Can you explain Daniel 9:27 and the ceasing of sacrifice and offerings. Does this not refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD? If so, doesn't this go beyond the 490 years to fulfill the prophecy?
I read the explanation of Daniel chapter 9 prophecy in your book “From
Shadow to Reality”. You were really quite explicit on that. What I am
unable to understand is verse no 27 which predicts the putting to an end
of sacrifice and offering. I think the prophecy refers to the crucifixion
which took place around 27 AD rather than the 70 AD Roman invasion of
Jerusalem. The reason I feel this is difficult is that the 70 AD Roman
destruction of Jerusalem probably goes beyond the seventy “sevens” (490
years) from the time of issue of first decree to restore Jerusalem . Can
you provide your thoughts on this?
I go into a lot of detail on this one in my book “Daniel, Prophet to the
Nations.” A new edition of this book is coming out in the next month or
so. You can order a copy at the web site www.ipibooks.com. In the mean
time, let me comment on your question:
First of all, you are absolutely right that Daniel 9:27 is a reference to
what happened in AD 70 when Titus captured Jerusalem and completely
destroyed the temple. From that date on, there has been no “sacrifice and
offering” in the temple. You are correct in noticing that this moves the
completion of the last “week” of the prophecy of the seventy sevens back
forty years. This is hard to reconcile with the 490 year fulfillment of
the prophecy of the cutting off of the Messiah. Jesus was killed during
the last “week” of the 490 years. If we take the decree of Artaxerxes to
be the one referred to in Daniel 9, then the Messiah was to die somewhere
between AD 26 and AD 33. This calculation seems to prove a stunningly
successful prophecy in Daniel, but it leaves open the question you brought
up. What about the surrounding of Jerusalem, the destruction of the
temple and the Abomination of Desolation? Should that not have happened
in AD 33 rather than AD 70? The facts do not seem to fit the prophecy in
a literal way.
Here is my answer. It is just my own speculation, so you should take it
for what it is worth. I believe that when the curtain between the Holy
Place and the Holy of Holies was ripped in two (Luke 23:45), God abandoned
his temple. At that time, from God’s perspective, the temple was a mere
shell. Judaism, for all practical purposes, had come to an end.
Nevertheless, in order to give the Jews more than enough opportunity to
repent and to accept Jesus as the Messiah, God stopped the prophetic clock
for forty years. God waited to complete the fulfillment of the
prophecy–the judgment on those Jews who rejected the Messiah who was sent
to them. Although the time for judgment had come, God took a sort of
cosmic time out–not counting the full generation of time which he gave to
the Jews to repent. A hint of this is found in Hebrews 8:13. “By calling
this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is
obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” The Hebrew writer, some time in
the 60’s AD tells his readers that the Jewish dispensation was obsolete,
but that it was to soon disappear. This explanation may not seem logical
to us linear Western thinkers. To us, 490 years is 490 years.
However, this explanation fits the spirit of the grace of God. He
pronounces judgment but to suspends the time of judgment for forty years
to allow the full tithe of Jews to come into the Kingdom of God.
Just so you know, I feel good about this explanation. It makes a lot of
sense to me, but as far as I know, I have not seen this theory mentioned
anywhere else except in my book.
John Oakes, PhD