PMT 2013-029 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is part 5 of an ongoing series examining Daniel’s prophecy regarding the Seventy Weeks determined for Israel. In this article I will begin focus on the first of three fundamental errors in the dispensational approach to Daniel’s seventy weeks. These errors involve: (1) The proper understanding of the terminus; (2) the unity of the seventy weeks; and (3) the identity of the covenant of verse 27.
Dispensationalists are pressed by their system to radically re-interpret Daniel 9:24. They place these events in our future, deferring them until Israel’s return to the Lord during a seven year Great Tribulation. 1 Pentecost observes that “this future period is the unfulfilled seven years of Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks (Dan. 9:24-27).” 2 Price agrees, admitting this is a peculiar dispensational approach: “A distinctive tenet of dispensational interpretation is the recognition of prophetic postponement. . . . Daniel 9:26-27 [is] a much contested model for demonstrating time intervals in eschatological passages.”3 Continue reading →
PMT 2013-028 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is part four of a series on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks (Dan 9:24-27). We are now focusing on what Daniel says about what Israel will experience “after the sixty-two weeks” (Dan. 9:26) that follow the “seven weeks” (Dan 9:25). This is to occur, then, after the sixty-ninth week. A natural reading of the text demands that this be during the seventieth week, for that is the only time remaining to accomplish the stated goals of the prophecy (Dan. 9:24).
At that time “Messiah shall be cut off.” The English rendering “cut off” translates the Hebrew karath which “is used of the death penalty, Lev. 7:20; and refers to a violent death.” 1 Thus, it refers to the death of Christ on the cross. 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 →