Words used in different cultures might mean different things. Well over 30 years ago I received a call from a friend in the United States. After a long chat he said he would call back later. I told Jenny he would call back later that day and waited and waited and he never called. Months later I found out that “later” meant sometime in the future. In my culture it meant later that day. The Hebrew people were promised a Messiah and they wanted this Messiah to come very soon because they wanted a return to a “Royal Rule and Reign”, such as king David had provided. Fight our wars and destroy our enemies so that we will have peace with our country’s sovereignty protected. Restore our economy so that all would have work and earn wages with “the land of milk and honey” being a reality. Just as I expected my friend to call back that day because in my culture, “later” meant that, so God promising a Messiah in the present Jewish content meant “imminent’. We have dealt with most of the text:
Da 9:25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble
but still need to deal with …
1) The angel Gabriel speaks of “the Anointed One. He says from the declaration to build and restore the City of Zion, until the Anointed One, who is the ruler comes, it will be a certain period of time. (The word “ruler” is also translated as prince pointing to kingship). Who is this Anointed One who is the ruler? Some commentators suggest this to be a pagan king, yet for us there are two important words to get our heads around to understand who this is. In the Old Testament, both kings and priests were anointed. Their office was separate having different functions. Never in the Old Testament is a king and priest the same person. We have no historical record from that period to draw from and say “that is the one referred to” as ‘the Anointed One who is the ruler.” From the New Testament record and drawing from prophetic Words of the Old Testament, we find there is someone who measures up to and satisfies these two essential requisites of what we may call a “Theocratic King”.
Zec 6:13 It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’
Ps 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Then as we turn to the New Testament, we find …
Jn 4:25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
Heb 5:10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
There is no question that what the Old prophesied is fulfilled in the New. The Old pointed to Messiah and the New reveals Messiah as Jesus Christ. Take the word ruler / prince now:
Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this
Jesus satisfies this prophecy completely. So Daniel was to look for such a one that was anointed and appointed to fulfil both the priestly and kingly office.
2) He would come, but when?
Da 9:25 “From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.
The word “imminent” could be used to say this Anointed One who would rule, would come at any moment. That was true as it is true that Jesus’ Second Coming is imminent. For the past 2000 years it has been imminent … and it still is. As we don’t know when Jesus will return, so the exact time of His First Coming as the Anointed One who would rule was unknown. He would come and He did. Having said this, the best way to interpret … “seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens” is to see it as a symbolic number. So from the instruction to rebuilt and restored the city to the coming of the Anointed One, the time frame would be “seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.” In verse 26 we find the distinguishing characteristic of the “sixty-two sevens.” It is the period in between the rebuilding and the cutting off of the Anointed One:
Da 9:26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing.
(a) The Messiah will be cut off and
(b) the city destroyed.
2) If Daniel was written around 530 BC and the Lord’s Jesus incarnation around 5BC to 3BC with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, we need to see the “seven sevens” and “sixty-two sevens” as both symbolic periods … yet also long periods of time.
3) The Anointed One will be cut off. The term “cut off” refers to the death penalty. As an example:
Lev 7:20 But if anyone who is unclean eats any meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people. 21 If anyone touches something unclean—whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean, detestable thing—and then eats any of the meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people.
In both these verses the term “cut off” refers to a violent death … and in Daniel 9:26 it refers to being cut off, violently by death.
4) To reflect upon the “Anointed One”, we need to contextualize verse 26 with verse 25 as some say these are different “Anointed Ones”. Yet, if Jesus was the Anointed One of verse 25 … then … cut off applies to Him.
Isa 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Jesus was “cut off” by His death upon the Cross at Calvary. We need to return to these two verses and dig deeper, but for today I want you to see how prophecy can be explained and interpreted by the use of the whole Bible.
Lord God, please help me to be a diligent student of Your Word, grasping spiritual truth and avoiding speculation. Amen.