A.) You are a Sinner God’s standard is “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Mattthew 5:48), but you have fallen miserably short of His holy glory. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12). You can say, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5), since you sinned in the first man, Adam (Romans 5:12-19), and possess a “heart [that] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Your corrupt nature makes you “as an unclean thing, and all [your] righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). It only takes one sin to keep you out of God’s presence: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10), but you have committed numberless sins, every one of which is written down in God’s books (Revelation 20:11-15). The Lord Jesus Christ said that unjust anger is murder (Matthew 5:21-22), and a lustful thought is adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), so you are a murderer and an adulterer. You have lied (Proverbs 6:16), been proud (Proverbs 6:16-19), bitter (Romans 3:14), unthankful (2 Timothy 3:2), covetous (2 Timothy 3:2), and hypocritical (Isaiah 33:14). You have broken the greatest commandment of all: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Indeed, until you are born again, you “cannot please God” (Romans 8:8) in any way, but are “defiled and unbelieving” with “nothing pure; but even [your] mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). This very moment, “the wrath of God abideth” on you (John 3:36). You are “condemned already” (John 3:18). You “have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
B.) You Deserve a Penalty for Sin God’s law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). You have not continuously and perfectly obeyed, so you are cursed. Since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), you are subject to both physical death, the separation of the soul and spirit from the body (Hebrews 9:27), and to spiritual death, the separation of a person from God. You are currently “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), your “damnation is just” (Romans 3:8), and you are consequently headed for the second death, eternal separation from God in the lake of fire: “This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15). In the lake of fire you “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and [you] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of [your] torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and [you] have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:10-11). The question arises: “How can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33).
C.) Jesus Christ Died for You Jesus Christ is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). The Son of God, who existed from eternity past with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the three eternal Persons of the one and only true God (1 John 5:7), united to Himself a human nature, so that, although He was still 100% God, He became 100% Man as well. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross, where His Father “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He then rose bodily from the grave and ascended to heaven, from whence He will soon return to judge the world. On the cross God laid your transgressions upon His Son, who suffered to pay your sin debt. The law demands perfect righteousness for entry into heaven, but Christ died as your Substitute so that His death and shed blood could pay for your sin, and you could have His righteousness put to your account and be counted righteous in God’s sight for the Savior’s sake. You can be saved—not through your own works, but through His work; not by your attempts to obey the law, but His perfect obedience to it and death to satisfy it. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but [made alive] by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Since by “one offering he hath perfected for ever” those that are washed in His blood (Hebrews 10:14), there is nothing that you can do to save yourself, or to keep yourself saved. “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9).
D.) You Must Believe in Jesus Christ To have the Lord Jesus’ blood wash away your sins, you must place your faith in Him. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Saving faith in Jesus Christ involves:
a.) Repentance. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die[?]” (Ezekiel 33:11). In repentance, you agree with God that you are as bad as the Bible says you are, that you are headed to hell and deserve it for your sins, and you turn from your sins to submit unconditionally to God as your Lord. Jesus Christ said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life [wants to live his own way and will not turn to God’s way] shall lose it [in hell]; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:34-36).
b.) Trust in the Lord Jesus alone to save. You do not believe on Jesus Christ for salvation if you think that any good deed you have done, are doing, or will do helps save you, or if you believe that any religious ritual, such as baptism or communion, has a particle to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace [undeserved favor] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” If salvation is “by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6). “[T]o him that worketh not, but believeth on [Jesus Christ] that justifieth [declares righteous] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Saving faith is also not just mental assent to facts, and nobody can say that he has always believed in Christ. You must come to a specific point in your life where you see yourself as a lost, helpless sinner, you turn from your sins, and you trust solely in the Lord Jesus for eternal life. You must forsake all confidence in your supposed goodness and your religious rituals and place your confidence in the Savior’s blood and righteousness alone.
If you will come to Jesus Christ for salvation, He will keep you saved; no one who has ever truly believed in Him can perish (Romans 8:28-39). Once you are saved, you are always saved, both from sin’s penalty, eternal damnation, and from sin’s power: “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you will repent and believe in Him, he promises you everlasting life with Him in heaven upon His return or your death, and a holy life on earth now, freed from the bondage of sin.
You need to receive Jesus Christ immediately to save you from your sin. He promises, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Turn to Him today—tomorrow it may be too late. “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). Remember that God promises that “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge [you] in the last day” (John 12:48).
VII. Appendix: A Technical Linguistic Justification of the Translation of Daniel 9:24-27 in the Authorized Version (KJV) and of Related Questions Pertaining to the Coming of Messiah Jesus in A. D. 33. Note: the material in the section below is technical and may be difficult to understand for readers that do not know Hebrew. Such readers should simply recognize that the King James Version is correct in its translation of this prophecy and all the other prophecies of Daniel and proceed to the section that follows it.
1.) Is the KJV correct in translating “seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,” or should the verse really read “seven weeks; and for sixty two weeks”?
a.) To divide the weeks changes the Hebrew. To say “and for sixty-two weeks” is to add to Scripture. The word “for” is not there. The only thing dividing the seven weeks and the sixty two weeks is ◊w, meaning “and.”
b.) One might object that the word “for” needs to be added one and the sets of weeks divided, despite the fact that the word is not there, because a disjunctive Hebrew accent (of which there are a variety in every verse in the Bible), the athnach, underlies the word “seven” (h¡DoVbIv) in “seven weeks” (Heb. “weeks seven”). However, this conclusion does not follow.
i.) Ancient translations, such as the LXX, Theodotion, the Syriac, and the Vulgate all make the sixty-nine weeks continuous. The large majority of modern Bible versions also make the sixty-nine weeks continuous. To assert that in the Greek Old Testament (LXX), centuries before the Lord Jesus was born, people mistranslated Daniel 9 to make the passage a prophecy about Him is ridiculous. To assert that the body of ancient versions and modern translations all incorrectly translate the passage is an amazing assertion of universal mistranslation among those who disagree with each other on all kinds of theological issues and certainly did not get together to form some sort of conspiracy to mistranslate Daniel 9. The minority of modern versions that mistranslate the passage in question and make the seven weeks non-continuous with the sixty two weeks generally do so because they want to destroy this Messianic prophecy, not because of the necessities of Hebrew grammar.
ii.) An athnach is sometimes present where one would not normally expect it. In the words of William Wickes’s standard work in English on the Hebrew accents:
In cases of specification, we often find the proper logical or syntactical division—particularly the latter—neglected, and the main musical pause introduced between the details or particulars given. Distinctness of enunciation, and emphasis (where necessary), were thus secured. The pause was introduced where it seemed likely to be most effective. Thus the logical division is disregarded[.] . . . Syntactical clauses are treated in the same way, and subject, object, &c. are cut in two—or members that belong together, separated—by the dichotomy. (A logical pause may occur in the verse or not).170
A number of instances of the phenomena described above can be adduced. For example, Wickes cites Numbers 28:19: “And ye shall offer a burnt-offering unto the LORD, two young bullocks and one ram (athnach), and seven he-lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish.” See also Genesis 7:13; 25:20; Exodus 35:23; Leviticus 16:2; Isaiah 49:21; 66:19. To try to use the athnach in Daniel 9:25 against the translation of the KJV is unjustified. Compare also the statement of a standard Hebrew grammar:
At the same time it must not be forgotten that the value of the accent as a mark of punctuation is always relative; thus, e. g., athnach as regards the logical structure of the sentence may at one time indicate a very important break (as in Gen 1:4); at another, one which is almost imperceptible (as in Gen 1:1).171
Note that in Genesis 1:1 the athnach is under Elohim (God) and does not even receive a comma in the English text!
c.) Detaching the seven weeks from the sixty-two weeks is nonsensical. Such a division would mean that it took 434 years to build the “street . . . and the wall” (9:25), which does not fit history and demolishes the context.
d.) The city and the sanctuary were to be destroyed in the generation when the Messiah was cut off, but not for Himself; however, nothing in history even comes close to making sense of this fact if one divides the seven from the sixty two weeks.
e.) The first seven weeks, or 49 years, are probably set apart because it actually took that long to restore Jerusalem from being a ruin to being a thriving city. This fact would also justify the mention of rebuilding the “street” alongside the wall. The word “street” (bOj√r) has special reference to breadth, and so a wide street, marketplace, or other place of similar concourse would be in view, implying a restoration of the city to her former state.
f.) It is very difficult to make the text mean anything at all if one detaches the seven weeks from the sixty-two weeks. The main reason one would divide the passage in this manner would be to try desperately to avoid the Messianic conclusion intended by Daniel. Hebrew grammar or the plain meaning of the context will not stop such a person.
2.) Does the passage refer to two anointed ones, or to One, who is the Messiah the Prince?
a.) Since the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks form one period, not two, the possibility of a difference beteween the Messiah/Anointed One of v. 25 and the Messiah/Anointed One of v. 26 is eliminated.
b.) It is plain in context that the Anointed One/Messiah of v. 25 and of v. 26 is the same person. To deny this fact makes no sense at all, charges Daniel with error, and demolishes history. The only reason one would cut the verses in pieces like this would be if he wished to avoid the Messianic conclusion, which the God of Israel revealed through the prophet Daniel. Those who try to make the Anointed One/Messiah of v. 25 different from the One of v. 26 have been unsuccessful in their attempts to interpret the entire passage reasonably.
c.) Ancient Jewish exegesis and the Greek translation of Daniel 9 in the LXX and the other early Greek translations uniformly support the identity of the Anointed One of v. 25 and v. 26.
d.) “The Messiah the Prince” is a better translation than “an anointed one, a prince” in Daniel 9:24-27 for the following reasons:
i.) The word “Messiah” means “anointed one.” The Messiah is a very special Anointed One prefigured by the others who bore this title. The priests were “anointed” because they foreshadowed Jesus Christ, the Anointed One or Messiah; David also typified Him, as did Solomon and others. 1 Samuel 2:10, 35; Psalm 2:2, etc. also refer to Jesus as the Anointed or the Messiah. For example, in Psalm 2, the Anointed One must be the Messiah, and not just King David, because all the unconverted and wicked men and their kings do not take counsel against David, nor are they under his “bands” and “cords” (v. 1-3), but the wicked and their kings are certainly are united against the Lord and His Messiah, and they are under His “bands” and “cords.” King David neither asked for nor received “the uttermost parts of the earth” for his possession (v. 8); but the Messiah, the Son of God in Psalm 2 (cf. Daniel 3:25), will. Nor did David break with a rod of iron and dash in pieces like a potter’s vessel nations that he never conquered at the uttermost parts of the earth (v. 9). Nor is it true that all the kings of the earth needed to tremble before David, and “Kiss the Son, let He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little” (v. 12). Most of the kings of the earth had no idea who David was—what was he, for example, to the king of Japan? Such kings certainly did not need to worry that they would perish if they kindled David’s wrath but a little. But all the kings of the earth do need to fear the Son of God, the Messiah. Furthermore, “blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (v. 12) is ridiculous if it were to refer to David. The Bible consistently teaches that people should not trust in fallible men, but in the Lord their God. How could all be blessed by trusting in David? Such a notion would contradict the rest of the Bible. However, both the Old and New Testaments teach salvation by trusting in the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah. All who trust in Him are blessed, for they are saved by faith alone, not by works, just as Abraham was saved by faith alone (Genesis 15:6), not by works. Clearly the word anointed in Scripture can refer to the Great Anointed One, the Messiah. Such a reference in Daniel 9:25-26 is clear from the associated word “Prince.” This title refers to Christ, the Son of David, in Isaiah 55:4 (KJV “leader”), as well. Daniel 9:25 is the only place where the words “Anointed One/Messiah” and “Prince/Ruler” are found together and used of the same individual. The passage does not refer to any old anointed one; it speaks of the Messiah, the Prince.
ii.) “The Messiah, the Prince” is a better translation than “an anointed one, a prince.” Hebrew does not have a definite and an indefinite article; it simply has an article, h. The use of this article usually means nouns are definite, and dyYˆgÎn Ajy∞IvDm does indeed lack the article. However, to equate non-articularity and indefiniteness is to misunderstand Hebrew grammar. If it were an invalid adding of words to the passage to say “the” Messiah, “the” Prince, it would also be adding words to say “an” Anointed One, “a” Prince, for Hebrew has no indefinite article to correspond to the words “a/an,” and so such an article is obviously absent from the text. The lack of the h does not necessarily mean that the words are indefinite; indeed, since a noun without an article “is definite if it is definite in itself, [like] . . . a title . . . [or] a common noun that has acquired the value of a proper noun,”172 the requirements of grammar make the translation “the Messiah the Prince” far superior to “an anointed one, a prince” here. The phrase is a title, and the word mashiach is a common noun that acquires the value of a proper noun. Compare “Omri, the captain of the host” (1 Kings 16:16, aªDbDx_rAc y°îrVmDo), where neither “captain” nor “host” have a h to indicate they are definite, but their status as titles makes them so. See also 1 Samuel 2:8, “the world,” for an instance of a common noun made definite because of its acquisition of proper noun value, despite the lack of a h. To say that the KJV is in error in its translation in Daniel 9:25-26 is either to indicate a lack of understanding of Biblical Hebrew or to be intentionally dishonest with the text.
3.) Who are “the people of the prince that shall come?”
The people are the Romans, the fourth empire of Daniel 2 & 7, and the prince is the coming Antichrist. The “prince that shall come” of v. 26 is the one who confirms the covenant in v. 27. It is not Jesus Christ, and cannot be any other good man, because his people destroy Jerusalem and the sanctuary. It is not Christ, because he never “confirmed” an already-existing covenant, nor did He ever break such a covenant. Furthermore, while His death did render animal sacrifices inoperative, it did not cause them to cease immediately: men continued to sacrifice until Jerusalem was destroyed in A. D. 70. The one in view in v. 27 causes the sacrifices to cease in the midst of the seventieth week. The person in view in Daniel 9:27 correlates very well with the wicked person of Daniel 7:25, who there “changes times and laws” for “a time and times and the dividing of time”—that is, for a year, two years, and half a year (or 3 1/2 years)—exactly the same length of time as the one in Daniel 9:27, who changes times and laws by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease. (Half a “week” of seven years is also 3 1/2 years.) Notice also Daniel 12:7, which describes the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week as “a time, times, and an half,” and further indicates that this time period will be associated with a general bodily resurrection (Daniel 12:2)—an event certainly yet future!
4.) Is there a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel 9?
It is necessary that a gap exists between the end of the 69th week and the commencement of the 70th week in Daniel 9. First, both the city and sanctuary are destroyed after the 69th week, but they are around again in the 70th week (v. 27). Second, the text records a great deal between the last mention of the 69th week and the first mention of the 70th week. Third, v. 24, which states what will happen at the end of the 70 weeks, is clearly yet future. Jews and Jerusalem still sin, so the transgression is not yet finished. Permanent reconciliation for iniquity has not yet occurred. Sins are not yet brought to an end. The world is obviously not ruled by an everlasting righteousness. All vision and prophecy in Daniel (and elsewhere) has not yet been “sealed up,” brought to an “end,” or fulfilled. (The verb MAtDj appears in Daniel only in 9:24 and 12:4, 9. In 12:4, 9 and one of the uses in 9:24 it is translated by a form of “seal” or “sealed up,” and in its other use in 9:24 it is rendered “end.”). Furthermore, the Most Holy Place in the Temple is certainly not anointed (since there is no temple yet at all, nor will the Shekinah glory enter there again until the Messiah’s Millennial kingdom [cf. Ezekiel 43:1-4; 40-48]). Finally, the Messiah is cut off “after” the sixty-ninth week, not “during” the seventieth week, providing even more proof that a gap is present.
VIII. Recommended Sources for Further Reading and Bibliography A.) Recommended Sources for Further Reading The sources in the divisions below are arranged in the order in which most readers would do best to read them, rather than being arranged alphabetically. Sources that can be accessed on the Internet for free have often been preferred. The other works can also be obtained for free in the United States by anyone who can join a local public library. Simply call or visit the library, state that you would like to obtain a book by means of Interlibrary Loan, and provide the bibliographical information for that work. The library will obtain it for you, and you will be able to borrow it and read it for free. Brief biographical information is also provided about authors of the recommended works.
Verse-by-Verse Commentaries on the Book of Daniel Walvoord, John F., Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989 & Galaxie Software, 2008.
This work, a very solid introductory commentary on Daniel, is available free online at http://faithsaves.net/commentaries/.
Dr. Walvoord, author of over 30 books and president of the Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986, earned A. B. and D. D. degrees from Wheaton College, an A. M. from Texas Christian University in Philosophy, a Th. B., Th. M. and Th. D. in Systematic Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Litt. D. from Liberty Baptist Seminary. Archer, Gleason L. Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985.
Gleason Archer earned a B. A., M. A., and Ph.D. in Classics from Harvard University, an L. L. B. from Suffolk Law School, and a B. D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as a Professor of Biblical Languages and Dean at Fuller Theological Seminary for seventeen years and as a Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for 21 years. He taught Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Akkadian, Egyptian, and Syriac, and was fluent in approximately thirty languages. Miller, Stephen R., Daniel, Vol. 18, The New American Commentary. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994.
Stephen Miller earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Union University and both a Th. M. and Ph. D. at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, where he now serves as the chairman of the Old Testament/Hebrew Department and where he is the Dean of the Doctor of Philosophy program.