Final Week - Abomination

The period of “seventy weeks” concludes with several unanswered questions, but the prophecy is not the end of the matter. Clear verbal links connect it to the visions of chapters 7 and 8, and to the subsequent vision in chapter 11. It is one part of a larger whole. The complete picture becomes clear only when all the visions of Daniel are considered.

The most striking features common to the several visions are the “Abomination that Desolates” and the cessation of the daily burnt offerings. The failure to see these connections leads to erroneous interpretations.

  • (Daniel 9:27) - “And he will make a firm covenant with many for one week, and in the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and upon the wing of abominations will come one that desolates; and even to the full end, and that determined, will wrath be poured out upon the desolate.

THE “COVENANT”


During the seventieth “week,” a dark figure designated as the “leader” will make a “firm covenant” with the people of Jerusalem. This man is the subject of the verb rendered “confirm,” the Hebrew term gabar, which more accurately means that he “STRENGTHENS” the covenant - (Strong’s - #H1396).

And he does so “with many.” This refers to the occupants of the city who submit to this “leader” or nagid. This is the same group that is “corrupted” by him in the preceding verse. And note the following parallels with the book’s final vision:

  • (Daniel 11:30-32) - “Then will come in against him the ships of Cyprus, and he will be disheartened, and again have indignation against a holy covenant, and will act with effect, and again gain intelligence, CONCERNING THEM WHO ARE FORSAKING A HOLY COVENANT. And arms from him will arise, and will profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and will set aside the continual burnt offering, and place the abomination that astounds. And THEM WHO ARE READY TO DEAL LAWLESSLY WITH A COVENANT will he make impious by flatteries, but the people who know their God will be strong and act with effect.
  • (Daniel 12:10-11) - “Many will purify themselves and be made white and be refined, but the lawless will act lawlessly, and NONE OF THE LAWLESS SHALL UNDERSTAND, but they who make wise shall understand, and from the time of the removal of the continual burnt offering and the placing of the abomination that astounds will be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

The “covenant” made with the “many” refers to the same event described in the interpretation of the vision of the Ram and the Goat, the “king of fierce countenance” who “corrupted” the saints (“By his cunning he caused deceit to succeed in his hand… and by their careless security he will CORRUPT THE MANY” – (Daniel 8:23-25).

CESSATION OF SACRIFICES


And this figure “causes the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This is a clear link to the preceding vision in chapter 8 where the “little horn” desecrated the sanctuary, removed the daily sacrifices, and erected the “transgression that desolates.”

Likewise in chapter 11, the “king of the south” sets up the “Abomination that Desolates” and removes the “daily burnt offerings.” And in chapter 9, the installation of the “Abomination” follows the “covenant” that the “leader” makes with the “people.”

Thus, the same events are in view in all three visions, especially, the defilement of the sanctuary, the “Abomination of Desolation” - (Daniel 8:8-14, 11:31,12:10-11).

The concluding events occur in the last “half of the week,” namely, the latter part of the final or “seventieth week.” The period is described elsewhere, although with different terms - (Daniel 7:25-26, 8:19-26, 12:6-8).

On the wings of abomination, he comes desolating.” The Hebrew noun rendered “abomination” here refers to objects that are ritually unclean, such as idols, heathen altars, and pagan sacrifices. It means that which is “detestable, abominable” - (Strong’s #H8251), and in the Hebrew Bible, the term is applied to idolatrous objects - (e.g., Deuteronomy 29:17).

To what the term “wing” refers is not clear. The Hebrew clause reads, “and upon a wing of abominations, desolating.” It uses the common noun for the “wing” of a bird or insect. Here, it may be metaphorical for an “extremity” of something, perhaps the four “wings” or “horns” of the altar of burnt offerings - (Exodus 38:2).

Even until the end, and that a determined one, which will pour down upon the desolater.” The Hebrew sentence more accurately reads, “and until the end, what was decreed was pouring out upon him who was desolating.” That is, the “leader” who “desolated” the sanctuary is himself desolated as “decreed,” presumably by God.

The Hebrew term is applied twice in the passage: “desolations are decreed… until the end, a decreed one.” “Decreed” occurs in a similar context in the next vision - “The king will do according to his will… he will prosper until the indignation be accomplished, for that which is DECREED will be done” (Daniel 11:36).

The term rendered “poured down” refers to the same reality as the “flood” in the preceding verse. In the end, the one who “desolated” the sanctuary will himself be overwhelmed with desolation.

The verbal links are important, especially the references to the “Abomination that Desolates.” They demonstrate that the same events are in view in the visions of chapters 7, 8, 9, and 11, and in the conclusion of the book - (Daniel 12:10-11).

The “seventy weeks” end with an ambiguous conclusion. However, the prophecy is neither the highlight nor the conclusion of the book. The connections to its other visions are critical for understanding its visions.

The prophecy provides several chronological clues to the larger picture, and it keeps the focus on the “Abomination of Desolation” and the desecration of the sanctuary. However, the audience must continue to examine the remainder of the book to gain further insights.


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