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Daniel 7-9 Listen
1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
Daniel sees four beasts, and they are all similar to something earthly, but weird looking in their own distinct way. We see in verse 17 what is meant, "These great beasts, which are four, ARE FOUR KINGS, WHICH shall arise out of the earth." These beasts represent the same four kingdoms as did the image we saw in Daniel 2 (see notes) - Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman. It's the fourth kingdom that deserves a little bit more attention in this passage; it speaks of the revived Roman Empire that is still future to us.
The Representations of Daniel 7
|Four Beasts||Four kingdoms||17|
|1st Beast: Lion with eagles' wings||Babylonian Empire||4|
|2nd Beast: Bear (lopsided)||Medo-Persian Empire||5|
|3rd Beast: Leopard with four wings and four heads||Greek Empire||6|
|4th Beast: Beast with iron teeth and ten horns||Roman Empire and revived Roman Empire||7-8, 19-28|
|10 horns of 4th Beast||10 kings of the tribulation - Revelation 13||24|
|Little horn of the 4th Beast||Beast of Revelation 13 aka "antichrist"||8, 20-21, 24-26|
|Ancient of days||God||9, 13, 22|
|Son of man||Jesus the Messiah||13|
|Saints||Believers of tribulation and millennium||18, 21, 22, 25, 27|
Much of the terminology and imagery of this fourth beast is also found in Revelation 13 (see notes); it describes the man many often refer to as the yet-to-come antichrist. You will often hear the beast of Revelation 13 (aka "antichrist") referred to as the "little horn," derived from his description in Daniel 7:8. He causes great distress to the saints of God in the last half of the tribulation represented by Daniel in verse 25 as "a time and times and the dividing of time" - Daniel's way of expressing 3 1/2 years (times=2, time=1, dividing of time=1/2). This antichrist is the one who desecrates the temple in Jerusalem at the middle of the tribulation and declares himself to be God. That action is referred to as the "abomination of desolation." Christ refers to Daniel's prophecy regarding this event in Matthew 24:15 (see notes). Daniel has this as a recurring theme in these passages, Daniel 9:27 (see below); Daniel 11:31 and 12:11 (see notes). It is the same event Paul wrote about in II Thessalonians 2 (see notes). We'll be revisiting this event several times as we look at the rest of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. You will notice that this kingdom and the antichrist are destroyed beginning in verse 22 (God is the "Ancient of Days"); this corresponds to the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19:11-21 (see notes) and the possession by the saints represents the millennium immediately following this battle. The demise of the antichrist here is described in verses 10 and 26; this corresponds to the "sharp sword" which proceeds out of the mouth of the Messiah when he returns at the end of the tribulation in Revelation 19:15. It is obvious that Daniel and John, the Revelator, are speaking of the same incident and the same satanic leader commonly known as the antichrist.
The Judgment of verse 10 is interesting, "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." As stated above with regard to Jesus at his return, the "fiery stream" seems to correspond to the "sharp sword" that proceeds "out of his mouth" in Revelation 19:15 (see notes). The remaining description found in that verse with regard to the judgment certainly refers to the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 (see notes). There, according to John's revelation, all of the wicked lost (past, present and future to us) will appear before this judgment ("ten thousand times ten thousand") and will be judged out of a set of "books" (Daniel 7:10; Revelation 20:12).
We see a clear prophetic reference to the Messiah (Jesus) as the agent of God on earth here in verses 13-14, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, ONE like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion IS AN EVERLASTING DOMINION, WHICH SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT which shall not be destroyed." And there's your Messianic rule as well. When Jesus frequently referenced himself as "the Son of man" in the Gospel accounts, the Jewish leaders obviously took exception to his use of that term. Although Ezekiel used the term as a self identifier many times throughout his prophecy, Daniel obviously uses it here as a reference for the Messiah.
Many speculations have been spun out of verses 23-27 regarding the 10 horns of this fourth beast. Let's start by listing what we are somewhat confident about regarding this passage:
Some teachers of prophecy will tell you more about this passage, but it's just speculation. Understanding prophecy is a progressive process. The closer we get to the events outlined here, the more events seem to fall into place. It is natural to speculate; we just need to be careful to identify the difference between what we know and what we speculate.
1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
Chapter 8 contains a prophecy that has already been fulfilled. This time Daniel's vision involves a ram and a goat. Here, however, only two of the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 (see notes) and Daniel 7 (see above) are in view - the Medo-Persian and the Greek (clearly identified in verses 20-21).
"Horns" are key words in this vision; the two horns of the ram represent the coalition of the Medes and the Persians. The single horn of the goat represents the kingdom of Alexander the Great who overcame the Medo-Persian empire in verse 7. However, after leaving no heir to his kingdom, Alexander's Greek Empire was divided into four separate kingdoms after his death. This is represented by the horn in verse 8 being broken off and four horns replacing it.
It was the successor to one of those four kingdoms about which this vision is written over 400 years before it was to take place. This successor to one of the four portions of the Greek Empire was Antiochus Epiphanes IV. He was a weasel of a man who wreaked havoc on the Jews in Jerusalem after going to war and being soundly defeated in Egypt. On his return through Israel in 167 B.C., he desecrated the temple by offering a pig on the altar there and forced the Jews to offer pigs as sacrifices and eat swine meat...or die; he was determined to replace their Jewish culture with Greek culture. Daniel's reference to 2,300 in verse 14 could mean the 2,300 morning and evening sacrifices that were desecrated or could refer to the number of days. We don't know the exact number of days this ordeal took place (1,150 or 2,300 days). This all happened during the Maccabean period between the Old Testament and New Testament. These events are well documented in the apocryphal historical books of I and II Maccabees. While these books are not part of the canon of divinely-inspired scripture, no serious scholar doubts the historical authenticity of the writings, nor do they dispute the accuracy of the events as they are portrayed.
1 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;
2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
19 O 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.
Daniel begins this chapter in prayer before God. He has some questions. Daniel fully acknowledges that Israel has gotten what they deserved - even makes reference to the prophecy of Moses (verse 11) with the associated curses for disobedience back in Deuteronomy 28-30 (see notes).
Babylon has fallen, and it's around 539 B.C. or so; Daniel (verse 2) has been reading Jeremiah 29:10 (see notes), "For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place." Now Daniel himself had gone into captivity in 605 B.C., but when does this 70-year countdown begin? He thinks maybe the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., or would it be from the time the first captives were taken in 605 B.C. when the exiles would start returning to Jerusalem. Inquiring minds want to know - and Daniel too. Incidentally, the exiles did begin returning in 535 B.C., 70 years after the exile of Daniel. Daniel, being a man of God, goes to God in prayer on behalf of his people regarding their return, that it can begin now, 70 years after Daniel's own exile.
Gabriel's back with some amazing information (Daniel 9:20-23)
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
Here's Gabriel again for an encore presentation to Daniel (refer back to 8:16, see above), and he's carrying with him one of the most amazing prophecies of the entire Bible - a remarkable prophecy! It's found in the next four verses.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: 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, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
First of all, a look at the word "weeks" is in order regarding this passage. The Hebrew word for "weeks" is "shaw-boo´-ah." This is the general Hebrew word for a group of seven - seven of anything (days, weeks, years). So, these "weeks" in Daniel 9:24-27 are referencing a period of groups of seven years - not seven days. It's just the way they talked back then. This usage is further validated inasmuch as Daniel was contemplating the meaning of the "70 years" of Jeremiah's prophecy at the time of the appearance of Gabriel here in Daniel 9:2 (see above). Jeremiah's prophecy is first seen in Jeremiah 25:1-14 (see notes). Based upon that linkage, there's no question that Daniel is issuing a prophecy concerning a period of 70 years.
Now let's understand verse 24. This prophecy concerns 70 weeks (groups of 7 years or 490 years) of Jewish prophecy to fulfill the six conditions of verse 24; these will be realized for the first time in the millennium (the 1000-year period immediately following the 7-year tribulation). Daniel is made to understand that this criteria is not to be met at the conclusion of Jeremiah's prophesied 70 years of exile, but rather seven times longer than that - 490 years.
The six conditions to be fulfilled with regard to Israel in verse 24 are:
Now, let's do the math in verse 25. Understanding each week to be 7 years, we have (7 x 7) + (62 x 7) = 483 years between two events. What are these two events? The first event is the decree that would result in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. We'll talk more about that later. The second event is the appearance of the Messiah. I am completely confident that the time lapse between these two events was exactly 483 years. HOW DID HE KNOW THAT? God told him in this vision. But wait! There's more! In verse 26, his vision reveals that after that (62 x 7) period (the end of the 483 years) the Messiah would be cut off. Daniel saw the crucifixion of Jesus, the Messiah! In that same verse he saw the destruction of the temple after that in 70 A.D. approximately 40 years later; it's a remarkable vision.
That being said, there are some differences of opinion regarding the exact beginning and ending points of this prophecy. It is most common for commentators to embrace one view as opposed to another - declining to make his readers aware of the controversy. Here, I'll attempt to show you the pertinent data regarding all three of the most prominent views on the issue and let my readers see the relevant math involved.
|Position #1 (quite popular)||Position #2 (Jehovah Witnesses and others)||Position #3 (not widely taught)|
|483 years x 360-day years (prophetic years) = 173,880 = 476 years x 365-day solar years||
483 solar years beginning 454 B.C.
|483 solar years from 457 B.C. (7th year of Artaxerxes I) to 27 A.D. which equates to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus.|
|Neh. 2:1 (445 B.C.) to Crucifixion of Jesus in 32 A.D. = 476 years||Neh. 2:1 marks the beginning in the 20th year of Artaxerxes, but includes a co-regent position for 9 years while his father was leading the army in foreign lands, thus making it 454 B.C.||Ezra was commissioned to go to Jerusalem to rebuild in Ezra 7:8, which equates to 457 B.C. The decree included the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem according to Ezra 9:9.|
Problem #1: The rendering of 360-day prophetic years without compensation for leap years
Problem: While this does calculate to a 30 A.D. crucifixion, there is no record (Biblical or historical) that Artaxerxes shared a reign with his father, thus making 454 B.C. a very uncertain beginning.
|Problem (slight): While Ezra embarked upon his mission with a decree to rebuild the walls, the completed work had stalled until Nehemiah received his decree in 445 B.C. However, it is reported in Ezra 4:12 that the Jews had already "set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations." That validates the fact that all of the rebuilding decrees included the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem - not simply the rebuilding of the Temple. That first decree had been issued under Cyrus the Great (II Chronicles 36:23; Ezra 1:2-4).|
To summarize and choose:
There is no question in my mind that 483 years is the time frame between two events. I'm not comfortable with the 360-day years theory (Position #1) since it is a fact that the Jews had leap years to compensate for those. In addition, the crucifixion could not have taken place in 32 A.D. because Jesus was actually born in 4 B.C. See notes on Matthew 2:1-23 for details regarding the year of Jesus' birth.
While the math works with position #2, still there is no evidence that Artaxerxes actually began his reign earlier than 464 B.C., thus making his 20th year 445 B.C. This position requires us to accept an undocumented premise.
Position #3 is not widely taught, but it does contain all of the elements necessary to be a viable position. The 7th year of Artaxerxes calculates to 457 B.C. The ending point is rendered in Daniel 9:25 as "...unto the Messiah the Prince..." That can certainly refer to the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus in 27 A.D. rather than the crucifixion in 30 A.D.
Therefore, it appears that the most viable solution to our 483-year prophecy is that of position #3.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the first period of 7 x 7 in verse 25...or 49 years. Is that significant of anything? I don't know. Some have suggested that to be the time it took to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, but we are told in Nehemiah 6:15 (see notes) that it only took 52 days to do that. Others have suggested that after the wall had been rebuilt around Jerusalem, it took 49 years for the people in Nehemiah 7 (see notes) to get moved into their new houses they built. That's a reasonable speculation, but it is just that...speculation. I'm not convinced that the first 7 x 7 has to be significant of any event. It may be that Daniel was just expressing his prophecy in terms of sevens.
Here's the Beast (aka antichrist) again!
Now there's a gap. There's a gap because the progress towards fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the Jews is interrupted by the crucifixion of the long-awaited Messiah. Daniel saw that gap in verse 26. Therefore, verse 27 deals with the last seven-year period of this prophecy. This is the seven-year period commonly called "the tribulation" beginning in Revelation 6 (see notes). At the center of the controversy is the man we typically call the antichrist. That's perhaps an inaccurate designation for him; he's known as the "Beast" of Revelation 13 (see notes). He is a descendent of the people who destroyed the temple in verse 26; those people happen to be Romans in 70 A.D. under General Titus. Therefore, the antichrist will be of Roman descent. In verse 27 he makes a covenant with the people (during the tribulation) who make the sacrifices (the Jews) for seven years. In the middle of those seven years ("in the midst of the week"), he breaks the covenant and causes the sacrifices to cease; he also desecrates the temple at that 3 1/2 year midpoint. This "abomination of desolation" is referenced by Christ himself in Matthew 24:15 (see notes), "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" Daniel speaks of it again in Daniel 11:31 (see notes) and Daniel 12:11 (see notes). The exact description of what takes place to constitute this "abomination of desolation" is found in II Thessalonians 2 (see notes). The antichrist moves into the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt temple and declares that he himself shall be worshipped as God.
All of this was prophesied by Daniel nearly 100 years before the decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was issued. REMARKABLE!