The Abominations of Desolation

Introduction
The purpose of this study is to examine all of the different occurrences of the "abomination of desolation" found in the book of Daniel, prophet of יהוה. Needless to say, as with all virtually all Biblical topics, there are many different beliefs circling out there about what these "abominations of desolation" are and when they happened or will happen. Prayerfully we will be able to piece together enough information to answer these questions.

- Abomination of Desolation -
The first thing we need to establish is exactly where the occurrences of the phrase "abomination of desolation" are in the book of Daniel. Ready for this...it is not! There are three commonly understood locations of this phrase where the actual Hebrew verbiage is different: Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11. A brief evaluation of these three verses follows. The first supposed occurrence is found in Daniel 9:27.
וְהִגְבִּיר בְּרִית לָרַבִּים שָׁבוְּעַ אֶחָד וַחֲצִי הַשָּׁבוְּעַ יַשְׁבִּית זֶבַח וְּמִנְחָה וְעַל כְּנַף שִׁקּוְּצִים מְשֹׁמֵם וְעַד־כָּלָה וְנֶחֱרָצָה תִּתַּךְ עַל־שֹׁמֵם

"And he shall confirm1 covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come desolating abominations; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall be poured out upon the desolator2." - Daniel 9:27 (ASV)

The phrase שִׁקּוְּצִים מְשֹׁמֵם literally means "desolating abominations." It is a slightly different rendering, but the same idea is conveyed - something is coming that will bring with it abominations that cause desolation. The phrase "abomination of desolation" as it relates to this verse most likely comes from the Septuagint (LXX) version. In the LXX the phrase reads βδέλυγμα τῶν ἐρημώσεων, which literally means "abomination of the desolations." Again, the same idea is conveyed.

The second supposed occurrence is found in Daniel 11:31.

וְּזְרֹעִים מִמֶּנּוְּ יַעֲמֹדוְּ וְחִלְּלוְּ הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הַמָּעֹוז וְהֵסִירוְּ הַתָּמִיד וְנָתְנוְּ הַשִּׁקּוְּץ מְשֹׁומֵם

"And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual ascension-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate." - Daniel 11:31 (ASV)

In this verse the phrase is virtually identical to the one mention in verse 27 above except שִּׁקּוְּץ, which is the word for "abomination," is in the singular instead of the plural. So it therefore reads "desolating abomination."

The last occurrence of this phrase in the book of Daniel is found in Daniel 12:11.

וְּמֵעֵת הוְּסַר הַתָּמִיד וְלָתֵת שִׁקּוְּץ שֹׁמֵם יָמִים אֶלֶף מָאתַיִם וְתִשְׁעִים

"And from the time that the continual ascension-offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand and two hundred and ninety days." - Daniel 12:11 (ASV)

Once again this occurrence is in the singular.

In the following sections I outline what I believe to be the proper chronological order of these abominations of desolation. Many feel that they are all speaking about one abomination of desolation. I do not share this belief. It is my current understanding that each of these occurrences of "abomination(s) of desolation" are all unique events in the past and/or future.


Prophecy of the Kings
In this section I will walk through the eleventh chapter of Daniel verse by verse showing how and when the various events mentioned are fulfilled. I believe that the identities of the various "Kings of the North" and "Kings of the South" are all identifiable by looking at the historical references and sources that we have available to us today.

- Who is Darius the Mede? -
"And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him." - Daniel 11:1 (ASV)

Much speculation has gone into who this "Darius the Mede" is since many historical records seem to be missing any Median king by this name. I present the following information as evidence that "Darius the Mede" was in fact the Median king by the name of Cyaxares, son of Astyages. Darius is first mention in Daniel 9:1.

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans..." - Daniel 9:1 (ASV)

So, first we need to identify who this "Ahasuerus" is. The following is a verse from the apocryphal book of Tobit.

"Before he died he heard of the destruction of Nineveh, and he saw its prisoners being led into Media, those whom Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus had taken captive." - Tobit 14:15 (NRSV)

Here we are told that Nineveh was destroyed by two people, Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus. What other historical sources do we have that can help us identify who these two people who destroyed Nineveh were? We are told in James Ussher's Annals of the World that, "Nabopolassar of Babylon (who was made general of the army by Saraco, who was also called Kineladanos, king of Assyria and Chaldea) and Astyages (who was made governor of Media by his father Cyaxares) made an alliance together. Astyages gave his daughter Amyitis in marriage to Nebuchadnezzar the son of Nabopolassar. The two men joined their forces and took the city of Nineveh with its king Saraco."3 So, Nabopolassar was the general of the army of Saraco.

Here is a quote from the Chronicle of Eusebius: "Saracus was the next king of Assyria. Now when he learned that a motley force had attacked by sea, he immediately sent [his] general Busalossorus to Babylon. [This general], however, plotted rebellion and sought the marriage of Amuhean, daughter of Azhdahak [Astyages], the patriarch of the Medes, to his son, Nebuchadnezzar. Then he swiftly went against Ninea, that is, the city of Nineveh."4 This "Saraco" and "Saracus" are one and the same person. So, in Eusebius' Chronicle Saracus' general, Busalossorus, is one and the same with Nabopollasar, who was the father of Nebuchadnezzar.

If we now tie these two quotes back into the verse in Tobit we can equate the Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus who destroyed Nineveh are none other than Nabopolassar and Astyages. We can now identify the "Ahasuerus" of Daniel 9:1 with the "Astyages" mentioned in Eusebius' Chronicle. Knowing this we are now looking to find the son(s) of this Astyages to further identify who "Darius the Mede" is. Here is a passage from the Cryopaedia of Xenophon: "In the course of time Astyages died in Media, and Cyaxares, the son of Astyages and brother of Cyrus's mother, succeeded to the Median throne."5

Based on all of the information above it is clear that this Cyaxeres, the son of Astyages, is the one also named "Darius the Mede" in the book of Daniel6. Cyaxares was not king of Media only, but King of Persia as well. We can now proceed through the rest of the prophecy of Daniel 11.

- Four Persian Kings -
"And now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and when he is waxed strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece." - Daniel 11:2 (ASV)

Cyrus II, better known as Cyrus the Great7, was Cyaxeres' nephew.8 He was given the entire Median kingdom as a dowry to marry Cyaxeres' daughter.9 Although Cyrus later became the sole ruler of the Medo-Persian empire, he was still considered ruler of Persia at the same time as his uncle.10 From here we can establish the four Persian kings mentioned in this prophecy.

After Cyrus II died, his son Cambyses II11 succeeded him as the first king of Persia in Daniel's prophecy.12

The history surrounding the second king is more involved. Bardiya, better known as Smerdis13, the younger son of Cyrus the Great, was assassinated by his brother Cambyses II.14 But, another one, labeled "the Magus,"15 succeeded to the throne pretending to be Smerdis.16 He greatly resembled the actual Smerdis.17 This imposter was considered the next sovereign over Persia after Cambyses II and reigned for only 7 months.

After the secret of the magus being an imposter was revealed, Darius I18, along with six other Persians, sought and killed him.19 These seven Persians, Darius being one of them, made an agreement with each other to meet on horseback at sunrise, and whoever's horse neighed first, its master would be the king. Darius' horse was the first to neigh and he was subsequently hailed as king, to be known later as Darius I the Great.20 It is not within the scope of this study to detail how Darius' kingdom was a great one. However, one great source for personal study on this is the Encyclopedia Iranica21, which contains many citations for detailed cross reference.

The fourth king was truly the greatest of them all.22 Xerxes I23 was appointed to be the next king after Darius and became such immediately after Darius' death.24 Xerxes ultimately became ruler of Egypt, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Lycia, Caria, Mysia, Troas, Hellespont, Bithynia and Pontus. Because of the expansiveness of his kingdom he became exceedingly wealthy. He led massive armies deep into Greece doing what his father Darius never could. After the famous Battle of Thermopylae25, where a small force of Spartan soldiers led by King Leonidas26 valiantly resisting Xerxes' army was eventually defeated, Xerxes marched on and conquered Athens.

To sum up this section, the four Persian kings are (dates are approximated)
  • Cambyses II, elder son of Cyrus the Great: reigned from 529 BCE - 522 BCE
  • The Magus (Imposter of the younger son of Cyrus the Great, Smerdis): reigned only 7 months in the year 522 BCE
  • Darius I (The Great): reigned from 521 BCE - 486 BCE
  • Xerxes I (The Great): reigned from 486 BCE - 465 BCE
- The Mighty King -
"And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will." - Daniel 11:3 (ASV)

Sometime later a ruler by the name of Alexander the Great27 came on the scene.28 He spent much of his life in battle expanding his kingdom. He was known for supposedly being undefeated in battle, though this is unconfirmed. By the end of his life his kingdom stretched from the Western-most parts of Greece to the Far East, including territories as far South as Southern Egypt and Judea. The regnal titles Alexander obtained before his death were: King of Macedon, Great King (Shah) of Persia, Pharaoh of Egypt, and King of Asia. He ruled his expanding Empire from 336 BCE - 323 BCE.

- Four Non-Descendant Kings -
"And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion wherewith he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides these." - Daniel 11:4 (ASV)

Four main kingdoms developed after Alexander's death each headed by one of his generals. Although battles raged between many of the generals appointed by Alexander the Battle of Ipsus29 was the final deciding factor in this division of four kingdoms prophesied by Daniel. The first kingdom was that founded by Cassander30, the son of Antipater, the regent of all of Alexander's empire. Cassander's dominion was over all of Macedonia, which is the Western compass point mentioned in Daniel 11:4 above. The second kingdom was that of Lysimachus31 was the ruler of all of Thrace and Asia Minor. His kingdom was the Northern compass point. The southern compass point belonged to the kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter32. He ruled all of Egypt and parts of Northern Africa and Judea. The last of the four ruling kingdoms was that of Seleucus I Nicator33, who ruled all of Babylon and territory into the East in Media, Asia, and Persia. This is the Eastern compass point spoken of in Daniel 11:4.

So the Kings of the four compass points are (dates are approximated):
  • Cassander: reigned from 305 BCE - 297 BCE over the whole of Macedonia towards the West of Alexander's empire.
  • Lysimachus: reigned from 301 BCE - 282/1 BCE over all of Thrace and Asia Minor toward the North of Alexander's empire.
  • Seleucus I Nicator: reigned from 305 BCE - 281 BCE over Babylon, and parts of Media, Asia, and Persia.
  • Ptolemy I Soter: reigned from 323 BCE - 283 BCE over all of Egypt and parts of North Africa and Judea.
- Kings of the North and South -
"And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion." - Daniel 11:5 (ASV)

Ptolmey I Soter co-reigned with his son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus34, for 7 years (from approximately 290 BCE to 283 BCE) after which he became sole ruler for another 37 years. Ptolemy II gained great land and sea-based fighting power and ruled during the height of the literary and material splendor of Alexandria. It is during his reign translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek was commissioned. This translation is now known as the Septuagint (LXX).35

"And at the end of years they shall join themselves together; and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the strength of her arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in those times." - Daniel 11:6 (ASV)

During the Second Syrian War, Ptolemy II sustained heavy losses due to his battling with the Seleucid Empire, then under Antiochus II Theos36 (reigned approximately 261 BCE - 246 BCE). To end the war, the Northern king (Antiochus II) made peace with Ptolemy II and Ptolemy II gave his daughter Berenice37 to Antiochus II for marriage to seal the treaty. Antiochus II divorced his wife Laodice38 to take Berenice with her children to be his successors. When Ptolemy II died, Berenice took regency for a short time until Antiochus II returned to his wife Laodice, who then poisoned him, Berenice, and all her sons.

"But out of a shoot from her roots shall one stand up in his place, who shall come unto the army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail." - Daniel 11:7 (ASV)

Ptolemy III Eurgetes39 (reigned 246 BCE - 222 BCE), Berenice's brother, succeeded his father Ptolemy II and went North to avenge his sister's murder. He conquered with much success taking many cities as far as Babylon.40

"And also their elohim, with their molten images, and with their goodly vessels of silver and of gold, shall he carry captive into Mitsrayim; and he shall refrain some years from the king of the north." - Daniel 11:8 (ASV)

Ptolemy III ravaged the kingdom of Seleucus and carried from there 40,000 talents of silver and 2,500 talents' worth of precious vessels and idols.41 Ptolemy III was awarded new territories on the northern coast of Syria in exchange for peace.

"And he shall come into the realm of the king of the south, but he shall return into his own land." - Daniel 11:9 (ASV)

Seleucus II Callinicus42 (reigned 246 BCE - 225 BCE), the son of Laodice, came back to the South but was unable to conquer Ptolemy III and peace was finally made in 241 BCE.43

"And his sons shall war, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come on, and overflow, and pass through; and they shall return and war, even to his fortress." - Daniel 11:10 (ASV)

Seleucus III Soter44 (reigned 225 BCE - 223 BCE), the elder son of Seleucus II, also surnamed Ceraunus, rallied up troops to retake eastern Asia Minor but is beaten back beyond the Taurus Mountains in western Asia Minor and later assassinated by members of his own army. Afterwards, Antiochus III45 (The Great, reigned 223 BCE - 187 BCE), the younger son of Seleucus II, took the throne of the Seleucid kingdom and desired to retake the Syrian lands. He won back all the Seleucid territories in Asia Minor and started to press strongly into the South towards Egypt's Syrian territories.46 He went as far South as Israel and then entered into negotiations with Ptolemy IV Philopator47 (reigned 221 BCE - 205 BCE).

"And the king of the south shall be moved with anger, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north; and he shall set forth a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into his hand." - Daniel 11:11 (ASV)

After negotiations collapsed, Antiochus III continued his press into Egyptian territory. Ptolemy IV mounted up a huge army, as did Antiochus III, and the Egyptians won again taking over the provinces of Syria in 217 BCE. Ptolemy IV Philopator proceeded to Israel and defeated Antiochus III's army turning them around, but he did not pursue any farther.

"And the multitude shall be lifted up, and his heart shall be exalted; and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail. {13} And the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; and he shall come on at the end of the times, even of years, with a great army and with much substance." - Daniel 11:12-13 (ASV)

After his many victories Ptolemy IV turned to a life of drunken debauchery.48 Ptolemy IV keeps the land for only a short time. Ptolemy V Epiphanes49 (reigned 204 BCE - 181 BCE) succeeded to the throne. Antiochus III raises another huge army which destroyed the Ptolemies taking Syria and Judea in 198 BCE. One major tool used by Antiochus' army (specifically in the Battle of Panium50) was something called the cataphract51, which consisted of "much substance."

"And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the children of the violent among thy people shall lift themselves up to establish the vision; but they shall fall." - Daniel 11:14 (ASV)

After his victory, many Jews who would later fall welcomed Antiochus III.52

"So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mound, and take a well-fortified city: and the forces of the south shall not stand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to stand. {16} But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, and in his hand shall be destruction." - Daniel 11:15-16 (ASV)

Ptolemy V took many of the lands in Syria and Judea back that Antiochus III had won from him, but not for long. Antiochus III once again came back with his forces and, having access to Jerusalem, destroyed the Egyptian Ptolemaic garrisons there and retook all the cities of Syria and Judea. Once he recovered all of the cities he grew friendly and well disposed to the Jews.53

"And he shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and with him equitable conditions; and he shall perform them: and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her; but she shall not stand, neither be for him." - Daniel 11:17 (ASV)

After Antiochus III defeated Ptolemy V, retaking his territories, he came to Ptolemy V with a peace treaty giving him his daughter Cleopatra I54 for marriage.55 Antiochus III expected Cleopatra I to work for him on the "other side," but she did not.

"After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; yea, moreover, he shall cause his reproach to turn upon him." - Daniel 11:18 (ASV)

Antiochus III turned up to Asia Minor to start taking over coastal cities that were allies with Ptolemy V such as Smyrna and Lampsacus. He then got ambitious and invaded Greece, which was being defended by the Romans at that time. Manius Acilius Glabrio56 was the commander of the Roman army that attacked him and they succeeded in driving him out.57 This was known as the Battle of Thermopylae58. Antiochus was then compelled to withdraw to Asia.

"Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found." - Daniel 11:19 (ASV)

The Romans continued pursuing Antiochus III conquering his territory eventually resulting in his losing the vast majority of his kingdom. Antiochus III died trying to rob a temple in Syria in 187 BCE.59

"Then shall stand up in his place one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom; but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle." - Daniel 11:20 (ASV)

Due to the extreme debt imposed by the Romans in the Treaty of Apamea60 to Antiochus III, his son Seleucus IV Philopater61 (reigned 187 BCE - 175 BCE) imposed an ambitious tax policy. The Treaty also required that twenty hostages be taken (one of which was Antiochus III's son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes62, younger brother of Seleucus IV) who would be changed out every 3 years with the exception of Antiochus III's son.63 Seleucus IV was later assassinated by his minister Heliodorus, who he sent to seize the Jewish Temple treasury to pay the tax.

"And in his place shall stand up a contemptible person, to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries." - Daniel 11:21 (ASV)

Antiochus IV was held hostage in Rome but was later exchanged for the son of Seleucus IV, Demetrius I Soter64 (reigned 162 BCE - 150 BCE) in 176 BCE, the rightful heir to the Seleucid throne.65 King Eumenes II of Pergamon66 and his father Attalus I67 gave the Seleucid throne to Antiochus IV.

"And the overwhelming forces shall be overwhelmed from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant." - Daniel 11:22 (ASV)

Throughout his reign, Antiochus IV conquered and overflowed the armies of the Ptolemaic empire. Within this time he also removed the legitimate high priest from his office. According to 2 Maccabees 3:1-3 Jerusalem was living in a time of complete peace greatly due to the fact that "its laws were excellently well executed because of the piety of Onias, the high priest. He was utterly opposed to all ungodliness." According to Josephus Onias III68 was removed from the priesthood by Antiochus IV and replaced by his brother Jason, who gladly welcomed and paid tribute to Antiochus IV.69

"And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people. {24} In time of security shall he come even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance: yea, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time. {25} And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall war in battle with an exceeding great and mighty army; but he shall not stand; for they shall devise devices against him. {26} Yea, they that eat of his dainties shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow; and many shall fall down slain. {27} And as for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed." - Daniel 11:23-27 (ASV)

The Egyptians under the rule of Ptolemy VI Philometor70 (reigned 180 BCE - 145 BCE) were demanding the return of Syrian territory from Antiochus IV. Ptolemy VI mounted up a large army to confront Antiochus IV, who once again pressed into Egyptian territory, but he was eventually defeated.71 Antiochus IV defeated Ptolemy VI's commanders between Pelusium and Mount Casius. Antiochus seized the fortified cities and led away the spoils of Egypt, accomplishing something that none of his ancestors had.72 Antiochus IV spared Ptolemy VI's life and pretended to be his friend. He said that he would be careful about the affairs of the land, but all the while had intentions of ruling Egypt all by himself. He succeeded in taking over the kingdom of Egypt with a small force.73

"Then shall he return into his land with great substance; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do his pleasure, and return to his own land." - Daniel 11:28 (ASV)

After plundering the land of Egypt he returned towards Syria. A false rumor was spread throughout Judea that Antiochus IV had died and a rebellion ensued.74 Once Antiochus IV caught wind that this rumor pleased the people of Jerusalem he became very angry. He left Egypt and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude of people.75 He ordered the slaughter of tens of thousands of people, men, women, and children. Antiochus IV's anger was not spent on this though and he was not content with only this judgment. He proceeded to arrogantly enter the temple itself and carry away its treasures including the golden altar, the lampstand, the table of showbread, and censers, the curtain, and all the utensils.76 After doing all of this Antiochus IV offered swine upon the altar of יהוה and sprinkled the temple with the broth of its flesh to purposely violate and defile the Torah.77

"At the time appointed he shall return, and come into the south; but it shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former. {30} For ships of Kittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do his pleasure: he shall even return, and have regard unto them that forsake the holy covenant." - Daniel 11:29-30 (ASV)

Antiochus came once again back into Egypt fighting against Ptolemy VI's younger brother Ptolemy VIII Physcon (a/k/a Euergetes II)78. Ptolemy VIII and his sister Cleopatra II79 therefore sent ambassadors to Rome to petition them for help.80 Antiochus IV was unable to break through the wall of Alexandria and therefore left. The ambassadors were sent in spite of this.

Later, in 168 BCE, the ambassadors appeared before the Roman Senate and explained to them how ruthlessly and relentlessly Antiochus IV was taking over Egypt. The Senate was concerned about the growing power of the king and decided to send an embassy to confront him and offer terms of peace between the Ptolemies and Antiochus IV. They immediately sent C. Popillius Laenas, D. Decimius and C. Hostilius.

After Antiochus IV's army returned to Syria Ptolemy VI sought for peace and reconciliation between him and his younger brother. This offer was accepted and Ptolemy VI was openly received back into Alexandria. Unfortunately due to the condition of Egypt at that time and the military weakness of both brothers their condition wasn't very good. One would think this weak condition would have made Antiochus IV happy, knowing that it would have been all the easier to totally overwhelm them. But, he was not happy at all. On the contrary it made him very angry and enticed him to prepare all the more for war against the brothers.81

In the spring Antiochus again marched back towards Egypt. Upon coming to the city of Pelusium to conquer it he met with the Roman ambassadors. Popillius and Antiochus IV greeted each other. Popillius then gave the tablets containing the decree of the Senate to Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV read them and told Popillius that he would discuss Rome's orders with his friends and then come back with a reply. This was not acceptable to Popillius so he drew a circle in the dirt around Antiochus and demanded a decision before he stepped out of it. Needless to say this angered Antiochus, but he decided at that moment to submit to the decree of the Senate to put an end to his war with the Ptolemies.82

After this Antiochus took action directly against the covenant of יהוה. He issued orders to all the countries subject to him that they should give up their particular customs and adopt the religion and worship practices of the Greeks. These orders were to be followed under penalty of death.83

"And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual ascension-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate." - Daniel 11:31 (ASV)

For those in Jerusalem and Judea these orders included the removal of sacrifices from the temple, the defiling of the Sabbath and feast days, the defilement of the sanctuary and the priests, the erection of altars and shrines to idols, the sacrificing of swine and other unclean animals, and more.84 On the fifteenth day of the month of Chislev Antiochus IV ordered the erection of the abomination of desolation. A statue of Jupiter Olympus was set upon the altar of יהוה in the heart of the temple. In addition, they ripped and burned all found copies of the books of the Torah and ordered the execution of anyone found with them.85 Many people in Israel, however, refused to succumb to the edicts of the king and chose to suffer death instead.86

"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries; but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. {33} And they that are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days." - Daniel 11:32-33 (ASV)

The strong and faithful among the Jews eventually stood up and took action against the orders of the king. Mattathias, a priest zealous for the Torah, was one who stood and killed a man who was running to make an abominable sacrifice on the altar.87 This action started an entire rebellion. Many of the idolatrous altars were torn down, uncircumcised children were boldly circumcised to fulfill the covenant, and many of the wicked servants of the king were slain.88 During this fight, though, many of these righteous and zealous men and women were killed by the sword and by fire.89

"Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall join themselves unto them with flatteries. {35} And some of them that are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed." - Daniel 11:34-35 (ASV)

The revolt against Antiochus IV and his decrees continued in what was known as the Maccabean Revolt90. Judas Maccabeus and several thousand devout Israelites joined forces to fight several battles against the king. Some of these Israelites, however, weren't in it to defend their faith or Israel, they were in it to make a name for themselves.91 Mattathias the priest, amongst some other faithful died and were buried. Many significant victories were one by the Israelites and they ended up taking back Jerusalem and the temple, cleansing it and reestablishing the commanded sacrificial and priestly worship.

"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every el, and shall speak marvelous things against the El of elim; and he shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done. {37} Neither shall he regard the elohim of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any eloah; for he shall magnify himself above all. {38} But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. {39} And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign eloah: whosoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price." - Daniel 11:36-39 (ASV)

Much debate has gone into who the king is in verse 36. Some, such as Jerome believe the prophetic narrative suddenly skips ahead hundreds of years into the future and "the king" refers to the Antimessiah.92 Others, such as James Farquharson believe it stretches into the future to refer to Herod the Great.93 But, both of these seem to push the context out of the way and remove the simplest reading of the text. The definite article "the" immediately points us back to the most recent recurrence of a king in the text, which in this case is verse 29. Verses 29 through 32 indisputably refer to Antiochus IV.

There is no good reason to suddenly cause a break in the narrative and make the "king" here someone completely different. The most logical and honest progression is to allow this king to be who the context allows him to be, Antiochus IV.

Near the end of his life Antiochus IV was indebted to the Romans and had emptied his personal treasury in paying his expenses for his fighting with the Jews. He attempted to storm and rob foreign temples, such as that of the Greek goddess Diana in Elymais (also known as Persepolis), Persia, but failed.94

Antiochus IV, during his persecution of the Jews gave heed and devotion not to Syrian deities, but Greek, such as Jupiter and Dionysus. This is not surprising given the fact that he was raised from his youth as a hostage in Rome. He wasn't accustomed to or surrounded by the Seleucid/Syrian deities that his ancestors were. He was familiar with the Greco-Roman deities abounding in that area. We can know from Antiochus IV's own words in his last days that he exalted himself above Elohim.

"And when he could not endure his own stench, he uttered these words, 'It is right to be subject to God; mortals should not think that they are equal to God.'" - 2 Maccabees 9:12 (NRSV)

Prior to the agonizing death he suffered he had exalted himself as a mortal to the place of Elohim. His dying thoughts caused him to regret this decision.

Antiochus IV also commanded that all under his rule, Jew and Gentile, forsake their current customs to adopt that which he commanded.95 Views abound as to what the "god of fortresses" refers to in verse 38. Some believe it speaks of Jupiter, others, such as Gesenius, believe it speaks of Mars, and yet others think is simply refers to war. Since Antiochus IV chose to erect a statue of Jupiter Olympius on the altar in the temple at Jerusalem, and Jupiter was not a deity that his forefathers are recorded as having worshipped, Jupiter is the most likely candidate. Antiochus IV also rewarded his loyal servants with land, wealth, and power.96

"And at the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through. {41} He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. {42} He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape. {43} But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Mitsrayim; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps." - Daniel 11:40-43 (ASV)

Many discussions have arisen about this battle between the kings. Many say that the "king of the North" here cannot possibly refer to Antiochus IV since he was restricted by Rome from waging war with the Ptolemies anymore. But it is likely that this section, verses 40-45 are just a recapitulation of events that had been outlined in more detail before it. The only difference, as we will see below, is that the finality of Antiochus IV's life is outlined. Outside of that the parallels of these verses to the events and actions in Antiochus IV's life are inescapable.

"At the end time" here most definitely refers not to the end of all things, but to the end of the events currently being prophesied, those starting in the first year of Darius the Mede. So, let's examine the end period of Antiochus IV's life to see the parallels. Verse 40 speaks of a great battle between the kings of the South and the North. The word translated as "contend" in the ASV above is the Hebrew יִתְנַגַּח, yitnagach. It is from the root verb נָגַח, nagach, which means "to push, thrust, gore." Figuratively this word is applied to making war. An example of this can be found in Daniel 8:4, where the ram "butts" westward, northward, and southward. This "butting" refers to war.

So at the time of the end the king of the South would engage once again in warfare with Antiochus IV. The war referred to here is known as the Sixth Syrian War. The actions leading to the war itself began around 171 BCE. Antiochus IV was informed that the government of Alexandria, then under the control of Ptolemy VI, was openly making preparations for a war to retake Coele-Syria from Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV as a result sent envoys to Rome to protest.97 But, war was inevitable and it began the same year.

After the initial "pushing" or "butting" by Ptolemy VI, Antiochus made three main invasions of Egypt at different times both resulting in the defeat of the Ptolemaic ruler. The first resulted in a huge defeat of Ptolemy VI between Pelusium and Mount Casius. The second was very similar, but we are given details that help us to apply this to Antiochus IV's life.

"When Antiochus saw that his kingdom was established, he determined to become king of the land of Egypt, in order that he might reign over both kingdoms. {17} So he invaded Egypt with a strong force, with chariots and elephants and calvary and with a large fleet. {18} He engaged King Ptolemy of Egypt in battle, and Ptolemy turned and fled before him, and many were wounded and fell. {19} They captured the fortified cities in the land of Egypt, and he plundered the land of Egypt." - 1 Maccabees 1:16-19 (NRSV)

There are striking similarities between this verse and verse 40. Both make it clear that there were chariots, horsemen (calvary), and a vast navy. Later, in 168 BCE Antiochus IV attempted one final invasion, but was turned around by the Roman envoy. In anger he turned into Judea and desecrated the land, people, and temple. His conflicts existed mainly with the Romans, the Egyptians, and the Jews, and so those on the East of the Jordan, Edom, Moab, and Ammon, were not privy to his wrath or rule.

The result of the war was that Antiochus remained in powerful control over the vast majority of Egypt. During that era the land of Egypt extended much farther South than it does today. So, when it says that the Libyans and Ethiopians will be at his heels it means that they were literally just beyond the lowest extremity of his kingdom. Just as the heels are the lowest parts of man, so Ethiopia and Libya were at the lowest part of his kingdom.

"But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; and he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep away many. {45} And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." - Daniel 11:44-45 (ASV)

These last two verses of the prophecy couldn't apply more literally to Antiochus IV. Near the end of Antiochus IV's life, while he was dealing with the revolt issues in Judea, King Mithridates I of Parthia98 attacked him.99 The Parthian Empire was located to the North and East of the Seleucid Empire. Upon hearing of this attack he sent one of his trusted generals, Lysias100 to quell the Judean revolt while he led the Seleucid army to the upper provinces of his kingdom.101

The improper translation of verse 45 in many versions of the scriptures misleads many. A more literal translation is as follows.

"And he shall fasten his palace tents between seas and a sacred mountain of beauty, but he came unto his end and no one is helping him." - Daniel 11:45

Many immediately relate "the glorious holy mountain" translation, as exemplified in the ASV version above, to Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. But, the Hebrew text itself contains no definite article. The Septuagint (LXX) translation is a second witness to this fact. Because of this mistranslation many try to place the location of the king's palace tents somewhere between the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. The problem with this is that Antiochus IV died in a foreign country nowhere near Judea.

After hearing of a great defeat of the Syrian army under Seron by Judas Maccabeus, Antiochus was very enraged. He opened up his treasury to pay his army a full year's salary so that they would be ready at a moment's notice when he wanted to pursue the Jews again. After this large payment he realized that the funds in his treasury were greatly depleted and he needed to take action to replenish it. He determined to go to Persia to collect the taxes due to him there.102

While going through the upper provinces he came to the famed temple of Diana (Artemis) at Elymais in Persia.103 Another name for Elymais is Persepolis104, which is located around 50 km from the present Iranian city of Shiraz. Persepolis sits at the foot of part of the Zagros mountain chain in present-day Iran. In the past this area was right in the heart of the Persian Empire. He intended to rob the temple there and use the riches contained therein to pay the great amount due to his army and replenish his treasury. This city is located between two large seas, the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. In his attempt to raid and rob this temple he fastened his royal tents between two seas and a mountain. The mountain, although not holy to the Jews, was a sacred mountain since it housed a temple sacred to the local adherents of that religion. There is nothing in the text in Daniel 11:45 that prevents us from interpreting "a sacred mountain of beauty" as this mountain upon which a heathen temple stood between two seas.

Antiochus IV and his army were unable to defeat the people defending their temple so he fled in defeat. Around the same time word came to him that his general Lysias and the army he left with him had suffered defeat at the hands of Judas Maccabeus and that the statue of Jupiter Olympius had been cast from the temple at Jerusalem. In his rage he uttered some very blasphemous words.

"Transported with rage, he conceived the idea of turning upon the Jews the inquiry done by those who had put him to flight; so he ordered his charioteer to drive without stopping until he completed the journey. But, the judgment of heaven rode with him! For in his arrogance he said, 'When I get there I will make Jerusalem a cemetery of the Jews.'" - 2 Maccabees 9:4 (NRSV)

These famous words would end up being the cause of his final downfall and demise.

"But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him with an incurable and invisible blow. As soon as he stopped speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels, for which there was no relief, and with sharp internal tortures - {6} and that very justly, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange afflications. {7} Yet he did not in any way stop his insolence, but was even more filled with arrogance , breathing fire in his rage against the Jews, and giving orders to drive even faster. And so it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along, and the fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body. {8} Thus he who only a little while before had thought in his superhuman arrogance that he could command the waves of the sea, and had imagined that he could weigh the high mountains in a balance, was brought down to earth and carried in a litter, making the power of God manifest to all. {9} And so the ungodly man's body was swarmed with worms, and while he was still living in anguish and pain, his flesh rotted away, and because of the stench the whole army felt revulsion at his decay. {10} Because of his intolerable stench no one was able to carry the man who a little while before had thought he could touch the stars of heaven." - 2 Maccabees 9:5-10 (NRSV)

Antiochus IV continued to pine away and died a miserable death. Because of his abhorrent stench he was totally alone in his death with no one willing or able to help him. At the very end he admitted in the presence of his friends that the cause of his agony and death was due to the fact that he robbed the temple at Jerusalem and sent forces to destroy the Jews without any cause.105

There is no question that the King of the North referred to in verses 21 through 45 is indeed Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The events and actions outlined in the prophecy of Daniel apply perfectly to documented historical events and actions that took place in the life of Antiochus IV from his birth to his death. There ends the prophecy contained in Daniel 11.


The Prophecy of the Seventy Sevens
Since this prophecy spans over 490 years there are many different facets that will need to be evaluated and addressed. An accurate translation of this prophecy is absolutely essential for proper understanding and interpretation and therefore needs to be established first.

"Seventy sevens106 are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. {25} Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah, the prince, shall be seven sevens, and sixty-two sevens: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times. {26} And after the sixty-two sevens shall Messiah be cut off, and shall have nothing: 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 even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined. {27} And he shall confirm107 a covenant with many for one seven: and in the midst of the seven he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come desolating abominations; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall be poured out upon the desolator108." - Daniel 9:24-27 (ASV)

- A Seven -
To determine the actual length of this prophecy we need to establish exactly how long a "seven" is. The Hebrew word for "seven(s)" here comes from שְׁבֻעַ, shevua. It is used throughout the scriptures to describe various periods of seven, such as seven days in a week (Exodus 34:22, Leviticus 12:5, Deuteronomy 16:9, Ezekiel 45:21). The question as it pertains to this prophecy is whether shevua can refer to seven years also.

"Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years." - Genesis 29:27 (ASV)

In this verse the word "week" in Hebrew is shevua. We can clearly see that Laban relates the word shevua to years. He first says "complete the seven of this one" and then "serve with me for another seven years." The word "another" tells us that the first "seven" mentioned was a seven of years.

The key to determining whether shevua is describing a seven of days or a seven of years is context. In the context of both Daniel 9:24-27 and Genesis 29:27 demands a seven of years. In the Daniel passage the events that are prophesied to occur during these periods of sevens are very telling. The entire city of Jerusalem was to be rebuilt by the end of sixty nine sevens. If we were to take these sevens as being days instead of years we are saying that the monumental feat of completing the rebuilding of the entire city, streets, trench, and all, would have only taken sixty nine weeks. This is highly improbable if not impossible. We read in Josephus that the building of the temple in the time of Herod the Great took a year and six months by itself.109 With this information we can safely conclude that each "seven" mentioned in the Seventy Sevens prophecy refers to a period of seven years.

- Prophetic Requirements -
There are six aspects of the Daniel 9 prophecy that must be fulfilled for the whole thing to be fulfilled. They are:
  1. לְכַלֵּא הַפֶּשַׁע, "to finish the transgression" - Unlike the other five aspects of this prophecy the definite article is here used with a singular noun implying that there one transgression in view here. What this transgression is will be discussed more in the coming sections.
  2. ולחתם חטאות (ketiv - "what is written"), "to seal away sins"; וּלְהָתֵם חַטָּאת, (qere - "what is read"), "to complete sins" - Here there are two different possible renderings. One of them, the ketiv, that which is actually written in the text means that sins would literally be "sealed" (as with a signet ring or other mark - see 1 Kings 21:8 and Nehemiah 10:1) or "sealed away" (as in being hidden from sight/knowledge - see Job 9:7, 14:17; and Daniel 12:9). The other, the qere, that which is read when the text is read means "to complete" (as in finish an appointed task - see Joshua 5:8 and Lamentations 4:2) or "to finish" (as in come to the end of something, or something comes to an end - see Genesis 47:15 and Jeremiah 37:21). If we were to take the qere rendering as indicative of what was intended in the meaning, but use the ketiv meaning that matched closest to it we would use the meaning "seal away".
  3. וְּלְכַפֵּר עָוֹן, "to atone for iniquity" - The verb כָּפַר, kaphar, literally means "to cover or cover over." When referring to sins or iniquities in the scriptures it is regularly translated "to atone for."
  4. וּלְהָבִיא צֶדֶק עֹלָמִים, "to bring in everlasting righteousness" - In the causative stem, as it is used here, the verb בּוֹא, bo, means to "bring in" or "lead in."
  5. וְלַחְתֹּם חָזֹון וְנָבִיא, "to complete vision and prophecy" - There is no specification here as to exactly which visions and prophecies are to be completed, but it is clear from the context of the whole of the scriptures that the entirety of vision and prophecy can't be intended. What is intended is that certain visions and prophecies will be fulfilled by the expiration of this Seventy Sevens prophecy.
  6. וְלִמְשֹׁחַ קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים, "and to anoint a most holy" - The phrase קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים, qodesh qodeshim, need not be restricted to referring to the Holy of Holies, the innermost chamber of the temple where the ark of the covenant rested. It is also used to describe the offerings offered on the altar, and even the altar itself (Exodus 29:37, Leviticus 6:17, Leviticus 7:1, Leviticus 24:9). It is very important to understand that the sacrifices for sins and guilt were considered קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים, most holy.
As we progress through the study of the Seventy Sevens prophecy we will see how each of these aspects was indeed fulfilled in history.

- The Word to Restore and Rebuild -
There are four scriptural decrees given to the Israelite people allowing them to go back to their land that need to be evaluated. What needs to be remembered during the evaluation is that there are two very specific things that need to be accomplished regarding the decree mentioned in the Daniel 9 prophecy. First, we are told that the city itself will be rebuilt with street and trench, not just the temple. Second, the rebuilding process would take place in times of distress. "Distress" here comes from the verb צוּק, tsooq, which in the figurative sense means "to oppress." It is clear that the rebuilding of the city would take place during a time of distress and oppression of the Israelite people.

We will evaluate the various decrees in the scriptures in chronological order of when they were given. The first decree can be found in Ezra 1:1-4.

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of יהוה by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, יהוה stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, {2} 'Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, "All the kingdoms of the earth has יהוה, the Elohim of heaven, given me; and he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. {3} Whosoever there is among you of all his people, his Elohim be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of יהוה, the Elohim of Israel (he is the Elohim), which is in Jerusalem. {4} And whosoever is left, in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill-offering for the house of the Elohim which is in Jerusalem."'" - Ezra 1:1-4 (ASV)

Ezra writes here that this decree of Cyrus was issued in fulfillment of a prophecy (or prophecies) given by Jeremiah. The prophecy (or prophecies) can be found in Jeremiah 25:8-14 and 29:8-14.

"Therefore thus says יהוה of hosts: 'Because you have not heard my words, {9} behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says יהוה, 'and I will send unto Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations. {10} Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the lamp. {11} And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. {12} And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation,' says יהוה, 'for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it desolate forever. {13} And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. {14} For many nations and great kings shall make bondmen of them, even of them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the work of their hands.'" - Jeremiah 25:8-14 (ASV)

"For thus says יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Israel: 'Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you; neither hearken you to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. {9} For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them,' says יהוה.
{10} For thus says יהוה, 'After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. {11} For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,' says יהוה, 'thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. {12} And you shall call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. {13} And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. {14} And I will be found of you,' says יהוה, 'and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places wither I have driven you,' says יהוה; 'and I will bring you again unto the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.'" - Jeremiah 29:8-14 (ASV)

יהוה promised that after the seventy year period prophesied by Jeremiah he would restore them to their land. The decree from Cyrus was issued in 537 BCE.110 It is clear from both the date and the purpose of this return that this is not the decree spoken of in Daniel's Seventy Sevens prophecy. Adding 490 years to 537 BCE brings us to 47 BCE, a year in which nothing corresponding to the events prophesied by Daniel transpired. In addition, Cyrus' decree was for Jews to return to their land to "build him a house," which is exactly what they did (Ezra 6:3-5).

A second decree, one issued by King Darius I in 519 BCE111, was basically a reissuing of Cyrus' original decree to rebuild the temple. It is found in Ezra 6:8-12.

"Moreover I make a decree what you shall do to these elders of the Jews for the building of this house of Eloah: that of the king's goods, even of the tribute beyond the River, expenses be given with all diligence unto these men, that they be not hindered. {9} And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for burnt-offerings to the Eloah of heaven; also wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word of the priests that are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail; {10} that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savor unto the Eloah of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons. {11} Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let a beam be pulled out from his house, and let him be lifted up and fastened thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this: {12} and the Eloah that hath caused his name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples that shall put forth their hand to alter the same, to destroy this house of Eloah which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with all diligence." - Ezra 6:8-12 (ASV)

After rebuking and encouraging by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah the exiles who had returned under the decree of Cyrus finally began rebuilding the temple. When Tattenai, governor of Samaria and some other Judean provinces saw this he sent a letter to Darius asking him to check the archives for the decree that the Jews were acting upon to rebuild the temple. Darius performed this search and confirmed Cyrus' decree. However, Darius added to it. His decree required that the full expense of the rebuilding project was to be taken from the treasury in Tattenai's provinces. Since this decree once again had nothing to do with rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, which the Seventy Sevens prophecy concerned, this cannot be the decree we are searching for.

A third decree is found in Ezra 7:12-26.

"Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the Eloah of heaven, perfect and so forth. {13} I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and their priests and the Levites, in my realm, that are minded of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, go with you. {14} Forasmuch as you are sent of the king and his seven counselors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your Eloah which is in your hand, {15} and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered unto the Eloah of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, {16} and all the silver and gold that you shall find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill-offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their Eloah which is in Jerusalem; {17} therefore you shall with all diligence buy with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meal-offerings and their drink-offerings, and shall offer them upon the altar of the house of your Eloah which is in Jerusalem. {18} And whatsoever shall seem good to you and to your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do you after the will of your Eloah. {19} And the vessels that are given you for the service of the house of your Eloah, deliver you before the Eloah of Jerusalem. {20} And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your Eloah, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure-house. {21} And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers that are beyond the River, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the Eloah of heaven, shall require of you, it be done with all diligence, {22} unto a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. {23} Whatsoever is commanded by the Eloah of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the Eloah of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? {24} Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of Eloah, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, upon them. {25} And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your Eloah that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people that are beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your Eloah; and teach you him that knows them not. {26} And whosoever will not do the law of your Eloah, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him with all diligence, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment." - Ezra 7:12-26 (ASV)

This decree was issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus112 in the year 467 BCE.113 In it we can clearly see that civil and ecclesiastical authority was granted by Artaxerxes to Ezra. But, in addition, we again find more provisions being provided for the work on יהוה's house. But, we still don't see anything in this decree that commands the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem itself. This, once again, cannot be the decree we are looking for.

The final decree is found in Nehemiah 2:1-8.

"And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. {2} And the king said unto me, 'Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart.' Then I was very sore afraid. {3} And I said unto the king, 'Let the king live forever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lies waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?' {4} Then the king said unto me, 'For what do you make request?' So I prayed to the Elohim of heaven. {5} And I said unto the king, 'If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you would send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.' {6} And the king said unto me (the queen also sitting by him,) 'For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return?' So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. {7} Moreover I said unto the king, 'If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through till I come unto Judah; {8} and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertains to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into.' And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my Elohim upon me." - Nehemiah 2:1-8 (ASV)


The date of this decree is a matter of some dispute and will be discussed in detail in a later section. But, for now we can easily see that this decree is much more applicable to the Seventy Sevens prophecy. Nehemiah's request has nothing to do with the temple whatsoever. He specifically petitions the king for supplies he would use in the rebuilding of the city and walls. This is the only decree of the four that mentions anything having to do with the city itself.

The verses and chapters in Nehemiah following this decree also show a fulfillment of another important aspect of the prophecy. Immediately after arriving in Jerusalem and secretly inspecting the condition of the walls at night, three foreigners began to mock and ridicule him.

"But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, 'What is this thing that you do? Will you rebel against the king?'" - Nehemiah 2:19 (ASV)

From the offset of his mission Nehemiah was oppressed in this task. But it got much worse later after the construction of the wall had begun.

"But it came to pass that, when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. {2} And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, 'What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?' {3} Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, 'Even that which they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall.' ... {7} But it came to pass that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth; {8} and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein." - Nehemiah 4:1-2, 7-8 (ASV)

Those three foreigners vehemently opposed to the Jews rebuilding their city and its wall. Violence was planned in their minds. Later we actually read that attempts were made on Nehemiah's life (Nehemiah 6:2). People were even hired to be false prophets to Nehemiah to try to get him to sin that they may have a cause against him (Nehemiah 6:10-14). All these events transpired to fulfill the part of the prophecy that said the city would be built "even in troublous times."

From the information above it is clear that the only decree which fulfills the two necessary criteria, that the city would be rebuilt and that it would happen in times of distress, is the decree given by Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah.

- The Time of the Decree -
In Nehemiah 2:1 we are told that the decree given by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah giving him permission to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem was given in the 20th year of his reign. Much debate has gone into exactly when the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign began. To properly understand this one must take ancient historical record into consideration.

Most of modern scholarship places the beginning of the 20th year of Artaxerxes at 445 BCE based solely on the testimony of one man named Claudius Ptolemaeus (a/k/a "Ptolemy")114. He was responsible for preserving something known as the Canon of Kings115. This ancient list contains the date ranges for the reigns of many ancient kings starting with Nabonassar116 and ending with Antoninus Pius117. However, there are several problems that exist with the Canon. First, Ptolemy made no effort to include the reigns of kings that reigned for less than a year. This means that the list itself is very unreliable and inaccurate. Second, it isn't the most ancient source that we have for this information. A standard rule of historical research is to go back to the earliest known date or event. Why many historians and scholars overlook this important rule for the purpose of dating the decree of Artaxerxes is beyond me.

There is historical testimony and evidence that is more ancient than Ptolemy that helps us to establish the true timing of the decree. Since the timing of the decree is in reality dependent on the date of the beginning of Artaxerxes' reign then establishing the accurate date for that is what we seek to do. To do that we need to examine what was recorded by an ancient historian by the name of Thucydides118.

Thucydides recorded that a man named Themistocles was accused of being complicit in treasonous acts performed by a Spartan general named Pausanias119. It was these accusations that eventually resulted in the exile and fleeing of Themistocles to Persia. The Lacedaemonians sent envoys out to track him down and capture him. Themistocles caught wind of this plot and fled to various cities and countries as they pursued him. He eventually arrived via ship to a city named Ephesus. From there he started to move inland.120 It is at this time that we read the following in Thucydides.

"After having rewarded him with a present of money, as soon as he received some from his friends at Athens and from his secret hoards at Argos, Themistocles started inland with one of the Coast-Persians, and sent a letter to King Artaxerxes, Xerxes' son, who had just come to the throne."121

We see here that at this time in the life of Themistocles Artaxerxes, the son of Xerxes, was already ascended to the throne of Persia. There is a quote a little earlier in this same chapter that gives us some context to help establish exactly when this occurred.

"The king listened to him and raised him up with his son, as he was sitting with him in his arms after the most effectual method of supplication, and on the arrival of the Lacedaemonians not long afterwards, refused to give him up for anything they could say, but sent him off by land to the other sea to Pydna in Alexander's dominions, as he wished to go to the Persian king. There he met with a merchantman on the point of starting for Ionia. Going on board, he was carried by a storm to the Athenian squadron which was blockading Naxos."

When Themistocles was on the ship that eventually carried him to Ephesus a storm carried the ship to an Athenian squadron blockading the Greek island of Naxos. This battle is understood to have taken place around 473 BCE.122 That means that around the year 473 BCE Artaxerxes was already on the throne. This is a whole nine years earlier than the traditional 464 BCE. Another witness to this date can be found in Eusebius Chronicle, preserved in the Bodleian manuscript of Jerome's version of the Chronicle of Eusebius.123


The yellow arrow in the image above is pointing to the number of the Olympiad being referenced. In this case the Latin reads "LXXVII Olymp'", referring to the 77th Olympiad. The Olympiad count begins from 776 BCE and each Olympiad is exactly 4 years. This means that the 77th Olympiad was from 472 BCE through 469 BCE. There is another Latin phrase found in the image above circled in orange. It reads "THEMISTOCLES IN PERSA FUGIT," which, when translated means "Themistocles fled to Persia." This places the fleeing of Themistocles sometime between 472 BCE and 471 BCE, in the same exact time period as the time the sea battle mentioned above took place.

So there we have two witnesses telling us that the fleeing of Themistocles took place around 471 BCE. The testimony of Thucydides then tells us that Artaxerxes was already on the throne by then. In the end, when all of the ancient historical testimony is weighed and measured, the first year for the reign of Artaxerxes comes out to be 473 BCE. This places the 20th year of his reign, and therefore the year of the decree to Nehemiah in the month of Nisan, at 454 BCE. From here we can accurately begin the count of the 490 years of Daniel's Seventy Sevens.

- Seven Sevens and Sixty-Two Sevens -
It is important to understand that there is no emphasis or individual significance placed on the first seven sevens in the text. The first seven sevens and the next sixty-two sevens are grouped together as if they are not to be counted individually. Understanding from the information in a previous section above that a "seven" refers to seven years the "seven sevens and sixty-two sevens" here must then refer to four hundred and eighty-three years. Starting the count from the date of the decree we established above, 454 BCE, we arrive precisely at 30 CE (since there is no year "0" we must add an additional year when transitioning from BCE to CE; -454 + 483 + 1 = 30).

- "Unto Messiah"? -
It is beyond question that the 483rd year of the Seventy Sevens count brings us to 30 CE. The passage in Daniel 9:25 tells us of something very important that will happen after this time period in the count has arrived.

"Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah, the prince, shall be seven sevens, and sixty-two sevens: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times." - Daniel 9:25 (ASV)

It is beyond the scope of this study to discuss who the "Messiah" is in this passage. It is the solid conviction of the author that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah referred to. So, we will be working from that foundation here. Determining the true meaning of the word עַד ad, translated "unto" in the verse above, is essential to a proper understanding of this verse. We find the following definition in Gesenius' Lexicon124.

עַד
(B)
(2) to, even to some certain limit. It is used -

(b) of time. עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה even unto this day, i.e. (the limit being included; as to the distinction of the particles ﺣﱵ == עַד and اﱃ, the former of which includes the limit, the latter excludes it, compare De Sacy, Gramm. Arab. I § 830, No. 3); even this day, even now, Gen. 26:33; 32:33.

We can see that the proper understanding of "unto" in this context includes the full time being referred to. Some people believe that "unto Messiah" means "until Messiah's birth." Others believe it means "until Messiah's coming" (his entering into his official messianic role, i.e. at his baptism). The truth is that neither of these beliefs uses the proper contextual definition of the word ad. This misuse then causes a misunderstanding of the time referred to in the verse.

What this tells us is that the end of the full sixty-nine sevens will be coupled with the end of Messiah. The belief that "unto Messiah" means his beginning his earthly ministry doesn't include the full life of Messiah. Those who believe that also hold that another three and a half years passed in Messiah's life after the expiration of the sixty-nine sevens. According to the proper definition above the phrase "unto Messiah" must also include all the time referred to in the term "Messiah," which would be his entire life. Daniel 9:26 helps to shed some light on this for us.

"And after the sixty-two sevens shall Messiah be cut off, and shall have nothing: 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 even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined." - Daniel 9:26 (ASV)

Here we are told exactly what we concluded previously. The end of the sixty-nine sevens comes hand-in-hand with the end of Messiah's life. Since the end of the sixty-nine sevens was concluded to be in 30 CE we can also conclude that the end of Messiah's earthly life also occurred then as well.

- The Prince To Come -
We are also told in verse 26 that the people of a prince or ruler who is coming will destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the holy place (the temple). This is to happen sometime after the sixty-nine sevens have passed, but we are not told exactly when. But who is this prince?

It is probably best to start this search by eliminating who it cannot be. We know for sure that whoever this prince is his people will destroy the city and the holy place. Just to make sure we consider all options we'll expand the actual definition of "destroy" to include in a defiling way, not necessarily physical destruction. We know it cannot be referring to Nebuchadnezzar since, although he wrought great destruction upon the Jews and the holy place, this prophecy was given by Gabriel around 538 BCE. This is roughly fifty years after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple. Nebuchadnezzar is thereby excluded.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes defiled the temple in many ways in 167 BCE. But, we can exclude Antiochus for many reasons. First, he never actually destroyed either the city or the holy place. But we are including defilement as a type of destruction here for example's sake, so we'll ignore this one. Second, the sixty-nine sevens, or four hundred and eighty-three years, even if counted from the very date the prophecy was given, brings us to 55 BCE. This means that the destruction of the city and holy place must take place after 55 BCE. So Antiochus IV Epiphanes is thereby excluded.

Only one other option exists. Titus, the son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian, was prince of Rome in 70 CE when both the city of Jerusalem and the holy place were utterly destroyed, to their foundations. Titus is the only viable choice when attempting to determine who the prince and people of Daniel 9:26 are. But, do we have other testimony of this understanding?

"And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision, and what he wrote many years before they came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. All these things did this man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him, insomuch that such as read his prophecies, and see how they have been fulfilled, would wonder at the honor wherewith God honored Daniel..."125

Josephus very clearly noted that Daniel prophesied about the destruction to be later wrought by the Roman government. The only time the Romans ever came through to desolate Judea that matches the required timeline is when they did so in the First Jewish-Roman War126. We can safely conclude from the information above that Titus is the "prince" mention in Daniel 9:26 and the Roman armies are his "people."

- Who is "He"? -
"And he shall confirm127 a covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come desolating abominations; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall be poured out upon the desolator128." - Daniel 9:27 (ASV)

We now reach the end of the prophecy of the Seventy Sevens and by far the most debated portion. The debate is mainly rooted in who the "he" is that is referred to in "he shall confirm a covenant." Most commentators believe that the "he" refers to the Messiah mentioned in the previous verse.129 They say that the covenant referred to in verse 27 is the new covenant first mentioned in Jeremiah 31:31-34. There are, however, several major problems with this belief.

Those who hold to the belief that the Messiah was the "he" referred to are faced with several issues. Firstly, the simple rules of Hebrew grammar require that the nearest antecedent to the "he" mentioned defines who the "he" is. In this case the nearest antecedent is the "coming prince." This means that some "coming prince" would be the one to confirm a covenant with many for one seven. Some question this rule, but it is applicable in almost all languages, including English. Take the following sentence for example:

"Pontius Pilate ordered the crucifixion of Yeshua when he was only thirty-three years old."

The simple rules of grammar dictate that the pronoun "he" here refers back to the nearest noun, Yeshua. The use of multiple antecedents in English sentences can be very confusing.130 In English the writer would better communicate the proper intent of the sentence by rewording it as follows.

"Yeshua was only thirty-three years old when Pontius Pilate ordered him to be crucified."

The same message comes across though the sentence is arranged differently. There is nothing in the text of Daniel 9:27 that would lead one to believe that "he" should refer all the way back to the beginning of the preceding verse. In fact, only an a priori reading of the verse would produce that outcome. Simply put, unless you already knew of the new covenant in the blood of Yeshua you would never read that into the text. For over 560 years this prophecy was known before the new covenant was enacted. The readers then wouldn't have read the new covenant in Yeshua's blood into the text. The grammatical rule of using the nearest antecedent to the pronoun would have taken precedent.

Secondly, the word for "confirm" is the Hebrew הִגְבִּיר, higbir, and comes from the root גָּבַר gavar, which means "to confirm, or give strength." In order to confirm or give strength to something that something must already exist. Yeshua couldn't possibly have confirmed or strengthened the new covenant at his baptism, or the subsequent three plus years of ministry, because the new covenant itself wasn't even enacted until the blood of the covenant, his blood, was shed.

"And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, 'Drink you all of it; {28} for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.'" - Matthew 26:27-28 (ASV)

Every covenant between יהוה and man in the scriptures, by the very definition of the Hebrew word בְּרִית berit131, involves the shedding of blood of some sort.132 The sign of the Noachide covenant (Genesis 9:8-17), the rainbow, came to pass immediately after יהוה made the covenant in Genesis 8:21-22. יהוה made this covenant with all mankind at the same time that Noah's blood-sacrifices of the clean animals he brought with him on the arc were being burnt on the altar he built. The Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 17:10-14) was enacted by the act of circumcision, which of course involves the shedding of the man's blood. The covenant at Sinai (Exodus 20-23, et al.) was officially enacted over the people by the shedding of the blood of the sacrificial animals at the foot of the mountain (Exodus 24:3-8).

It is because of this truth about the necessary shedding of blood that the new covenant could not have been "confirmed" or "given strength" while Yeshua the Messiah was still alive, or at least before his suffering. The shedding of his blood, the blood of the sacrifice, was required for the enactment of the new covenant. This fact alone turns the belief that the "he" in Daniel 9:27 refers to Yeshua on its head.

The assumption by those that hold to that belief is that the ceasing of the sacrifice and offering in the midst of the seventieth seven is a direct result of the killing of Yeshua. This is the third flaw in that belief. Their understanding of this "ceasing" can be clearly discerned from the following quotes of Christian commentators.

"The literal signification here would be met by the supposition that an end would be made of these sacrifices, and this would occur either by their being made wholly to cease to be offered at that time, or by the fact that the object of their appointment was accomplished, and that henceforward they would be useless and would die away."133

"He must cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. By offering himself a sacrifice once for all he shall put an end to all the Levitical sacrifices, shall supercede them and set them aside; when the substance comes the shadows shall be done away. He causes all the peace-offerings to cease when he has made peace by the blood of his cross, and by it confirmed the covenant of peace and reconciliation. By the preaching of his gospel to the world, with which the apostles were entrusted, he took men off from expecting remission by the blood of bulls and goats, and so caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease."134

Long story short, they believe that Yeshua's death caused the efficacy of the sacrifices and offerings to cease upon his death, not the sacrifices and offerings themselves. At best they believe that Yeshua's death was the cause of the eventual ceasing of the sacrifices and offerings, the reality of which didn't take place until forty years later. But, this clearly goes against the clear statement in Daniel 9:27 that "and in the midst of the seven he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." The clear implication of this text is that the sacrifices and offerings will cease "in the midst of the seven" not forty years after the midst of the seven.

Fourthly, the new covenant enacted in Yeshua's blood is an eternal covenant. Adherents to the belief that the "he" refers to Yeshua respond to this by saying that "the many" that Yeshua made the covenant with was for135 one seven and was with the Jews of his day. They say that this seven year period ended when Paul and Barnabas decided to go to the Gentiles in Acts 13:46. Basically the belief is that the new covenant with the Jews only lasted for seven years and afterwards it was only applicable to the Gentiles. This is ludicrous. The new covenant was still preached to the Jews later in the New Testament period (ex. the Letter to the Hebrews) and is still preached today. In addition, there is no textual evidence that requires one define "the many" as the Jews. There is, in fact, good reason to believe that "the many" referred to aren't related to the Jews at all.

- The Covenant -
We have thus far established that the "prince" who was to come was Titus, son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian and that the "he" referred to in verse 27 is also Titus. But what is the covenant referring to if not the new covenant? Well, as mentioned in the footnotes above not all covenants in the scriptures are between יהוה and man and not all covenants require a blood sacrifice. The example in Joshua 9:6 shows us that covenants can also be made between Israel and a totally different nation. We have another historical example of such a covenant taking place between Israel and Rome. Because the account of this covenant is so crucial to the proper understanding of this prophecy it is quoted in its entirety.

"Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well-disposed toward all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, {2} and that they were very strong. He had been told of their wars and of the brave deeds that they were doing among the Gauls, how they had defeated them and forced them to pay tribute, {3} and what they had done in the land of Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there, {4} and how they had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them and inflicted great disaster on them; the rest paid them tribute every year. {5} They had crushed in battle and conquered Philip, and King Perseus of the Macedonians, and the others who rose up against them. {6} They also had defeated Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight against them with one hundred twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very large army. He was crushed by them; {7} they took him alive and decreed that he and those who would reign after him should pay a heavy tribute and give hostages and surrender some of their best provinces, {8} the countries of India, Media, and Lydia. These they took from him and gave to King Eumenes. {9} The Greeks planned to come and destroy them, {10} but this became known to them, and they sent a general against the Greeks and attacked them. Many of them were wounded and fell, and the Romans took captive their wives and children; they plundered them, conquered the land, tore down their strongholds, and enslaved them to this day. {11} The remaining kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved; {12} but with their friends and those who rely on them they have kept friendship. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of their fame have feared them. {13} Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings, and those whom they wish they depose; and they have been greatly exalted. {14} Yet for all this not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride, {15} but they have built for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. {16} They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land; they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them. {17} So Judas chose Eupolemus son of John son of Accos, and Jason son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance, {18} and to free themselves from the yoke; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was enslaving Israel completely. {19} They went to Rome, a very long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows: {20} 'Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, and his brothers and the people of the Jews have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, so that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends.' {21} The proposal pleased them, {22} and this is a copy of the letter that they wrote in reply, on bronze tablets, and sent to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance: {23} 'May all go well with the Romans and with the nation of the Jews at sea and on land forever, and may sword and enemy be far from them. {24} If war comes first to Rome or to any of their allies in all their dominion, {25} the nation of the Jews shall act as their allies wholeheartedly, as the occasion may indicate to them. {26} To the enemy that makes war they shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships, just as Rome has decided; and they shall keep their obligations without receiving any return. {27} In the same way, if war comes first to the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall willingly act as their allies, as the occasion may indicate to them. {28} And to their enemies there shall not be given grain, arms, money, or ships, just as Rome has decided; and they shall keep these obligations and do so without deceit. {29} Thus on these terms the Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people. {30} If after these terms are in effect both parties shall determine to add or delete anything, they shall do so at their discretion, and any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid. {31} "Concerning the wrongs that King Demetrius is doing to them, we have written to him as follows, 'Why have you made your yoke heavy on our friends and allies the Jews? {32} If now they appeal again for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on sea and on land.'"'" - 1 Maccabees 8 (NRSV)

We see here that the Jews made a very powerful alliance with the Romans. We are also told that the Romans were very accustomed to making such alliances. Each of these alliances required the same agreements between the Romans and the allied nation. Verses 24 through 28 detail the requirements of the alliance. These alliances can easily be understood as covenants between the Romans and the nations desiring the alliance.

We are told by Josephus that the Romans not only had alliances with the nations surrounding Israel but that Titus and Vespasian called in the requirements of the alliances in their war on the Jews. Before going into Josephus, however, a very brief history of the First Jewish-Roman war is necessary. To give this brief introduction I will just quote James Ussher's notes on the topic.

"Cestius Gallus came from Antioch to Jerusalem to report to Nero the strength and state of the city. He despised that country and asked the high priests, if it were possible, that they would count the people. It was the day of the Passover when they killed sacrifices from the ninth hour to the eleventh. There were 256,500 sacrifices made. Each lamb would be eaten by ten or twenty individuals. An estimated 2,700,200 people were present for the feast.

More than 300,000 Jews came to Gallus and begged him that he would take pity on the calamities of their country. They asked him to remove Floras who plagued their country. Although Floras was in the sight of the people and with Gallus, he was not moved and laughed at their cries against him. At that time Cestius appeased the rage of the people and promised that he would make Floras more gentle to them. He returned back again to Antioch. Floras brought him as far as Caesarea and deceived him with lies and planned to make a war on the country of the Jews. This was the best way he could think of to hide his villainies. As long as the peace continued, he would always have the Jews accusing him to Caesar. If he could make them revolt then his impieties would seem to be small compared to the Jews' revolt. To make that country revolt from the Roman Empire, every day he more earnestly increased their calamities."136

This Passover in 66 CE was when war began. Following these initial rumors and villainies were seven years of utter desolation and destruction of Jerusalem and many other cities in Israel. That's right, exactly seven years to the day. We read the following summary of the time of the end of the war also from Ussher.

"Among the Jews, after Bassus had died, Publius Silva replaced him in the government of Judea. On the 15th of the month of Xanthikos, he captured by force that impregnable citadel of Masada that was held by Eleazar, the nephew of Judas Balitaeus, the captain of the thieves. Eleazar persuaded all the thieves who were in the castle to the number of 960 with their wives and children to kill each other. First they burnt the citadel with all the household belongings lest they should fall into Roman hands. Hence the last remains of the Jewish wars were eliminated and all Judea was quiet."

Xanthikos was the Greco-Roman name for the first month of the Jewish year, better known now as Nisan or Aviv. The 15th of Aviv is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the day immediately following the Day of Passover. The first Jewish-Roman War, which contained all the fulfillments of Daniel regarding the destruction of the city and holy place and the coming desolating abominations, lasted exactly seven years to the day. Is this a mere coincidence? Or does this perfectly precise time period reflect the workings of an Almighty Creator? I believe the latter is unmistakably true.

The seventieth seven of Daniel's prophecy started on the Day of Passover in 66 CE and ended immediately after the Day of Passover in 73 CE. But, does the other time requirement in Daniel 9:27 find its fulfillment during this period as well? Does the sacrifice and offering cease in the middle of this seven? We will examine that again in a moment. First let's go back to the covenant with "the many" we were discussing earlier.

As a result of the "villainies" of Cestius Gallus and Florus mentioned above many other events occurred which caused action to be taken. Ananias, the governor of Jerusalem at this time, began making preparations for a real war by repairing the walls and ensuring that various provisions such as swords, bows, and arrows were available throughout the city. These actions by Ananias, in addition to the various rebellions and riots that were breaking out, caused Cestius Gallus to send messages to Nero to inform him of the situation. Nero, the Emperor of Rome at that time was greatly troubled by this news and decided to send his son Vespasian there to see the state of affairs. Vespasian subsequently sent his son Titus to Alexandria to bring the fifteenth legion of the Roman army from there to Judea. After a couple months a great gathering of forces occurred at Ptolemais. We read the following from Josephus' writings.

"And now Vespasian took along with him his army from Antioch, (which is the metropolis of Syria, and without dispute deserves the place of the third city in the habitable earth that was under the Roman empire, both in magnitude, and other marks of prosperity,) where he found king Agrippa, with all his forces, waiting for his coming, and marched to Ptolemais. At this city also the inhabitants of Sepphoris of Galilee met him, who were for peace with the Romans. These citizens had beforehand taken care of their own safety, and being sensible of the power of the Romans, they had been with Cestius Gallus before Vespasian came, and had given their faith to him, and received the security of his right hand, and had received a Roman garrison; and at this time withal they received Vespasian, the Roman general, very kindly, and readily promised that they would assist him against their own countrymen. Now the general delivered them, at their desire, as many horsemen and footmen as he thought sufficient to oppose the incursions of the Jews, if they should come against them. And indeed the danger of losing Sepphoris would be no small one, in this war that was now beginning, seeing it was the largest city of Galilee, and built in a place by nature very strong, and might be a security of the whole nation's [fidelity to the Romans]."137

Here we see that Vespasian, while finishing his journey to meet Titus at Ptolemais, was joined by forces from different rulers within Israel. Those rulers were honoring the covenant that was made between Rome and Israel so many years before by sending out troops to march and fight with him. Vespasian was confirming their covenant by accepting and using said troops in his battles to come in the future.

"But as to Titus, he sailed over from Achaia to Alexandria, and that sooner than the winter season did usually permit; so he took with him those forces he was sent for, and marching with great expedition, he came suddenly to Ptolemais, and there finding his father, together with the two legions, the fifth and the tenth, which were the most eminent legions of all, he joined them to that fifteenth legion which was with his father; eighteen cohorts followed these legions; there came also five cohorts from Cesarea, with one troop of horsemen, and five other troops of horsemen from Syria. Now these ten cohorts had severally a thousand footmen, but the other thirteen cohorts had no more than six hundred footmen apiece, with a hundred and twenty horsemen. There were also a considerable number of auxiliaries got together, that came from the kings Antiochus, and Agrippa, and Sohemus, each of them contributing one thousand footmen that were archers, and a thousand horsemen. Malchus also, the king of Arabia, sent a thousand horsemen, besides five thousand footmen, the greatest part of which were archers; so that the whole army, including the auxiliaries sent by the kings, as well horsemen as footmen, when all were united together, amounted to sixty thousand, besides the servants, who, as they followed in vast numbers, so because they had been trained up in war with the rest, ought not to be distinguished from the fighting men; for as they were in their masters' service in times of peace, so did they undergo the like dangers with them in times of war, insomuch that they were inferior to none, either in skill or in strength, only they were subject to their masters."138

Here we see Titus finally joining his father with the additional forces he had gathered. Here we see a very clear picture of Vespasian and Titus confirming their covenants with the nations they were allied with. Rulers from all parts of Israel still loyal to Rome, in addition to the king of Arabia, all contributed men and supplies to Titus and Vespasian's army. Remember, part of the alliance agreement made with Rome was that the nations they agreed to make an alliance with supply them with forces and join them for war if it came to the Romans. This was the covenant being referred to in Daniel 9:27. It wasn't a covenant that had to be made by the "he" in 9:26, it was one that had to be strengthened or confirmed. Titus and Vespasian truly confirmed this covenant by their calling and acceptance of troops from their allies surrounding Jerusalem and Judea.

- Sacrifice and Oblation Cease -
Now that we know precisely when the final seven of Daniel's prophecy occurred we can examine it closely to determine whether another integral part of the prophecy occurred. We are told that the prince to come was to "cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Did Titus cause this? First, we need to determine exactly when the "middle" of the seventieth seven occurred. The Hebrew word חֲצִי chatsi, translated as "middle" in 9:27 means just that. It is also translated elsewhere as "half."139 But, what this word does not detail is the exactness of the "middle" being spoken of. In other words, we aren't told that the "middle" means that sacrifice and offering will cease in the "middle" of the seventieth seven to the millisecond.

What we have already established that the seventieth seven lasted from Passover 66 CE through Passover 73 CE. We read the following from Josephus' account.

"And now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and make him a ready passage for his army to come up; while he himself had Josephus brought to him, (for he had been informed that on that very day, which was the seventeenth day of Panemus, [Tamuz,] the sacrifice called 'the Daily Sacrifice' had failed, and had not been offered to God, for want of men to offer it..."140

This happened on July 17th, 70 CE. This was in the middle of the seventieth seven.

- Forty Years and the Sign of Jonah -
It is not in the slightest insignificant that there were exactly forty years between the crucifixion and death of Messiah to the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem. Yeshua was crucified on the Day of Passover in 30 CE. The Roman armies under Titus pitched their camps for the siege on Jerusalem on the Day of Passover in 70 CE. The number forty is used to represent many things in scripture, but the foremost is a time of trial. The Israelites wandered for forty years in the wilderness due to their disobedience. Yeshua was in the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy for forty days. But, most significantly Nineveh was given forty days to repent before pending destruction from יהוה came upon them.

This example of Nineveh's time for repentance is very significant as it relates to Yeshua. Why? Because Yeshua specifically said that the only sign he would give that generation was the sign of Jonah.

"But he answered and said unto them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: {40} for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. {41} The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.'" - Matthew 12:39-41 (ASV)

So, we are all familiar with the first part of the sign of Jonah, about Yeshua being in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, but what of the last part? Why does Yeshua warn them about the Ninevites condemning them in the future? The reason is simple. Nineveh was given forty days to repent from their sins against יהוה and they did. יהוה then relented with his anger and plans for destruction. But, Israel was given forty years to repent of their sin of killing their Messiah and Master, the Son of Almighty יהוה, Yeshua, and they did not repent. So the destruction prophesied against them came to pass without fail.

Think about the parallels between the story of the preaching of repentance by Jonah and Yeshua's life. Jonah preached repentance towards יהוה as he walked through the city.

"So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of יהוה. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey. {4} And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, 'Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.'" - Jonah 3:3-4 (ASV)

The city itself was a three day journey in size. Jonah was instructed to preach this message of warning and repentance to the entire city. He preached for at least three days. Yeshua's public ministry began just before Passover in 27 CE.141 We already established above that he was crucified on the Day of Passover in 30 CE. Just as Jonah's preaching of repentance lasted three days so Yeshua's ministry lasted 3 years. Jonah gave the people of Nineveh forty days to repent or suffer the coming punishment. Yeshua related the situation and people in his day to the situation in Jonah's day. After his death the people of Israel were given forty years by יהוה to repent of their actions and turn towards his Son. However, unlike the Ninevites, the Jews in Yeshua's day didn't turn from their sin towards יהוה. Therefore the prophesied destruction was swiftly brought upon them.
- Conclusion -
It is evident from the evidence we are provided in the scriptures and in history that the prophecy of the Seventy Sevens was indeed fulfilled in its entirety in the past. The decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem went forth from Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 454 BCE. Sixty-nine sevens or 483 years later Yeshua the Messiah was cut off, but not for himself. Then the seventieth seven happened forty years later to the very day from the crucifixion of Messiah.

In these seventy sevens, ending on the Day of Passover 73 CE, all prophetic requirements of Daniel's prophecy were accomplished to perfection. (1) The transgression that was to be finished was the brutal murder of the Messiah, Yeshua. (2) By taking upon himself the sins of man Yeshua sealed away our sins. Just as the azazel142 goat carried away the sins of Israel into a deserted place in the past, so Yeshua sealed our sins away in the grave. (3) Just as the blood of the goat for יהוה143 atoned for all of the sins of Israel so Yeshua's blood was poured out for the atonement of the sins of man. (4) Yeshua, being the perfect and sinless son of Elohim, brought in the perfect way of obedience to יהוה that had been forgotten. What was unavailable to the prophets of old, however, was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of יהוה sent only after the atoning death of Yeshua. This Spirit will forever cause the eruption of the righteousness taught by Yeshua to come from His children. (5) Clearly there were plenty of visions and prophecies spoken of in the scriptures that were fulfilled in Yeshua's life and death. Many of these visions and prophecies were completed within these seventy sevens. (6) The sacrifices for sin, as mentioned above, were considered most holy. Yeshua, being the perfect fulfillment of the sacrifices mentioned in the Torah, was just as holy. He was anointed by the Spirit of יהוה at his baptism and just before his crucifixion by Mary Magdalene.

The evidence is plain and clear before us. Although these fulfillments throw many peoples' assumptions about an end time anti-messiah that is to make a covenant with the Jews for seven years in the trash, they display the sovereignty and glory of יהוה. We should see these historical fulfillments as testimonies to the awesomeness of our Elohim. His word is indeed true and will come to pass just as He speaks. HalleluYah!



FOOTNOTES
  1. Original ASV text: "make a firm." The word for "confirm" is the Hebrew הִגְבִּיר, higbir, and comes from the root גָּבַר gavar, which means "to confirm, or give strength" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for גָּבַר).  [back to study]

  2. Original ASV text: "the desolate." The Hebrew verb שָׁמֵם shamem is found in the Qal Participle here, שֹׁמֵם shomem and means "the desolator" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for שָׁמֵם, number 3).  [back to study]

  3. Ussher, James. "739." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  4. Eusebius. "Chaldean Chronicle." Eusebius' Chronicle. Trans. Robert Bedrosian. 14 Apr. 2012 http://rbedrosian.com/euseb2.htm.  [back to study]

  5. Xenophon. "Book I, Chapter V, Section II." Cyropaedia. Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 5 and 6. Walter Miller. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; William Heinemann, Ltd., London. 1914.  [back to study]

  6. Ussher, James. "803." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  7. "Cyrus the Great." Wikimedia Foundation. 14 Apr. 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great.  [back to study]

  8. Xenophon. "Book I, Chapter II, Section I." Cyropaedia. Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 5 and 6. Walter Miller. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; William Heinemann, Ltd., London. 1914.  [back to study]

  9. Xenophon. "Book VIII, Chapter V, Section XVII." Cyropaedia. Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 5 and 6. Walter Miller. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; William Heinemann, Ltd., London. 1914.  [back to study]

  10. Xenophon. "Book VIII, Chapter V, Sections XVII-XIX." Cyropaedia. Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 5 and 6. Walter Miller. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; William Heinemann, Ltd., London. 1914.  [back to study]

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  41. See: Jerome. "St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel." St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel. Trans. Gleason L. Archer. 14 Apr. 2012 http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_daniel_02_text.htm. See also: Ussher, James. "2841." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  42. "Seleucus II Callinicus." Wikimedia Foundation. 14 Apr. 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_II_Callinicus.  [back to study]

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  53. See also: Ussher, James. "3000-3002." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

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  55. See: Livy. "Book XXXV, Chapter III, Verse 4." The History of Rome. Books XXXV-XXXVII With An English Translation. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1935.  [back to study]

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  57. See: Livy. "Book XXXVI, Chapter XXI, Verses 1-3." The History of Rome. Books XXXV-XXXVII With An English Translation. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1935.  [back to study]

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  71. See 2 Maccabees 5:1-4.  [back to study]

  72. See 1 Maccabees 1:16-19.  [back to study]

  73. See: Jerome. "St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel." St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel. Trans. Gleason L. Archer. 14 Apr. 2012 http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_daniel_02_text.htm.  [back to study]

  74. See 2 Maccabees 5:5-8.  [back to study]

  75. See: 1 Maccabees 1:20 and 2 Maccabees 5:11-14.  [back to study]

  76. See: 1 Maccabees 1:21-22 and 2 Maccabees 5:15-16.  [back to study]

  77. Josephus, Flavius. "Antiquities of the Jews. Book XIII, Chapter VIII, Section II." The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Trans. William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.  [back to study]

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  81. Livy. "Book XLV, Chapter XI, Verse 8." The History of Rome. Books XLIII-XLV With An English Translation. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1935.  [back to study]

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  83. 1 Maccabees 1:50.  [back to study]

  84. 1 Maccabees 1:41-50.  [back to study]

  85. 1 Maccabees 1:54-57.  [back to study]

  86. 1 Maccabees 1:62-63.  [back to study]

  87. 1 Maccabees 2:24.  [back to study]

  88. 1 Maccabees 2:44-48.  [back to study]

  89. 1 Maccabees 2:29-38 and 2 Maccabees 6:11.  [back to study]

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  91. 1 Maccabees 5:55-61.  [back to study]

  92. Jerome. "St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel." St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel. Trans. Gleason L. Archer. 14 Apr. 2012 .  [back to study]

  93. Farquharson, James. "Section IV." A New Illustration of the Latter Part of Daniel's Last Vision and Prophecy. London, UK: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1838.  [back to study]

  94. See 1 Maccabees 6:1-4 and 2 Maccabees 9:1-2.  [back to study]

  95. See 1 Maccabees 1:41-42.  [back to study]

  96. See 2 Maccabees 7:24 for an example of where Antiochus offered riches and status in exchange for a denial of the Elohim of Israel and His covenant.  [back to study]

  97. Polybius. "Book XXVII, Section XIX." The Histories of Polybius. Trans. Evelyn S. Shuckburgh. London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1889.  [back to study]

  98. "Mithridates I of Parthia." Wikimedia Foundation. 06 June 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithridates_I_of_Parthia.  [back to study]

  99. Tacitus, Cornelius. "Book V, Chapter VIII." The History. Complete Works of Tacitus. Tacitus. Alfred John Church. William Jackson Brodribb. Sara Bryant. edited for Perseus. New York. : Random House, Inc. Random House, Inc. 1873.  [back to study]

  100. "Lysias (Syrian chancellor)." Wikimedia Foundation. 06 June 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysias_(Syrian_chancellor).  [back to study]

  101. See 1 Maccabees 3:32-37.  [back to study]

  102. See 1 Maccabees 3:27-31.  [back to study]

  103. See 1 Maccabees 6:1-4.  [back to study]

  104. See 2 Maccabees 9:1-2.  [back to study]

  105. See 1 Maccabees 6:12-13.  [back to study]

  106. Original ASV text: "weeks." The Hebrew text of this word is שָׁבֻעִים shavuim and is the plural of שָׁבוּעַ shavua which in this context means "seven" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for שָׁבוּעַ, number 2).  [back to study]

  107. Original ASV text: "make a firm." The word for "confirm" is the Hebrew הִגְבִּיר, higbir, and comes from the root גָּבַר gavar, which means "to confirm, or give strength" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for גָּבַר).  [back to study]

  108. Original ASV text: "the desolate." The Hebrew verb שָׁמֵם shamem is found in the Qal Participle here, שֹׁמֵם shomem and means "the desolator" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for שָׁמֵם, number 3).  [back to study]

  109. Josephus, Flavius. "Antiquities of the Jews. Book XV, Chapter XI, Section VI." The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Trans. William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.  [back to study]

  110. See Ussher, James. "949." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  111. See Ussher, James. "1023." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  112. "Artaxerxes I." Wikimedia Foundation. 03 May 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artaxerxes_I.  [back to study]

  113. See Ussher, James. "1202." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  114. "Claudius Ptolemy." Wikimedia Foundation. 14 Apr. 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Ptolemy.  [back to study]

  115. "Canon of Kings." Wikimedia Foundation. 16 May 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_of_Kings.  [back to study]

  116. "Nabonassar." Wikimedia Foundation. 16 May 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabonassar.  [back to study]

  117. "Antoninus Pius." Wikimedia Foundation. 16 May 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoninus_Pius.  [back to study]

  118. "Thucydides." Wikimedia Foundation. 25 July 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thucydides.  [back to study]

  119. "Pausanias (general)." Wikimedia Foundation. 25 July 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pausanias_(general).  [back to study]

  120. Thucydides. "Chapters 135-137." The Peloponnesian War. London, UK: J.M. Dent; New York, US: E.P. Dutton. 1910.   [back to study]

  121. Thucydides. "Chapters 137, Section 3." The Peloponnesian War. London, UK: J.M. Dent; New York, US: E.P. Dutton. 1910.  [back to study]

  122. See Ussher, James. "1180." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  123. The Bodleian manuscript of Jerome's version of the Chronicle of Eusebius : Reproduced in collotype : Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, ca. 260-ca. 340 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive. 25 July 2012 http://archive.org/details/bodleianmanuscri00euse.  [back to study]

  124. Gesenius, Wilhelm. Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures. London, UK: Samuel Bagster & Sons, Limited, exact publication date unknown.  [back to study]

  125. Josephus, Flavius. "Antiquities of the Jews. Book X, Chapter XI, Section VII." The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Trans. William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.   [back to study]

  126. "First Jewish-Roman War." Wikimedia Foundation. 24 Aug. 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish-Roman_War.  [back to study]

  127. Original ASV text: "make a firm." The word for "confirm" is the Hebrew הִגְבִּיר, higbir, and comes from the root גָּבַר gavar, which means "to confirm, or give strength" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for גָּבַר).  [back to study]

  128. Original ASV text: "the desolate." The Hebrew verb שָׁמֵם shamem is found in the Qal Participle here, שֹׁמֵם shomem and means "the desolator" (See Gesenius' Lexicon under the entry for שָׁמֵם, number 3).  [back to study]

  129. Such commentators include Albert Barnes (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible); Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible); Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments); and John Wesley (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible).  [back to study]

  130. For another example and additional information see: Fordyce-Ruff, Tenielle. "Pronoun Problems, Part 1." Published in The Advocate, March/April 2012 Edition. Web. Last accessed: 22 Aug. 2012. http://www.raineylawoffice.com/files/49872016.pdf.  [back to study]

  131. בְּרִית berit comes from the root בָּרָה barah, which means "to cut, or cut asunder." In the past the ancients used to cut an animal in half and make their covenant with one another while walking through the two pieces. The intent was that if the covenant wasn't upheld the breaking party would become like the dead animal. An account of this happening can be found in Genesis 15.  [back to study]

  132. There are covenants made between men, not with יהוה, that do not necessitate the shedding of blood. Some examples can be found in Joshua 9:6, and 1 Samuel 18:3 and 23:18.  [back to study]

  133. Barnes, Albert. "Notes on Daniel 9:27." Notes, Critical, Illustrative, and Practical on the Book of Daniel. New York, USA: Leavitt & Allen, 1853. Page 413.  [back to study]

  134. Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Daniel 9." Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible. 1706.  [back to study]

  135. The word "for" is not in the original text and is therefore only one of many valid assumptions. In the translation above the word "in" is used. Using "in" simply means that sometime during the seventieth seven the prince will confirm an already existing covenant.  [back to study]

  136. Ussher, James. "6927-6928." The Annals of the World. London: Printed by E. Tyler for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.  [back to study]

  137. Josephus, Flavius. "Wars of the Jews. Book III, Chapter II, Section VII." The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Trans. William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.  [back to study]

  138. Josephus, Flavius. "Wars of the Jews. Book III, Chapter IV, Section VII." The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Trans. William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.  [back to study]

  139. See Exodus 24:6, Numbers 12:12 and Joshua 4:12 in the Hebrew for examples.  [back to study]

  140. Josephus, Flavius. "Wars of the Jews. Book VI, Chapter II, Section VII." The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Trans. William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.  [back to study]

  141. See John 2:1-13. See also Jones, Floyd Nolen. "The Beginning Year of Our Lord's Public Ministry." Chronology of the Old Testament. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2004. 219-220.  [back to study]

  142. See Leviticus 16.  [back to study]

  143. See Leviticus 16.  [back to study]



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