After Sixty-Two Weeks

After the first sixty-nine weeks, a malevolent “leader” appeared who corrupted the city and “desolated” the sanctuaryDaniel 9:26

Schedule Board - Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash
The final “
week” culminates in the desecration of the sanctuary and the cessation of the daily burnt offering. The focus is on the sanctuary and its desecration. Described events occur in Jerusalem, most pivotally, the “abomination that desolates.” The latter is installed by the figure who “corrupts” many of the “people” - [Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash].

Whatever the “abomination” is, it desecrates the sanctuary and does not destroy it or the city. Implicit is the predetermined endpoint of the “desecration,” the restoration of the sanctuary. When and how that will be achieved is not stated in the passage.
  • (Daniel 9:26) - “And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing, and the leader will corrupt the city and the sanctuary, and so will his end come with an overwhelming flood, howbeit, up to the full end of the war are decreed astounding things.
The Hebrew preposition rendered “after” locates the next set of events in the seventieth “week,” presumably, another period of seven years. The “anointed one” is cut off “after the sixty-two weeks.”

The final “week” is the third and last subdivision of the “seventy weeks.” That means the “anointed” figure that appears here is not identical to the “anointed leader” that appeared at the end of the first “seven weeks.” The two figures are separated by centuries.

The chronological reference does not include the initial “seven weeks” of the prophecy. It states only that the “anointed one” was “cut off” after the second subdivision, the “sixty-two weeks.”

Why the angel did not combine the first “seven weeks” with the second “sixty-two weeks” for a total of “sixty-nine weeks” is not clear. Possibly, the first “seven weeks” ran concurrently with the “sixty-two weeks”; that is, both subdivisions commenced with the “word to return and build Jerusalem.” If so, then the “anointed one” was “cut offafter 434 rather than 483 years.

An anointed one will be cut off, and the leader will corrupt the city.” The first “anointed one” who appeared at the end of the first "seven weeks" was also called a “leader, a nagid. But that figure was distinct from the “anointed one” in verse 26 who was “cut off” during the final “week.” This one is not called a “leader” or nagid. In verse 26, the “leader” is the figure who corrupts the city. In other words, the “anointed one” and the “leader” in verse 26 are not identical.

Cut off.” The clause may mean death, but not necessarily so. The Hebrew verb means “cut.” Elsewhere, it is used for the “cutting” of a covenant, and it can signify “cutting” something into pieces. But it is applied often to someone who is “cut” or separated from the covenant of Yahweh. For example, Leviticus warns repeatedly that the man who violates ritual regulations will be “cut off” from the covenant - (Genesis 15:18, 17:14, Leviticus 7:20-27).

And have nothing.” The Hebrew text more accurately reads, “an anointed one is cut off, not the city and the sanctuary.” No verb is supplied with the second clause. The sense is that the “anointed one” is “cut off” from the city and Temple, and so he “has nothing.” This man loses his place, access, or function in the city and sanctuary.

The “sanctuary” or qôdesh refers to the sanctuary proper, not to the entire complex. It includes the altar for the daily burnt offering that was offered before the “Holy of Holies.” Its desecration was predicted in the vision of the “goat”:
  • (Daniel 8:13-14) - “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said to me: Until two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
The coming leader was corrupting the people.” The Hebrew term for “corrupt” does not mean “destruction” but “corruption.” The idea of the “destruction” of the sanctuary makes no sense since the “leader” also installs the “abomination that desolates” in it. The verb means “decay, spoil, ruin, corrupt, pervert.”

The same verb was applied earlier to the malevolent king who “corrupted mighty ones and the people of holy ones.” The point is the “corruption” of the people and the city, not their destruction - (Daniel 8:24-25).

In the Hebrew clause, “leader” is modified by the participle rendered “coming,” which also has the definite article or “the.” He is “the leader, the coming one.” Based on the verbal links, he is identical to the figure represented by the “little horn” and the “king of fierce countenance” from the preceding vision - (Daniel 7:7-8, 8:8-14).

His end will come with an overwhelming flood.”  This is the only mention of any “flood” in Daniel. Most likely, it is used metaphorically to mean “overwhelming” and provides a verbal link to the last vision of the book:
  • (Daniel 11:21-22) – “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. And the overwhelming forces shall be overwhelmed from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the leader of the covenant.”
The term rendered “his end” provides another link to the interpretation of the vision of the goat – the “end” of the appointed “indignation” or “desolation”:
  • (Daniel 8:18-19) - “Understand, O son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end. And he said, Behold, I will make you to know what will be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.”
Desolations” or shamem - (Strong’s - #H8074). The same word is applied four times in Daniel to the “abomination that desolates.” The Hebrew word does not mean “destroy” but “desolate,” that is, the abandonment of something, leaving it desolate or deserted - (Daniel 8:13, 11:31, 12:11).

In chapter 8, the “little horn” removed the daily sacrifice and defiled the sanctuary, the “transgression that desolates.” Likewise, in chapter 11, the malevolent king arrived to “pollute the sanctuary, take away the daily sacrifice, and place the abomination that desolates,” not to destroy the Temple, but to desecrate it.

Decreed” or “determined” (harats). The Hebrew term means “to sharpen, decide, determine, decree” - (Strong’s - #H2782). It occurs with the “abomination that desolates” in one other passage in the book:
  • (Daniel 11:31-36) - “And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolateAnd the king will do according to his own pleasure, and will exalt himself, and magnify himself against every GOD, yea, against the GOD of GODS will he speak wonderful things, and will succeed until exhausted is the indignation, for what is decreed must be done.”
Thus, the focus of the passage is on the “leader” who “corrupts” the people and sanctuary, and “desolates” the sanctuary. The “cutting off” of the “anointed one” at the start of the passage is a chronological marker for the start of the final “week.” The “abomination of desolation” will bring great “indignation” to the city of Jerusalem; however, that dark period will not last forever, but only until the time allotted by God reaches its predetermined end.



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