PMT 2013-031 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I am continuing a critique of dispensationalism’s gap theory for Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy. In my last posting I presented four of their arguments with my rebuttals. I will continue now with the fifth and final dispensational argument.
Fifth, the order within the prophecy: “In the record of the prophecy, the destruction of the city [v. 26b] is placed before the last week [v. 27a].” 1 Since this occurs in A.D. 70, we must allow a gap to account for it.
This argument overlooks the peculiarities of Hebrew poetic style. Oriental expression often confounds the Occidental concern for chronological succession; the Western framework may not be foisted upon the passage. This “revelational pattern” 2 allows a parallel rehearsal and expansion of the topic without requiring actual succession in time. Even classic dispensationalists understand that some prophetic passages do not flow chronologically. 3 A better understanding of the relation between verses 26 and 27 is given above. Continue reading
PMT 2013-030 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Dispensationalism interposes this gap or parenthesis between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth weeks; it spans the entire Church Age from the Triumphal Entry to the Rapture.1 The dispensational arguments for a gap of undetermined length between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks are not convincing. Let us consider the leading arguments for this gap. I will state the argument briefly with some documentation and then respond.
First, the peculiar phraseology in Daniel: Daniel places the cutting off of the Messiah “after the 62 ‘sevens,’ not in the 70th ‘seven.’” 2 This allows for a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks. If the cutting off does not occur in the sixty-ninth or the seventieth weeks, there must be a gap wherein it does occur. Continue reading
PMT 2013-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In studying Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy, it is important that we carefully consider Daniel 9:24. This verse provides the ultimate goal of the prophecy: “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” Let me briefly sketch the events in verse 24 within the context of the whole prophecy.
The Significance of Verse 24
The six infinitival phrases of verse 24 form three couplets, which serve as the main point of the prophecy and as the heading to the explication that follows. “Know therefore and understand” (9:25) introduces that explication. Correspondences should exist, then, between the events of verse 24 and the prophecy of verses 25-27.
Among non-dispensational evangelicals the general view of Daniel 9:24 holds that these six elements are the goal of the whole prophecy and that they occurred during the first advent 2000 years ago. Contrary to this view, Culver puts the matter into bold dispensational relief: these events are “not to be found in any event near the earthly lifetime of our Lord.” Ryrie points to this verse and applies it to our future: “God will once again turn His attention in a special way to His people the Jews and to His holy city Jerusalem, as outlined in Daniel 9:24.” Clearly then, the dispensationalist adopts a decidedly futurist approach to the prophecy — when he gets past the first sixty-nine weeks. Continue reading
PMT 2013-026 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
An initial problem faces the interpreter of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy. We must determine the identity of the “command” in Daniel 9:25: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem. . . .”
Decrees to Consider
At first we might suspect Cyrus’s decree in 538 B.C., which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and in Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13, 17, 6:3. Certainly Cyrus gives a command to rebuild the city (Isa. 44:28): yet the bulk of the references to his decree deal with the Temple’s rebuilding. Daniel, however, specifically speaks of the command to “restore and build Jerusalem,” which is an important qualification as E. W. Hengstenberg so capably shows. Though the Jews make half-hearted efforts to rebuild Jerusalem after Cyrus’s decree, the city long remains little more than a sparsely populated, unwalled village.
Yet Daniel speaks of the command to “restore” (root: shub, “return”) Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25). This requires a return to its original integrity and grandeur as per Jeremiah’s prophecy: “I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first” (Jer. 33:7). This must involve the restoring of the city complete with its streets and protective wall: “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times” (Dan. 9:25). Continue reading
PMT 2013-025 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy in Dan 9:24-27 is a famous and intriguing passage of Scripture. It’s eschatological character and time-frame provide important information for biblical eschatology. Unfortunately, this is a difficult passage to interpret, though it is thought by the majority of laymen to be quite simple.
I am beginning a brief series on Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks. As we begin I would like first to consider two issues: the structure and the chronology of the seventy weeks.
If we are to understand Daniel’s prophecy, it is extremely helpful to recognize the crucial structure of this unique prophecy. Meredith Kline provides a thorough presentation of the strongly covenantal cast of the prophecy. He meticulously demonstrates that Daniel’s prayer (Dan. 9:3-19) leading up to the prophecy is “saturated with formulaic expressions drawn from the Mosaic treaties, particularly from the Deuteronomic treaty.”
We see that the covenant is a key concern for Daniel. We see this in both Daniel’s prayer and the Lord’s answer to it. Let me explain. Continue reading