening sacrifice was not yet past, and therefore that Daniel had just finished his evening prayer—is entirely too forced.—I am now come forth, namely from God, before whom Gabriel usually stands (Luke 1:19; cf. also Job 1:12); That he should now come forth (עַתָּה, like John 14:11) denotes that Daniel’s importunate prayer had caused his being sent; cf. the next verse.
Daniel 9:23. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment (rather, “a word”) came forth, i.e., a decree (דָּבָר, as in Job 4:12; Isa. 9:7, etc.) intended to comfort and encourage thee (and consequently to answer thy prayer). It was not “a commandment,” for this could only have been laid on the angel, and not on Daniel, who is nevertheless exhorted “to attend to the word” (בַּדָּבָר). Hitzig renders it correctly, “a decree, an oracle, which is recorded verbally in Daniel 9:24–27.”—For thou art greatly beloved. חֲמוּדוֹת, synonymous with אִישׁ־חֲמוּדוּת, “man of costlinesses, of joys,” i.e., well-beloved, a favorite (Luther, “beloved man, beloved and precious;” Ewald, “a loved sweet one.”). The “vir desideriorum” of Jerome is misleading; for חֲמוּדוֹת certainly does not relate to the prophet’s anxiety to understand the mysteries of God (“quod pro desiderio tuo Dei secreta audire merearis, et esse conscius futurorum”). With far greater correctness Jerome himself compares, in remarks immediately preceding, the predicate יְדִידְיָה, “the favorite of God,” which was applied to Solomon (2 Sam. 12:23); and several moderns have also adduced the cognomen of Titus, “amor et deliciæ generis humani,” with equal justice.22—Therefore understand thou (or “observe” the matter (“word”), and consider the vision. “The transition from בין to הבון denotes a slight variation of meaning in the fundamental idea. The difference is not greater than exists between דָּבָר itself and מַרְאֶה, the latter of which=חָזוֹן, ‘revelation,’ the substance or soul of the spoken word” (Hitzig).23
Daniel 9:24–27. The interpretation of the seventy weeks of years. Seventy weeks are determined. Literally, are “cut off;” for this is the proper meaning of נֶחְתַּךְ, in like manner as חַרָץ primarily signifies “to cut, to sharpen to a point,” and then “to conclude, determine;” cf. Job 14:5; Isa. 10:22; 1 Kings 20:40. The Vulgate, influenced by ἐκολοβώθησαν, Matt. 24:22, has “abbreviatæ, sunt,” which conflicts with the context. Hitzig, on the contrary, is correct when he rejects the idea of “dividing” into two sections, which might seem to accord with Daniel 9:25 et seq., and instead applies the cutting off to the “sum of the time” as a whole, in consequence of which he paraphrases, “a section of time (consisting) of seventy years is appointed.”—The construction is the familiar one of the impersonal passive with an accusative (cf. Gen. 35:26; Ex. 13:7; Isa. 21:2; also supra, on Daniel 9:13). Entirely too artificial is the view which Wieseler adopt3, that דָּבָר in Daniel 9:23 is the subject, while the seventy weeks form the predicate—“the word is cut off at seventy weeks.” This view is opposed further, by the fact that נחתךְ cannot in this place denote the idea of “being abbreviated.”—שָׁבֻעִים שִׁבְעֵים, “seventy weeks.” This cannot possibly denote seventy weeks in the ordinary sense, or 490 days; for the number has an obvious relation to the seventy years of Jeremiah, Daniel 9:2, and the brief limit of 490 days is not suited to serve as a mystical paraphrase of the period of three and a half years. Moreover, according to the descriptions in chapters 7 and 8, the three and a half years were throughout a period of suffering and oppression, while in Daniel 9:25 et seq. the latter and more extended subdivision (amounting to sixty-two weeks) of the seventy weeks is characterized as being comparatively free from sufferings. Finally, the three and a half years evidently reappear in Daniel 9:27, in the form of the: “half-week” during which the sacrifices and oblations were to cease, etc.: and this undeniable identity of the small fraction at the end of the seventy weeks with the three and a half years of tribulation, heretofore described, removes it beyond the reach of doubt that the seventy weeks are to be regarded as seventy weeks of years, and therefore as an amplification of the seventy years of Jeremiah. Such a prophetic or mystical transformation of the seventy years into as many periods of seven years each is not unparalleled in the usage of the ancients; cf., e.g., the remarks of Mark Varro, in Aul. Gellius, N. A. III., 10: “Se jam undecimam annorum hebdomadem ingressum esse et ad eum diem septuaginta hedomadas librorum conscripsisse;” also Aristotle, Polit., vii. 16; Censorin., de die natali, C. 14. It was, however, peculiarly adapted to the prophet’s purpose, and was especially intelligible to his readers, inasmuch as the Mosaic law (Lev. 25:2, 4 et seq.; 26:34, 35, 43; cf. 2 Chron. 36:21) had designated every seventh year as a sabbath of the land, and had introduced the custom of dividing the years into hebdomads, which thus became familiar to every individual in the Jewish nation during all subsequent ages. The thought that instead of seventy years, seven times seventy were to elapse before the theocracy should be restored in all its power and significance, and that consequently, an extended period of delay should precede the advent of the Messianic æra, is “an integral feature in the mode of conception which prevails throughout the book” (Kranichfeld). It should also be observed that the idea weeks, as the principal idea, is placed before the numerical idea for emphasis: “weeks (of years, not simple years), seventy in number, are determined,” etc. The masculine form of the noun occurs also in Daniel 10:2, 3; cf. Gen. 29:27 et seq.; Lev. 12:5.24—Upon thy people and upon thy holy city. “Thy” is used in the sense of “near thy heart, dear and precious unto thee;” cf. Daniel 9:20; Daniel 12:1. As the people of Jehovah (Daniel 9:19) is also Daniel’s people (Daniel 9:20), so is Jerusalem his city, his favorite city. It may have been, in addition, his native place; but this circumstance cannot be determined from this passage; see the Introd. § 2, at the beginning. The predicate “holy” was deserved by Jerusalem, even when in ruins, and without regard to the length of the period during which it was desolate, since by virtue of all its history in the past, and in view of its importance for God’s kingdom in the future, it was absolutely “the holy city,” cf. Daniel 9:16–20; Isa. 52:1; Matt. 4:5.—To finish the transgression and to make an end of sins. The infinitives with לְ which follow, to the end of the verse, “direct attention, with a view to comfort, to the blessed experiences connected with the close of the period in which the people and the city were then languishing,” thus denoting from the outset that the vision is concerned with the realization of the Messianic hopes of Israel, in the time when “Zion’s warfare” shall be accomplished (Isa. 40:2 et seq.)—in short, that the prophetic remarks of the angel acquire a Messianic character from this point.—Theo-dot., Hengstenb., v. Leng., Wiesel., Kranichf., etc., punctuate the Kethib לִכִלֹא חַפֶּשַׁע, and read “to seal up the transgression,” which, according to v. Lengerke, signifies “to forgive the transgression,” and according to Kranichfeld, means “to hinder or restrain the sin.” The former rendering, however, would lead to an unsuitable tautology with לְכַפֵּר עָוֹן; and the idea of “restraining (cohibere) sin” would be more properly expressed by צרר; cf. Job 14:17; Hos. 13:2. The idea of “restraining,” moreover, has not been presented by a single one of the more ancient translators, not even by Theodotion. It is better, therefore, to read לְכַלֵּא with a majority of moderns, and to regard this as standing for לכַלֵּה, expressive of the idea of completing or filling up. This view is also supported by the parallel וּלְחָתֵם, as it should be read, with the Keri and all the ancient versions, excepting that of Theodotion; cf. Daniel 8:23; Isa. 16:4; 33:1, etc. The “making full of sin,” i.e., of the measure of sin, is substantially identical with the finishing of the transgression, from which it differs only in expressing the idea more forcibly. The Kethib וְלַחְתּם (similarly Theodotion also: τοῦ σφραγίσαι ἁμαρτίας) is decisively rejected’ by the single fact that וְתַּלְחם, “and to seal up,” is repeated in this passage, and in a sense that differs materially from what it would bear in the former half of the verse. It is certainly possible to refer (with Kranichfeld) to Daniel 6:18; 12:4; Deut. 32:34; Job 9:7; 37:7, in support of this rendering, which would perhaps add to לִכְלֹא, “to seal up, to hinder,” the idea of a still more effective sealing up or of a more complete banishment. The sense of “filling up,” however, which is secured by Daniel 8:23, and by which the language of the whole verse gains a harmonious variety and multiformity, is far more likely to prove correct; and, in addition, the substitution of ולחתם for ולהתם in the preceding line would, in and of itself, be an exceedingly probable error on the part of a copyist, which might be easily comprehended.—To make reconciliation (rather “expiation”) for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. These closely united members stand related to each other as antecedent and conclusion, or as a negative and a positive statement of the same fact. They form the central point of the acts of gracious blessing wrought by God, and both are introduced alike by the two infinitive clauses which precede, and appear to be conjoined and brought to a common conclusion by those which follow. According to this, three pairs of actions, or three double numbers, were designed in this verse, as Gesenius, Maurer, and Hitzig correctly observe; and for this reason the disjunctive accent seems less suitable after עָוֹן than it would have been after חַטָּאוֹת. The intimate collocation of כִּפֵּר עָוֹן with הָבִיא צֶדֶק ע׳ is warranted, further, by the fact that, without doubt, God is regarded as the efficient cause of both these results, and particularly of the “expiation” (literally “covering over”) of sin; cf. Psa. 32:2; 65:4, etc.—Righteousness, which is a characteristic of the Messianic period in other prophecies also (cf. Isa. 53:11; Jer. 33:15 et seq.; Mal. 3:20), is here described as “everlasting,” in harmony with the eternal character of Messiah’s kingdom (cf. Daniel 2:44; 7:18, 27; Isa. 51:5–8). It is of course not to be limited to the sphere of a merely external (Levitical and theocratic) righteousness, as even Hitzig acknowledges, when he observes that external righteousness cannot be regarded as separate from internal in any case.—And to seal up vision and prophet (marg.), and to anoint the most holy (rather, “a holy of holies”). The relation between these final members of the whole series of Messianic results to be secured is that of the internal to the external, of the ethical to the ritual, or of religion to worship. Kranichfeld’s remark is incorrect, when he observes that the third pair in the gracious series occupies an inverse relation to the first, in view of its form, inasmuch as the latter proceeds from the antecedent to the consequent, while that method is here reversed (namely, the sealing of prophecy precedes the anointing of the most Holy).25 But Hitzig, Bleek, etc., are no less at fault, when they assume that the anointing of the most Holy is mentioned after the sealing of prophecy, and at the end of the entire series, because it had not been foretold by Jeremiah, while the other features had, directly or indirectly, formed the subject of the Messianic promises with that prophet. The opinion that the “sealing of vision and prophet” denotes specifically the confirmation of Jeremiah’s prophecy respecting the seventy years (as v. Lengerke, Wieseler, Kamphausen, etc., also hold) in chap. 25 and 29 is wholly untenable, since the terms חָזוֹן and נָבִיא, without the article, evidently do not refer to any particular prophet or prophecy, but rather to the prophetic institution and its visions relating to the prospective salvation in general. The idea is, that everything in the form of prophetic visions and predictions which had been produced in the course of theocratic development from the time of Moses (נָבִיא and חָזוֹן are collective and general; cf. Daniel 11:14) should receive “sealing,” i.e., Divine confirmation and recognition, in the form of actual fulfilment (cf. 1 Kings 21:8; Esth. 8:8).26 Jeremiah’s prophecy cannot be intended, either exclusively, or even by way of pre-eminence (as Ewald thinks), because it does not mention the expiation of sin and the establishing of everlasting Messianic righteousness, which nevertheless are here particularly emphasized. The sense is clearly general, similar to that found in New-Test, passages like Acts 3:19; 10:43; 2 Cor. 1:20, etc.—The prospect of an “anointing of the most Holy,” which is presented at the close, or rather of a most Holy (קֹדֶשׁ ק׳, without the article) is evidently a solemn act of worship, which is substantially equivalent to the restoration of the theocratic worship as a whole. It is the anointing with oil or theocratic consecration of the sacrificial altar of the New Covenant, of the Messianic community of the redeemed, the pure sanctuary, which shall no more be profaned, that according to Daniel 8:14 (of. 7:35; 9:17), shall take the place of the desecrated and denied altar of the Old Dispensation. From Lev. 8:11, comp. with Ezek. 43:20, 26, where a consecration of the altar of burnt-offerings by means of an act of anointing is described (in Lev., l. c., with oil, in Ezek., l. c., with the blood of the sacrifice), and also from Ex. 29:37; 30:29; 40:10, where the sacrificial altar is expressly designated as the קָדָשִׁים קֹדֶשׁ, it is evident that the altar of sacrifice is here intended, instead of the holy of holies in the temple at large, or even the Messiah himself (sanctus sanctorum), as Syrus, the Vulgate, and others suppose.—The prophecy under consideration has been twice fulfilled,—at first externally and in a literal sense, by the actual restoration of the Old-Test, services in the temple with their bloody offerings of animals, which came to pass three years after they had been interrupted by Antiochus Epiphanes in the Maccabæan age (1 Macc. 4:54–59),27 and afterward in the anti-type by the historical introduction of the more perfect sanctuary and worship of the New Covenant, which were likewise foretold by the prophet Zechariah (Daniel 3:9) and whose sacrificial altar is Christ, having become such through the cross which he anointed and consecrated by his own exalted priestly sacrifice and blood.28
Daniel 9:25. Know therefore and understand. This exhortation is intended to introduce the more detailed explanation of the relation of the seventy year-weeks to the yet unexpired seventy years, and also to the subject of the earlier theocratic promises which follows. It directs the notice of both the hearer and the reader to the importance of the disclosures now to be made, and to the duty of subjecting them to serious and thoughtful consideration; cf. ὁἀναγινώσκων νοείτω, Matt. 24:15.—From the going forth of the commandment (or “word”) to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks; rather, “unto an anointed one, a prince,” etc. The expression מזָא דָבָר corresponds to דָבָר יָצָא at the beginning of the angel’s remarks, and therefore probably denotes the promulgation of a Divine decree rather than of a royal edict (as Dereser, Hävernick, Weigl, etc., conceive with reference to the edict of Artaxerxes Longimanus, which commanded that the rebuilding of Jerusalem should be commenced). The latter idea would require that מֶלֵךְ should be connected with דבר, in order to its clear expression; and the observation of Hitzig is probably correct: “Gabriel could not speak so objectively, and with composure, of the decree of a heathen king that would imply his right to dispose of the holy city; such a decree would no more be a דָּבָר in the mind of a theocrat than the confederacy in Isa. 8:12 would be a קֶשֶׁר.”—Moreover, דבר cannot denote a decree at all, but rather a prophetic statement, an oracle, which in this instance promises the restoration of Jerusalem. This Divine prediction concerning the rebuilding of the holy city cannot differ materially from the repeated prophecy by Jeremiah (chap. 25 and 29), which foretold the desolation of Jerusalem during seventy years, and the subsequent restoration of the exiles and punishment of their Chaldæan oppressors. Although the restoration of the theocracy, and especially the rebuilding of Jerusalem, are not expressly mentioned in the latter prophecies, these features are yet implicitly included in the prediction, Daniel 25:12 et seq., concerning the judicial visitation of the Chaldæans and the re-adoption of Israel; and in Daniel 29:10 the gracious visitation of the Jews is described directly as a restoration to their place, i.e., their country. It is not necessary, therefore, to seek for a prophecy by Jeremiah that predicts the rebuilding of Jerusalem in more literal and explicit terms. If such a passage be found in Jer. 30:18, or 31:38 (Hitzig, Ewald, Bleek, Kamphausen, etc.), it is nevertheless unnecessary to assume that Daniel here refers only to that prophecy (which was probably composed after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 588, according to Daniel 31:5 et seq.). It is more probable that our prophet made no chronological distinction between Jer. 29 (a letter composed about B.C. 598) and the more extended prophecy in chap. 30 and 31 They (and also chap. 25) were probably regarded by him as belonging, upon the whole, to the same period and the same circle of prophecies, namely, that of the overthrow of the kingdom of Judah which covered eighteen to twenty years, beginning with the first conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, or B.C. 605, and ending with the destruction of the city in B. C. 588. His starting-point for the calculation of the seventy years thus naturally became uncertain and vacillating, and for that very reason became the inciting cause of the prophecy under consideration. See supra, on Daniel 9:2\\\29—It would conflict with the general usage to take כְֹהָשִׁיב in an adverbial sense and to connect it with the following verb, so as to obtain the sense “to build Jerusalem again,” since only שׁוּב in the Kal is used to designate our “again” (rursus, iterum) in other places (and also here, in the latter half of the verse). Wieseler’s rendering, “to lead back,” i.e., the people, is opposed in part by the harshness of such an objective supplement, and partly by the impossibility of showing that this passage refers directly and exclusively back to Jer. 29:10, where לְהָשִׁיב certainly occurs in the sense of “to lead back.” The second half of the verse, moreover, refers only to a rebuilding of the city (תָּשׁוּב וּנִבְנְתָה), and not to a reductio populi exulis, which is decisive in favor of a restoration, i.e., of bringing back out of the state of desolation; cf. Ezek. 16:55.—Who is designated by מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד, the “anointed one, the prince” (or, as it may be rendered with equal correctness, the “anointed prince;” cf. Ewald, Lehrb., p. 741), in the sense of the prophet? Certainly not the Messiah of Israel in an immediate and primary sense, as the Jewish and orthodox exegesis has generally held, down to the latest time. He would scarcely have been referred to as “an anointed prince” without the article; nor would Daniel have introduced Him after the brief interval contained in the first seven of the seventy year-weeks, since he always places the advent of the Messiah in the distant future, when the fourth and last world-kingdom shall fall—which is especially apparent in chapters 2 and 7.30 The reference is probably to a prince contemporary with Daniel and already well known, who was destined to exert a powerful influence in favor of the theocracy, and to fulfil the special Divine purpose relating to the Israel of that day (about forty-nine or fifty years after the destruction of Jerusalem)—hence, without doubt, to Cyrus, who is designated as Jehovah’s Mashiach in Isa. 48:1 also. Cf. Kranichfeld, p. 327: “Rather, the person referred to appears as a different prince, who has a theocratic dominion, and is endowed with the spirit of Jehovah for his calling; cf. 1 Sam. 16:13 et seq.; 10:1, 6 et seq. But since the special mention of the feature of anointing in the case of the ordinary, i.e., non-Messianic national kings who came in contact with Israel would be strange, it is proper to search for a heathen prince, who became prominent as the promoter of the theocracy, and especially so, because of his relation to the Messianic hopes before referred to. As such a one, and unique in this respect, the theocratic literature conceives of Koresh, the victor from the east who effected the return of Israel from the exile. He is expressly designated in Isa. 45:1 as the Mashiach of Jehovah. He appears in the first year of the reign of Darius Medus over Babylon, therefore at the time of the vision, and was then at least the victorious leader of the armies of Darius. We are compelled to decide for him, in interpreting the משׁיח נגיד of Daniel’s description. He was regarded as the executor of the will of Jehovah already referred to, agreeably to the description which immediately follows, and in harmony with the theoratic hopes which Israel based on him. Having realized other prophetic expectations, the author regarded him as the agent who should bring about the restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem; and consequently, the writer expressly confirms these expectations, since he merely separates from them the direct Messianic idea, which he finds himself obliged to refer to a more distant future, in view of the course of political events.”31—The “Mashiach Nagid,” accordingly, is in himself merely a type of the Messiah, corresponding to the person introduced in Isa. 45, but is not Christ Himself (correctly rendered by Saad., Gaon., Bertholdt, Von Leng., Hitzig, Bleek, Kamph., etc., with the exception, however, that they generally reject the typical Messianic sense as well as the direct reference to Christ). This typical forerunner of Christ, the first restorer of the theocracy in the age of Daniel itself, is placed by the prophet at the close of the first cycle of seven Sabbatic years, and hence after the expiration of the first jubilee-period which had elapsed since the prophetic activity of Jeremiah, while he assigns sixty-two additional weeks of years (or nearly nine jubilee-periods) to the interval of tribulation that announced and prepared for the coming of the genuine antitypical Christ.32 Several expositors attempt to substantiate the direct Messianic interpretation of מַשִׁיחַ נָגִיד, by placing the seven weeks referred to in this passage after the sixty-two weeks which follow (Von Hofmann, Wieseler in the Göttinger Gelehrten-Anzeigen. 1846, Delitzsch, etc.), and thus “reckon the contents of the seventy backward;” but if Daniel had preferred this order he would certainly have noticed the sixty-two weeks first and the seven weeks afterwards, and, moreover, the one week in Daniel 9:27 cannot be suitably provided for. Finally, all that has been heretofore observed against the direct Messianic interpretation of that expression, militates against their view. Upon the whole, cf. the “history of the exposition” in appendix to exeget. remarks.—And three-score and two weeks; the street shall be built again, etc.; rather, “and (during) three-score and two weeks (it) shall return (or ‘be restored’) and be built.”33 This period of sixty-two weeks, the “result of subtracting the significant seven at the beginning, and of one to be reserved for the end,” covers the time during which the heathen world-kingdoms succeed each other, down to the fourth and most godless power, which is to attempt to entirely suppress the Divine kingdom of the Old Covenant that had mean while been perfectly restored, although with much labor, but which by that very effort secured its own destruction through the Messianic judgment (cf. 8:11 et seq.; 23 et seq., and the preceding parallels). The subject of תָּשׁוּב וְנִבְנְתָה, which must be supplied, is doubtless Jerusalem, in analogy with the former half of the verse, where the same idea is presented in an active form. The specification of time, וְשָׁבֻעִים שִׁשִּׁים וש׳, which precedes in the accusative, “marks the limits of the period, within which, at different times, the building was prosecuted” (Hitzig).—The limitation of this period, beginning a new clause as it does, is properly preceded by an Athnach, which serves to divide the verse. The method adopted by the ancient translators, by Luther, and by a majority of subsequent expositors (including Hengstenb., Hävern., Auberl., Zündel, etc.—but not Kranichfeld, Kliefoth, and Füller), divides the verse so as to connect the “sixty-two weeks with the preceding clause, despite the Athnach, and thus obtains sixty-nine weeks as the time that should elapse before the coming of the anointed prince; but it is evidently based on the desire to give a direct Messianic bearing to the passage. It is opposed (1) by the fact that the sixty-two weeks are repeated in Daniel 9:26, where they are preceded by the article, which clearly marks them as an independent period; (2) that the clause תָּשׁוּב ונו thus occupies a very abrupt and bare position, being without any designation of time, while the preceding clause has two; (3) that the sense of the writer clearly is that the rebuilding and restoration had not begun before the sixty-two weeks, while he evidently regards the seven weeks as a period of desolation and ruinous neglect of the city which afterward was to be built (cf. Hitzig, p. 160; also Kliefoth, p. 323 et seq.).34—The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times; rather, (with) street and ditch, but in troublous times. רְחוֹב וְחָרוּץּ, a combination that suggests חוֹמוֹת וָחֵל, Isa. 26:1, is evidently an adverbial apposition to the subject יְרוּשָׁלַיםִ; and there properly signifies “street-and-ditch-wise,” i.e., with streets and ditches. It was not to be a wretched, confused, and scattered, as well as a defenceless mass of houses, but was to be arranged in streets, and to be surrounded with a fortified (wall and) ditch. [“רְחוֹב means the street and the wide Space before the gate” (Keil, who adds “before the temple,” but this last is by no means certain.)] חָרוּץ is regarded by most moderns, and certainly with justice, as synonymous with the Chald. חֲריצָא, “ditch.” This rendering is indirectly supported by the ancient versions also, which have “wall” (Sept., Theodot.: οἰκοδομηθήσεται πλατεῖα καὶ περίτειχος; Vulgate: “rursum œdificabitur platea et muri”). Hitzig arbitrarily asserts that the verb נבנתה will not admit of such an interpretation of חרוץ. On his view, the word is synonymous with גִּזְרָה, Ezek. 41:12, and gives the meaning “according to street and court.” Hofmann adopts a similar rendering, “extension and bounded space,” as do also Kliefoth and Füller, “opening and limitation.” Grotius, on the other hand, conceives of an “aqueduct,” Dathe, of the Divine “judgment,” and several others take וְחָרוּץ as a parenthetic supplement, signifying “and it is determined” (decided), or, “as it is determined” (Hitzig, in Stud. u. Krit., 1832, Hengstenb., Hävernick, Von Lengerke, Wieseler, Kranichfeld).35—וּבְצוֹק חָעִתִּים expresses the reason why so long a time is required to build and restore, and therefore stands in an adversative relation to the preceding (=ו “but, however”). The historical commentary on this “but in troublous times” is found in the narratives of Ezra and Nehemiah, respecting the frequent disturbing and interruption of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in the time of the Persian kings; cf. especially Neh. 9:36, 37. “The city was inhabited in the second year of Darius Hystaspis (Hag. 1:4), but had neither walls nor gates (cf. Zech. 2:8, 9); up to that time the enemies of the Jews had prevented the building of the temple and of the walls either by cunning or by force (Ezra 4:4, 5, 12, 23 et seq.). In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus the walls and gates had again been destroyed (Neh. 1:3); and the renewed building succeeded only under manifold precautions: Neh. 3:33; 4:1, 2 et seq.; 6:1 et seq.”36 (Hitzig). Any reference of the expression to disturbances encountered in the building up of the church, or the New Test, kingdom of God, can only be admitted in a typical sense, since the primary reference of the passage is solely to Jerusalem in the period following the captivity. When Kranichfeld, p. 329, declares that וּבְצוּק הָעִתִּים is “the modifying factor connected with oracles like Jer. 31:38; Isa. 54:11; 60:10; Ezek. 45:6; 48:8, 15 et seq.,” he thereby substantially contradicts his ordinary interpretation of the passage, which is only typically Messianic, and he is guilty of an inconsequent vacillation in the direction of the strict Messianic theory.
Daniel 9:26. And after (the 37) threescore and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off; rather, “an anointed one.” Since the period covered by the sixty-two weeks (or 434 years) is preceded by the seven weeks (or forty-nine years) according to the above, the event here predicted must fall into the last of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24, as the next verse expressly states. Hence the מָשִׁיחַ who is to be cut off during that final year-week cannot possibly be identified with the מָשִׁרחַ נָגִיד whom the preceding verse introduced already on the expiration of the seventh of the seventy weeks of years.38 Instead of an “anointed prince,” we are here referred simply to an “anointed one,” who is, moreover, placed in such an intimate relation to “the city and the sanctuary” in the second half of the verse—i.e., to Jerusalem and the temple located there—that he is brought into sharp and clearly defined contrast with the “prince” and people who destroy that city and its sanctuary. A high priest of Israel is evidently intended, whom the people of the foreign and hostile prince “cuts off” (רִבָּרֵת), i.e., “destroys, kills” (cf. Gen. 9:11; Deut. 20:20; Jer. 11:19; Psa. 37:9; Prov. 2:22; 10:31, etc.).39 And since the hostile prince is unequivocally characterized in both Daniel 9:26 and 27 as the ruler of the antitheistic and anti-Christian world-power, and as the originator of the blasphemous and sacrilegious horrors which already appeared in Daniel 7:25; 8:11. et seq., it will evidently be appropriate to regard a high priest who fell at the hands of heathen persecutors in the period of religious oppression under the Seleucidæ as the “anointed one,” in whose death the prophecy before us was primarily, although but typically, fulfilled. Such a person is found in the high priest Onias III who was murdered by Andronicus, the governor under Epiphanes, according to 2 Macc. 3:31 et seq.; 4:1 et seq., and to him the prophecy may be referred with the highest probability that the interpretation is correct. According to 2 Macc. 4:34 et seq., the slaying of this anointed one took place before the second campaign undertaken by Epiphanes against Egypt, and shortly before the king arrived at Tyre on his return from Cilicia (cf. ibid., Daniel 9:22, 30, 44; Daniel 5:1). Hence, it certainly transpired before the abuse of the city and its sanctuary by the same king, a feature with which the description in this verse harmonizes well upon the whole [but with some fatal exceptions]. A discrepancy exists in a chronological aspect only between that event and the statements in the prophecy; for, while the sixty-two weeks of years extend, when reckoned from the end of the first seven year-weeks or B. C. 539, to B. C. 105 or into the reign of the Asmonæan Aristobulus I or his successor Alexander Jannæus (after 105), the murder of Onias by Andronicus took place as early as 141 or 142 of the æra of the Seleucidæ, i.e., B. C. 171 or 172, and therefore in the fifty-third week of years after B. C. 539. Consequently, if it be conceded that all the remaining assumptions are correct, it must be acknowledged that the prophecy is not consistent with itself in a chronological aspect, or that the prophet saw events belonging to different periods in a single comprehensive view—in other words, that he conceived of a catastrophe in the historical future, which was decidedly important to the nations concerned, as belonging to a period, later by a number of years (perhaps ten weeks of years, or seventy years) than it actually transpired. Cf. infra, eth.-fund. principles, etc. Nos. 1 and 2.40—The following diverging interpretations are to be rejected: (1) That adopted by Eichhorn, Corrodi, Wieseler, Hitzig, Kamphausen, etc., which comes especially near our own; they regard the anointed one as being Onias, but reckon the sixty-two year-weeks, which closed at the time of his death, from B. C. 604 instead of 539, so that the first seven weeks are not to be counted (?), or rather, are included in the sixty-two (?)—since 604–434 actually results in 170, the number of the year in which Onias died; (2) The similar view of Wieseler (Gött. Gel.-Anz. 1846) and of Delitzsch (upon the whole that of Hofmann also, Weiss. und Erf., p. 303 et seq.), which holds that Onias is the anointed one, at whose cutting off the sixty-two weeks of years from B. C. 604 were to have expired; but that the seven weeks are to be placed after the year-week which began with the year of his death—hence are to be reckoned from B. C. 164 (cf. on the impossibility of this assumption, supra, on Daniel 9:25); (3) The opinion of Bleek, Maurer, v. Lengerke, Roesch, Ewald, etc., that the anointed one who was cut off was not the high priest Onias, but the king Seleucus IV Philopater, of Syria, who was killed by the usurper Heliodorus in B. C. 176; this opinion involves still greater chronological difficulties than the former, inasmuch as the sixty-two weeks of years, when reckoned back from B. C. 176, would extend to B. C. 610; and it is opposed, moreover, by the inadmissible character of an attempt to explain מִשִׁיחַ by ‘ ‘king;” (4) That of Bertholdt, who believes that the passage refers to the death of Alexander the Great (!), who left no heir; (5) The assumption of Kranichfeld, that the anointed one is the Messiah of Israel, as in Psa. 2:2; Isa. 61:1, and therefore not identical with the “anointed prince” of Daniel 9:25, but not less distinct also from Onias, the murdered high-priest of Maccabæan times; (6) The orthodox churchly view which identifies the “anointed one” with the “anointed prince” of the preceding verse, and believes that both denote Christ, whose sufferings and death are said to be predicted in a similar manner by יִבָּרֵת ןְאֵיך לֹא, as in Isa. 53 (held among moderns, e.g., by Hävern., Hengstenb., Auberl., Pusey [Keil], etc.); (7) The assertion by Kliefoth (on Zech. 13:7 and also on this passage) that the anointed one is Christ, but only in the final stage of his work and government among the kingdoms of the earth; and further, that the passage, “like Luke 17:25; 2 Thess. 2:7, describes the relation to the world and mankind which Christ shall occupy by reason of the great apostasy before the end of the world, as prophecy leads us to expect.”—But not for himself; rather, “and he has no one,” i.e., “for his helper, his deliverer from death;” or “he has nothing, there remains nothing to him” (אֵיך לוֹ, namely מְארּמָה, cf. Füller and Kranichfeld on this passage). This וְאֵין לוֹ meets with an extraordinary variety of interpretations, based respectively on the different explanations of מָשׁיחַ. Theodotion: καὶ κρίμα οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν αὐτῶ̣; Jerome: “et non erit ejus populus qui eum negaturus est” (in like manner also Grotius, and a majority of Roman Catholic expositors); Bertholdt: “and he (Alex the Gr.) shall have no successor;” v. Lengerke, Roesch, Bleek, Ewald, etc.: “and he (Seleucus Philopater) shall have no successor;” Wieseler: “and he (Onias) shall have no son;” Auberlen: ‘ ‘he, Christ, shall have no adherents;” Hofmann, Hengstenb., Kranichf., Kliefoth (and similarly also Calvin, Junius, Ebrard): “he, Christ, shall possess nothing, shall be without possessions, and be deprived of everything;” Hofmann (in Weiss, und Erf.): “and there shall not be to the people,” i.e., an anointed one, the people shall have no Messiah;41 Hävernick: “and not for himself, i.e., for his own sake,”—supply, “shall the Messiah die, but for the benefit of mankind, which is to be redeemed;” Michaelis, E. C. Schmidt (in Paulus’ Memorabil. VII. 51), Wieseler (in Gött. Gel. Anz., 1846), Hitzig: “and he is not, i.e., Onias” (—אֵיך לֹד consequently=אֵיכֶכּוּ, cf. Gen 5:24). Upon the whole cf. Kliefoth, p. 357 et seq. Since the forcible cutting off of an anointed one is concerned, we are obliged to regard that explanation as being most consistent with the context, which supplies מַצִּיל, perhaps (cf. Psa. 7:3; 50:22; Isa. 5:29) after וְאֵ־ך לוֹ. It does not differ materially from that advocated by Hofmann, Hengstenberg, Kranichfeld, etc., which supplies מִאוּמָח; for whoever has no deliverer or helper is also without power, without possessions, without anything whatever. We differ from those expositors only in regarding the anointed one who is described as being without possessions and helpless, not directly as the Messiah, but more immediately as his type, the Jewish high priest who was killed in the course of the Antiochian persecution,—in short, in substituting the typical Messianic theory for the direct (in which we agree substantially with Füller).—And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood; rather, “and the people of a prince,42 who shall come and end with overflowing,43 shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The words evidently refer to a catastrophe which follows immediately on the cutting off of the anointed one. The “coming prince” (צִָיד חַבָּא) who approaches to cause destruction to the city and the sanctuary, or more exactly, who comes as the ruler of the people that brings ruin and destruction, is doubtless, therefore, the Old.-Test. antichrist, or the antitheistic horn of the earlier visions (Daniel 7:21, 25; 8:11 et seq.; 24 et seq.), and consequently Antiochus Epiphanes, חַבָּא (=אֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא) describes this ruler as coming at the head of his army in a hostile character (cf. בּוֹא in 1:1; 8:6; 11:10, 13, 15, 16, 40, 41), and the definite article indicates that his coming was a familiar fact to the prophet, as having formed the subject of his earlier predictions.44 The participle is therefore not employed without a purpose (Hofmann, Weiss, und Erf., I. 304), nor does it refer to עָם, “people” (Schöll, Ebrard). It does not signify Epiphanes’ “succession” to his predecessor Seleucus (Roesch, Maurer), nor denote the future “appearing” or mysterious presence of the New-Test antichrist, in the sense of 2 Thess. 2:9 (Kliefoth).—The ending of this prince “with overflowing” is probably not materially different from the “pouring out of annihilation and judicial punishment upon the desolator,” at the close of the following verse. שֶׁטֶף, “a flood, an overflowing,” accordingly denotes the judgment inflicted by God in his anger on the impious נָגִיד (Wieseler, Kliefoth), or, more probably, since in that case a genitive אַף (cf. Prov. 27:4) would properly be required in order to define the sense more clearly, it is used sensu bellico to denote an overflowing with warlike hosts, which should lead to the end of his life, i.e., his annihilation (Daniel 11:45; cf. 7:26). Cf. the exactly similar use of שֶׁםֵף in Daniel 11:10, 22, 26, 40, and in Isa. 8:8, together with שׁוֹםֵף צְדָקָה Isa. 10:22.—Here again we are obliged to reject a number of diverging explanations, and especially that of Hitzig, v. Lengerke, etc., who refer the words to a warlike expedition undertaken by Antiochus Epiphanes, instead of one that should break in upon him like a flood and annihilate him; that of Ewald, who obtains the sense “who comes with his host overflowing” (or “in overflow”) by a violent emendation, inasmuch as he substitutes וְחֵילוֹ, “and his host,” or רְחַצּוֹ, “and his line of battle” (after Prov. 30:27), for רְקִצּוֹ; that of Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Roesch, etc., who take בַּשֶּׁםֶף in the sense of “suddenly, like a flood;” that of Auberlen, Hävernick, Delitzsch, etc., who refer the suffix in קִצּוֹ to the city and sanctuary, rather than to the “prince;” “their destruction shall come by overflowing,” etc.45—And unto the end of the war desolations are determined; i.e., the devastating of the city and sanctuary are to continue to the end of the warlike alarms excited by their impious oppressor, as a matter that is determined by God. מִלְחָמָה designates that state of war which begins with cutting off the anointed one, and eventually results in the destruction of the city and the sanctuary (so, correctly, Rosenmüller, Hofmann, Ewald, Füller, etc.). Others read, “and to the end shall be war, the determined desolations,” in which method נֶחֱרֶצֶת שֹׁמֵמוֹת is either taken as an apposition (Hävern., v. Leng., Maur., Wieseler, Hitz., Auberlen), or as an explanatory clause to the foregoing, with the conjunctions omitted in the connection (Kranichfeld, Kliefoth), and in connection with which still further differences of opinion exist with regard to the meaning of קֵץ, some expositors referring it to the end of the prince (Wieseler), some to the end of the sanctuary (Häv., Aub.) or of the period of the seventy weeks—hence, to the last year-week of the seventy (v. Lengerke, Hitzig), and some even to the end of all things, the “absolute end” (Kliefoth). The reference of קֵץ to the exterminated prince is evidently the only one in harmony with the context, which thus identifies it with the קִצּוֹ of the preceding clause; but it is more appropriate to regard it in the sense of a stat. constr., “to the end of the war,” because of the more regular and connected character of the arrangement of the sentence.46 נֶחֶרֶצֶת is also the construct state of נֶחֶרָצָה, which recurs at the close of the following verse, and here probably denotes the same idea as in Daniel 11:36, and Isa. 10:23; 28:22, viz.: “determination, destiny, what is ordained.” A “determination of the desolations” (שֹׁמֵמוֹת as in Daniel 9:18; cf. on that passage) is a decree that aims at desolations and has them for its object. Ewald: “the decision respecting the horrors,” i.e., the decision of God at the judgment of the world, which relates to the horrible actions and devastations of Antiochus, or which serves to punish them (?). Hofmann and Kliefoth are still more arbitrary: “a determined measure of desolations, which is thus limited and confined.”—[This language was not fulfilled in any appropriate sense by Antiochus, who aimed merely at the suppression of Jehovah’s worship, but left the city and sanctuary uninjured. It seems to us that the old interpretation, which refers it to the last war with the Romans when Titus seemed compelled by providence to persist in his attack till the temple itself was demolished, is the only adequate one. This was the retribution that eventually followed the rejection and murder of their Messiah by the Jews.]
Daniel 9:27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; rather, “make a strong covenant,”47 etc. This sentence (introduced by an explicative vav) is obviously an explanation and more particular illustration of the statements in the preceding verse. Its subject is neither the indefinite “it” (Füller), nor the “one week” (Theodot., Dereser, Hävern., Von Leng., Hengstenb., Hitz., Auberl.), but, beyond all question, נָגִיד, which governs the preceding sentence as a logical subject, is finally included in קּצּוֹ, and is the prominent subject of consideration, from Daniel 9:26 b (thus, correctly, Berth., Maur., Wiesel., Ewald, kranichf, Klief., etc.).48 It is observed, therefore, with regard to the anti-Christian prince of the final world-power, that “he shall confirm the covenant as to many,” i.e., “that he shall enter into a strong, firm covenant with many;” for the Hiphil הִגְבִּיר, which occurs elsewhere only in Psa. 12:5, and there signifies “to be strong, to exhibit strength,” in this place doubtless expresses the transitive idea of strengthening, and in connection with the idea “covenant,” involves more particularly the notion of “confirming or establishing.” The many (רבים with the article) with whom the strong covenant is made by the prince are obviously the numerous apostate Jews, who were induced by the heathen tyrant to break their covenant with God and disobey His law, according to 1 Macc. 1:10 et seq., and thus to enter into an antitheocratic alliance that was hostile to God, for one week, i.e., during a week of years (שָׁ׳ אֶחָר, accusative of time). Cf. the allusions to this fact in Daniel 11:22 (where בְּרִית is employed in the same antitheocratic sense as here), in 11:32 (where the transgressors of [Jehovah’s] covenant, the מַרְשִׁיצֵי בְּרִית, are the same as the רַבִּים in this place), and also in Daniel 8:10 et seq., where the stars that were trodden under foot by the little horn may likewise represent the breakers of the covenant who are here mentioned (cf. also 8:24 et seq.).49—A great diversity of opinion respecting the meaning of the. “covenant” exists among the representatives of the theory which makes שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד the subject of חִגְבִּיר. In illustration of this, cf. Hitzig, “the one week of years shall make the covenant—i.e., the adherence to the faith in Jehovah, and to the theocratic law—hard for many;” Hofmann (Schriftbeweis, II. 2), “the one week of years shall confirm many in the covenant through tribulation and the trial of their faith” (similarly, Rosenmüller, before Hofmann); Von Lengerke, “A week shall confirm a covenant to many, through the seductive arts of Antiochus; “Hengstenberg, Hävernick, Auberlen, etc., “the one week, or rather the events belonging to it, especially the death of the Messiah referred to in Daniel 9:26, will lead to the conclusion of a new, strong, and firm covenant with many,” etc.—And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; i.e., during one half of the week. חְַצִי הַשְּׁבוּעַ might of itself signify the middle of the week; but the following תִּתַךְ וגו׳ shows that something transpires during the חְַצִי הַשְּׁ׳, which naturally belongs to the close of the whole period of oppression here described, viz.: the punishment and annihilation of the impious persecutor. For this reason חְַצִי הַשְׁ׳ must rather denote half of the week, and more particularly the second half, and it therefore corresponds to the three and a half years of persecution of Daniel 7:25; and יַשְׁבִּית—for which no other appropriate subject can be found than that of the preceding verb הִגְבִּיר— can therefore express no other sense than that of “causing to cease” during the period in question. The impious madman causes to cease during that period the זֶכַח וּמִכְחָה, the bloody and unbloody offerings, which are mentioned representatively for all the sacrifices required by the theocratic ritual, as being the two principal classes of offerings under the Mosaic economy, in a similar manner as that in which הַתָּמִיר, “the daily,” was employed in Daniel 8:11 to express this concrete individualizing and comprehensive sense.50 The expression here employed cannot be taken to refer to the superseding of the Old-Test. institution of sacrifices by the New-Test, worship in spirit and in truth, as being based on the perfect expiatory sacrifice of Christ (against Hävernick, Hengstenb., Auberl., etc.); for the verb חשבית would not have been suited to express that idea, and, moreover, the sin offering (cf. Daniel 9:24) would hardly have been passed by without mention in that case. Kliefoth emphasizes correctly, “that in this place the נָגִיד of Daniel 9:26 must be considered the subject, and that the observation here relates not to the abrogation, but merely to the suspension of the sacrifices;” but he afterward arbitrarily applies the passage to a temporary suspension and suppression of the eucharist as the sacrifice of the New Covenant, to be caused by the antichrist in the last age of the church.—And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate; rather, “and abominations of desolation shall be on the wing.” This וְעַל בְּכַף שִׁקּוּצִים מְשֹׁמֵם constitutes the actual climax of the many difficulties presented in this passage, the real crux interpretum, which has produced almost as many explanations as interpreters. Probably all those methods of explanation are to be at once rejected and avoided which contradict the most ancient quotation and translation of the words in the originally Hebrew Maccabæan book (Daniel 1:54; cf. Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14), and the corresponding testimony of the most ancient translators, the Sept., Theodotion, and the Vulgate. All these render שִׁקּוּצִים מְשֹׁמֵם by “abominations of desolation” (1 Macc., l. c., τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως; Sept., Theodot., βδέλυγμα τῶν ἐρημώσεων; Vulg., abominatio desolationis), which probably resulted from the influence of primitive traditions that were certainly correct in the main. מְשֹׁמֶם was accordingly regarded as a genitive from the beginning, and probably by the author himself—not, however, as a genitive of possession, but as a genitive of description; or, what amounts to the same thing, it was considered an apposition to the preceding plural שִׁקּוּצִים, in support of which the analogy of חֲזוּת אַרְבַּע in Daniel 8:8 may be adduced on the one hand (as also the similar connection of that plural with a singular in Jer. 49:11), and on the other, the appositional combination חַשִּׁקּוּץ מְשֹׁמֵם in Daniel 8:13 (cf. also ראׄשׁ הַכֹּהֵך, 1 Chron. 27:5).51 The plural שִׁקּוּצִים (for which, however, the writer of 1 Macc., l. c., substituted the sing שִׁקּוּץ, βδέλυγμα, possibly with design, because the abomination of idolatry with which Epiphanes desecrated the temple was chief in his mind) at all events denotes “abominations, horrible things,” and more particularly abominable things from a religious point of view, abominable idolatries, what is loathsome in the domain of Divine worship, “res abominandœ ad cultum Deorum spectantes;” cf. 11:31; 12:11. In like manner as this meaning of שִׁקּוּצִים is adequately secured by the βδέλυγμα or abominatio of the ancient translators, so that of מְשֹׁמֶם, by which it denotes “ravager or desolation,” is evidently established by their ἐρήμωσις. This rendering may be substantiated by a comparison with שֹׁמֶמוֹת in the preceding verse, and also with שַׁמּוֹת in Ezek. 36:3 (cf. שָׁמַם, “to be desolate, uninhabited,” Lam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 13:20), and accords as well with the context as does the idea of an “object to be stared at, or of terror”—hence “what is terrible, dreadful,”—by which Hitzig, Ewald, et al., prefer to render the term (by virtue of a one-sided application of the fund meaning of שמם, “to stare, shudder”). If these considerations are accordingly sufficient to establish for שׁקּוּץ מְשֹׁמֵם the sense of “abomination of desolation”=“desolating abomination of idolatry, hideously devastating nature of the idolatrous service,” there remains only the difficult וְעַל כְּנַף to be interpreted. The ancient versions are agreed in rendering כנף by ἱερόν, templum, and also in not connecting it as a stat. constr. with the following term, but taking it separately as a stat. absol., and reading it כָּנָף. It might be difficult to raise any material objection against this departure from the Masoret punctuation, since it is only too easy to conceive of כנף as a stat. constr., and thus reach the ordinary reading, in view of the temptation to obtain the sense of “wings of abomination, hideous wings,” which is suggested by passages like Zech. 5:1, 9. Moreover, the interpretation of כנף by “sanctuary” has an almost irresistible though indirect support in the πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ of Matt. 4:5. כנף, in itself equivalent to “screen, covering, roof” (from which fund, meaning all others, e.g., wing, tassel, edge, border, etc., are readily derived), might without difficulty become the customary term to designate the roof of the temple or the “pinnacle of the temple” (Matt., l.c.), and afterward be applied, with equal adaptation, to the entire edifice of the temple (in view of its elevated site and its prominent buildings), by virtue of a synecdoche analogous to that which prevails in the Latin with reference to tectum, and in the Greek (cf. Matt. 8:8) in the use of στέγη. If this view should not seem objectionable, it will not be necessary to limit the sense of כנף so as to apply to the roof-pinnacle, summit, or highest point of the temple (Gesenius, Hengstenberg, etc.), nor yet to violently amend וְעַל כְּנַף by supplying וּבְחֵיכָל, with J. D. Michaelis. It will then be possible to render it simply by, “and on the wing, i.e., the temple,” and to regard the “desolating idolatrous abominations found on it as any symbols or utensils of idolatrous worship whatever, whether idols, altars erected to their worship, or other similar fixtures. See especially Bleek, Jahrb. f. d. Theol., 1860, p. 93 et seq.—We adduce, by way of illustration merely, several of the more recent and noticeable of the many interpretations rejected in favor of the above (with reference to which Hitzig, p. 168, observes somewhat coarsely, but not without wit, and, were he to assign to his own a principal place among them, not incorrectly, that “the expositors themselves are here lying-in in the weeks, and being delivered of all manner of שִׁקּרּצִים”). Hitzig interprets, “and annihilation, even to its full consummation, is poured out on the extreme point of the horrible abomination” (by which expression is designated the idolatrous altar, which, according to 1 Macc. 1:59, was erected on the altar of burnt-offerings by Antiochus); Ewald, “and above shall be the horrible wing of abominations,” i.e., “the wing-shaped (!?) point of the heathen altar shall appear over” the ruined altar of Jehovah; Wieseler, “and a desolator shall arise against the wing of abominations;” Von Lengerke, “the desolator comes upon the pinnacle of abomination” (also Hengstenberg, Maurer, Reinke); de Wette, “the abomination of the desolator shall stand on the pinnacle of the temple;” Hävernick, “on the head (or summit) of the abominations is a desolator;” Auberlen, “and because of the desolating wing of abominations…. the curse (?) shall drop down upon the desolate;” Delitzsch, “and indeed, because of the desolating wing of abominations (which spreads over the temple and the altar), the sacrifice shall be abolished;” Hofmann, “and upon the covering of the desolating idolatrous institutions (i.e., on the new plate which Antiochus caused to be placed on the profaned altar with a view to the offering of heathen sacrifices) the sacrifice shall be interrupted for half a week;” Füller, “and over the covering of abominations stands a desolator;” Ebrard, Kliefoth, “and a destroyer comes on the wings of idolatrous abominations” (so formerly Reichel, Stud. u. Kritiken, 1848, and also Kranichfeld [and substantially Keil]); Jahn, Hermeneutic. Append., p. 161), Gesenius(Thesaur.), “desolation comes upon the horrible wing of the rebel’s host;” [Stuart, “and a waster shall be over a winged fowl of abominations,” i.e., the winged statue of Jupiter Olympius placed by Antiochus in the temple], etc.—Even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate; rather, “but (only) until extirpation and judicial punishment shall be poured out upon the desolator,” i.e., the abomination of desolation shall continue only until the Divinely determined judgment shall be poured out upon the desolator. The ו in וְעד may be rendered by “and indeed” (as ו epexegeticum), or by “but yet;” in either case this closing sentence serves to limit the idea. It points out, in a comforting manner, how long the abomination of desolation should continue in the sanctuary, certifying that it could be maintained no longer than the providence of God should permit. “The thought that the events of the entire period of severe tribulation in question are controlled by a Divine decree which predetermines their end and results was already expressed for the comfort of the pious in the כֶחֶרֶצֶת שֹׁמֵמוֹת of Daniel 9:26, and was also implied by כֶחְתַּךְ, Daniel 9:24” (Kranichfeld). The combination כָּלָח וְכֶחֶרָצָה is taken verbatim from Isa. 10:23; 28:22, and signifies, as in those passages, “utter extinction (annihilation) and consummation,”—a hendiadys which denotes a “Divinely determined annihilation, extirpation imposed as a judicial punishment.” This two-fold idea forms a unit in the intimate blending of its shades of meaning, and is the subject of the verb תִּתַּךְ; for עַד is not in this instance a preposition governing the two substantives, but a conjunction, signifying “until that,” as elsewhere עַד־אְַשֶׁר; cf. Gen. 38:11; Hos. 10:12. The annihilation that was determined “drops down, is poured out” on the שֹׁמֵם, the impious desolator, as the curse and the oath were to descend upon the guilty Israelites, Daniel 9:11; cf. שֶׁםֶף, which does not materially differ from כָּלָח וְכֶחֶרָצָה, as has already been shown.—שֹׁמֵם, the Kal participle of שִׁמם, is probably equivalent in substance to מְשׁמֵם, the Piel partic. of the same verb (cf. Daniel 8:13; 12:11 with Daniel 11:31).54 Like that, it signifies “desolating, the desolating (agent), desolation,” and probably does not primarily designate the person of the antichrist, but rather both antichrist and his host (cf. Daniel 9:26, “the people of a prince”)—hence, the aggregate of the power that opposed God led Israel into apostasy and desecrated its sanctuary, and upon which the Divine judgment was for that reason poured out. Hitzig arbitrarily remarks (as did Ewald and Hofmann before him) that שֹׁמֵם does not designate the tyrant who resisted God, but rather the idol-altar erected by him or the heathen religion generally, against which destruction and judgment are here denounced, as being horrible to any Israelite in its nature.
Relating to the history of the exposition of Daniel 9:24–27.
1. Jewish exposition in pre-Christian times is united in referring this section to the Maccabæan æra of tribulation under Antiochus Epiphanes. This is established beyond controversy by the βδέλυγμα ἐρομώσεως of 1 Macc. 1:54, which corresponds to שִׁקּוּצִים מְשֹׁמֵם, Daniel 9:27, and in that place denotes the smaller idol-altar (βωμός, Daniel 9:59) erected by Antiochus Epiphanes on the altar of burnt-offerings. It is no less clearly indicated by the manner in which the Sept. renders this paragraph, and supplements it with various additions that obviously relate to the Maccabæan period. In this connection the mode of expressing the time indicated at the beginning of Daniel 9:26 is especially instructive. “And after threescore and two weeks,” reads in that version, “μετὰ ἔπτα καὶ ἑβδομήκοντα καὶ ἑξήκοντα δύο,” i.e., after 139 (67 + 62) years. This was doubtless intended to designate the year 139 of the æra of the Seleucidæ (B. C. 174) as the time at which began the apostasy of the Jews who had been seduced by Antiochus; cf. 1 Macc. 1:11 et seq.; 2 Macc. 4:9 et seq. See also Wieseler, Die 70 Wochen, etc., p. 201; Hävernick, Komment., p. 387 et seq.—Several expressions in the New Test appear to indicate that shortly before the advent of Christ the Jews again began to look for the fulfilment of the prophecy in question in the future; e.g., Luke 2:38 (cf. Daniel 9:24), προσδεχόμενοι λύτρωσιν ̔Ιερουσαλήμ; Matt. 11:3, ὁ ἐρχόμενος, a designation of the Messiah that probably originated in a misunderstanding of חַבָּא in Daniel 9:26 (cf. Wieseler, p. 150); and also the allusions to the “abomination of desolation,” Daniel 9:27, contained in the eschatological prophecies uttered by the Saviour (Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14) and by St. Paul (2 Thess. 2:3 et seq.), which could only be understood by their contemporaries, in case a Messianic character were assigned to the paragraph before us, and consequently, in case its fulfilment were not exclusively looked for in the events of the Maccabæan period.—Josephus also bears witness that this Messianic-eschatological interpretation was current among the Jews of his day, in the repeated instances where he states, or at least implies, that the terrible incidents connected with the Jewish war and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans were predicted by the prophet Daniel; e.g., Ant., X. 11, 7: “Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them (ο̊τι ὑπ’αὐτων ἐρημωθήσεται);” De Bell. Jud., IV 5, 2, where he applies the term “anointed one,” Daniel 9:26, and again the expression “anointed one and prince,” Daniel 9:25, to the high priest Ananus whom the Idumæans murdered; and De Bell. Jud., VI. 5, 4, where the mysterious oracle “that then should their city be taken, when their temple should become four-square” seems to refer back to Daniel 9:27 (where they perhaps read רָבוּעַ instead of שָׁבוּעַ), etc. It is less certain whether any direct reference to this section is contained in the celebrated passage, De Bell. Jud., 6, 5, 4, ὡς κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν ἐκεῖνον ἀπὸ τῆς χώρας τις αὐτῶν ἄρξει τῆς οἰκουμένης. In that case the parallel records in Tacitus, Hist., V. 13 and Suet., Vesp., 4, must, of course, be likewise rooted in the prophecy of Daniel that is before us. Concerning this question see Hävernick, p. 390, who, however, probably finds too much in the passage, since he refers the ἄρξει τῆς οἰκουμέν, directly to the נָגִיד of Daniel 9:25 and 26.56
2. The interpretation of Josephus, which applies the prophecy to the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70 and to Titus as the נָגִרד חַבָּא Daniel 9:26, seems to have been accepted, with scarcely an exception, by the later Jews of the Talmudic æra and the time immediately subsequent. The principal witness to this fact is Jerome (on Daniel 9:24 et seq.; T. V., 2 ed. Vallars., p. 694). The “Hebræi” of his day calculated the 490 years or seventy weeks of years from the first year of Darius or B. C. 539 indeed, but none the less assigned their conclusion to the age of Jesus, even finding his death predicted therein (probably in the יִכָּרֵת מָשִׁיחַ, Daniel 9:26), since they held that “non erit illius imperium, quod putabat se redemturum” (as it should be read, instead of “quod putabant se retenturos,” which is a later emendation). They also found a prediction of the approach of the Roman army under Vespasian and Titus, in the same place. Several added even the rising under Barcocheba or the three years’ (three and a half years) war against Hadrian: “Nec ignoramus, quosdam illorum dicere, quod una hebdomada, de qua scriptum est: confirmabit pactum multis hebdomada una, dividatur Vespasiano et Hadriano, quod juxta historiam Josephi Vespasianus et Titus tribus annis et sex mensibus pacem cum Judœis fecerint. Tres autem anni et sex menses sub Hadriano supputantur, quando Hierusalem omnino subversa est, et Judœorum gens catervatim cæsa, ita ut Judœœ quoque finibus pellerentur.”—The two Gemaras also refer this prophecy to the war against Vespasian; the Babylonian in Nasir, c. 5; Sanhedr., c. 11, and the Jerusalem in Kelim, c. 9; and several Talmudic and Rabbinical traditions are likewise based on that interpretation, e.g., that the Targumist had neglected to translate the Hagiographa, because it was taught in them that “the Messiah should be cut off” (Daniel 9:26. See Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. ad Luc. 19:11; Schöttgen, Hor. Hebr., p. 211); and that the Messiah actually came at the time when Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple desolated, but as a sufferer and in disguise (Glæsener, De gemin. Jud, Mess., p. 23ss.; Corrodi, Krit. Gesch. des Chilias muss, I. 284 et seq.).—It was reserved for the later period of the middle ages to introduce several new and more independent explanations beside this variously modified Messianic interpretation of the prophecy; e.g., by referring the מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד to Cyrus (Saad. Gaon., Rashi, Jacchiad.), or to Nehemiah (Ibn-Ezra) or the highpriest Joshua (Levi b. -Gers.). Cf. Müller, Judaism, pp. 321, 342 et seq.; Carpzov, in his ed. of Raymond Martini’s Pugio fidei, p. 233.—It was customary to follow the Seder Olam Rabba in reckoning the seventy weeks from the first destruction of the temple to the second; see Abendana, in the Spicileg. ad Michl. Jophi: “Hebdomades hœ sept. sunt septimanœ annorum quadringentorum nonaginta, iidemque sine dubio a devastatione primi ad devastationem secundi templi, quia sept. anni fuere captivitatis Babyhnicœ, et quadringenti viginti anni, quibus futura erit domus secunda in structura sua: atque sic majores nostri exposuere in Seder Olam.” By this method of reckoning, the מֹצָא דָכָר, Daniel 9:25, is accordingly made to apply to the period of Jeremiah’s prophecy respecting the seventy years’ exile or to the year B. C. 588. Ibn-Ezra alone departs from this method, by referring that expression concerning the going forth of the oracle (5:23) to Daniel, and consequently assigning the beginning of the 490 years to the year B. C. 539 and extending the first seven weeks of years belonging to that period, to Nehemiah, the restorer of the temple, or to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes. Concerning these Rabbinical methods of reckoning, and at the same time, concerning their fundamental incorrectness and untenable character in a chronological point of view, cf. Chr. B. Michaelis, Annot. uberior, III. 320 et seq. Individual Rabbins in modern times were convinced of the incorrectness of this usual anti-Messianic interpretation, as appears from the noteworthy expression of the Venetian chief-Rabbin Simon Luzzato, concerning this passage, as recorded by Wolf in the Biblioth. Hebr., III. 1228. According to him, “the consequence of a too extended and profound investigation on the part of Jewish scholars would be that they would all become Christians; for it cannot be denied that according to Daniel’s limitation of the time, the Messiah must have already appeared. But that Jesus was the true Messiah he felt himself unable to accept as certain.”
3. The Christian expositors of the older time regarded the directly Messianic bearing of the passage as being generally incontrovertible, and especially the application of יִכָּרֵת מָשִׁיחַ to Christ the crucified, as also the reference of the “restoring and building” of the city and temple in Daniel 9:25 to the establishing of the church of the New Covenant; cf. Barnabas, Ep., c. 16: ηέγραπται γὰρ καὶ ἔσται, ἑβδομάδης συντελουμένης, οἰκοδομηθήσεται ναὸς θεοῦ ἐνδόξως ἐπὶ τῶ̣ ὀνόματι κυρίου, κτλ. The different exegetes varied exceedingly, however, in the mode of reckoning the years.57 Jerome, on this passage, already mentions nine different methods of explaining them: (1) that of Jul. Africanus, who reckoned the 490 years from Nehemiah, or the 20th year of Artaxerxes, to the death of Christ, but in connection with this committed the error of reckoning by Jewish lunar years (resulting in only 465 solar years); (2) Three different theories of Eusebius, who (a) dates the first sixty-nine weeks from the return of the Jews in the reign of Cyrus to the death of Alexander Jannæus, the high priest and king, and Pompey’s invasion (B. C. 536–B. C. 64; thus in Dem, ev., VIII. 2, 55 et seq.); or (b) from the second year of Darius Hystaspis (B. C. 520 to the birth of Christ (ibid. and Chronic. Ol. 184); or, (c) regards the last week as a period of seventy years, and attempts to calculate from the resurrection of Christ; (3) that of Hippolytus, who counted sixty-nine mystical weeks (comprising more than seven years each) from the first year of Cyrus to the incarnation of Christ, and declared that the last mystical week denotes the future period of the antichrist, which is connected with the end of the world; (4) that of Apollinaris of Laodicea, who reckoned the 490 years from the birth of Christ (“ab exitu Verbi,” Daniel 9:25), and therefore expected the coming of the antichrist and the end of the world about a century after his day, in the “last week;” (5) that of Clemens Alex. who extended the seventy weeks of years, in the face of all chronology, from the first year of Cyrus to the second year of Vespasian (B. C. 560–A. D. 70); (6) that of Origen, who denies the possibility of any more exact chronological estimate, and therefore assumes 4900 years instead of 490, reaching from Adam to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (not indeed in vol. 10 of his Stromata, which Jerome cites, but in his Tract. XXIV. on Matthew c, 24); (7) that of Tertullian (adv. Judœos, c, 8), who reckons the 437½ years from the first year of Darius Nothus (whom he strangely identifies with Darius Medus) to the birth of Christ, and fifty-two and a half from that event to the destruction of Jerusalem, thus obtaining 490.—Jerome himself expresses no opinion respecting the mode of reckoning to be observed, but seems to favor that of Africanus, which he preferred to all the others, and probably not without reason. That method is likewise adopted by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Isidore of Pelusium, Euthymius Zigabenus, and generally by a majority of expositors in the Oriental church, but few of whom assume an independent position. Among the latter are, e.g., Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. xii. 19), who attempts to extend the seventy weeks of years from the sixth year of Darius Medus to the birth of Christ, but violates historical accuracy by identifying Darius Medus with Darius Hystaspis; Ephraem Syrus who places the restoration of Jerusalem in the beginning of the seventieth week and the destruction by Titus at its close, without entering on a more careful calculation in other respects; Polychronius, a brother of Theodore of Mopsuestia, who reckons the first seven weeks from Darius Medus to the ninth year of Darius Hystaspis, when Zerubbabel’s temple is said to have been completed, the sixty-two weeks from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes to the birth of Christ, and the final week from that date to Titus, while the death of Christ falls in its central point; Basil of Seleucia (Orat., 38 in t. 85 of Migne’s Patrol.), who calculates the first sixty-nine weeks from the completion of the walls of Jerusalem in the twenty-eighth year of Xerxes (!) to the resurrection of Christ, and identifies the seventieth week with the first seven years after the resurrection, while he declares the abomination of desolation erected in the middle of that week to have been the familiar attempt of Caligula to erect his image in the temple.—Among the later expositors of the Latin church, Augustine, following the example of Jerome, avoids every independent and detailed calculation of the seventy weeks. He contents himself with finding a fulfilment of the leading features of the prophecy Dan. 9:24 et seq., in the earthly work of Christ and in the judgment of Jerusalem, and expressly rejects (especially in Ep. 199 “de fine sæculii”) the opinion of those who looked for two periods of seventy weeks of years, the first of which should reach to Christ’s advent in the flesh, and the second to the end of the world. This assumption of a double period of seventy weeks of years, or of an Old-Test. and typical realization of the prophecy, followed by a New-Test. antitypical fulfilment, was advocated as late as the sixth century by the unknown Arian author of the so-called Opus imperfectum in Matthœum. Sulpicius Severus (Chron., II. 21) extends the sixty-nine weeks from the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes 1 to Vespasian, or from the restoration of the temple to its second destruction. His contemporary, Julius Hilarianus, appears in his Chronologia libellus de mundi duratione (in Migne, t. XIII, p. 1098) as the forerunner of the modern critical exposition, in consequence of his denial of the direct Messianic character of the prophecy, whose fulfilment he places in the age of Antiochus and the Maccabees; but he commits the gross chronological blunder of assigning 434 years (=62 weeks) to the interval between the return of the Jews under Zerubbabel and the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, while the period between B. C. 536 and B. C. 175 really amounts to but 361 years! Prosper Aquitan in his Chronicon adopts the view advocated by Eusebius in the Demonstr. evangelica and the Chron. (see supra, No. 2 b), and accordingly reckons the sixty-nine weeks from the building of the temple under Darius to Herod the Gr. and the birth of Christ. Finally, the venerable Bede adopts substantially the view of Julius Africanus (Libell. de temporum ratione, c. 7), as does also Thomas Aquinas (Comm. in Dan., in Opp., t. 13 ed. Antverp).
4. The expositors of modern times, and more particularly of pre-rationalistic times, are agreed in recognizing the Messianic bearing of this prophecy, but differ exceedingly in their modes of reckoning the seventy weeks, or, what amounts to the same thing, in their interpretations of מֹצָא דָבָר, Daniel 9:25.58 As the terminus a quo of the seventy weeks they accept one of the following dates:
a. The time of the first prophecy by Jeremiah (Jer. 25:11 et seq.), or the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign; thus Harduin (Chronol. Vet. Test., Amstel., 1709, p. 592 ss.); A. Calmet (Dissert. sur les 70 semaines de Daniel, Dissertt., p. 1); A. Collins (The scheme of liberal prophecy, I. 109).
b. The time of Jeremiah’s second prophecy (Jer. 29:10) or the fourth year of Zedekiah; so Seb. Münster, Vatablus (and also several expositors belonging to the last centuries in the Middle Ages, e.g., Lyranus, in the Postilla, Raym, Martini, Pugio fid., 2, 269, etc.).
c. The date of Daniel’s prophecy itself (Daniel 9:1), and hence the first year of the reign of Darius Medus over Babylon, B. C. 539; so J. H. Jungmann (Cassel, 1681); J. Koch (Entsiegelter Daniel, II. § 206, and Kurze Anfangsgründe der Chronologie, II. 24), J. D. Michaelis (Versuch über die 70 Wochen Daniels, Gött. and Gotha, 1770; cf. his Epistola de Septuag. hebdom. ad Jo. Pringle, London, 1773); Matth. Hassenkamp (Versuch einer neuen Erklärung der 70 Wochen Daniels, Lemgo, 1772); Velthusen (Muthmassungen über die siebenmal siebenzig Jahre beim Daniel 9:24–27, Hanover, 1774).
d. The first year of the reign of Cyrus. B. C. 560; Calvin, Œcolampadius, l’Empereur, Cocceius, Matth. Bervaldus (Chronicon auctoritate constitutum, III. 7), B. Blayney (A dissertation by way of Inquiry into Daniel’s seventy Weeks, Oxford, 1775), H. Uri (Sept. hebdomadum, quas Gabriel ad Danielem detulerat, interpretatio, paraphrasis, computatio, Oxford, 1788), also Dathe, Hegel, etc., in their commentaries.
e. The second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspis (B. C. 520), or the year of the prophe ies of blessing by Haggai (1:1 et seq.; 2:1 et seq.) and Zechariah (1:1 et seq.; 3:8 et seq.; 8:7 et seq.); so J. Driedo (De scriptis et dogmatibus ecclesiasticis, c. 5). Corn. Jansen (Concord. evangel., c. 122), J. A. Bengel (Ordo temporum, etc., Stuttgart, 1741).
f. The second year of the reign of Darius Nothus (B. C. 423); so J. J. Scaliger (De emendat. temporum, 1:4), S. Calvisius (Opus chronologicum).
g. The second year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus; so Luther (D. Prophet Daniel deutsch, etc., vol. 41, p. 247, ed. Erl.), Melancthon (Comm. p. 891), Sal. Glossius (Philol. sacra).
h. The seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, or the date of the first decree by this king to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 7:1; 8:11 et seq.); so Abr. Calov (De Septuag. septimanis mysterium, Viteb., 1663; Bibl. illustr., I. p. 119 ss.), M. Geier, in the Comm., Isaac Newton (Observations, etc.), J. R. Rus (Diss. de Sept. hebdom. Danielis, Jenæ, 1740), H. Benzel (Diss. de 70 hebdd. Danielis, in the Syntagma dissertatt., II. 21 ss.), H. Prideaux (Connections, etc.), Alex. Sostmann (Comment. chronol. philol. et exeget. in orac, Dan. 9:24–27, Lugd. B., 1710), S. Deyling (Progr. ad Dan. 9:24 ss., Lips., 1724), J. G. Franck (Novum systema chronologiæ fundamentalis, Gött., 1778), J. C. Döderlein (Institutt. Theol. chr., II. p. 530 ss.).
i. The twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, or the date of the second edict by that king (Neh. 2:1, 7 et seq.); so Luther (Dass Jesus Christus ein geborner Jude sei, vol. 29, p. 71 et seq., ed. Erl.),59 H. J. Offerhaus (Dissertat. de 70 septimanis Danielis, Groning., 1756), J. G. Reinbeck (Betrachtungen über die Augsb. Konfession, III. 39), S. S. Weickhmann (Carmen Danielis de 70 hebdd. Christo vindicat., Prog., Viteb., 1772), Starke (Synops., p. 2614).
k. The tenth or eleventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, or the earlier date by about ten years assigned to his second edict, on the ground of his co-regency with his father Xerxes; so Dion. Petavius (Doctrina tempp., L. 2, C. 29; Rationarium tempp., II. 3, C. 9), Camp. Vitringa (De Septuag. hebdom. Dan. advers. Marshamum, Observatt. sacr., II., p. 290 ss.), C. B. Michaelis (in Annott. uberior., etc.).
l. The second year of the reign of Xerxes; so J. E. Faber (Jesus ex natalium opportunitate Messias, Jenæ, 1772, p. 125 ss.).
A great difference of opinion prevailed also with reference to the particular terminus adquem of the prophecy referred to Christ, inasmuch as (a) some, following Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Jacob of Edessa, and other ancient churchly expositors, extended the seventy weeks merely to the death of Christ, others (b) continued them to the time of his presentation in the temple (Jungmann, Sostmann, etc.), others (c) to his baptism in the Jordan or to his anointing (Melancthon, Calvin, Vitringa; also W. Whiston, Dissertation upon Daniel’s weeks, London, 1725), still others (d) to the year of our Lord’s death (Luther, Calov, Prideaux, Buddeus, H. Eccl. Vet. Ti., p. 854 ss.), and others finally (e) included the more general spread of the Gospel in the years immediately following the Saviour’s death in the series of the seventy weeks (Petavius, Bengel, J. Brunsmann, etc.).—Various methods were adopted in order to obviate, by means of exact calculation, the discrepancy between the termin. a quo and adquem, which was either too large or too small. According to Bertholdt, p. 574 et seq., they may be designated as follows:
(1). The method of parallelism by which the seven and the sixty-two weeks were reckoned from the same point of time, or by which these periods were not regarded as successive in their order, but as contemporaneous with each other (Harduin, Jungmann, Collins, Marsham, etc.).
(2). The method of intercalation which consisted in interpolating intervals of greater or less extent between the several periods of hebdomads, and especially between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks (l’Empereur, Newton, Koch, Beer, Uri, etc.).
(3). The method of tranposition by which the first two periods of hebdomads were enumerated in inverted order, i.e., the sixty-two first, and the seven afterward (thus, in imitation of Tertullian, Theodoret, etc., some of the most recent expositors, especially Hofmann, Delitzsch, Wieseler, etc.).
(4). The analogical method which estimates the hebdomads in the several sections by an unequal standard, e.g., regarding the seventieth week as a “septimana magna” or Jubilee period of forty nine years (Newton, Frank; similarly Calmet, A. Kluit [Vaticinium de Messia duce primarium s. explic. Sept. hebdd. Dan., Mediol., 1774], and already many of the church fathers mentioned above, as Eusebius, Polychronius, etc.).
(5). The method of reckoning by lunar years of 354 days, without an intercalated month (Hassenkamp and J. D. Michaelis—after the precedent of Jul. Africanus and his patristic successors).
(6). The method of counting by jubilee periods of fifty years each, by which the seventy years appear to be exactly equal to 500 years (Sostmann and others).
(7). The method of reckoning by Chaldee years of 360 days, by which the seventy hebdomads are reduced to 483 years (Pet. Brinch, Diss. chronol.-critica de 70 hebdomadd. Danielis, Hafn., 1702).
(8). The mystical method of enumeration, which seeks either to limit or extend the seventy weeks of years by the use of a year of any abnormal and mystical length. Hippolytus and others led the way in the ancient church in this method; and following them we have J. J. Hainlinus (Clavis sacror. temporum, Tüb., 1692, and Sol temporum s. Chronol. mystica, Tüb., 1647); Bengel, Thube, Crusius (Hypomnemata in theologiam prophetieam). Among them Hainlin assumed shorter years than the ordinary, giving them 343 days each, and thus obtained 460 Julian years for the seventy weeks. Bengel, Thube, etc., on the other hand, sought to amplify, and therefore fixed the length of a mystical year at 159/441 solar years, and thus obtained 555 5/9 years for the period of seventy weeks.
5. The critico-rationalistic or anti-Messianic expositors of recent times may be divided into two principal classes:
A. That of the emendators who adopt a violent course, and seek to remove the chronological difficulty by means of exegetical or critical assumptions of a more or less arbitrary character, e.g., (1) by the assertion that the seventy weeks are ordinary weeks and therefore 490 days, and extended from the day of the vision to the time of Cyrus and of laying the foundations of the temple (thus the Eng.-work. A free Inquiry into Daniel’s vision or Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, London, 1776; cf. Bertholdt, p. 554 et seq.); (2) by the assertion that Daniel, who wrote after the time of Cyrus, predicted to the people an impending second destruction of the recently I restored temple in this prophecy, which was therefore not fulfilled (Eckermann, Theol. Beiträge, I. 1, p. 132 et seq.); (3) by the assumption that Daniel 9:25–27 are the gloss of some rabbi (Franz Löwenheim, lnquisitio critica exegetica in difficult. proph. Dan., C. 11, etc. Wirceb., 1787); (4) by several less important changes in the reading of Daniel 9:24 or 25, such as were proposed by Schmidt (in Paulus’ Memorabilia, VII., 41 et seq.), Velthusen, J. D. Michaelis, Jahn, et al. The first (with whom Baumgarten-Crusius agrees, Bibl. Theol., p. 370) reads Daniel 9:24, שִׁבְעִים שִׁכְעִים, “seventy, yea, seventy years” (which is intended to indicate the duration of the exile), and then translates Daniel 9:25, “from the present time to the Messiah are seventy, seven, sixty, and two weeks,” which is interpreted to mean that “twice seventy years may elapse before his advent” (!). Velthusen (Muthmassungen über die siebenmal 70 Jahre des Daniel, Hanover, 1774) reads Daniel 9:25 שׁכְעִים שִׁבְּעָה שָׁכֻעִים. J. D. Michaelis (Versuch über die 70 Jahruochen Daniels, Gött., 1771) emends the same passage so as to read אִכְעִים שִׁכְעָח וְשַׁכְעִים. Jahn (Herm. sacra, Append., t. I.), on the other hand, reads Daniel 9:24, like Schmidt, שִׁכְעִים שִׁכְעִים (the seventy years of the captivity), and then renders Daniel 9:25 שִׁםְעִים שִׁכְעָח (70 x 7 or 490 years, which reach from Cyrus to B. C. 64), and adds in addition וְשִׁחְעִים שִׁשִּׁים וּשְכַיִם (i.e., seventy years, to A. D. 7 or 8. and sixty-two years, to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus).
B. The more considerate and scientific expositors of the critical school conceive of the passage as belonging to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, and as a Vaticinium ex eventu relating to that age. In this view they were preceded by numerous Jewish and a few Christian representatives of the Maccabæan interpretation (e.g., by Julius Hilarianus, about A. D. 400; by Marsham, an Englishman [Canon chron., p. 610 ss.], the Jesuit Harduin [Opp. selecta, p. 592 ss.; cf. Köhler, De Harduin nove sed inepta interpretatione vatic. apud Dan. de 70 hebd., Altorf, 1721], and the English free-thinker Ant. Collins [Scheme of Literal Prophecy, Lond., 1726]). So Corrodi (Krit. Gesch. des Chiliasmus, p. 247 et seq., and Freimüthige Versuche über verschiedene in Theologie und biblische Kritik einschlagende Materien, p. 42 et seq.), who, however, introduced much that is arbitrary in developing his scheme. He renewed, for instance, the questionable expedient of transposing the weeks [see No. 4 (3)], reckoning first sixty-two hebdomads from the beginning of the captivity to the first invasion of Judæa by Epiphanes, then seven hebdomads from the date of the composition of the book of pseudo-Daniel to the Maccabæan Messiah, who, it is alleged, was expected to appear about the year B. C. 115, and finally inserting a single hebdomad between the two former periods, to which last week he assigns the actual persecutions, which involved, e.g., the murder of Onias 3, the interruption of the sacrifices, etc.—Another representative of this tendency is Eichhorn (Allgem. Bibliothek der biblischen Literatur, III., 761 et seq.) who follows the method by parallelism [No. 4 (1)] rather than that of transposition, calculating the first seven hebdomads backwards from the edict of Cyrus in B. C. 536 to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, but reckoning the sixty-two weeks forward from the fourth year of Jehoiakim (B. C. 605) to Ant. Epiphanes, and the final week from the death of Onias to the restoration of the temple services by Judas Maccabæus. —Eichhorn’s hypothesis found an adherent in 5. Ammon, who adopted it in his Biblische Theologie (II. 217 et seq.) with but few changes; but Bertholdt opposed it with keen criticism, and advanced instead the following explanation: “seventy weeks of years are determined upon the Jews until the expiation of their sin (i.e., to the dedication of the temple by Judas Maccabæus), and, more particularly, from the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to the reign of Cyrus, forty-nine years or seven weeks of years; within a period of sixty-two further weeks of years Jerusalem is to be rebuilt (hence to the time of Epiphanes). At about the end of these sixty-two weeks (?!) Alexander the Gr. dies, without leaving a natural successor. Afterward Jerusalem is desolated by Antiochus Epiphanes, who forms an alliance with numerous apostate Jews, that continues during nearly a week of years. At the middle of that week he interrupts the temple services and erects the statue of Jupiter Olympus on a wing of the temple—until death overtakes him.” So far as the chronological order of the seven and sixty-two weeks is concerned, this expositor is therefore not a parallelist, but a representative of the theory that they denote successive periods. To obviate the exorbitant interval of sixty-two weeks of years between B. C. 536 and B. C. 175, he assumes that, as a whole, the statements by the oracle respecting time “are not to be taken mathematically, but prophetically and indefinitely” (p. 613)!—Bertholdt’s theory is accepted by Griesinger (Neue Ansicht der Aufsätze im Buch Daniel, 1815, p. 92) and substantially also by Bleek. The latter (Theolog. Zeitschr. of Schleiermacher. de Wette, and Lücke, 1822, and Jahrbb. f. d. Theologie, 1860) differs from Bertholdt in several particulars, e.g., in not dating the commencement of the first seven weeks of years from the destruction of Jerusalem, but from the prophetic oracle of Jeremiah, chapters 25 and 29, and in extending the sixty-two weeks exactly to the death of Seleucus Philopater (the מָשִׁיחַ without a successor, Daniel 9:26). But they are entirely agreed in placing the seven, sixty-two; and one weeks in succession to each other, and in most positively rejecting every parallelism or transposition of these periods, as being contrary to the sense of the vision (Jahrbb., etc., p. 83).—H. L. Reichel (Die vier Weltreiche des Propheten Daniel, in the Theol. Stud. u. Krit., 1848) and Kamphausen in Bunsen’s Bibelwerk advocate views similar to those of Bleek, excepting that the latter holds that the “anointed one” of Daniel 9:26 denotes the high priest Onias, instead of Seleucus Philopater.—Several others, however, again made use of parallelisms, e.g., Rösch (Die 70 Jahrwochen des Buches Daniel, genau chronologisch nachgewiesen, Stud. u. Krit., 1834), v. Lengerke, and Hitzig. The first takes the year B. C. 609 as the starting-point of the two parallel epochs as being the year which the alleged pseudo-Daniel assumed for the destruction of Jerusalem. The seven weeks of years, beginning at that date, were to continue until the commencement of the reign of Cyrus, B. C. 560, and the sixty-two weeks until the death of Seleucus Philopater, the “anointed one who should be cut off;” but this period is lengthened by the addition of eight farther weeks, which reach to B. C. 120 or to John Hyrcanus, the political Messiah of Judaism in the Maccabæan period. Von Lengerke likewise regards the seven and the sixty-two years as being parallel, but dates them from B. C. 588. The sixty-two were to expire with the murder of Seleucus Philopater, the “anointed one,” Daniel 9:26 (although this is said to involve an error of 21–22 years in the reckoning of pseudo-Daniel, since the 434 years, if calculated from 588, would, in fact, reach to B. C. 154), and the seventieth week was to reach from 170 to the death of Antiochus in B. C. 164. There is consequently a gap of about six years between the close of the sixty-second week and the beginning of the last! Hitzig subjects this hypothesis of 5. Lengerke to a searching criticism, but on his part, likewise adopts an arbitrary explanation based on parallelisms. He (a) inserts the seven weeks of years between B. C. 588 and 539; (b) the sixty-two weeks or 434 years, on the other hand, are reckoned backward, from B. C. 172 to B. C. 606, the year in which Jeremiah uttered his prophecy respecting the seventy years; (c) the seventieth week extends from April, B. C. 170, to the end of March, 164, and the murder of Onias, the “anointed one,” Daniel 9:26, falls in the beginning of this last week. This hypothesis comes nearest to that of Eichhorn, from which it differs merely in reckoning the seven weeks forward from 588, and the sixty-two backward from 172, while Eichhorn counts the seven weeks in a retrograde order, and the sixty-two progressively.—A peculiar mode of reckoning was adopted by Ewald, which may be characterized as the abbreviating method. It first reckons the seven weeks of years from B. C. 588 to 539, and the sixty-two weeks from thence to B. C. 105, but then assumes a shortening of the latter period of 434 years by seventy (which reduction, it is alleged, was formerly indicated in the text itself by a note after Daniel 9:25 or Daniel 9:27 that has now been lost), and by this method returns to the year B. C. 175, in which the “anointed one was cut off,” i.e., in which Seleucus Philopater died—and approximately at the same time, the year in which the momentous last week began, which extends from B. C. 174 to 167 (p. 424 et seq.).—Wieseler in substance (in his treatise, Die 70 Wochen, formerly followed the method of parallelism etc., Göttingen, 1839), but at a later period preferred a peculiar modification of the transposing method (in his review of the Times of Daniel, by the duke of Manchester, Gött. Gel.-Anz., 1846). In the former instance he reckoned the sixty-two weeks from B. C. 606 to B. C. 172, and the last week from 172–165, and regarded the seven weeks as not admissible or to be counted beside the other sixty three (pp. 102 et seq.; 123 et seq.); but in the latter, while he continues to reckon the sixty-three weeks from B. C. 606–165, he places the seven weeks after them, as representing the period which was to elapse between the week of severe tribulation and the advent of the Messiah (the מָשִׁיחַ כָגִיד, Daniel 9:25, who is to be carefully distinguished from the מָשִׁיחַ mentioned in Daniel 9:26, where Onias is intended). This period, which must not be calculated with mathematical exactness, but is to be interpreted spiritually, denotes a jubilee cycle, that has grown from a period of fifty years into one of more than 150 years, since Christ was born 160 years after the date of its beginning (p. 131 et seq.). Wieseler’s modification of the transposing method may be denominated the lengthening hypothesis, in contradistinction from Ewald’s abbreviating method. It obviously forms the point of transition to the Messianic conception of the text, and is intimately connected with the views of several representatives of the typical-Messianic interpretation in the latest times.
6. The most recent Messianic expositors are divided into two classes, who advocate respectively a direct-Messianic interpretation of the prophecy, or one that is merely typically Messianic.
A. To the former class belong Less (Beweis der Wahrheit der christlichen Religion, p. 275 et seq.), Sack (Apologetik, p. 288 et seq.), Scholl (Commentatio de Sept. hebdomadibus Danielis, Francof., 1831), Dereser, Hävernick, Hengstenberg, Allioli, Reinke, Stawars, Sepp, Weigl, Auberlen, Duke George of Manchester, Pusey, Kliefoth, etc. [including the great body of English and American expositors, with the almost sole exception of Moses Stuart]. In general, they are agreed in referring both the מָשִׁיחַ כָגִיד Daniel 9:25, and the מָשִׁיחַ, Daniel 9:26, to Jesus Christ, but they differ considerably as to the special terminus a quo of the prophecy, or its terminus ad quem. A majority regard the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, or B. C. 455 (Neh. 1:1; 2:1) as the starting-point of the seventy weeks or the date of the מֹצָא דָבָר. They count sixty-nine weeks of years, or 483 years, from that date to the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, twenty-eight ær. Dionysius, or 782 a. u. c. (Luke 3:1), when the three and a half years of public activity on the part of our Lord began. They consequently place the Saviour’s death and resurrection in the middle of the last week, and refer the יִכָּרֵת מָשִׁיחַ וְאֵיך לוֹ, Daniel 9:26 to his crucifixion. The remaining three and a half years are regarded as a more or less variable terminus, admitting of no precise chronological determination, but rather transpiring indefinitely in the course of the founding of Christianity (so Less, Sack, Scholl, Dereser, Hävernick, Hengstenberg, Allioli, Reinke). Modifications of this theory are advocated (1) by Fr. Stawars (Die Weissaguny Daniels ix. 24–27 in Bezug auf das Taufjahr Jesu, in the Tübinger Theol. Quartalschrift, 1868, No. 3, p. 416 et seq.), who translates מִן מֹצָא דָכָר, Daniel 9:25, “from the fulfilment of God’s promise to rebuild Jerusalem,” and contends that that promise was fulfilled in connection with the rebuilding of Jerusalem as a city, under Nehemiah, in the year 458; from that time to twenty-six ær. Dionysius 483 years or sixty-nine weeks elapsed, and immediately afterward, in Jan. 27, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John; (2) by Auberlen and Pusey, who begin the seventy weeks in B. C. 458, or the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezra 7:7), instead of the twentieth year of that reign, and thus obtain the twenty-sixth year of our æra as the close of the sixty-nine weeks, or the time of our Lord’s baptism; (3) by Sepp (Leben Jesu, I., p. 248 et seq., second ed.), who regards Ezra as the spiritual rebuilder of Jerusalem, and therefore reckons from the year B. C. 460, locating the baptism of Jesus in the year 778 a. u. c., or A. D. 25; (4) by Weigl (Ueber das wahre Geburts- und
Sterbe-jahr Jesu Christi, Part I., p. 103 et seq.), who renders the words at the commencement of Daniel 9:25 “from the execution of the command to rebuild Jerusalem,” etc., and begins the seventy weeks with the year B. C. 453, thus obtaining the year 783 a. u. c., or A. D. 30, as the time of our Lord’s baptism; (5) by Duke George of Manchester (in the work reviewed by Wieseler, The times of Daniel, chronological and prophetical, examined with relation to the point of contact between sacred and profane chronology, Lond. and Edinb., 1845), who takes the first year of Darius Medus as the terminus a quo of the seventy weeks—identifying that monarch with Darius Nothus, like Tertullian, Scaliger, Calvisius, etc.—and therefore calculates the 490 years from B. C. 424, which brings him to A. D. 66, the year in which the Christians fled from the besieged city of Jerusalem, and in which the Christian church was really founded. He assumes an entirely different terminus a quo for the sixty-nine weeks, namely B. C. 444, the alleged first year of Cyrus, whom he believes to have lived in the fifth instead of the sixth century before Christ (!!). The sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, intervened tween that year and Christ’s death on the cross in March, A. D. 38; (6) by Kliefoth, who goes back to the mystical theory of reckoning, and accordingly extends the seven weeks from the edict of Cyrus in B. C. 537 to the advent of Christ, regardless of the fact that that period does not consist of seven weeks of years, nor of seven centuries, nor of any cycle whatever, whose aggregate of years is divisible by seven —the sixty-two sevens from Christ to the time of the great apostacy, or of the antichrist at the end of earthly history (during which period of indefinite duration the church is to be “built” and “restored,” or brought back to God), and finally, the last week from the great apostacy to the appearing of Christ, the last judgment, and the consummation of the world.
B. Hofmann, Delitzsch, Füller, Ebrard, and Kranichfeld [also substantially Keil] adopt the typically Messianic interpretation. The former three also favor the transposing theory followed by Wieseler (1846), inasmuch as they assign to the seven weeks of years a place after the 62 + 1 weeks. They reckon the latter from B. C. 606 or the fourth year of Jehoiakim to the time of the Maccabees (and more particularly, the sixty-two weeks from 606–172, and the one week from 172–165), regarding the events of the æra of the Antiochian persecution and the Maccabæan revolt as types and prefigurations of the history of the founding of Christianity; and they describe the seven weeks of years as a period of unmeasured length, whose beginning is coincident with the “going forth of the word to build Jerusalem,” i.e., with the first preaching of the Gospel in the time of Christ and the apostles, while their end is connected with the judgment of the world and the advent of Christ! There is therefore, on this theory, a “breaking of the thread,” or a hiatus, between the sixty-three and the seven weeks amounting to about 160–190 years, and, in addition, an extension of the last seven weeks into periods of mysterious length; in other words, the aid of intercalation and of mystical enumeration is superadded to that of transposition [cf. supra, No. 4, (2), (3), and (8)]. These are employed at least by Hofmann and Delitzsch, who do not even shrink from the venturous experiment of amplifying the seventy weeks into quadratic Sabbatic periods, while Füller, more sober and considerate, but assuredly not less arbitrary, interprets the six weeks as being wholly future, and as belonging to the distant end of the world. He endeavors to render this inordinate hiatus conceivable by the assumption that Daniel saw the post-Macedonian antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes, and the post-Roman antichrist of the last times perspectively as one.—Ebrard avoids every method of transposition, but does not escape violently altering the text (in a review of Füller’s Daniel, in the Güterslohe Allgem. literar. Anzeiger, Oct., 1868, p. 267, and earlier, in his Offenbarung Johannis, p. 67 et seq.), in his endeavor to demonstrate the typically Messianic sense of the passage. Supported by the amplifying version of the Sept. (see supra, No. 1), he reads שָׁבְעִים in Daniel 9:25 a (soil. שְׁבֻעִים), instead of שָׁבֻעִרם, or he asserts that שִׁבְעִים was omitted after שָׁבֻעִים through the inadvertence of a copyist. He farther holds that Daniel 9:24 states, in general terms and round numbers, that seventy weeks of years were to elapse from the beginning of the captivity to Christ, and, by the method described above, obtains the more exact statement in Daniel 9:25, that 7 + 70 = 77 weeks of years should intervene between the edict of Cyrus (538) and Christ, and sixty-two weeks between the building of the city “with street and wall” by Nehemiah (B. C. 440) and Christ (six years earlier than the Christian æra). The time from Christ’s birth to his death or the thirty-five years of his life on earth, in which he particularly includes the three and a half years of his official activity, are conceived by him as the former half of the last week, the whole of which is said to be a “larger mystical” week; and its latter half “reaches to the mystical three and a half years of the Apocalypse, which extend to the return of Christ.”—Kranichfeld does less violence to the text than any of those referred to. Avoiding transposition, parallelisms, and emendations, he reckons the first seven weeks of years from the prophecy of Jeremiah, chap. 29, and from the destruction of Jerusalem in B. C. 588 (cf. supra, on Daniel 9:25), the sixty-two weeks from the end of the former seven or the time of Daniel’s vision in B. C. 539, and regards the מָשִׁיחַ כָגִיד, Daniel 9:25, who stands at the beginning of the sixty-two weeks, as representing Cyrus, while the מָשִׁיחַ, Daniel 9:26, who appears at their close, is supposed to denote Christ. This theory consequently postulates a gap of more than a century between the Maccabæan period, which bounds the sixty-two weeks (and to whose sufferings the prophetic descriptions of Daniel 9:26 and 27 refer), and the time of Christ, the “anointed one who was to be cut off,” Daniel 9:26 a, which interval was unnoticed by the prophet, in harmony with the law of perspective vision.62
The assumption of this interval between the close of the sixty-two weeks and the opening of the New-Test. æra of salvation does hot constitute the feature which forms our only objection to Kranichfeld’s theory; for, without some such interval the prophecy would lose its genuinely prophetic character, and instead of being an ideal description, possessing the future, it would present a calculation of arithmetical exactness (cf. the following section, No. 1). Our difficulty consists in the circumstance that the “anointed one who should be cut off,” Daniel 9:26 a, is held to be Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who was exalted through humiliation and sufferings to glory, while everything subsequently mentioned in the immediate context (the “prince” who should “destroy the city and the sanctuary,” the “covenant with many” confirmed by him, the interruption of the sacrifice and oblation, the introduction of the abomination of desolation, and the judicial punishment of the destroyer) had its complete historical fulfilment in the events of the period of persecution and oppression under Antiochus, and serves merely as a typical illustration of the times of suffering and of the judgments under the New Covenant. The continuity of the prophetic description appears to be painfully broken by this application of Daniel 9:26 a to Christ, when the predictions of Daniel 9:26, 27 are simultaneously referred [by Kranichfeld, etc.] to the Maccabæan epoch. In addition to this contradiction of the context, this method of interpretation involves the logical inconsequence of a vacillation between the typical and the direct Messianic theory of exposition, or of an obscure intermixture of the prefigurative and the antitypical.
(BY THE AMERICAN REVISOR.)
[Identification of the Historical Periods comprised within the “Seventy Weeks” in Daniel 9:24–27].
Seventy heptades have been decreed [to transpire] upon thy nation, and upon thy holy city, for [entirely] closing the [punishment of] sin, and for sealing up [the retributive sentence against their] offences, and for expiating guilt, and for bringing in [the state of] perpetual righteousness, and for sealing up [the verification of] vision and prophet, and for anointing Holy of Holies. And thou shalt know and consider [that] from [the time of the] issuing of a command for restoring and building [i. e., for rebuilding] Jerusalem till [the coming of] Messiah prince [shall intervene] seven heptades, and sixty and two heptades; [its] street shall return and be built [i. e., shall be rebuilt], and [its] fosse, and [that] in distress of the times. And after the sixty and two heptades Messiah shall be cut off, and nothing [shall be left] to him; and people of the coming prince shall destroy the city and the holy [building], and his end [of fighting shall come] with [or, like] the flood, and until [the] end of warring [shall occur the] decreed [result] of desolations. And he shall establish a covenant for the many [during] one heptade, and [at the] middle of the heptade he shall cause to cease sacrifice and offering; and over a wing [i. e., eagle as an ensign] of abominations [i. e., idolatrous images], [shall preside the] desolator, and [this shall continue] till completion, and a decreed [one that] shall pour out upon [the] desolate.
I have been unable to satisfy myself of the entire consistency of any of the foregoing interpretations of this remarkable prophecy, and would therefore propose a partly new elucidation, in accordance with the preceding literal translation and the following diagram. In doing this I need not dwell upon the minor peculiarities of phraseology, which have been fully treated already.
In Daniel 9:24 we have a general view of the last great period of the Jewish Church (see the middle line in the diagram). It was to embrace four hundred and ninety years, from their permanent release from Babylonian bondage, till and, the time when God would finally cast them off for their incorrigible unbelief. Within this space Jehovah would fulfil what he had predicted, and accomplish all his designs respecting them under their special relation. The particulars noted in this cursory survey are, first, the conclusion of the then existing exile (expressed in three variations, of which the last phrase, “expiating guilt,” explains the two former, “closing the sin” and “sealing up offences;”) next, the fulfilment of ancient prophecy, by ushering in the religious prosperity of Gospel times; and, lastly, as the essential feature, the consecration of the Messiah to his redeeming office.
The only “command” answering to that of Daniel 9:25 is that of Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued in the seventh year of his reign, and recorded in the seventh chapter of Ezra, as Prideaux has abundantly shown, and as many critics agree. At this time, also, more Jews returned to their home than at any other, and the literal as well as spiritual “rebuilding of Jerusalem” was prosecuted with unsurpassed vigor. The period here referred to extends “till the Messiah” (see the upper line of the diagram); that is, as far as his public recognition as such by the Voice at his baptism, the “anointing” of the previous verse; and not to his death,—as is commonly supposed, but which is afterward referred to in very different language; nor to his birth—which would make the entire compass of the prophecy vary much from four hundred and ninety years. The period of this verse is divided into two portions of “seven heptades” and “sixty-two heptades,” as if the “command” from which it dates were renewed at the end of the first portion; and this we find was the case. Ezra, under whom this reformation of the State and religion began, was succeeded in the work by Nehemiah, who, having occasion to return to Persia in the twenty-fifth year after the commencement of the work (Neh. 13:6), returned “after certain days,” and found that it had so far retrograded that he was obliged to institute it anew. The length of his stay at court is not given, but it must have been considerable to allow so great a backsliding among the lately reformed Jews. Prideaux contends that his return to Judæa was after an absence of twenty-four years;63 and I have supposed the new reform then set on foot by him to have occupied a little over three years, which is certainly none too much time for the task (see the lower line of the diagram). The “rebuilding of the streets and intrenchments in times of distress” seems to refer, in its literal sense, to the former part especially of the forty-nine years (compare Nehemiah 4), very little having been previously done towards rebuilding the city, although former decrees had been issued for repairing the temple;64 and, in its spiritual import, it applies to the whole time, and peculiarly to the three years of the last reform.
The “sixty-two weeks” of Daniel 9:26, be it observed, are not said to commence at the end of the “seven weeks” of Daniel 9:25, but, in more general terms, after the “distressing times” during which the reform was going on; hence, they properly date from the end of that reform, when things became permanently settled. It is in consequence of a failure to notice this variation in the limits of the two periods of sixty-two weeks referred to by the prophet (compare the middle portions of the upper and of the lower line in the diagram) that critics have thrown the whole scheme of this prophecy into disorder in applying to the same event such irreconcilable language as is used in describing some of its different elements. By the ravaging invasion of foreigners here foretold, is manifestly intended the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman troops, whose emperor’s son, Titus, is here styled a “prince” in command of them. The same allusion is also clear from the latter part of the following verse. But this event must not be included within the seventy weeks; because, in the first place, the accomplishment would not sustain such a view,—from the decree, B. C. 459, to the destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70, being five hundred and twenty-eight years; secondly, the language of Daniel 9:24 does not require it,—as it is not embraced in the purposes for which the seventy weeks are there stated to be appointed to Jerusalem and its inhabitants; and, lastly, the Jews then no longer formed a link in the chain of ecclesiastical history in the Divine sense,—Christian believers having become the true descendants of Abraham. At the close of the verse we have the judgments with which God would afflict the Jews for cutting off the Messiah: these would be so severe, that the prophet (or, rather, the angel instructing him) cannot refrain from introducing them here, in connection with that event, although he afterwards adverts to them in their proper order. What these sufferings were, Josephus narrates with a minuteness that chills the blood, affording a wonderful coincidence with the prediction of Moses in Deut. 28:15–8; they are here called a “flood,” the well-known Scripture emblem of terrible political calamities (as in Isa. 8:7, 8; Dan. 11:10, 22; Nah. 1:8).
Daniel 9:27 has given the greatest trouble to critics of any in the whole passage; and, indeed, the common theory, by which the seventy weeks are made to end with the crucifixion, is flatly contradicted by the cessation of the daily sacrificial offerings at the temple, “in the middle of the week.” All attempts to crowd aside this point are in vain; for such an abolition could not be said to occur in any pertinent sense before the offering of the Great Sacrifice, especially as Jesus himself, during his ministry, always countenanced their celebration. Besides, the advocates of this scheme are obliged to make this last “week” encroach upon the preceding “sixty-two weeks,” so as to include John the Baptist’s ministry, in order to make out seven years for “confirming the covenant;” and when they have done this they run counter to the previous explicit direction, which makes the first sixty-nine weeks come down “to the Messiah,” and not end at John. By means of the double line of dates exhibited in the above diagram, all this is harmoniously adjusted; and at the same time the only satisfactory interpretation is retained, that after the true Atonement, these typical oblations ceased to have any meaning or efficacy, although before it they could not consistently be dispensed with, even by Christ and his Apostles.
The seventy weeks, therefore, were allotted to the Jews as their only season of favor or mercy as a Church, and we know that they were not immediately cast off upon their murder of Christ (see Luke 24:27; Acts 3:12–26). The gospel was specially directed to be first preached to them; and not only during our Saviour’s personal ministry, but for several years afterward, the invitations of grace were confined to them. The first instance of a “turning to the Gentiles” proper was the baptism of the Roman centurion Cornelius, during the fourth year after the resurrection of Christ. In this interval the Jewish people had shown their determined opposition to the New “Covenant” by imprisoning the Apostles, stoning Stephen to death, and officially proscribing Christianity through their Sanhedrim: soon after this martyrdom occurred the conversion of Saul, who “was a chosen vessel to bear God’s name to the Gentiles”: and about two years after this event the door was thrown wide open for their admission into the covenant relation of the church, instead of the Jews, by the vision of Peter and the conversion of Cornelius. Here we find a marked epoch, fixed by the finger of God in all the miraculous circumstances of the event, as well as by the formal apostolical decree, ratifying it, and obviously forming the great turning-point between the two dispensations. We find no evidence that “many” of the Jews embraced Christianity after this period, although they had been converted in great numbers on several occasions under the Apostles’ preaching, not only in Judæa, but also in Galilee, and even among the semi-Jewish inhabitants of Samaria; the Jews had now rejected Christ as a nation with a tested and incorrigible hatred, and, having thus disowned their God, they were forsaken by him, and devoted to destruction, as the prophet intimates would be their retribution for that “decision,” in which the four hundred and ninety years of this their second and last probation in the Promised Land would result. It is thus strictly true that Christ, personally and by his Apostles, “established the covenant,” which had formerly been made, and was now renewed, with many of the chosen people, for precisely seven years after his public appearance as a Teacher; in the very middle of which space He superseded forever the sacrificial offerings of the Mosaic ritual by the one perfect and sufficient Offering of His own body on the cross.
In the latter part of this verse we have a graphic outline of the terrible catastrophe that should fall upon the Jews, in consequence of their rejection of the Messiah; a desolation that should not cease to cover them, but by the extinction of the oppressed nation; it forms an appendix to the main prophecy. Our Saviour’s language leaves no doubt as to the application of this passage, in His memorable warning to His disciples, that when they should be about to “see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,” they should then “flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:15, 16; comp. 23:36, 38), in order to save themselves from that awful “consummation” of ruin, which he also pointed out as the “determined” fate of that impenitent city, after it should have endured the “desolating” ravages of a siege unparalleled in rigor and suffering, besides being “left desolate” by the abandonment of their God. The destined period of fulfilment arrived, and Josephus, who witnessed it, tells us that the standards of the Roman army, who held sacred the shrined silver eagles that surmounted their banners, were actually placed, during the capture, in the temple, opposite the eastern gate, and there sacrificed to (De Bell. Jud., VI. 6, 1). Equally exact, if the view proposed above is correct, are all the specifications of this wonderful prophecy.
In the preceding investigation several chronological points have been partially assumed, which entire satisfaction with the results obtained would require to be fully proved. A minute investigation of the grounds on which all the dates involved rest would occupy too much space for the present discussion; I shall, therefore, content myself with determining the two boundary dates of the entire period, trusting the intermediate ones to such incidental evidences of their correctness as may have been afforded in the foregoing elucidation, or may arise in connection with the settlement proposed.65 If these widely distant points can be fixed by definite data independently of each other, the correspondence of the interval will afford strong presumption that it is the true one, which will be heightened as the subdivisions fall naturally into their prescribed limits; and thus the above coincidence in the character of the events will receive all the confirmation that the nature of the case admits.
1. The date of the Edict. I have supposed this to be from the time of its taking effect at Jerusalem, rather than from that of its nominal issue at Babylon; the difference, however,— being only four months,—will not seriously affect the argument. Ezra states (Daniel 7:8), that “he arrived at Jerusalem in the fifth month (Ab, our July–August) of the seventh year of the king” Artaxerxes. Ctesias, who had every opportunity to know, makes Artaxerxes to have reigned forty-two years, and Thucydides states that an Athenian embassy, sent to Ephesus in the winter that closed the seventh year of the Peloponnesian war, was there met with the news of Artaxerxes’ death, πυθόμενοι … Ἀρταξέρξην … νεωστὶ τεθνηκότα (κατὰ γάρ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ἐτελεύτησεν), Bell. Pelop., iv. 50. Now this war began in the spring of B. C. 431, as all allow (Thuc. 2:2), and its seventh year expired with the spring of B. C. 424; consequently, Artaxerxes died in the winter introducing that year, and his reign began some time in B. C. 466. This latter historian also states that Themistocles, in his flight to Asia, having been driven by a storm into the Athenian fleet, at that time blockading Naxos, managed to get safely carried away to Ephesus, whence he dispatched a letter of solicitation to Artaxerxes, then lately invested with royalty, νεωστὶ βασιλεύοντα [Bell. Pelop., i. 137). The date of the conquest of that island is B. C. 466, which is, therefore, also that of the Persian king’s accession. It is now necessary to fix the season of the year in which he became king. If Ctesias means that his reign lasted forty-two full years, or a little over rather than under that length, the accession must be dated prior to the beginning of B. C. 466; but it is more in accordance with the usual computation of reigns to give the number of current years, if nearly full, and this will bring the date of accession down to about the beginning of summer, B. C. 466. This result is also more in accordance with the simultaneous capture of Naxos, which can hardly have occurred earlier in that year. I may add, that it likewise explains the length assigned to this reign (forty-one years) by Ptolemy, in his Astronomical Canon, although he has misled modern compilers of ancient history by beginning it in B. C. 465, having apparently himself fallen into some confusion, from silently annexing the short intermediate periods of anarchy sometimes to the preceding and at others to the ensuing reign. The “seventh year” of Artaxerxes, therefore, began about the summer of B. C. 460, and the “first [Hebrew] month” (Nisan) occurring within that twelvemonth, gives the following March–April of B. C. 459 as the time when Ezra received his commission to proceed to Jerusalem for the purpose of executing the royal mandate.
2. The date of the conversion of Cornelius. The solution of this question will be the determination of the distance of this event from the time of our Saviour’s Passion; the absolute date of this latter occurrence must, therefore, first be determined. This is ascertained to have taken place in A. D. 29, by a comparison of the duration of Christ’s ministry with the historical data of Luke 3:1–23; but the investigation is too long to be inserted here. (See Dr. Jarvis’s Introduction to the History of the Church.) A ready mode of testing this conclusion is by observing that this is the only one of the adjacent series of years in which the calculated date of the equinoctial full moon coincides with that of the Friday of the crucifixion Passover, as any one may see—with sufficient accuracy for ordinary purposes—by computing the mean lunations and week-day back from the present time. This brings the date of Christ’s baptism to A. D. 25; and the whole tenor of the Gospel narratives indicates that this took place in the latter part of summer. Other more definite criteria of the season cannot be specified here.
The chief chronological difficulties of the Acts occur in the arrangement of the events associated with Cornelius’s conversion, and arise from the vague notes of time (or, rather, absence of any definite dates) by Luke, between the account of the Pentecostal effusion (Daniel 2:1) and the death of Herod Agrippa the elder (Daniel 12:23); indeed, but for the periods noted by Paul in Gal. 1 and 2 it would be utterly impossible to adjust minutely the dates of this portion of the history. As it is, the subject is almost abandoned by most chronologers and commentators as hopelessly obscure and uncertain; but there is no occasion for such despair. The death of Herod is ascertained (by the help of Josephus, Antiq., 19:8, 2) to have occurred in the early part of the year A. D. 44, between which time and the Pentecost of A. D. 29 is an interval of fifteen years, covered by the incidents contained in chapters 2–11 of the Acts. The visit of Paul, spoken of by him as his second to Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1), appears at first sight to be the same with that narrated in Acts 2:30, since there is no mention of any intervening visit; it was made in company with Barnabas, and the “revelation” (Gal. 2:2) might answer to the prediction of the famine by Agabus (Acts 11:28), which caused the journey. Now in that case it is certain that the date of this visit (“fourteen years after”) is not reckoned from that of his former visit (Gal. 1:18), for then it would have occurred at least seventeen years (14+3) after his conversion, which would be two years more than the whole interval between this second visit and the Pentecost referred to; it is, therefore, reckoned from his conversion, which makes his journey to Damascus, on which he was converted, occur one year (15–14) after this Pentecost. This is corroborated by two ancient ecclesiastical traditions, one of which states that Paul was converted in the year after the Ascension, and the other refers the martyrdom of Stephen (which was so connected with Paul’s persecuting journey to Damascus, as not to have preceded it many months) to the close of the same year in which Christ suffered. If, on the other hand, as the best authorities mostly agree, the second visit spoken of in Gal. corresponds with that described in Acts 15, as the similarity of the subject debated at the time (the obligation of Mosaism) especially indicates, then we are at liberty to apply the natural interpretation to the intervals there given, and we shall thus have the visit in question occurring seventeen years after the conversion of Paul. Now, the date of the visit referred to in Acts 12 is known to be A. D. 44, and if we allow the reasonable space of three years for the first missionary journey, as recorded in the intervening chapters (Acts 13, 14), and the considerable stay at Antioch upon its close (14:28), we shall still have, as before, an interval of one year between the Crucifixion and Paul’s conversion—a space, for all that we can see, sufficiently ample for the events related.
Paul’s first visit (Gal. 1:8) must naturally be reckoned in like manner from his conversion, as it is mentioned to show the length of his stay in Damascus and its vicinity, and is put in contrast with his intentional avoidance of Jerusalem on his conversion (Daniel 9:17); we have thus the date of this same visit in Acts 9:26 fixed at A. D. 33, four years after the noted Pentecost. I need not here discuss the length nor precise time of the visit into Arabia (Gal. 1:17), nor the exact mode of adjusting this passage with Luke’s account in the Acts; these points are capable of easy solution, and do not require the supposition of some intervening visit in either narrative. Neither need I stop to reconcile the mention of travels in Syria (Gal. 1:21) with the sea voyage direct from Cæsarea to Tarsus (Acts 9:30); the visit to Jerusalem occupied only fifteen days (Gal. 1:18), and there is nothing here to disturb the above dates.
Most chronological schemes, blindly following the order of Acts 9 and 10, without taking into special consideration this interval of three years spent by Paul at Damascus, have placed the conversion of Cornelius after that apostle’s return to Tarsus, the arrangers being apparently actuated by a desire to fill up the period of fifteen years by sprinkling the events along as widely apart as possible for the sake of uniform intervals. But several considerations present themselves to my mind which cause me to think this arrangement erroneous. In the outset, the question arises on this supposition, What were the other apostles doing these three years? Was nothing going on at Jerusalem or in Judæa worth recording? But this interval is not thus left a blank by the sacred historian. Luke says (Acts 9:31), “Then had the churches rest,” etc.; that is, as I understand it, during these three years, the persecution stirred up by Saul after the martyrdom of Stephen being arrested by the conversion of that enemy, the Christian societies generally enjoyed great quiet and prosperity. I cannot discover any pertinent cause for this remark, unless we suppose it to refer to the period succeeding this event. The same idea is carried by the mention of the travels of Peter “through all parts” (Daniel 9:32), evidently during this season of outward peace, when his presence was no longer needed to sustain the Church at Jerusalem. It was during this tour that Peter was called to preach the Gospel to Cornelius; the year succeeding the conversion of Saul was probably spent by Peter in building up the society at the metropolis, his tour apparently occupied the summer of the year following; and in the third year Paul, on his visit to Jerusalem, finds Peter returned thither. This affords convenient time for all these occurrences, and connects them in their natural order. Lastly, under this view we can readily explain the plan of Luke’s narrative in these chapters: after tracing the history of the Church (specially under the conduct of Peter) down to the persecution by Saul, he takes up the subject of this opponent’s conversion, and does not quit him until he has left him in quiet at home—hence his omission of all reference to these three years as being unsuitable to his design of continuity; he then returns to Peter, and narrates his doings in the interim. This parallel method of narration is proved by the resumption of Paul’s history in chapter 11:19, where Luke evidently goes back to the time of Stephen, in order to show what the dispersed evangelists had been accomplishing during the four years succeeding that martyrdom, and thus connect the preaching to the Gentiles with the latter part of that period (Daniel 9:20); and this again prepares the way for the visit to Antioch of Paul, who had lately returned to Tarsus.
It is true, in this scheme there is made an interval of ten years between the establishment of the Church at Antioch and the visit of Paul to Jerusalem, about the time of Herod’s death; but it is much better to place such an interval, during which no incident of striking moment occurred, after the Gospel had become in a measure rooted in the community, than to intersperse considerable periods of uninteresting silence in its early planting, when matters which, had they transpired afterward, would be passed by as trivial, were of the greatest importance in the history. Intimations are given of the general prosperity of the cause, and there was no occasion to present the details of this period, until some remarkable event broke the even course of occurrences. Such an event was the visit of Paul, and especially the contemporaneous conduct and fate of Herod; and the latter account is accordingly introduced in the twelfth chapter by the phrase, Κατ̓ ἐκεῖνον δὲ τὸν καιρόν, always indicative of some fresh occurrence after a period of comparative monotony and silence. Nor is this interval left entirely devoid of incident; it is in fact filled up by the account of the preparation for the famine. It was “during those days” that the prophet Agabus visited Antioch from Jerusalem; some time after his arrival, he predicted the famine, and it is plainly intimated that the fulfilment did not take place immediately, but several years afterward, “in the days of Claudius Cæsar.” That emperor, therefore, was not reigning at the time of its utterance, and as the famine took place in the fourth year of his reign (Josephus, Ant., xx. 5, 2, compared with 1.2), there is here an interval of at least four years silently occurring between two closely related incidents of this period. The “whole year” during which Paul preached at Antioch (Acts 11:26) is reckoned from his call thither by Barnabas, but does not extend to his visit to Jerusalem; it only covers his first labors confined to the city itself (after which he itinerated in the neighboring regions of Syria, Gal. 1:21), and extends merely to about the time of the arrival of Agabus. The above interval of ten years was occupied by Paul in such labors as are referred to in 2 Cor. 11:23–27.
We thus arrive at the conclusion, based upon internal evidence, that the admission of the Gentiles by the conversion of Cornelius occurred near the close of Peter’s summer tour, in A. D. 32; we cannot be far from certainty in fixing it as happening in the month of September of that year.]
ETHICO-FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES RELATED TO THE HISTORY OF SALVATION, APOLOGETICAL REMARKS, AND HOMILETICAL SUGGESTIONS
1. A truly unbiassed apprehension of the sense of the prophecy respecting the seventy weeks of years will succeed in demonstrating a typical reference to the Messiah only rather than any direct allusion. The general character of the language in the introductory passage, Daniel 9:24, opens a prospect, indeed, of events such as are elsewhere foretold only in prophecies that are directly Messianic in their nature; but these events are here assigned to a time immediately subsequent to the end of the seventy weeks of years, which are made to begin with Jeremiah’s דָּבָר concerning the seventy years, or at about the commencement of the captivity (B. C. 600 or 588). The prophet consequently saw the Messianic period of deliverance in a much closer proximity than its actual distance from his time would justify, and he connected it intimately with the æra of persecution under the Seleucidæ, which he saw in spirit as the closing period of the series of seventy sevens of years, as prophetically revealed to him. The theocratic seer, who could not calculate by centuries, but only by Sabbatic periods or cycles of jubilees, expected the advent of the Messianic deliverance after seventy Sabbatic years should have expired, instead of removing it to the distance of five or six centuries.67 The limit assigned by the prophet certainly testifies to his wonderful range of vision, and exalts him far above his contemporaries in the captivity, none of whom would have been likely to remove the beginning of the Messianic æra to any considerable distance beyond yond the close of the Babylonian captivity; but it still falls below the historical measure of the distance between Jeremiah’s prophecy and the New-Test, fulfilment by 100–110 years,-or, in other words, instead of extending into the time of Christ, it merely reaches to the age of John Hyrcanus and his immediate successors. The principal stations in the course of pre-Christian development were doubtless sufficiently apparent to the prophet, and upon the whole, were seen as separated from each other by precisely the interval which actually resulted in the progress of events. In his younger contemporary Cyrus, the “anointed prince,” Daniel 9:25, he recognized the introducer and founder of a period of relative salvation for the people of God (a period which should bring a restoration of Jerusalem, although for the time an imperfect, troubled, and oppressed restoration), and therefore saw in that prince a first typical forerunner of the Messiah. He saw a farther prefatory condition to the coming of the Messiah in the religious persecutions and antitheocratic abominations, with which the descendant of a royal Javanic house should afflict Israel in the distant future, slaying the anointed high priest (Onias III., B. C. 172), and even interrupting the theocratic worship for a time and desecrating its sanctuary; and he fixed the interval between the former positive and this later negative preparation for Messiah’s coming, with approximate correctness, at sixty-two weeks (i.e., the difference between the first seven, which had already expired at his time, and the momentous last week of the seventy—a number of years which certainly exceeds the actual historical interval between 539 and 175 or between Cyrus and Epiphanes by seventy years.68 But the additional interval of more than one and a half centuries or twenty-three to twenty-four weeks of years, which, according to the Divine purpose, was to intervene between the typical ὠδῖνες τοῦ χριστοῦ of the Maccabæan age and the advent of Christ, escaped his vision while ranging in the distance. In the limitation of his earthly and human consciousness he did not suspect that the Spirit of prophecy did not reveal to him any immediate, but only indirect preparations and types of the Messianic tera. He does not see the abysmal gap of renewed waiting during nearly two hundred years, which separated the bright exaltation of the victorious Maccabæan æra from the still more glorious and heavenly period in which the New Covenant should be established; and the prophets and observers of prophetic predictions immediately subsequent to him, probably noticed no more of that interval than did he (cf. the Eth.-fund, principles on chap. 7 No. 2). The pious theocratic searchers of the Scriptures in the Maccabæan period, and probably in the later stages of that period, who had themselves begun to experience a painful consciousness of the descent into the gap which Daniel had overlooked, were probably the first to arrive at an understanding of the merely typical nature of the contents of Daniel 9:26 and 27, thus being taught to look for a more perfect and enduring realization of that oracle. Cf. Kranichfeld, p. 337: “This natural difference between the prophet’s conception of events and their historical reality would ultimately lead to the inference that a farther realization of the prophecy was to be expected,70 inasmuch as the Grecian empire, and more particularly that of Antiochus Epiphanes, did not appear as the last of the heathen monarchies, and the final supremacy of the Messianic kingdom of God was not yet introduced. Instead of charging the prophetic idea as such with being untrue in this respect, or of rejecting it without farther investigation as not having been fulfilled, the thoughtful circles among the people would probably treat that idea as Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. and Daniel himself treated the Messianic hopes of Jeremiah or Isaiah, that were connected with the return from the captivity, since the prophetic description had been so remarkably fulfilled in other respects. The internal evidence demonstrated that the idea was in itself incontrovertibly true, and it was regarded as such, while its realization in the light of historical facts was referred to a more distant future. In like manner Christ unites the description of the Messianic future with its conflict, and its triumphs with his own time, and connects with the latter the thought of the erection of Messiah’s kingdom; while the New Test. Apocalypse, from its historical point of view, connects it with a still later time. Christ simply regards the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of all things, joined to the triumph of God’s kingdom, as a comprehensive whole, on the authority of Daniel’s description; and he consequently designates the present γενεά (Matt. 24:31 and parallels) as the time in which the picture of the eschatological future should be realized. The apostles imitate him in expecting the end of the world in the age in which they lived;72 but the Revelator’s field of vision lay beyond that γενεά, and beyond the destruction of Jerusalem. That such a transfer and reference from one period to another (which, as compared with its predecessor, is to bring a more complete, and ultimately, a full realization) is possible, without degrading the prophetic idea and destroying its value, is implied in the very character of the genuine prophetic oracle, as being essentially comprehensive in its nature, men though the writer may primarily have intended it to refer only to some particular event in the progress of history.—The reference of the prophecy respecting the future tribulation was doubtless accepted in the beginning of the Maccabæan epoch, and among others, by the writer of the first book of Maccabees; but the Jewish Sibyl may serve to show that despite such reference, the circumstances of the times might make way for another interpretation in each instance, since, as early as about B. C. 140, and at the time of a newly founded hereditary Jewish-national dynasty, it makes the ten horns of Dan. 7 end beyond the Epiphanes with Demetrius I., finds the little horn in Alexander Balas, who seized the throne of the Seleucidæ, instead of referring it to Antiochus Epiphanes, and no longer regards the world-controlling power of the Jewish theocracy as bound to the ruin of the dead Hellenic influence, which is characterized in mild terms, but to the power of the hated Roman empire. The Romans, whom the Septuagint substitutes for the כִּתִּים in Dan. 11:31, are here directly and practically installed in the place of the fourth world-kingdom of Daniel, in which position we afterward meet them in Josephus and the New Testament.” Concerning the latter point cf. Hilgenfeld, Die jüdische Apokalyptik, pp. 69 et seq., 84 et seq., and also supra, § 6, note 3, of the Introd. to this work.
2. Despite the repeated specific references to facts and circumstances in the Maccabæan æra, the prophecy before us is no vaticinium ex eventu, that was invented in that age; for the want of agreement between its statements and the actual conditions of that time is far more general than their correspondence. It is (1) a fundamental non-agreement between the prophecy and the fulfilment, that the sixty-two weeks of years, if reckoned from the end of the seven weeks, or from B. C. 538, in harmony with the context and the evident sense of the prophecy, extend down to B. C. 105, while the whole of the Antiochian-Maccabæan catastrophe, which forms the contents of the last week of years, was ended at least seventy years earlier; and (against Ewald) the text contains no indication whatever that the period of 434 years or sixty-two weeks is to be shortened by seventy years or ten weeks of years. Further (2), the murder of the high priest Onias, which we are compelled to regard as the Maccabæan or typical fulfilment of the יִכָּרֵת מָשִׁיחַ, Daniel 9:26, did not transpire exactly in the beginning of the sixty-ninth or last week, but somewhat earlier, in the year 141 æ. Sel., which was still included in the sixty-second week (cf. 2 Macc. 4:7 et seq.; 23:34). The prediction of Daniel 9:26, “and after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off,” does not therefore harmonize exactly with the corresponding fact in the Maccabæan history (cf. supra, on that passage; also Kranichfeld, p. 309 et seq.); and if not Onias, but Seleucus Philopater is to be understood as denoted by the “anointed one who was cut off,” as Bleek, Maurer, Roesch, v. Lengerke, Hitzig, etc., contend, the chronological discrepancy becomes still greater. To this must be added (3) that the temple and the altar did not remain in the profaned condition to which Antiochus Epiphanes had reduced them during “half a week or three and a half years, but only during three years and a few days (see Eth. fund. principles, etc., on chap. 7. No. 3, b), and finally (4), that the detailed description of this desecrated state and of the “abomination of desolation,” Daniel 9:27, which stood on the sanctuary while thus profaned, does not correspond more exactly to the statements in 1 Macc. 1, than the allusions to the judicial punishment of the antitheistic madman, which are found in the close of the same and the preceding verse, accord precisely in any way with what history records concerning the end of Antiochus Epiphanes. In order to be understood by his contemporaries, a Maccabæan pseudo-Daniel would have clothed his allusions in a very different form, and would have made them, everywhere less equivocal. The surroundings of the vision concerning the seventy weeks, and the preparations for it would likewise have received a different form at his hands; and the fervent penitential and intercessory prayer, by which the Spirit of prophecy was invoked and the Divine exposition of Jeremiah’s oracle was secured, this especially would have been different in both contents and form, from what it is in Daniel 9:4–19, had it been invented by a pseudo-Daniel. Instead of revealing a relationship to the similar prayers in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which were written immediately after the captivity, it would have displayed a character more nearly like that of the far more verbose and prolix apocryphal writings which originated during the last pre-Christian centuries, such as Baruch, Ecclus., Judith, and the additions to Esther and Daniel; cf., in addition to Bar. 1:14–2:19 (regarding which see above, on Daniel 9:4 et seq.), especially Ecclus. 51; Jud. 9; Tob. 3 and 13; Ezek. 3:1 et seq.; and also the Prayer of Azariah, Dan. 3:26 et seq. Nor would the alleged pseudo-Daniel of the Maccabæan age have been likely to omit from a prayer written to favor a tendency, every allusion to the raging of the enemies of God’s people, which still continued at his time, since that prayer would unquestionably be designed to contribute to the quickening of the religious and national zeal and courage (cf. e.g., the prayer of Judith, chap. 9 which has already been referred to, and see again the remarks on Daniel 9:4 et seq.).
3. The practical fundamental thought, and the central idea of this section is to be looked for neither in Daniel’s penitential prayer and fervent intercession for his nation only, nor yet merely in the equally serious and comforting disclosures of the vision of the weeks. It is rather contained in the relation of the two constituent elements to each other, i.e., in the causal connection of the prayer, as the expression of a disposition of the heart, that showed it truly prepared to receive Divine revelations concerning the salvation connected with the future of God’s kingdom, with the revelation itself that was thus obtained. Inasmuch as that preparation of the heart reaches its highest point in the disposition which constitutes the prophet a אִישׁ הֲמוּדוֹת (Daniel 9:23), a God-loving favorite of God, a needy, contrite, humble, and therefore worthy object of the yearning love of the Father of mercies, it may be said that this expression in Daniel 9:23, which states in a brief and striking manner the reason why the following prophetic disclosures are vouchsafed to the prophet, contains the central and fundamental thought of the whole chapter. Moreover, since by that very expression the prophet is characterized as an anxious searcher after the goal of the history of the Old-Test, empires, and as one of those humble and self-abasing servants of God, to whom He granted the most extended view of the future of His kingdom,74 in reward of their humility and their faithful investigations in the documents containing His revelation of salvation, the nature of genuine prophecy under the Old Dispensation, as being a longing and anxious preparation for the future manifestation of deliverance in Christ may be found to have been characterized in this section, and to have been exemplified in one of the most prominent instances in the collective development of Old Testament. The theme for the homiletical treatment of the chapter as a whole might therefore read: “Daniel, the favorite of God; the leader and founder of that series of pious ‘watchers’ (προσδεχόμενοι, Luke 2:25, 38) which reached to the time of Christ; the example and teacher of the only Divinely attested method of, ‘searching the Scriptures’ (John 5:39); the model possessor of the Spirit in which the Scriptures are to be read and pondered; the ideal prophet in the sense indicated by Peter” (1 Pet. 1:10, 11: περὶ ῆς σωτηρίας ἐξεξήτησαν καὶ ἐξηρεύνησαν προφῆται οἱ περὶ τν͂ς εἰς ὑμᾶς χάριτος προφητεύσαντες, ἐρεςνῶντες εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρὸν ἐδήλου τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς πνεῦμα χριστοῦ προμαρτυρόμενον τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθήματα καὶ τὰς μετᾶ ταῦτα δόξας). If a proper use were made of the key afforded by 1 Pet., l. c., to arrive at a correct understanding of the chapter and a correct estimate of the Messianic position of the prophet, thus securing the weapons with which to energetically refute the current rationalistic prejudice that Daniel no longer represented a normal and healthful stage of prophetic development, but rather one in which it had already begun to degenerate and to be “apocalyptically diseased,” a sermon framed on some such plan would be able to achieve truly powerful results, both in a practical and an apologetic point of view. In view of the extraordinary wealth of matter, it might be well to divide it into two themes for sermons, in order to treat it thoroughly; for instance, let one sermon treat of the spirit in which the Scriptures should be read and the mysteries contained in them be approached (Daniel 9:1–23), and another bear upon the principal feature disclosed by the Scriptures when thus perused, viz.: the fundamental law of all the history of salvation— “through sufferings to glory” (Daniel 9:24–27).
4. Homiletical suggestions on particular pas sages. On Daniel 9:2 et seq., Jerome: “In cinere et sacco postulat impleri, quod promiserat Deus; non quo esset incredulus futurorum, sed ne securitas negligentiam et negligentia pareret offensam.”—Melancthon: “Etiamsi Deus promisit beneficia corporalia vel spiritualia, tamen precibus vult exerceri fidem, et vult crescere pœntentiam, sicut inquit Zacharias: Convertimini ad me, et ego convertar ad vos, etc. Et orat Daniel de restituenda Ecclesia; ita nos quoque officiamur vero dolore propter Ecclesiœ calamitates et oremus, ut Deus eam augeat, gubernet et servet.” Spener: —(Penitential sermons on Daniel’s penitential prayer): “All the Divine prophecies are obscure before their fulfilment, and can only be apprehended through special industry in the light of Divine truth; therefore, ‘whoso readeth, let him understand’ (Matt. 24:14).”—Starke: “If Daniel read prophetic writings, although himself a prophet of the Most High, how silly is it to imagine that we can know everything of ourselves! Thence it results that dreams and false imaginings are taken for God’s word (Ezek. 13:3 et seq.). …It is certainly the duty of a Christian to exercise his faith continually in prayer; but when a special promise by God is before him, he should arouse himself to that exercise more fully (Acts 4:24); for there are many promises which include the condition of true repentance and obedience to God, either expressed or implied,” etc.—J. Lange: “Promise, prayer, and fulfilment always belong together (Psa. 27:8).”
V. 4 et seq., Melancthon: “Daniel fatetur peccata populi et tribuit Deo laudem justitiœ, quod juste puniverit populum. Deinde petit remissionem peccatorum et reductionem populi. Est ergo vera contritio, agnoscere iram Dei adversus nostra peccata, expavescere propter iram Dei, dolere quod Deum offenderimus, tribuere in laudem, quod juste nos puniat, et obedire in pœnis.—Nec tamen satis est peccata noscere, intueri panas, sed accedat quoque consolatio. Ergo Daniel non solum doctrinam contritionis proponit, sed addit partem alteram. Docet suo exemplo petere et expectare veniam propter misericordiam et promissiones.”—Starke: “A conception of God’s punitive justice is necessary, in order that man may more fully recognize the guilt of his sin, and may not lull himself into a mistaken security with the comforting thought of His mercy.… But despite this there is no other nor better comfort in the agony of sin, than God’s goodness and mercy, through which alone we can obtain forgiveness by faith.”—Hävernick: “At the same time, the prayer of the prophet was not merely one that proceeded from him as an individual, but one offered by him as a mediator of the whole nation, in whose name he now cried to the Merciful One. We may therefore ascribe a liturgical character to it with entire justice, and thus explain the frequent borrowing of former expressions in which it abounds.”
Daniel 9:11–14, Calvin: “Daniel hic significal, non debere videri absurdum, quod Deus multo sit asperior in electum populum, quam in gentes profanas; quia scilicet major erat impietas illius populi quam gentium omnium, propter ingratitudinem, propter contumaciam, propter indomabilem illam pervicaciam. Quum ergo superarint Israelitœ gentes omnes et malitia et ingratitudine et omni genere scelerum, Daniel hic prœdicat, merito tam, duriter ipsos affligi.”—Geier: “The greater the favor shown by God toward a nation or country, the greater will afterward be the punishment which follows on its ingratitude (Deut. 32:13, 22 et seq.).”— Spener: “Divine threatenings are recorded in order that man be deterred from sinning, and also that an evidence of God’s righteousness and truthfulness may be drawn from their realization.—Without repentance, all other means to avert the wrath of God are useless. He that should endeavor to quench the fire with one hand, while pouring oil on it with the other, would increase the fire more than his attempt to quench it would diminish it (Jer. 2:23).”
Daniel 9:15 et seq., Starke: “Where genuine repentance exists it fills the heart, so that it cannot avoid breaking out in humble confession, and that repeatedly (Jer. 6:11).—When man humbles himself under a sense of God’s wrath, recognizes that the punishment was deserved, and flies to Divine mercy for refuge, God transforms His wrath and displeasure into grace (Psa. 81:14, 15).—If the church, and even every single member belonging to it, bears the name of Christ, it follows that this is the most powerful motive to hear our prayer for the church which we can present to God (cf. Acts 4:27 et seq.).”—Hävernick: “As the strongest motive for a father to be careful for his child, is that it is called by his name—and that not in conformity with a custom having no significance, but as a sign that it belongs to him and must be considered as his property,—so the prophet here expresses his confidence in the grace of God most beautifully by the feature that he refers to the city which is called by the name of God, the city of Jehovah, the great King, which is founded in eternity (Psa. 46:5; 48:2, 9; 87:3).”
Daniel 9:20–23, Jerome: “Non populi tantum peccata, sed et sua replicat, quia unus e populo est; sive humiliter, quum peccatum ipse non fecerit, se jungit populo peccatori, ut ex humilitate veniam consequatur.”—Id. (on Daniel 10:11): “Congruenter ‘vir desideriorum’ vocatur, qui instantia precum et afflictione, corporisque jejuniorumque duritie cupit scire ventura et Dei secreta cognoscere.”-Starke: “The prayer that is poured out before God for our personal wants and the common need is never unheard (Psa. 91:15).—What will God not do for the sake of man! The princes of heaven are obliged to render Him service and reveal His will to the faithful, that they may be strengthened in faith and hope (Heb. 1:14).—True Christians imitate the angels, who seek to instruct each other more and more in the ways of God, till they all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph. 4:13; 1 Pet. 1:12).” —Füller (see the note connected with No. 3).
Daniel 9:24–27, Melancthon: “Prirnum refutat hic locus errorem Judœorum de lege retinenda et de regno politico Christi. Si erit perpetua justitia, item: si Ghristus occidetur, sequitur legem Mosaicam non retinendam esse, nec fore mundanum regnum.–Secundo tradit testimonium de passione Christi.–Tertio cum politia jam desierit, ita ut nullos habeat duces, nullos prophetas, nulla tribuum discrimina (cfr. Hos. 3:4s.), constat impletum esse dictum Jacob: Non auferetur sceptrum de Juda, donec venerit Salvator (Gen. 49:10). Necesse est igitur, venisse Salvatorem.”—Starke: “If everlasting righteousness shall be brought back, it follows that man has once possessed it, but has lost it.—While Christ is the true High-priest who atones for all men, and the great Prophet who has revealed the will of God concerning our salvation, He is also the true King, who has the power to place his atoning blood to our credit, and to protect His believing followers.”—Hävernick: “The complete expiation of the great and numerous sins of Israel shall take place in the time of Messiah, the true High-priest; but His coming shall be delayed until after the expiration of the period that was indicated. But precisely because the sins of the people were as the sand of the sea, so that Daniel himself confessed their enormity (Daniel 9:4–19), it was necessary to provide a perfect and wholly complete expiation, in contrast with that which had hitherto been made in the temple at Jerusalem, which was the mere foreshadowing of the future reality. The eyes of Daniel and of Israel were not to linger on the temple only, whose restoration the prophet so anxiously desired; they were to lift their eyes up farther, to Him who was to come, who is both the true temple, and the priest who ministers in it.”— Füller: “Meanwhile the principal concern was that Israel should happily escape from the tribulation caused by the Old-Test, antichrist. When that was realized, it might be inquired why the seven weeks of years did not begin (?—rather, why Messiah did not come!)—At a later period, John, the New-Test. Daniel, appeared with his Revelation, which continued to build on the foundations laid by Daniel, and described the troubled times of the New-Test. antichrist, together with the deliverance from them, being designed to render the same service to the New-Test. people of God, which Daniel’s prophecy formerly rendered to God’s people under the Old Covenant.”
[בִּקֵּשׁ, used absolutely here, may be taken in the sense of worshipping, which it often bears, or we may supply “information” from the context.
The form is very intensive. וָאֶתְפַּלְּלָה, denoting extreme earnestness.
Not only is this verb, like the others, emphatic, but the pronoun added gives it a reflexive reference, like the Hithp. of the other verbs, i. q., for myself.
The art. prefixed=thy, our, his, my, etc.
The indef. art. here injures the sense by really making the noun definite.
Literally, let fall, i.e., rest or base.
Literally, to make thee wise as to.
The verb being in the singular indicates the unity or singleness of this entire period.]
[This anachronism results merely from the author’s attempt to identify Belshazzar with Evil-Merodach. On the theory which we have adopted this chapter follows in immediate chronological order.]
[It is simpler to make it at once an irregular Kal-form, with Gesenius.]
[“מִסְפַּר (number) forms the object to בּ־ וֹתִי (I understood); cf. Prov. 7:7. Neither the placing of בַּסְּפָרִים (by books) first, nor the Athnach under this word, controverts this view; for the object is placed after ‘by books’ because a further definition is annexed to it; and the separation of the object from the verb by the Athnach is justified by this consideration, that the passage contains two statements, viz., that Daniel studied the Scriptures, and that his study was directed to the number of the years, etc”—Keil]
[“הַסְּפָרִים, τὰ βιβλία, is not synonymous with הַכְּתוּבִתם, αἱ γραφαί, but denotes only writings in the plural, yet does not say that these writings already formed a recognized collection, so that from this expression nothing can be concluded regarding the formation of the O.-T. canon.”—Keil.]
[The discrepancy here surmised by the author is entirely imaginary. Daniel reckons the captivity precisely as Jeremiah, namely from the fourth of Jehoiakim, B.C. 606, when he was himself taken away by Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1:1, the invasion having taken place the preceding year). The present vision occurred B.C. 538. when the captivity was near its close. “Jerusalem did not lie in ruins for seventy years [the temple, however, certainly did]; the expression is not thus to be interpreted, but is chosen partly with regard to the existing state of Jerusalem, and partly with reference to the words of Jerusalem.”—Keil.]
[Keil combats at length the notion of Bleek and Ewald that it was Daniel’s uncertainty regarding the termination of the seventy years which moved him to prayer.]
Cf. the similar, but more simple analysis by Melancthon which is adduced below, in connection with the homiletical suggestions. It divides the whole prayer into the two parts (1) of the confessio (vs 4–14) and (2) of the consolatio (Daniel 9:15–19).
[“The confession of sin divides itself into two sections. Daniel 9:4–10 state the transgression and the guilt, while Daniel 9:11–14 refer to the punishment from God for this guilt. Daniel 9:3 forms the introduction.”—Keil.]
[Against this construction, however, is the difference in gender of כָּתוּב and בָעָה.]
[The subject, however, is here rather “stated absolutely as concerns all this evil, thus it has come upon us.”—Keil.]
[“צְדָקוֹת means the great deeds done by the Lord for his people, among which the signs and wonders accompanying their exodus from Egypt take the first place, so far as therein Jehovah gave proof of the righteousness of his covenant promise.”—Keil.]
[Keil holds that these terms, מֻעָף בִּיעָף, “belong from their position to the relative clause, or specially to רָאירִי (I had seen), not to נֹגֵעַ, since no ground can be perceived for placing the adverbial idea before the verb.” This is also countenanced by the Masoretic interpunction. Keil accordingly refers the phrase to Daniel himself, as being utterly exhausted; and compares Daniel 8:17 et seq., 27, “because Gabriel, at his former coming to him not only helped to strengthen him, but also gave him understanding,” etc. The epithet, however, as applied to Daniel, seems very inept and vague here, especially following the definite phrase “at first.” Stuart maintains that יָעֵף essentially means to hasten, and that it bears this signification here; but the usage of the word does not sustain this sense. Under these circumstances we can probably do no better than, with our author, to abide by the interpretation of the old translators, and regard both terms either as directly from עוּף or from יָעַף a cognate of that root.]
[“The sentence, ‘for thou art a man greatly beloved,’ does not contain the reason for Gabriel’s coming in haste, but for the principal thought of the verse, the going forth of the word of God immediately at the beginning of Daniel’s prayer.”—Keil].
[הַפַּרְאָה stands not for revelation, but is the vision, the appearance of the angel by whom the word of God was communicated to the prophet, מַרְאָה is accordingly not the contents of the word spoken, but the form of its communication to Daniel. To both—the word and the form of its revelation—Daniel must give heed. This revelation was, moreover, not communicated to him in a vision, but while in his natural consciousness.”—Keil.]
[Keil maintains that neither the gender nor position of שָׁבֻעִים is here significant; but it is certain that the masc. plur. nowhere else occurs, except at Daniel 10:2, 3, where it is defined by the addition of ימים, days. Even Stuart, who does not apply this prophecy to the Messianic age, candidly admits that heptades of years can only be designated by this expression.]
[“The six statements (represented by the infinitives with ל) are divided by Maurer, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others, into three passages of two members each, thus: After the expiration of seventy weeks there shall (1) be completed the measure of sin; (2) the sin shall be covered and righteousness brought in; (3) the prophecy shall be fulfilled, and the temple, which was desecrated by Antiochus, shall again be consecrated. The Masoretes, however, seem to have already conceived of this threefold division by placing the Athnach under צֶדֶק עֹלָמִים (the fourth clause); but it rests on a false construction of the individual members, especially of the first two passages. Rather we have two three-membered sentences before us. This appears evident from the arrangement of the six statements, i.e., that the first three statements treat of the taking away of sin, and thus of the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, with its consequences, and thus of the positive deliverance, and in such a manner that in both classes the three members stand in reciprocal relation to each other; the fourth statement corresponds to the first, the fifth to the second, the sixth to the third—the second and the fifth present even the same verb חתם.”—Keil. It is not necessary, however, to assume that these results were all to await the expiration of this entire period; they were only to be in the process of taking place during or after it; in a word, this was to be the final period of the Jewish economy, in or at the end of which all these consummations were to take place.]
[“But for this figurative use of the word ‘to seal’ no proof-passages are adducted from the O. T. Add to this that the word cannot be used here in a different sense from that in which it is used in the second passage. The sealing of the prophecy corresponds to the sealing of the transgression, and must be similarly understood. The prophecy is sealed when it is laid under a seal, so that it can no longer actively show itself” (Keil); and correspondingly transgression is sealed, when its further demonstration is prevented. In short, both are to be suppressed after that date; transgression by the Atoning Sacrifice, and prophecy by the close of the O.-T. canon.]
[Keil justly objects to this interpretation of the fulfilment that “it is opposed by the actual fact, that neither in the consecration of Zerubbabel’s temple, nor at the reconsecration of the altar of burnt-offering desecrated by Antiochus, is mention made of any anointing. According to the definite, uniform tradition of the Jews, the holy anointing oil did not exist during the time of the second temple.” The term “anoint,” however, may here be taken in the metaphorical sense of rededicating.]
[Keil likewise, after adducing several exegetical reasons against the interpretation of “most holy” here as referring to the temple, altar, or any of the sacred utensils, finally concludes that “the reference is to the anointing of a new sanctuary, temple, or most holy place.” This, however, makes the whole expression metaphorical, while all the associated phrases are taken in a sense more or less literal. It seems to us that the rejection of the old reference of the language here to the Messiah, on the ground of the absence of the article, is rather hasty; for surely the words may justly be rendered “to anoint a most holy” (one as well as thing), and thus really refer to the inauguration of the Head of the New Dispensation. The expression is doubtless to be explained in conformity with the similar phraseology of the verses immediately following.]
[Few will be disposed to adopt an interpretation that comes to so vague a conclusion, when the very object of these added verses is evidently to furnish a definite chronological determination of the period spoken cf. Keil, although no advocate of a strict literal fulfilment of this passage, justly remarks that “all such references (to Jeremiah) are excluded by the fact that the angel names the commandment for the restoration of Jerusalem as the terminus a quo for the seventy weeks, and could thus only mean a word of God whose going forth was somewhere determined, or could be determined, just as the appearance of the Anointed Prince is named as the termination of the seventy weeks. Accordingly, ‘the going forth of the commandment to restore,’ etc., must be a factum coming into visibility, the time of which could without difficulty be known—a word from God respecting the restoration of Jerusalem, which went forth by means of a man at a definite time, and received an observable historical execution.” This last remark effectually disposes of the author’s exegesis regarding דָּבָר here.]
[This last argument is certainly out of place, for Daniel does not place the personage in question at an interval of only seven weeks, but of seven and sixty-two weeks, i.e., all but at the close of the entire period of the prophecy. So likewise in the next verse. As to the objection against the reference to the Messiah, both here and in the following and preceding verses, on the ground of the absence of the article, this is greatly, if not wholly, made up by the construction of the noun with an adjunct, which in Hebrew often makes a word really definite, so that the article is readily dispensed with. Indeed, the simple term מָשִׁיחַ, Messiah, even anarthrous, is so emphatic that none but the Great Prophet of Deut, 18:18 (where נָבִיא is in like manner rendered definite only by the adjunct term) can well be thought of Accordingly, those interpreters who have forsaken this old and widely-accepted reference, have signally failed to adduce any other historical personage to whom it can be fitly applied.]
[Keil’s remarks on this point seem to us so satisfactory that we transcribe them in full. “The words מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד are not to be translated an anointed one, a prince (Bertholdt); for מָשִׁיחַ cannot be an adjective to נָגִיד, because in Hebr. the adjective is placed after the substantive, with few exceptions, which are inapplicable to this case; cf. in Ewald’s Lehrb., § 293 b. Nor can מָשִׁיחַ be a participle: till a prince (is) anointed (Steudel), but it is a noun, and נָגִיד is connected with it by apposition; an anointed one (who is at the same time) a prince. According to the O. T., kings and priests, and only these, were anointed. Since then, מָשִׁיחַ is brought forward as the principal designation, we may not by נָגִיד think of a priest-prince, but only of a prince of the people; nor by מָשִׁיחַ of a king, but only of a priest; and by מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד we must understand a person who, first and specially, is a priest, and in addition is a prince of the people, a king. The separation of the two words in Daniel 9:26, where נָגִיד is acknowledged as meaning a prince of the people, leads to the same conclusion. This priest-king can neither be Zerubbabel (according to many old interpreters), nor Ezra (Steudel). nor Onias III. (Wieseler): for Zerubbabel the prince was not anointed, and the priest Ezra and the high-priest Onias were not princes of the people. Nor can Cyrus be meant here, as Saadias, Gaon., Bertholdt, Von Lengerke, Maurer, Ewald, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, and others, think, by a reference to Isa. 45:1; for, supposing it to be the case that Daniel had reason from Isa. 45:1 to call Cyrus מָשִׁיחַ—which is doubted, since from his epithet מְשִׁיחוֹ, His (Jehovah’s) anointed, which Isaiah uses of Cyrus, it does not follow, of course, that he should be named מָשִׁיחַ—the title ought at least to have been נָגִיד מָשִׁיחַ, the מָשִׁיחַ being an adjective following נָגִיד, because there is no evident reason for the express precedence of the adjective definition.
“The O. T. knows only one who shall be both priest and king in one person (Psa. 110:4 Zech. 6:13), Christ the Messias (John 4:25), whom, with Hävernick, Hengstenberg, Hofmann, Auberlen, Delitzsch, and Kliefoth, we here understand by the מָשִׁיח נָגִיד, because in Him the two essential requisites of the theocratic king, the anointing and the appointment to be the נָגִיד of the people of God (cf. 1 Sam. 10:1; 13:14; 16:13; 25:30; 2 Sam. 2:4; Daniel 9:2 seq.), are found in the most perfect manner. These requisites are here attributed to Him as predicates, and in such a manner that the being anointed goes before the being a prince, in order to make prominent the spiritual, priestly character of His royalty, and to designate Him, on the ground of the prophecies, Isa. 61:1–3 and 55:4, as the person by whom ‘the sure mercies of David’ (Isa. 55:3) shall be realized to the covenant people. The absence of the definite article is not to be explained by saying that מָשִׁיחַ, somewhat as עֶמַח, Zech. 3:8; 6:12, is used κατ̓ ἐξοχ. as a nomen propr. of the Messiah, the Anointed; for in that case נָגִיד ought to have the article, since in Hebrew we cannot say דָּוִד מֶלֶךְ, but only דָּוִד חַמֶּלֶךְ. Much rather the article is wanting, because it; shall not be said: till the Messiah, who is prince, but only, till one comes who is anointed and at the same time prince, because He that is to come is not definitely designated as the expected Messiah, but must be made prominent by the predicates ascribed to Him as a personage altogether singular.”]
[How ill the chronological elements of the prophecy accord with the reference of this anointed one and prince to Cyrus, is evident from the fact that the author is obliged to sever Daniel’s conjoined statement (7 + 62) in order to effect anything like an agreement. Yet even thus the historical fulfilment has to be vaguely presumed, and cannot be definitely verified.]
[The only justification of this translation, which separates the two periods of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, assigning the former as the terminus ad quem of the Anointed Prince, and the latter as the time of rebuilding, lies in the Masoretic interpunction, which places the Attach between them. Some adduce also the fact that the ד connective is likewise at the point, and not at תָּשׁוּכ. But these arguments, especially the latter, are not conclusive; and the rendering in question involves a harsh construction of the second member, being without a preposition. It is better, therefore, and simpler, to adhere to the Authorized Version, which follows all the older translations. Keil, indeed (although admitting that the Masoretic punctuation is neither authoritative nor decisive), departs from it, but endeavors to extricate himself from the chronological difficulties resulting by his interpretation of these “weeks” as not being heptades of years. Stuart, too, insists upon the Masoretic separation, but he is thereby led into a maze of interpretation from which he confesses he sees no satisfactory exit.]
[These arguments, however, have little weight; for (1) the sixty-two weeks are still “an independent period,” namely, that following the seven weeks of rebuilding, i.e., covering the whole period of the restored city down to the appearance of the Anointed One and Prince; (2) the pause before the statement of the rebuilding of the “street and wall” is justified and even required by the fact that this is evidently a resumption of the former declaration of the “building of Jerusalem;” (3) so far from this period of rebuilding being delayed till some subsequent event, it is set forth as the very initial terminus a quo of the entire prophecy. We may add, that the subdivision of the sixty-nine weeks into two portions of seven and sixty-two weeks respectively perfectly corresponds with the assignment, in the same connection and order, of two distinct events, namely, the completed reconstruction for the former portion, and the Messianic advent for the latter. If, on the contrary view, we appropriate the sixty-two weeks to the reconstruction-period, we fall into several exegetical contradictions: (1) we confound it with the Messiah-period, which is described in very different terms, Daniel 9:26; (2) we leave no special transaction for the preceding seven years: (3) we make the Messiah-period vastly too long for its definite limitation in Daniel 9:27. Other difficulties of a historical character will be adduced presently.]
[We suggest, as best suited to the etymological import of these two terms, as well as their proverbial antithesis and adverbial adjection to the sentence, the sense of “court and alley,” i.e., broad square, and close street; to denote the complete restoration of the city, with all its places of resort and thoroughfare.]
[That the reconstruction of the city wall, however, was completed at this last date is certain from Neh. 6:15. This was B. C. 446. The temple had been rebuilt a long time, Ezra 6:15, B. C. 517. During Nehemiah’s administration the whole process of restoration was evidently effected. It is impossible, therefore, to protract this period over the sixty-two year-weeks, as the author seeks to do. The historical interpretation here fails completely. From whatever point of time we reckon the first forty-nine years, they certainly included this work of reconstruction.]
[The article here only shows that the period in question agrees in general with that similarly stated in the preceding verse. That they do not exactly coincide is clear from the fact that the terminus od quem of the two is differently stated: in the one it is “till the Messiah,” in the other, down to his “cutting off.” The difference in time is accurately defined by the following verse.]
[This objection to the identification of the Mashiach in both cases is entirely obviated by the above note of the variation in the limits of the two chronological terms.]
[Keil insists that יִכָּרֶת does not necessarily denote a violent death. But the passages adduced by the author are sufficient to establish this as the general meaning. The “orthodox” interpretation of this clause as referring to the crucifixion of the Messiah is certainly well sustained.]
[This admission of failure to meet the chronological terms of the prophecy sufficiently points out the fallacy of the author’s interpretation. The Anointed one of this verse can be no other than that of the preceding verse. “The circumstance that in Daniel 9:26 מָשִׁיחַ has neither the article nor the addition נָגִיד following it appears to be in favor of this opinion. The absence of the one as well as of the other denotes that מָשִׁיחַ, after what is said of Him in consideration of the connection of the words, needs no more special description. If we observe that the destruction of the city and sanctuary is so connected with the Mashiach that we must consider this as the immediate or first consequence of the cutting off of the Mashiach, and that the destruction shall be brought about by a Nagid, then by Mashiach we can understand neither a secular prince or king, nor simply a high priest, but only an anointed one who stands in such a relation to the city and sanctuary, that with his being ‘cut off’ the city and the sanctuary lose not only their protection and their protector, but the sanctuary also loses at the same time, its character as the sanctuary which the Mashiach had given to it. This is suitable to no Jewish high-priest, but only to the Messias whom Jehovah anointed to be a Priest-King after the order of Melchizedek, and placed as Lord over Zion, his holy hill. We agree therefore with Hävernick. Hengstenberg, Auberlen, and Kliefoth, who regard the Mashiach of this verse as identical with the Mashiach Nagid of Daniel 9:25 as Christ, who, in the fullest sense of the word, is the Anointed, and we hope to establish this view more fully in the following exposition of the historical reference of this word of the angel.”—Keil].
[The inconsistency of this explanation of the article after the above statement that הַבָּא=אְַשֶׁר יָבוָֹא is obvious. It is not a Hebrew idiom to use the article with a participle or adjective in order to point out something well known; for that purpose the article should (also) be prefixed to the associated noun. It is evidently employed here simply in order to render definite the otherwise indefinite נָגִיד, i.e., he is not a present or a past, but a future prince.]
[On the contrary, נָגִיד is here rendered definite by the epithet or adjective following, and therefore may properly be translated “the prince.” It simply “omits the article because it is different from that in Daniel 9:25, and the article would give a wrong sense, or at least the insertion of it would make it dubious to the reader, inasmuch as it would naturally refer him to the נָגִיד in Daniel 9:25. The נָגִיד here is merely a heathen prince acting in a civil (rather military) capacity, in distinction from a מָשִׁיחַ who belongs to the people of God.”—Stuart].
[This rendering of לְקִצּוֹ בַשֶּׁטֶף] is quite unjustifiable. It is not a correlative clause appended to הַבָּא as a further definition of the חָגִיד, but an independent statement as to the result of that prince’s coming. The suffix in קִצּוֹ doubtless refers to the כָגִיד, but in an objective not a subjective sense: it is the end which he causes, not any which he is to suffer. It is thus precisely parallel with the קֵץ of the clause immediately following. This view is confirmed by the article in בַּשֶּׁטֶף, which commentators have overlooked or misapplied, but which is here, as often, equivalent (like the Greek article) to a personal pronoun, q.d. “in his overflowing,” evidently the military campaign or מִלְחָמָה immediately subjoined. The whole phrase thus indicates that the invasion should issue in the destruction of Jerusalem. This was certainly not done by Antiochus Epiphanes.]
[Keil’s interpretation is substantially like this, namely: “it is not to Him, viz., that which he must have, to be the Mashiach.’ ’]
[These latter interpretations are refuted in detail by Keil, whose objections, however, do not apply to the explanations which are suggested above.]
[Keil admits the grammatical propriety of this rendering, but objects that “in the preceding sentence no mention is expressly made of war; and if the war which consisted in the destruction of the city be meant, מִלְחָמָה ought to have the article.” These arguments are of no force, as מִלְחָמָה is definite by reason of its construction with יֵקץ and the war itself was already distinctly alluded to in the שֶׁטֶף.]
[The connection is unnecessary. The expression וְהִגְבִּיר בְּרִית properly and fairly signifies: “he shall confirm a covenant,” which naturally implies one already made.]
[On the contrary it seems to us that the subject of this clause is not the נָגִיד just spoken of, but the נָגִיד מָשִׁיחַ preceding, or, more definitely, the מָשִׁיחַ just before; for (1) this (as Hengstenberg rightly says) is the predominant or principal subject of the entire passage; and (2) each of the other portions of the seventy weeks is directly referred to that personage, so that this final week will not fill up the number appropriately if otherwise referred. The objections of Keil to this interpretation are unimportant. Moreover, the prophecy is not historically applicable to Antiochus, but does correspond to the term of the Messiah’s ministry: as we shall endeavor to show.]
[The passages adduced by the author, especially 11:22, do not sustain the meaning he here assigns to בְּרִית, which, unless specially qualified, always refers to Jehovah’s covenant as contained in the Law. Moreover, as Keil justly observes, “לָרַבִּים, with the article, signifies the many, i.e., the great mass of the people in contrast with the few.” But the mass of the Jews did not apostatize in the time of Antiochus. Still more inept is Keil’s application: “That ungodly prince shall impose on the mass of the people a strong covenant that they should follow him and give themselves to him as their God.” The language of the text can only have its appropriate fulfilment in the mission of the Redeemer, which was a completion of God’s covenant with the race of man. How this took place during the last of the seventy weeks we will presently show.]
[Or, on the usual Messianic interpretation, Christ shall forever do away with the Levitical sacrifices by the one perfect offering of himself (Heb. 7:27; 9:12–14, 26). On this view, it matters little whether we render חְַצִי “in the midst,” or “during half,” for our Lord’s ministry was a process of supersedure of the legal sacrifices, which culminated in his death, and (should we even grant the author’s position, that the latter half of the week is intended) was finally carried out by the release of Gentiles from the Levitical economy (Acts 11:18). The author’s objections, as to the sense of הַשְׁבִּית, etc., are inconclusive. Stuart thinks that “Daniel 7:11 settles the question” that Antiochus is referred to; but the language there employed is very different.]
[The author’s construction of the words in question, although sanctioned by such early authority, is wholly ungrammatical. There is but one translation possible: On a wing of abominations shall be a deflator. The כנף aptly designates the eagles of the Roman army, which were used as idolatrous images; and the “desolator,” which was “over” them, of course, is the army itself or the commander. This is in pointed agreement with our Lord’s warning, Matt. 24:15; which, of course, must be regarded as a citation of this passage from the Sept., as substantially agreeing with its sense. The fact that the destruction of the city and temple by Titus did not immediately follow the Crucifixion is no objection to this interpretation of the clause, which is altogether parallel, both in import and phraseology, with the close of the preceding verse.]
[Bleek, in the passage here cited, shows, as Keil well argues, that כנף is “used only of that which is extended horizontally (for end or extremity), but never of that which is extended perpendicularly (for peak).” Nor, as Keil continues, can the use of it in the latter sense be proved from the πτερύγιον of Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9; for the genitive τοῦ ἱεροῦ, not ναοῦ, shows that not a pinnacle or summit of the temple edifice itself is meant, but a wing or adjoining building of the sanctuary. To the latter alone, indeed, could access have been had by our Lord on the occasion referred to.]
[Rather, it shows that the abominable object should remain even till the complete desolation. Keil’s objection to the use of וְעַד as a conjunction, that “though עַד is so used, וְעַד is not,” has little force.]
[Such a confusion of Kal and Piel is quite unauthorized. שׁוֹמֵם must here, as everywhere else, be treated as passive, desolate. It is certainly parallel with שׁוֹמֵמוֹת of the preceding verse, as the connection with נחרצה in both instances shows.]
Cf. the observation of Melancthon on the passage, which is certainly not incorrect upon the whole (p. 882): “Ac Judœis quidem post Danielem facilis fuit observatio annorum, prœsertim quum in eo populo sacerdotes tempora diligenter annotarent et multi; essent longœvi. Nehemias, qui Danielem senem viderat adolescens, Alexandrum senex vidit (?)…. Simeon qui Christum infantem gestavit in sinu, vidit adolescens senes, qui Maccabœum viderant. Tales viri tempore, quo Christus natus est, intellexerant, annos hic prœjfinitos exacte quadrare ad Christi adventum.”
[It is perhaps to these prophecies of Daniel in a general way that Josephus likewise alludes in the references to an ancient prediction that the city should be destroyed in a civil war, De Bell, Jud., IV. 6, 3; VI. 2, 1.]
On this point, cf. Reusch, Die patristischen Berechnungen der 70 Jahrwochen Daniels, in the Tübinger Theol. Quartalschrift.1868, No. 4, p. 535 et seq.: also Reinke, Die Messianischen Weissagungen, 4:1, 389 et seq. The statements of the latter are, however, sadly in need of correction and supplementing by those of Reusch.
[In addition to Reusch’s treatise, Keil refers to the following summaries; “for the period of the Middle Ages and of more modern times, Abr. Colovii Εξέτασις theologica de septuaginta septimanis Danielis. in the Biblia illustr. ad Dan. 9, and Ηävernick’s ‘History of the Interpretation,’ in his Comment., p. 386 sq.; and for the most recent period, R. Baxmann, ‘on the Book of Daniel,’ in the Theolog. Studien u. Kritiken, 1863, III., p. 497 sq.”]
Cf. Bertholdt, Daniel, II. p., 567 et seq.
Luther, however, confounds Artaxerxes I., who figures in the book of Nehemiah, with Cambyses, cf. also the work, Von den Juden und thren Lügen, vol. 32, pp. 195 et seq., 212 et seq.
Cf. Kliefoth, Daniel, p. 329 et seq.
Cf. Delitzsch, p. 284, “If the seventy weeks are not regarded as simple, but rather as quadrated Sabbatic periods, it follows that 70 X 49 or 3430 years are to intervene between the fourth year of Jehoiakim and Christ, whose parusia is considered as one such period. Consequently, if 3,595 years be added to that aggregate, as having passed from the creation to the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the suggestive amount will result in about 7000 years (diminished by only twenty-five years) as the duration of the world. For a criticism of this view cf. Kliefoth, p. 337 et seq.
[Keil thus classifies the various interpretations: “1. Most of the church fathers and the older orthodox interpreters find prophesied here the appearance of Christ in the flesh, His death, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. This view is in our time fully and at length defended by Hävernick (Comm.), Hengstenberg (Christol., III.1, p. 19 sq., 2d ed.), and Auberlen (Der Proph. Daniel, etc., p. 103 sq., 3d ed.), and is adopted also by the Catholic theologian Laur. Reinke (Die Messian. Weissag. bei den gr. u. kl. Proph. des A. T., IV. 1, p. 206 sq.), and by Dr. Pusey, of England. 2. The majority of modern (continental) interpreters, on the other hand, refer the whole passage to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. This view presents itself in the Alexandrian translation of the prophecy, more distinctly in Julius Hilarianus (about A. D. 400) (Chronologia s. libellus de mundi duratione, in Migne’s Biblioth. cler. univ., t. 13, p. 1098), and in several rabbinical interpreters, but was first brought into special notice by the rationalistic interpreters Eichhorn, Bertholdt, v. Lengerke, Maurer, Ewald, Hitzig, [Rosenmüller], and the mediating theologians Bleek, Wieseler (Die 70 Wochen u. die 63 Jahrwochen des Proph. Daniel, Gött., 1839, with which compare the retractation in the Göttinger. Gel. Anzeiger, 1846, p. 113 sq.), who are followed by Lücke, Hilgenfeld, Kranichfeld [Stuart], and others. This verse has been defended by Hofmann (Die 70 Jahre des Jer. u. die 70 Jahrwochen des Daniel, Nürnb. 1836, and Weissag. u. Erfüllung, as also in the Schriftbew.), Delitzsch (art. Daniel in Herzog’s Realencykl. vol. III.), and Zündel (in the Kritischen Unterss.), but with this essential modification, that Hofmann and Delitzsch have united an eschatological reference to the primary historical reference of Daniel 9:25–27 to Antiochus Epiphanes, in consequence of which the prophecy will be perfectly accomplished only in the appearance of antichrist and the final completion of the kingdom of God at the end of the days. 3. Finally, some of the church fathers and several modern theologians have interpreted the prophecy eschatologically, as an announcement of the development of the kingdom of God at the end of the exile on to the perfecting of the kingdom by the second coming of Christ at the end of the days. Of this view we have the first germs in Hippolytus and Apollinaris of Laodicea, who, having regard to the prophecy of Antichrist, Daniel 7:25, refer the statement of Daniel 9:27 of this chap. regarding the last week to the end of the world, and the first half of this week they regard as the time of the return of Elias, the second half as the time of antichrist. This view is for the first time definitely stated in the Berteburg Bible. But Kliefoth, in his Comm. on Daniel, was the first who sought to investigate and establish this opinion exegetically, and Leyser (in Herzog’s Realenc., XVIII., p. 383) has thus briefly stated it: ‘The seventy שׁבֻעִים. i.e., the καιροί of Daniel (Daniel 9:24 sq.), measured by sevens, within which the whole of God’s plan of salvation in the world will be completed, are a symbolical period with reference to the seventy years of exile prophesied by Jeremiah, and with the accessory notion of æcumenicity. The seventy is again divided into three periods: into seven (till Christ), sixty-two (till the apostasy of antichrist), and one, שָׁבוּעַ, the last world, ἑπτὰ, divided into 2 x 3½ times, the rise and fall of antichrist.’ ” With the last view Keil’s own interpretation essentially agrees. The great objection to it is that it mixes the literal with the mystical import of the prophecy, and fails to yield any exact fulfilment of the definite numbers of the text].
[See the arguments in his Connection, sub anno 409. I place the whole prophecy a year earlier.]
[Namely, by Cyrus, the Medo-Persian conqueror of the Babylonians, who thus put an end to the “seventy years’ captivity,” B. C. 536, as in Ezra 1:1; and by Darius Hystaspis, who renewed Cyrus’s decree (Ezra 4:24), B. C. 518, rescinding its prohibition by his immediate predecessors Cambyses and Smerdis.]
[On these chronological elements, see Browne’s Ordo Sæclorum, pp. 202 and 96–107.]
[On the contrary, there is good reason to believe that this remarkable prophecy sustained the faith of the pious Jews in their anticipations of the near approach of the Redeemer’s coming (cf. Mark 1:15; Luke 2:25, 38), as it has since been a powerful argument to prove his actual advent at the time predicted (cf. Gal. 4:4; 1 Pet. 1:11).]
[The learned and pious author does not seem to be aware how nugatory such a misconception on the part of the holy seer would render this prophecy, the marked peculiarity of which is that it designates the time of the events predicted.]
Cf. Bleek, in the Jahrbücher f. deutache Theologie, 1860. p. 84; Reichel, in Stud. u. Kritiken, 1848, pp. 737, 748 et seq.
[It should rather be borne in mind that this is not a question of Daniel’s subjective intuition into the future; the dates in question were those explicitly given him by Gabriel commissioned direct from heaven for that very purpose.]
[It is difficult to see how a discovery of Daniel’s own error on the point in question should lead his readers either to entertain greater faith in his predictions or to seek for a more correct interpretation of them than he was able to attain himself.]
[There is this essential difference, however, as to the point at issue between these eschatological sayings of our Lord and this of Daniel, that Christ expressly disclaimed any revelation or even knowledge of the “times and seasons” of the events predicted; whereas the prophecy before us is a pure series of such chronological notanda. Indeed our Lord in these very utterances explicitly refers to this identical passage of Daniel as affording the only clue that he gives to the date of their occurrence.]
[This assertion is often made by expositors, but it is directly contradicted by Paul’s emphatic language in 2 Thess. 2:1 seq.]
[This effort of the author to turn to advantage in one direction an acknowledged failure in another, is ingenious, but unfortunately, if true, would prove too much; for if the prophecy does not tally with its alleged fulfilment, it is thereby shown not only to have been not written after the event, but to have been no true prophecy at all.]
Cf. Füller, Der Prophet Daniel, p. 264, “We hear Daniel repeatedly characterized as a jewel of great value in the sight of God. Hence, for the reason that Daniel is precious with God. the latter meets his petitions and wishes kindly, and makes disclosures to him which would not otherwise have been imparted. If his nation may find comfort and encouragement in these disclosures at a later day, it is to know to whom it is indebted for them, and to learn that a man upon whom rests the favor of God may be a blessing to his people during subsequent centuries. For Daniel is not merely the instrument through which, but also the man for whose sake God imparts this revelation, which possesses Incalculable value for Daniel’s nation for centuries to come.”
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;