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Can Hebrew linguistics help clarify the 70 weeks in Daniel 9:25?

Discussion in 'Languages' started by rakovsky, May 16, 2022.

  1. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Daniel 9:25 has been a bit of an intriguing language puzzle, since in ancient times they didn't use punctuation marks.

    The verse runs in Hebrew:
    ותדע ותשכל מן־מצא דבר להשיב ולבנות ירושלם עד־משיח נגיד שבעים שבעה ושבעים ששים ושנים תשוב ונבנתה רחוב וחרוץ ובצוק העתים׃

    Word for word, this says something like:
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Therefore know and understand
    From the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem until Moshiach Prince
    weeks seven and weeks sixty and two
    again and shall be built the street and the wall
    and even in troublesome times
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    But putting this into coherent sentences is tricky.

    The sentence seems to contain duality:
    - "Know and understand"
    - The Command is to "restore and build"
    - "From the command... until Moshiach Prince" gives two endpoints.
    - "Moshiach Prince" is a dual term
    - "7 weeks and 62 weeks" is dual
    - "The street and the wall"
    - The street and wall are built "again", meaning that this is a rebuilding, or a building of Jerusalem a "second time" in a sense.



    The fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls' version and sloppy "Old Greek" version of Daniel 9:25-26 aren't very helpful.

    Opposing sets of sentence constructions can be suggested from
    (A) The Masoretic punctuation, NRSV, and JPT, and
    (B) Theodotion's Jewish 2nd century AD Greek translation, Jerome's Latin Vulgate, and the KJV.

    I am wondering if the Hebrew is ambiguous enough to give rise to both of those opposing constructions.

    Question: Is the JPT/NRSV construction of "And 62 weeks shall be built the street and the wall" super awkward grammatically in Hebrew? In English, one would have to add in words like "during" or "for" to make that sentence work. English would require saying: "And during/for 62 weeks, the street and the wall shall be built."
     
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  2. roman2819

    roman2819 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check out Thomas Ice video on youtube : Daniel 49 Weeks of Days. I think Thomas Ice offer the best explanation.
     
  3. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Thanks Roman.
    I think this might be Ice's video that you are talking about:


    Unfortunately, I did not find him getting into much clear detail in that video about how the Hebrew grammar would put the 7 + 62 weeks together to make 69 weeks the time for the "Messiah Prince" figure's arrival in verse 25. But Ice said that he wrote a book on this, so it's a good lead.
     
  4. roman2819

    roman2819 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry, when i recommended Thomas Ice video, I should have said that Thomas did not explain Hebrew grammer (which is what you were looking for). I just think the contents is good.
     
  5. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

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    Roman,

    One issue is whether the phrase 7 weeks and 62 weeks works in Hebrew. It sounds clunky in English, and normally in Hebrew you would just say 69 weeks, not this broken up format. So I thought to look to see whether the Bible elsewhere has expressions like "a time and a time" or "_ days and days". A bit of something like this comes up in Daniel 7:25. Why wouldn't the author just say 2 and a half years, or 2 and a half days? It seems that Daniel's author might have an unusual way of breaking up times when he talks about durations. This kind of phrase comes up in Dan 12:7 too.

    My Question then is whether there are places in the Bible that use this kind of KJV phrase "7 weeks and 62 weeks" that has a dualist nature? days and days years and years etc. If the Bible never talks this way, it seems to go against Daniel 9:25 intending to speak of a "dual" period like weeks and weeks.
     
  6. roman2819

    roman2819 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thats a good observation. Thomas Ice explained that the final 7 weeks is not sequential from 62 weeks. After 62 weeks, many years would pass before the final 7 weeks (7 years tribulation). Thomas believed that the 7 years tribulation will be for the Jews only -- after Gentiles are raptured. 144,000 refer to Jews and he said no mention of Gentiles in Revelation..

    Personally I believe that Jesus will return anywhere between 2033-3033 AD or even 2000-3000 AD. We are in or going into the 3rd millennium after birth or crucifixion of Jesus, and the number 3 has a significance in the Bible, eg Christ is resurrected on 3rd day, and Trinity is 3. I think it will be in the earlier part before 2500 AD. Maybe in this generation or maybe not.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
  7. Eliyahu52

    Eliyahu52 Active Member

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