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Dr. John Walvoord on Dan.9:24-27

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Quasar92, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The third vision of Daniel the prophet, following the two preceding visions of chapters 7 and 8, concerns the program of God for Israel culminating in the coming of their Messiah to the earth to reign. Although other major prophets received detailed information concerning the nations and God’s program for salvation, Daniel alone was given the comprehensive program for both the Gentiles, as revealed to Daniel in preceding chapters, and for Israel, as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27. Because of the comprehensive and structural nature of Daniel’s prophecies, both for the Gentiles and for Israel, the study of Daniel, and especially this chapter, is the key to understanding the prophetic Scriptures. Of the four major programs revealed in the Bible—for the angels, the Gentiles, Israel, and the church, Daniel had the privilege of being the channel of revelation for the second and third of these programs in the Old Testament.

    This chapter begins with Jeremiah’s prophecy of seventy years of the desolations of Jerusalem and is advanced by the intercessory prayer of Daniel. The chapter concludes with the third vision of Daniel, given through the agency of the angel Gabriel, which provides one of the most important keys to understanding the Scriptures as a whole. In many respects, this is the high point of the book of Daniel. Although previously Gentile history and prophecy recorded in Daniel was related to the people of Israel, the ninth chapter specifically takes up prophecy as it applies to the chosen people.
    The Seventy Years of the Desolations of Jerusalem

    9:1-2 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

    According to the opening verse of chapter 9, the third vision of Daniel occurred “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes.” In other words, the events of Belshazzar’s feast in chapter 5 occurred between the visions of chapters 8 and 9. It is not clear where chapter 6 fits into this order of events, but it also may well have occurred in the first year of the reign of Darius, either immediately before or immediately after the events of chapter 9. If Daniel’s experience at Belshazzar’s feast as well as his deliverance from the lions had already been experienced, these significant evidences of the sovereignty and power of God may well have constituted a divine preparation for the tremendous revelation now about to unfold.

    The immediate occasion of this chapter, however, was the discovery by Daniel in the prophecy of Jeremiah that the desolations of Jerusalem would be fulfilled in seventy years. The expression by books may be understood to mean “in books.” Jeremiah the prophet, in addition to his oral prophetic announcements, had written his prophecies in the closing days of Jerusalem before its destruction at the hand of the Babylonians. Although the first record of Jeremiah had been destroyed (Jer 36:23), Jeremiah rewrote it, acting on instructions from the Lord (Jer 36:28). Jeremiah himself had been taken captive by Jews rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar and had been carried off to Egypt against his will to be buried in a strange land in a nameless grave, but the timeless Scriptures which he wrote found their way across desert and mountain to far away Babylon and fell into the hands of Daniel. How long Daniel had been in possession of these prophecies is not known, but the implication is that Daniel had now come into the full comprehension of Jeremiah’s prediction and realized that the seventy years prophesied had about run their course. The time of the vision recorded in Daniel 9 was 538 B.C., about 67 years after Jerusalem had first been captured and Daniel carried off to Babylon (605 B.C.).

    Jeremiah had prophesied, “This whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations” (Jer 25:11-12). Later, Jeremiah added to this prophecy, “For thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive” (Jer 29:10-14).

    On the basis of these remarkable prophecies, Daniel was encouraged to pray for the restoration of Jerusalem and the regathering of the people of Israel. Daniel, although too old and probably too infirm to return to Jerusalem himself, lived long enough to see the first expedition of pilgrims return. This occurred in “the first year of Cyrus king of Persia” (Ezra 1:1), and Daniel lived at least until “the third year of Cyrus king of Persia” (Dan 10:1) and probably some years longer.

    As brought out in the earlier discussion of chapter 6 relative to Darius the Mede, Darius had been appointed by Cyrus as king of Babylon. The assertion of Daniel 9:1 that Darius “was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans,” indicates that he was invested with the kingship by some higher authority. This well agrees with the supposition that he Was installed as viceroy in Babylonia by Cyrus the Great. This appointment is confirmed by the verb “was made king” (Hebrew homlak) which does not seem a proper reference to Cyrus himself. In this connection, it is of interest that in the Behistun Inscription, Darius I refers to his father, Hystaspes, as having been made king in a similar way.

    In studying Daniel 9:2, with its reference to “the desolations of Jerusalem,” Sir Robert Anderson distinguishes the duration of the captivity from the duration of the desolations of Jerusalem. Anderson states, “The failure to distinguish between the several judgments of the Servitude, the Captivity and the Desolations, is a fruitful source of error in the study of Daniel and the historical books of Scripture.”464

    Anderson goes on to explain that Israel’s servitude and captivity began much earlier than the destruction of the temple. Although Anderson’s dates are not according to current archeological findings (606 b.c. instead of 605 for the captivity, 589 b.c. instead of 586 for the desolation of the temple, and his date for the decree of Cyrus 536 B.C. instead of 538), in general, his approach to the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy is worthy of consideration. As previously discussed in the exposition of chapter 1, the captivity probably began in the fall of 605 B.C. at which time a few, such as Daniel and his companions and other of the royal children, were carried off to Babylon as hostages. The major deportation did not take place until about seven years later. According to Donald J. Wiseman, the exact date of the first major deportation was March 16, 597 b.c, after the fall of Jerusalem following a brief revolt against Babylonian rule. About 60,000 were carried away at that time.465

    Jerusalem itself was finally destroyed in 586 b.c,466 and this, according to Anderson, began the desolations of Jerusalem, the specific prophecy of Jeremiah 25:11, also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:21 and in Daniel 9:2.

    The precise prophecy of Jeremiah 25:11-12 predicts that the king of Babylon would be punished at the end of seventy years. Jeremiah 29:10 predicted the return to the land after seventy years. For these reasons, it is doubtful whether Anderson’s evaluation of Daniel 9:2 as referring to the destruction of the temple itself is valid. The judgment on Babylon and the return to the land of course took place about twenty years before the temple itself was rebuilt and was approximately seventy years after captivity beginning in 605 b.c. Probably the best interpretation, accordingly, is to consider the expression the desolations of Jerusalem, in Daniel 9:2, as referring to the period 605 B.C. to 539 B.C. for the judgment on Babylon, and the date of 538 b.c for the return to the land.

    This definition of the expression the desolations of Jerusalem (Dan 9:2) is supported by the word for “desolations” ( h£orbo‚t) which is a plural apparently including the environs of Jerusalem. The same expression is translated “all her waste places” in Isaiah 51:3 (cf. 52:9). Actually the destruction of territory formerly under Jerusalem control even predated the 605 date for Jerusalem’s fall.

    Although it is preferred to consider Daniel 9:2 as the period 605 b.c.-539 b.c, Anderson may be right in distinguishing as he does the period of Israel’s captivity from the period of Jerusalem’s destruction. Zechariah 1:12, referring to God’s destruction of the cities of Judah for three score years and ten, may extend to the time when the temple was rebuilt. This is brought out in Zechariah 1:16 where it is stated, “Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.” It is most significant that the return took place approximately seventy years after the capture of Jerusalem in 605 b.c, and the restoration of the temple (515 b.c) took place approximately seventy years after the destruction of the temple (586 b.c), the latter period being about twenty years later than the former. In both cases, however, the fulfillment does not have the meticulous accuracy of falling on the very day, as Anderson attempts to prove. It seems to be an approximate number as one would expect by a round number of seventy. Hence, the period between 605 b.c and 538 b.c would be approximately sixty-seven years; and the rededication of the temple in March of 515 b.c, would be less than seventy-one years from the destruction of the temple in August of 586 b.c

    What is intended, accordingly, in the statement in Daniel 9:2 is that Daniel realized that the time was approaching when the children of Israel could return. The seventy years of the captivity were about ended. Once the children of Israel were back in the land, they were providentially hindered in fulfilling the rebuilding of the temple until seventy years after the destruction of the temple had also elapsed.

    Several principles emerge from Daniel’s reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy. First, Daniel took the seventy years literally and believed that there would be literal fulfillment. Even though Daniel was fully acquainted with the symbolic form of revelation which God sometimes used to portray panoramic prophetic events, his interpretation of Jeremiah was literal and he expected God to fulfill His word.

    Second, Daniel realized that the Word of God would be fulfilled only on the basis of prayer, and this occasioned his fervent plea as recorded in this chapter. On the one hand, Daniel recognized the certainty of divine purposes and the sovereignty of God which will surely fulfill the prophetic word. On the other hand, he recognized human agency, the necessity of faith and prayer, and the urgency to respond to human responsibility as it relates to the divine program. His custom of praying three times a day with his windows open to Jerusalem still in desolation revealed his own heart for the things of God and his concern for the city of Jerusalem.

    Third, he recognized the need for confession of sin as a prelude to restoration. With this rich background of the prophetic program revealed through Jeremiah, Daniel’s own prayer life, and his concern for the city of Jerusalem as the religious center of the nation of Israel, Daniel approaches the task of expressing his confession and intercession to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    Because Daniel, for the first time, used the word Lord or Jehovah in Daniel 9:2, repeating the expression in verses 4, 10, 13, 14, and 20, critics have used this as an argument against the authenticity of this passage and the prayer which follows.467

    For the most complete and comprehensive study of Daniel's 70 Weeks prophecy in Dan.9:24-27 go to the following:

    http://bible.org/series/daniel-key-prophetic-revelation


    Quasar92
     
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  2. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

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    Another viewpoint on the matter from Dr. Kelly Varner






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