Feast of Trumpets and 10 Days of Awe

Joseph F. Dumond

Isa 6:9-12 And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back, and be healed. Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land laid waste, a desolation, and until Jehovah has moved men far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land is great.
Published: Aug 31, 2012

News Letter 5848-027
13th day of the 6th month 5848 years after the creation of Adam
The 6th Month in the Third year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences
This is also the end of the twenty-third week of this the Third Tithe Year for the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow Deuteronomy 26:12


September 1, 2012


Shabbat Shalom Family,


As you read this Yehovah willing I will be in Missouri teaching the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. Pray for this meeting, so that the brethren understand the importance of keeping the Sabbatical year. It is not keeping them that is brining on all the wild and severe weather we have been having around the world.

I have also just looked on the map to see where I am going actually. And I have now noticed that I have been in Ashland Kentucky to the East side. I was to be in London KY, but could not get in. And now I am in Missouri which is on the west end of Kentucky. Interesting.

On Sept 1, 2012, for those of you in the Missouri area, I will be speaking at
The Body of Yeshua Holy Temple
1215 S. Sprigg St.
Cape Girardeau MO 63701
Call: Tracy Zimmermann 573-986-8351 or
Winston Williford 573-382-2248

Next week Sept 7, 2012 Stephen Spykerman will be with us in Ontario Canada. We hope to see you there in Hanover to listen to him.
Last week we left you with the teaching about the first of the Fall Holy Days. The Feast of Trumpets. This special Feast day kicks off a series of events. In order to help you grasp them all and the importance of them, I want you to start with Judaism 101 and know what this period of time means.

Also Avi Ben Mordechai is going to be teaching in Lakeland Florida.
Hampton Inn – Lakeland, Florida
4420 N. Socrum Loop Road at Arteva Dr.
Wednesday, September 12, 7:00pm (Sharp) – 10:00pm (Part 1)
Thursday, September 13, 7:00pm (Sharp) – 10:00pm (Part 2)
LIMITED SEATING. MAXIMUM 22 admitted. If you wish to
attend, RSVP immediately to avinoam.cominghome@gmail.com
OR call (907) 903-5009. No charge for admittance. Love offerings
will be accepted. DVDs and products available on a donation basis
DNA – This very important building block of physical life appears to be a copy or shadow of what we might call the DNA of Creation- something that may explain the biblical vision of what Jacob saw in Genesis Chapter 28, when he saw a “ladder” reaching into the Heavens. Perhaps he saw Heaven’s DNA with its RNA “messengers.” It’s certainly a possibility that we should not ignore.
We’ll be looking at this and so much more in our upcoming lecture series – DNA: the Double Helix Building Bock of Life Teaches us the Song of Heaven and the New Covenant of Israel.



Days of Awe

Significance: A time of introspection
Length: 10 Days (including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur)
Customs: Seeking reconciliation with people you have wronged; Kapparot

The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.

One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that G-d has “books” that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe can alter G-d’s decree. The actions that change the decree are “teshuvah, tefilah and tzedakah,” repentance, prayer, good deeds (usually, charity). These “books” are sealed on Yom Kippur. This concept of writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time is “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”

Among the customs of this time, it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. The Talmud maintains that Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible.

Another custom observed during this time is kapparot. This is rarely practiced today, and is observed in its true form only by Chasidic and occasionally Orthodox Jews. Basically, you purchase a live fowl, and on the morning before Yom Kippur you wave it over your head reciting a prayer asking that the fowl be considered atonement for sins. The fowl is then slaughtered and given to the poor (or its value is given). Some Jews today simply use a bag of money instead of a fowl. Most Reform and Conservative Jews have never even heard of this practice.

Work is permitted as usual during the intermediate Days of Awe, from Tishri 3 to Tishri 9, except of course for Shabbat during that week.

The Shabbat that occurs in this period is known as Shabbat Shuvah (the Sabbath of Return). This is considered a rather important Shabbat.

Did you notice this part; “the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.”

Why is this so? Why do we repent more at this time than at other times of the year? Why should we consider a serious introspection of ourselves and work towards change? The answer to this is in understanding the meaning of these two Holy Days that begin and end these 10 days of Awe.

We read in Lev about the Feast of Trumpets and we also read about the solemn Day of Atonement but what about these ten days of awe.

Lev 23:24 “Speak to the children of Yisra’?l, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you have a rest, a remembrance of blowing of trumpets, a set-apart gathering. 25 ‘You do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to ????.’ ”

Lev 23:26 And ???? spoke to Mosheh, saying, 27 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to ????. 28 “And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before ???? your Elohim. 29 “For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 “And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. 31 “You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”

There is nothing written about the Ten Days of Awe in the bible. Except that there is ten days between these two Holy Days.
We read in Nehemiah about something that we need to keep in mind.

Neh 8:1 And when the seventh month came, the children of Yisra’?l were in their cities. And all the people gathered together as one man in the open space that was in front of the Water Gate. And they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, which ???? had commanded Yisra’?l. 2 And Ezra the priest brought the Torah before the assembly of both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it in the open space in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people listened to the Book of the Torah. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose. And beside him on his right stood Mattithyah, and Shema, and Anayah, and Uriyah, and H?ilqiyah, and Ma?as?yah. And on his left stood Ped?ayah, and Misha’?l, and Malkiyah, and H?ashum, and H?ashbaddanah, Zek?aryah, Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people. And when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed ????, the great Elohim. Then all the people answered, “Am?n, Am?n!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshipped ???? with faces to the ground. 7 And Y?shua, and Bani, and Sh?r?b?yah, Yamin, Aqqub?, Shabbethai, Hod?iyah, Ma?as?yah, Qelita, Azaryah, Yozab?ad?, H?anan, Pelayah, and the L?wites, caused the people to understand the Torah while the people were in their place. 8 And they read in the Book of the Torah of Elohim, translating to give the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. 9 And Neh?emyah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest, the scribe, and the L?wites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is set-apart to ???? your Elohim. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Torah. 10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom none is prepared. For this day is set-apart to our ????. Do not be sad, for the joy of ???? is your strength.” 11 And the L?wites were silencing all the people, saying, “Hush, for the day is set-apart, do not be sad.” 12 And all the people went to eat and to drink, and to send portions and make a great rejoicing, because they understood the words that were made known to them. 13 And on the second day the heads of the fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and L?wites, were gathered to Ezra the scribe, in order to study the words of the Torah.

Nehemiah 1 tells us it was the first day of the seventh month and Nehemiah 13 tells us that the second day was beginning. So this reading of the law took place on the first day of the Seventh month; In other words on Trumpets.

But notice this part.
9 And Neh?emyah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest, the scribe, and the L?wites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is set-apart to ???? your Elohim. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Torah. 10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom none is prepared. For this day is set-apart to our ????. Do not be sad, for the joy of ???? is your strength.” 11 And the L?wites were silencing all the people, saying, “Hush, for the day is set-apart, do not be sad.” 12 And all the people went to eat and to drink, and to send portions and make a great rejoicing, because they understood the words that were made known to them.

They wanted to cry, they were sad, but they were commanded to be joyful for this time is set apart for Yehovah. “Do not be sad, for the joy of ???? is your strength.”

This is what is going to keep you alive during this time; during these 10 years of when the trumpet plagues come upon the world. You will know that the Messiah is on His way and you will know when. So do not be sad that you are in the captivity!! Be joyful because in just a few more year the Messiah will be here.



The following few pages is from http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/festivals_2/2.html
By Sammuel Bacchiocchi

The Shofar: A Call to Repentance. To appreciate the significance of the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah we need to look at the progressive nuances of its symbolism that we find in the Old Testament. The prophets used the metaphor of the shofar to call the people to repentance and return to God. For example, the prophet Joel called for blasts of the shofar in Zion to impress the people with the needed repentance: “Blow the trumpet [shofar] in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly” (Joel 2:15). Joel may be referring figuratively, if not, literally, to the Feast of the Trumpet, since he mentions its three major characteristics, shofar, fast, and solemn assembly.

During the religious reformation of King Asa, the Israelites “entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their hearts and all their souls” (2 Chron 15:12) and they sealed their oath “with trumpets, and with horns [shoferot]” (2 Chron 15:14). Isaiah explicitly associated the sound of the shofar with an admonition against sin. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet [shofar]; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins” (Is 58:1).

The literal and figurative usages of the shofar by the prophets to warn people of their sins and call them to repentance, was most likely derived from the Feast of the Trumpets, the annual trumpet-call to repentance and cleansing in view of the judgment conducted in the heavenly court during the ten days running from the Feast of Trumpets to the Day of Atonement. In his book What Christians Should Know about the Jews and Judaism, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein explains that the shofar “is sounded on Rosh Hashanah to arouse us from our moral reverie, to call us to spiritual regeneration, and to alert us to the need to engage in teshuvah (repentance). The shofar is the clarion call to perform teshuvah–to search our deeds and mend our ways before the awesome day of judgment. It is a reminder of our need to confront our inner selves just as God confronted Adam with the existential question, ‘Where are you?’ (Gen 3:9)”9

On a similar vein, Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher, explained that the blowing of the shofar on Ros Hashanah, is a wake up call for people to abandon their evil ways and return to God: “Awake, O you sleepers, awake from your sleep! Search your deeds and turn in repentance. O you who forget the truth in the vanities of time and go astray all the year after vanity and folly that neither profit nor save–remember your Creator! Look at your souls, and better your ways and actions. Let every one of you abandon his evil ways and his wicked thoughts and return to God so that He may have mercy upon you.”10

The shofar beckoned the people with a solemn message of warning to repent for the time of judgment had come. It called upon the people to examine their lives, mend their ways, and experience divine cleansing. “In the trial imagery,” writes Rabbi Irving Greenberg, “the shofar blast communicates: Oyez! Oyez! This court is in session! The Right Honorable Judge of the World is presiding!”11

The Shofar Announces the Beginning of the Trial. The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah was understood by the Jews as the beginning of their trial before the heavenly court, a trial that lasted ten days until the Day of Atonement (Yom kippur). Greenberg explains that the central image underlying the Ten Days of Awe is that of the trial. “Jews envision a trial in which the individual stands before the One who knows all. One’s life is placed on the balance scales. A thorough assessment is made: Is my life contributing to the balance of life? Or does the net effect of my actions tilt the scale toward death? My life is being weighted; I am on trial for my life. Who shall live and who shall die? This image jolts each person into a heightened awareness of the fragility of life. This question poses the deeper issue: If life ended now, would it have been worthwhile?

“The trial image captures the sense of one’s life being in someone else’s hands. The shofar of Ros Hashanah proclaims that the Judge before whom there is no hiding is now sitting on the bench. Sharpened self-awareness, candid self-judgment, and guilt are activated by the possibility that a death sentence may be handed down. Like standing before a firing squad, a trial for life wonderfully concentrates the mind.”12

One of the clearest depiction of the sounding of trumpets to announce the inauguration of the heavenly judgment is found in 4 Ezra, a Jewish apocryphal book written in the first century A. D. “Behold the days come and it shall be, when I am about to draw nigh to visit the dwellers upon the earth, and when I require from the doers of iniquity (the penalty of ) their iniquity: (And when the humiliation of Sion shall be complete), and when the Age which is about to pass away shall be sealed, then (will I show these signs): the books shall be opened before the face of the firmament, and all shall see together. . . . And the trumpet shall sound at which all men, when they hear it, shall be struck with sudden fear” ( 4 Ezra 4:18-2-, 23).

A similar text traditionally recited by the Jews on Rosh Hashanah is found in G. H. Box’s book on 4 Ezra: “God seated on His throne to judge the world opens the Book of records; it is read, every man’s signature being found therein. The great trumpet is sounded: a still small voice is heard. The angel shudder . . . and say: ‘This is the Day of Judgment.’”13

The Final Judgment. The texts just cited show how of the blowing of trumpets of Rosh Hashanah was seen as a prototype of the Great Final Judgment of mankind. This helps us appreciate why the eschatological day of the Lord is announced by the prophets with the blowing of the shophar. For example, Joel wrote: “Blow the trumpet [shophar] in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near” (Joel 2:1). Similarly Zephaniah announced “the great day of the Lord” as “a day of trumpet [shophar] blast” (1:14,16). In the New Testament also, as we shall see in the next chapter, trumpets call people to repent in view of the final judgment (Rev 9:20-21). This shows a continuity in Scripture in the typological use of trumpets to announce God’s final judgment.

For the Jews the final judgment that determines the destiny of every human being, opened on Rosh Hashanah with the blowing of trumpets and closed ten days later on the Day of Atonment. For this reason these ten days are still called by the Jews, “Days of Awe,” or “Days of Repentance.” During these ten days a universal judgment is conducted in heaven on the basis of records kept in books on the life of every person. We shall see that the rabbinical literature speaks explicitly of books opened by the heavenly court on the Feast of Trumpets in order to decide the destiny of every human being. The heavenly judgment that begins on the Feast of Trumpets, is “sealed” or confirmed ten days later, on the Day of Atonment. As the Mishnah puts it, “All [the human beings] are judged on Rosh Hashanah, and the [divine] sentence is sealed on Yom Kippur”.15

We shall return to the themes of repentance and judgment in conjunction with our study of the Jewish customs and ceremonies associated with the Feast of the Trumpets. At this juncture it is important to note that the Feast of the Trumpets was viewed as the beginning of a judgment process that lasted ten days until the Day of Atonement. This understanding of the Feast of the Trumpets has enormous significance for our study of the investigative judgment that precedes Christ’s return. We shall see in the next chapter that as God called upon His people with the loud sounding of the shofar in Old Testament times on Rosh Hashanah to repent and prepare themselves to stand before His judgment seat, so He calls us today with a loud voice, saying: “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come” (Rev 14:7). A study of the typology of the Feast of the Trumpets in the Old Testament, will help us appreciate its antitypical fulfilment in the New Testament.

The Heavenly Judgment in Daniel 7:9-10. The understanding of the Feast of Trumpets as the inauguration of heavenly final judgment that lasted 10 days until the Day of Atonement when the verdict was issued, reminds us of the judgment scene found in Daniel 7:9-10. In Daniel the heavenly court consists of the Ancient of Days who is surrounded by “ten thousand times ten thousand” of angels. They “sat in judgment and the books were opened” (Dan 7:10). The imagery of books being open in the heavenly court reminds us of the Feast of Trumpets when typologically the heavenly books were opened to ascertain the destiny of each individual.

The Jews saw the connection between the heavenly judgment of Daniel 7:9-10 and the heavenly judgment of the Feast of Trumpets. In commenting on Daniel 7:9-10, Edward Chumney writes: “Since the court was seated and the books were opened, it is understood to be Rosh Hashanah. The books are the book of the righteous, the book of the wicked, and the book of remembrance. The third book that will be opened is the book of remembrance (zikkaron). This is why the common greeting during Rosh Hashanah is, ‘May you be inscribed in the Book of Life’”16 We shall return later to the Jewish understanding of the opening of the books by the heavenly court on the Feast of Trumpets.

It is interesting to note that in Daniel the celestial judgment takes place after the war against the saints by the despotic little horn and before the coming of Christ to establish God’s eternal kingdom (Dan 7:8-14). The complete historical sequence runs as follows: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, ten horns, apostate horn, judgment, coming of the Son of Man, establishment of God’s eternal Kingdom.

This sequential order clearly indicates that the judgment described in Daniel 7 is not an executive act carried out on this earth at the time of Christ’s Return, but the evaluative process conducted in heaven before myriads of heavenly beings prior to the Second Advent. The function of the judgment in Daniel 7 is both saving on behalf of the suffering saints (Dan 7:22), and punitive against the little horn, the oppressor of God’s people, who is condemned “to be consumed and destroyed to the end” (Dan 7:26).

This dual function of the judgment accords well with the typology of the Feast of Trumpets which inaugurated a ten days judgment process that terminated with the Day of Atonement. On the latter day God’s people were vindicated and impenitent sinners were “cut off” (Lev 23:29). The drastic separation between the saved and unsaved that occurred on the Day of Atonement finds its antitypical fulfilment at the Return of Christ. In chapters 3 and 5 we will examine the antitypical fulfilment of the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement respectively.

Last week we covered the 6 Seals of revelation 6.
Chapter 7 tells us of the sealing of the 144,000. This is what we all strive for.
It is chapter 8 that tells us of the Trumpet plagues and it is my opinion that these plagues come one per year for the next seven years.

Remember that Israel, that is the State of Israel, The United States and Unite Kingdom and Canada and Australia will all have been defeated in war and totally destroyed. Millions will now be dead and starving and being enslaved and in captivity. This was the result of the 4th curse of Lev 26.

Now at the same time that the 5th curse is being implemented, that is from 2024 the first year of the 5th curse up until the 7th year in 2030 Israel will be in captivity. This is why they, Israel, are not mentioned in the end time’s book of Revelation. They are already gone. At the same time as this captivity begins the 10 years of Awe also begin in 2024 and will end in 2033.

After this, at the beginning of Yehovah’s anger against the disobedient nations, seven plagues will be poured out on a sinning world, with a trumpet blast announcing each, as we’ve seen (Revelation 8-9). Finally Yehovah will send two “witnesses,” or “prophets,” to proclaim His truth to a rebellious world (Revelation 11). Such prophetic witness is compared to a trumpet warning.

Isa 58:1 “Cry aloud, do not spare. Lift up your voice like a ram’s horn. Declare to My people their transgression, and the house of Ya?aqob? their sins.

Tragically, the godless society of the last days will reject these two servants of Yehovah and kill them (verses 7-10). It is during this time that you all must be aware. This is going to be one of the most treacherous times.

When you consider the plagues being doled out and the fact that the two witnesses are similar in power as to Moses and Aaron, and Elijah and Elisha and John the Baptist, you can see what they will be doing.

Moses and Aaron brought the 10 plagues upon Egypt. Elijah stopped the rain for 3 years; 1 Kings 17 and 18. John the Baptist announced the Messiah. These are the same things the coming two witnesses will be doing.

These two we are told in Rev 11:6 These possess authority to shut the heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. And they possess authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they wish.

It is during this time that I believe Rev 6:8 And I looked and saw a pale horse. And he who sat on it had the name Death, and the grave followed with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and by the beasts of the earth. Is going to take place.

It is precisely because of the two witnesses demanding the Beast power to let My People Go, just as Moses also demanded Pharaoh to let Israel go, that these two witnesses stop the rain from falling to get the world’s attention just as Elijah did. As ¼ of the world’s population dies off the world then goes out and hunts for as many of those from Israel as they can find from around the world and bring them all back to Israel by Passover 2030; Just as the two witnesses had demanded in order for the drought of rain to end. Elijah is called the “O disturber of Yisra’?l” The Troubler of Israel, but in these days during the last 10 years of Awe they will be “troublers of the World”.

Isa 24:5 And the land is defiled under its people; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and have broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and they who dwell in it are deserted; therefore the people of the earth are burned, and few men left.

Why 2030 you ask?

This day during the ten days of Awe is known as Shabbat Shuva. It is the only Shabbat to fall during these Ten Days of Awe.

Shabbat Shuvah

Shabbat Shuvah literally means “Sabbath of Return,” but it is also a play on the phrase “Shabbat Teshuvah” (Sabbath of Repentance). It is the Shabbat that occurs between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and is a time for reflection leading up to the atonement of Yom Kippur. Shabbat Shuvah has two special haftarah readings, one dealing with the importance of heartfelt repentance (Hosea 14:2-10) and one praising the Creator’s mercy (Micah 7:18-20).

Hos 14:1 O Yisra’?l, return to ???? your Elohim, for you have stumbled by your crookedness. 2 Take words with you, and return to ????. Say to Him, “Take away all crookedness, and accept what is good, and we render the bulls of our lips1. Footnote: 1Heb. 13:15 – bulls, referring to offerings. 3 “Ashshur does not save us. We do not ride on horses, nor ever again do we say to the work of our hands, ‘Our mighty ones.’ For the fatherless finds compassion in You.” 4 “I shall heal their backsliding, I shall love them spontaneously, for My displeasure has turned away from him. 5 “I shall be like the dew to Yisra’?l. He shall blossom like the lily, and cast out his roots like Leb?anon. 6 “His branches shall spread, and his splendour shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Leb?anon. 7 “Those who dwell under his shadow shall return. They shall revive like grain, and blossom like the vine, and become as fragrant as the wine of Leb?anon. 8 “What more has Ephrayim to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after him. I am like a green cypress tree, your fruit comes from Me.” 9 Who is wise and understands these words, discerning and knows them? For the ways of ???? are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them.

Mic 7:18 Who is an ?l like You – taking away crookedness and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? He shall not retain His wrath forever, for He Himself delights in kindness. 19 He shall turn back, He shall have compassion on us, He shall trample upon our crookednesses! And You throw all our sins into the depths of the sea! 20 You give truth to Ya?aqob?, kindness to Ab?raham, which You swore to our fathers from the days of old!

This is the Torah portions on Shabbat Shuva.

Are these not some of the most beautiful words you could ever read? Especially knowing the time they are to take place in.
O Yisra’?l, return to ???? your Elohim, for you have stumbled by your crookedness. 2 Take words with you, and return to ????.

Where is Yehovah? In Jerusalem, calling you to come home and He is telling you to bring with you the Torah Scrolls. Get your bibles and come back HOME!!!!

It is also at this time that we read of in Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues.

Babylon is about to be destroyed and we all need to get out of Dodge ASAP; Babylon being the European Union in league with the Muslim nations of Psalm 83.

We also read in Isaiah;
Isa 14:1 Because ???? has compassion on Ya?aqob?, and shall again choose Yisra’?l1, and give them rest in their own land. And the strangers shall join them, and they shall cling to the house of Ya?aqob?2. Footnotes: 1See 45:17, Jer. 30:11, Jer. 46:28, Dan. 2:44, Amos 9:8, Zech. 1:16-17, Zech. 2:10-12, Joel 3:16. 2See 56:6-8 & 60:3, Amos 9:12, Zech. 2:11, Zech. 8:23, Rom. 11:17-24, Rev. 21:24.

Isa 14:2 And peoples shall take them and bring them to their own place. And the house of Yisra’?l shall possess them for servants and female servants in the land of ????. And they shall make captives of their captors, and rule over their oppressors. 3 And it shall be, in the day ???? gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your trouble and the hard service in which you were made to serve, 4 that you shall take up this proverb against the sovereign of Bab?el, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased, the gold-gatherer ceased!

Those of us who are slaves of these people during that 5th Sabbatical cycle will be brought back to the land by these people and then our captors shall then become our captive and our servants.

When we take these ten days of awe and make them ten years; there is one year that is a Sabbatical year and that year is 2030. It will be on 2030 that all the tribes of Israel will be brought back to the land of Israel.

We have learned in the Prophecies of Abraham of the great deception that is played out on Jacob who worked for 7 years for the hand of Rachel. Those same 7 years match this time period known as the cycle of captivity. At the end of that time Jacob was deceived into marrying Leah instead of Rachel.

At the end of the Two Witnesses testimony they are to be killed. Why? Satan has wanted to annihilate the 12 tribes in order to show Yehovah can’t keep his promise to them, If their all dead. So in order to finally be rid of these people once and for all, the world under Satan’s authority will bring them all back to the Land of Israel in order to have the rains start again.

We have two groups of people right now in this walk with Yehovah. One keeps the Hebraic calendar and the other keeps the sighted moon calendar. Because the earth will be darkened and the sun and the moon not give their lights it will be important that you know how to count to keep the Holy Days at the right time.

We are warned in Mat 24:15 “So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’1 spoken of by Dani’?l the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand – Footnote:1See Abomination that lays waste in Explanatory Notes.
Mat 24:16 “then let those who are in Yehud?ah flee to the mountains.

Luk 21:20 “And when you see Yerushalayim surrounded by armies, then know that its laying waste is near.
Luk 21:21 “Then let those in Yehud?ah flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of her go out, and let not those who are in the fields enter her.

Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by Elohim, to be nourished there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Where do we flee too.

Isa 16:3 “Bring counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; hide the outcasts, do not
betray him who escapes. 4 “Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Mo’ab?; be a shelter to them from the face of the ravager. For the oppressor has met his end, destruction has ceased, those trampling down have perished from the land.

We flee to Moab which is now Jordan and the Jordanians are told not to turn us over to the ruler of the world at this time.
We are now at the year 2030 and it is Passover time. But you must now decide which Passover you will keep. One will save your life, the other will result in the martyrdom of the Saints that will take place at the same time as the two witnesses are killed. So choose wisely.

Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by Elohim, to be nourished there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 And there came to be fighting in the heaven: Mik?a’?l and his messengers fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his messengers fought, 8 but they were not strong enough, nor was a place found for them in the heaven any longer. 9 And the great dragon was thrown out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads all the world astray. He was thrown to the earth, and his messengers were thrown out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in the heaven, “Now have come the deliverance and the power and the reign of our Elohim,1 and the authority of His Messiah, for the accuser of our brothers, who accused them before our Elohim day and night, has been thrown down. Footnote: 1See 11:15. 11 “And they overcame him because of the Blood of the Lamb, and because of the Word of their witness, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 “Because of this rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has little time.” 13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 And the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, to fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And out of his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, to cause her to be swept away by the river. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of ????? Messiah.

This now brings us right up to the beginning of the 3 1/2 years of tribulation. And we shall save this until next weeks News letter.


Triennial Torah Cycle

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah Reading

Num 17      Dan 7-9      Romans 8


Aaron’s Rod Buds (Numbers 17)

In the rebellion of Korah, the heresy that just any Israelite could serve in God’s priesthood had spread throughout the camp. And even though the instigators of this idea had been removed, the idea itself persisted among the people. Indeed, it was evident from the people’s response following God’s execution of the rebels—blaming Moses and Aaron—that they did not really understand why God had done this. So He would make it very clear to them that only Aaron and His descendants were to serve as the priests of His physical nation—and that any violation of this rule would merit death, as they had already witnessed.

God asked Moses for each family tribe to get a staff, a rod, and whittle the name of the family’s leader onto the stick. Aaron’s name was to be on the rod of the family of the Levites. If the name “Levi” had been on the rod of the Levites, all the Levites would have an equal claim to the priesthood. But as we know, that was not the case (remember, even Korah and his family were Levites). Moses was then to lay these 12 rods side by side before God in the tabernacle. God would settle the matter, hopefully once and for all, by miraculously causing the rod of the one He had chosen to blossom (verse 5). That would put a stop to any and all claims that the priesthood belonged to others. Moses did as God had instructed, and the next day Aaron’s rod had buds, blossoms and almonds that had already ripened! Every tribe got their lifeless stick back, while Aaron’s blossoming rod was laid up in the Most Holy Place to serve as a sign against any future attempts to usurp the priesthood (Hebrews 9:3-4).

Finally, the congregation seems to get the picture that God is more serious about preserving the sanctity of His holy things than about physical life and death. However, considering the context, it appears that Numbers 17 ends with the Israelites falling into despair over the concern that they could be annihilated due to some random mistake or oversight at the tabernacle (see verses 12-13)—in which case, God basically answers their concern in the next chapter.


Four Beasts From the Sea (Daniel 7)

The first six chapters of Daniel’s book concern events and episodes in his and his companions’ lives. The last six relate a series of visions the prophet experienced—all of which came late in his life. For the sake of chronological flow, we are skipping over the events of chapters 5 and 6 and reading chapter 7, which contains the first of these visions.

The date is “the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon” (verse 1). Evil Merodach, who assumed the Babylonian throne upon his father Nebuchadnezzar’s death in 562 B.C. and then released the Jewish king Jeconiah from prison, reigned only a very short time. “In 560 he was assassinated by Neriglissar, his sister’s husband…. His tenure was [also] brief however (560-556). [Then] his young son Laba?i-Marduk, who succeeded him…reigned only one month [before] he was beaten to death” (Eugene Merrill, Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, 1987, p. 476).

“This revolt placed its leader Nabonidus…on the throne. He does not seem to have been related to the royal house by blood but [as we will later see] apparently married a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar…[possibly using this fact] to legitimize his seizure of the throne. He may have been a member of the wealthy merchant class, therefore being cordially supported by the commercial leaders” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on Daniel 5:1-4).

In any case, as the neighboring Median Empire grew in strength, Nabonidus was beset with political confrontation at home over religious disputes with the Babylonian religious hierarchy. He may also have suffered from health problems and seems to have become more interested in scholarly pursuits than in administration. Whatever the reason, “the situation became so uncomfortable for Nabonidus that in his sixth year (550) he went into a ten-year self-imposed exile at Tema, the great oasis of the Syro-Arabian desert east of the Red Sea. Nabonidus did not abdicate by any means, however, but left the everyday affairs of government in the hands of his son Bel-?ar-usur (= Belshazzar)” (Merrill, p. 477).

The Nelson Study Bible notes: “The date of Belshazzar’s first year cannot be stated precisely. However, since Nabonidus appears to have spent at least ten years in Arabia and since Belshazzar reigned for Nabonidus in Babylon during that time, a date of 550 B.C. for Belshazzar’s first year cannot be far off. This date coincides with the inauguration of the Medo-Persian Empire under Cyrus [when the Persians took over from the Medes], an occasion that may have prompted Daniel’s vision” (note on verse 1)—that is, this signal event may have been the reason God gave Daniel the vision at this particular time.

Daniel had been taken captive 55 years before, so he was now in his early 70s. When the prophet received the interpretation of his current vision from one of God’s angels, he must have recalled the explanation he gave to Nebuchadnezzar of his vision in Daniel 2 more than half a century earlier. Remember from that passage that the king had dreamt of a giant human image with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron. A great stone fell from heaven, struck the image on its feet and toes, causing the entire image to disintegrate, and then grew to fill the whole earth.

The four parts of the image represented a succession of four great imperial kingdoms: 1) the Neo-Babylonian Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors; 2) the Medo-Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great and his successors; 3) the Hellenistic Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great and his successors; and 4) the Roman Empire. The stone from heaven is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who takes over and sets up a world-ruling fifth kingdom, the Kingdom of God. The 10 toes of the legs of the image, extensions of the Roman Empire, are described as rulers who exist at the time of Christ’s coming in power and glory—showing that the Roman Empire continues on in some form until the end time (as the Roman imperial system has been revived numerous times, the final revival to appear on the scene shortly before Christ’s return).

Just the same, the four beasts of Daniel’s vision represent four kings (7:17) or the kingdoms they represent (see verse 23). And like that of Daniel 2, this vision culminates with the time when “the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom, even forever and ever” (7:18). Clearly the same succession of kingdoms is meant, and a more detailed look makes this even more obvious.

The beasts of Daniel 7 arise from the churning sea. Isaiah 57:20 states, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” Basically that would signify humanity in general. An even more direct parallel can be found in Revelation 13, where a “beast” comprising elements of those in Daniel 7 is described in vision as arising from the sea. And in another prophecy of the beast in Revelation 17, the waters of the sea represent “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (verse 15). So it would appear that each of these beasts arises from a conglomerate of various nations and peoples. Again, a succession of great gentile empires is intended.

Regarding the first beast Daniel sees, corresponding to the head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “The first of these beasts is a winged lion, whose eagle-like pinions are soon plucked, so that instead of flying it stands on the ground. A human heart…is given to it. In the light of Nebuchadnezzar’s career, it is clear that the plucking of the lion’s wings symbolizes reduction of his pride and power at the time of his insanity (ch. 4).

The lion symbol was characteristic of Babylon, especially in Nebuchadnezzar’s time, when the Ishtar Gate entrance was adorned on either side with a long procession of yellow lions on blue-glazed brick, fashioned in high relief…. The final detail—’the heart of a man was given to it’—may refer to the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity after his seven-year dementia. In any event, the correspondence between the winged lion and the Babylonian Empire is acknowledged by biblical critics of every persuasion” (note on 7:4).

The second beast, corresponding to the chest and arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is a hulking bear. Note that it is raised up on one side—so that one side is higher than the other. “The bear is…described in a way that very clearly suggests that it is to involve the alliance of two powers, one of which will dominate the other…. The symbolic action was altogether appropriate for the federated Medo-Persian Empire, in which the Persian element dominated the Median” (note on verse 5). Recall from the Bible Reading Program comments on Isaiah 44-45 that the Persian ruler Cyrus overthrew his Median grandfather Astyages, who supposedly had tried to have him killed as an infant. Moreover, as we will see in the next chapter, Daniel 8, the imagery of one side of a beast being higher than the other is specifically used of Medo-Persia. “Daniel saw [the bear] devouring three ribs from some other animal it had killed. Indeed, it was divinely encouraged to feast on the ribs. This corresponds perfectly to the three major conquests the Medes and Persians made under the leadership of King Cyrus and his son Cambyses: [namely] the Lydian kingdom in Asia Minor (which fell to Cyrus in 546), the [Babylonian] Chaldean Empire (which he annexed in 539), and the kingdom of Egypt (which Cambyses acquired in 525)” (note on verse 5).

The third beast, corresponding to the bronze belly and thighs of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is a four-winged, four-headed leopard—powerful and swift. “This beast portrays the division of Alexander’s swiftly won empire into four separate parts within a few years after his death in 323 B.C. The initial arrangement involved the area of Greece and Macedon (under Antipater and then Cassander), Thrace and Asia Minor (under Lysimachus), all of Asia except Asia Minor and Palestine (under Seleucus), and Egypt-Palestine (under Ptolemy). Even after the breakdown of Lysimachus’s kingdom, a separate realm was maintained by Eumenes of Pergamum and others, so that the quadripartite character of the Greek Empire was maintained, despite the most determined efforts of the more aggressive Seleucids and Ptolemids to annex each other into a single realm. Very clearly, then, the four heads and four wings represent the Macedonian conquest and its subsequent divisions” (note on verse 6). We’ll see further substantiation of this in Daniel 8, where the kingdom of Greece is specifically identified as dividing into four parts (see 8:21-22).

The fourth beast is a fierce creature unlike any known animal. Paralleling the iron legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, this beast has iron teeth. Daniel 2 had stated: “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters all things; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others” (verse 40). Compare that with Daniel 7: “The fourth beast…was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue [of the previous empires] with its feet…. The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth [i.e., all the land, the known world], trample it and break it in pieces” (verses 19, 23). Obviously, the same power is being described. Over time, Rome took over each of the four political divisions of Alexander’s kingdom (though not the full territory of the former empire).

The fifth and final kingdom is that of the Messiah, referred to in this chapter as “One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven” (verse 13). “Son of man” means a human being. God used this as a title for Ezekiel, the prophet-watchman being representative of his people. Jesus used the title as applying to Himself. Jesus is the ultimate representative man, who died in sacrifice for everyone and to whose life everyone’s must be conformed through His living again within them. Yet, strictly speaking, He is here said to be “like” the son of man. While in the flesh 2,000 years ago, Jesus was human. But when He returns in glory, He will not come as a mere man, but as the Almighty God who had lived a life in the flesh as a human being. Interestingly, this chapter gives us one of the few Old Testament revelations of God the Father. “Ancient of Days” could refer to either the Father or Jesus Christ, but the fact that Jesus is clearly described here as the “One like the Son of Man” who comes to the Ancient of Days, the Ancient of Days must refer to the Father in this context.


The 10 Horns and the Little Horn (Daniel 7)

The Roman Empire fell in ancient times. Yet the empire was to continue until the end-time glorious coming of Christ, whose everlasting Kingdom would take over from it. How could this be? As already noted, the Roman Empire has experienced a number of revivals. This is where the “ten horns” of the fourth beast come in—symbolic of 10 kings or kingdoms. Notice the expression “three of the first horns” in verse 8. If some horns are “first,” then others come later. This would seem to imply that the 10 horns of this vision are consecutive—unlike the 10 simultaneous kings represented by the 10 toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The phrase in verse 8 could even be rendered “the first three horns.” This seems to indicate that there would be 10 revivals of the Roman Empire, the first three of which are uprooted or subdued by an additional “little horn” and the last of which would itself comprise 10 distinct powers.

Consider what has actually transpired in history. Late in the fourth century, the east-west division of the Roman Empire became permanent, with one emperor reigning from Rome over the Western Roman Empire and another emperor reigning from Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey) over the Eastern Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire fell during the next century but the Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire continued until 1453. It is the Western Empire, centered at Rome, that has experienced a number of revivals. As the Western Empire collapsed in the fifth century, three groups of barbarian invaders sought to succeed the Roman emperors. Indeed, these groups—the Vandals, Heruli and Ostrogoths successively—each sought and received official recognition from the Eastern Roman emperor as a legitimate continuation of Roman rule in the West. Yet there was a problem with these invaders from the perspective of the Western religious leader, the bishop of Rome or pope. These barbarians were not orthodox Catholic Trinitarians, having adopted a form of Christianity known as Arianism. At the pope’s urging, the Vandals were eventually overthrown by the Eastern Roman emperor. The Heruli were also overthrown at papal urging—the Eastern emperor sending the Ostrogoths as his agents to carry this out. Then the Ostrogoths themselves were later overthrown by Eastern Roman forces—yet again at papal behest.

Following this, the Eastern Roman emperor, Justinian, reclaimed a lot of the western imperial territory and placed it under the management of the Roman Catholic provincial bishops. This is often referred to as the “Imperial Restoration.” Yet it was not to last, the Eastern Empire eventually abandoning what it had recovered. A later revival of the Western Empire came under the Frankish king Charlemagne, who was crowned by the pope in the ninth century. Following the disintegration of his empire, another Holy Roman Empire was established the next century at the request of the pope by the German king Otto the Great. It continued for nearly 300 years until, rent by rival factions, 19 years went by without an emperor. This was followed by the election of the Hapsburg family to the imperial throne—a revival that reached its apex under Emperor Charles V in the 16th century. Eventually, this empire also diminished, the title “Holy Roman Emperor” becoming an increasingly empty distinction. In 1806, Francis II of Austria rejected the title in the face of the growing power of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had himself received the imperial crown from the pope two years earlier.

After the fall of Napoleon, another revival of Rome was still to follow. Benito Mussolini sought to restore the Roman Empire. In 1929, he signed the Lateran Treaty with the papacy, establishing papal sovereignty over Vatican City, Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion and papal recognition of Mussolini’s government. In partnership with Mussolini was Adolf Hitler, who sought restoration of the imperial Roman tradition in Germany. The Vatican signed a concordat with Hitler in 1933, protecting the rights of the Church in Nazi Germany and giving Hitler’s regime an outward semblance of legitimacy.

That gives us nine revivals in all. The first three—1) the Vandals; 2) the Heruli and 3) the Ostrogoths—were, as appears to have been prophesied, uprooted at the behest of a “little horn,” a smaller power emerging from Rome, which would, according to the same premise, certainly seem to be the Roman Church and its leader. Appearing to strengthen the identification is the fact that the last six revivals were all, by contrast, sanctioned by the papacy: 4) Justinian’s Imperial Restoration; 5) Charlemagne’s Carolingian Empire; 6) Otto the Great’s Roman Empire of the German Nation; 7) the Holy Roman Empire under the Hapsburg Dynasty; 8) Napoleon’s French Empire; and 9) the Hitler-Mussolini Axis. This listing shows that just one imperial revival yet remains to come on the scene—the final one, which will exist at the time of Christ’s return.

The little horn is guilty of great blasphemy and wickedness. Observe what Adam Clarke’s Commentary states in its note on verse 25, with phrases in the verse set in italics: “He shall speak great words against the most High [could be rendered] ‘He shall speak as if he were God’…. To none can this apply so well or so fully as to the popes of Rome. They have assumed infallibility, which belongs only to God. They profess to forgive sins, which belongs only to God. They profess to open and shut heaven, which belongs only to God. They profess to be higher than the kings of all the earth, which belongs only to God. And they go beyond God in pretending to loose whole nations from their oath of allegiance to their kings, when such kings do not please them! And shall wear out the saints. By wars, crusades, massacres, inquisitions, and persecutions of all kinds. What in this way have they not done against all those who have protested against their innovations, and refused to submit to their idolatrous worship? Witness the exterminating crusades published against the Waldenses and Albigenses…. And think to change times and laws. Appointing fasts and feasts; canonizing persons whom he chooses to call saints; granting pardons and indulgences for sins; instituting new modes of worship utterly unknown to the Christian Church; new articles of faith; new rules of practice; and reversing, with pleasure, the laws both of God and man.”

Verse 25 concludes with this statement: “Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.” This expression occurs again in the book of Revelation 12 as the time during which a portion of God’s Church is protected just prior to Christ’s return. Some argue that the expression does not refer to a specific period of time, but such particular language would be a rather odd way to express something indefinite. Much more likely is that a “time” denotes a year. “Times,” in the plural, would need to mean the smallest plural—two—for this to be at all comprehensible. This yields a total of three and a half years—a figure consistent with the 1,260-day work of the end-time two witnesses in Revelation 11:3 and the 42 months of Revelation 11:2 and 13:5. What the statement in Daniel is telling us is that all the awful blasphemy and evil of the false Christian system during the Middle Ages was only a forerunner of what is going to happen in the last three and a half years before Christ’s return.

The dominion of the little horn is consumed and destroyed when the Kingdom of God is set up (verses 26-27). Indeed, the beast and presumably this horn emerging from it are both destroyed in burning flame at that time (verse 11), just as Revelation 19:20 explains that the final Beast and False Prophet will be cast into the lake of fire.

Finally, “the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom” (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27). This wording emphasizes the great honor God will shower on His saints. Though the Kingdom of God will always belong to God and Jesus Christ, this sums up the generous love of God in sharing the blessings of the Kingdom with the saints.

Yet dark days would precede that time. Daniel was deeply troubled about what was coming. His “face paled (…literally…’my facial hue was changing on me’) because of his inward concern about the severe trials and afflictions awaiting his people” (Expositor’s, note on verse 28). Nevertheless, he continued to mull it over.


The Ram and the He-Goat (Daniel 8)

After writing in Aramaic since 2:4, Daniel now returns to writing in Hebrew. While he will write two more historical accounts in Aramaic, chapters 5 and 6, those will be included in the early part of his book. Everything that follows 8:1 in arrangement order is in Hebrew, presumably because the intended audience was Jewish.

It is now about 548 B.C. Two years have passed since Daniel’s previous vision of the four beasts (see 7:1; 8:1). While Daniel is in a deep sleep with his face to the ground (verse 18), he is transported in vision to the River Ulai, an artificial canal near the Elamite capital of Shushan or Susa (verse 2). This city, which was about 230 miles east of Babylon, would become one of the imperial capitals of the Medo-Persian Empire. Thus it was a fitting place to see the ram representing that empire.

The ram’s two horns represented the Median and Persian elements of the kingdom. Indeed, as with the symbol of the tilted bear in chapter 7, we see that one horn of the ram was higher than the other, in both cases representing the dominance of Persia over Media (see 8:20). “Ancient records declare that the king of Persia, when at the head of his army, bore in the place of a crown the head of a ram. The same figure is frequently found on Persian seals” (qtd. in Expositor’s Bible Commentary, footnote on verse 3).

The male goat coming from the west to cast down and trample the Persian ram, so swiftly that it is as if he flies above the ground, is the kingdom of Greece—its large horn being its first king (verse 21), that is, the first Greek king to succeed the Persian Empire after overcoming it. This could only refer to Alexander the Great of Macedonia, who carved out his vast Hellenistic Empire in short order. Launching his attack against Persia in 334 B.C., he had essentially subdued it by 332.

According to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, this prophecy in Daniel factored into Alexander’s positive treatment of the Jews—along with other miraculous intervention.

The account states that when Alexander laid siege to Tyre, he sent a letter to the Jewish high priest Jaddua asking that he switch allegiance from the Persian emperor Darius to him and provide him with military support. “But the high priest answered the messengers, that he had given his oath to Darius not to bear arms against him; and he said that he would not transgress this while Darius was in the land of the living. Upon hearing this answer, Alexander was very angry; and though he determined not to leave Tyre, which was just ready to be taken, yet, as soon as he had taken it, he threatened that he would make an expedition against the Jewish high priest, and through him teach all men to whom they must keep their oaths” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11, chap. 8, sec. 3).

Alexander later moved down to take the city of Gaza. “When the seven months of the siege of Tyre were over, and the two months of the siege of Gaza…. Alexander…made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddua the high priest, when he heard that, was in an agony, and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was displeased at his foregoing disobedience. He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifices to God, whom he sought to protect that nation, and to deliver them from the perils that were coming upon them; whereupon God warned him in a dream…that he should take courage, and adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest should appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in the [garments] proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced; and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king” (sec. 4).

What is reported as happening upon Alexander’s arrival is stunning. “And when the Phoenicians and the Chaldeans that followed him, thought they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high priest to death, which the king’s displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high priest…. whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind. However, [his general] Parmenio alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, ‘I did not adore him, but that God who hath honoured him with his high priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very [garment], when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is, that having seen no other in that [garment], and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.

“And when he had said this to Parmenio, and had given the high priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city; and when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day he called them to him, and bade them ask what favours they pleased of him; whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired; and when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Media to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired” (sec. 5).

These events transpired about 216 years after Daniel received his vision!


Four Notable Horns and Another Little Horn (Daniel 8)

Continuing in Daniel 8, Alexander was prophesied to be broken when he became strong (verse 8)—and in fact the Hellenistic emperor died at the height of his career, before he was 33 years old.

Four notable horns would replace the broken great horn. This corresponds to the four-winged, four-headed leopard representing the Greek Empire in chapter 7. As was noted in the Bible Reading Program comments, Alexander’s kingdom became divided among his generals into four parts, which then continued as distinct kingdoms.

In its note on verse 9, The Nelson Study Bible states: “The little horn here is not the same as the little horn of ch[apter] 7. The former horn comes out of the fourth beast, Rome, whereas this one comes out of Greece. The little horn here refers to Antiochus Epiphanes, the eighth king of the Syrian dynasty [descended from Alexander’s general Seleucus] who reigned from 175 to 164 B.C. Thus, this prophecy skips from 301 B.C., the time of the division of Alexander’s empire, to 175 B.C., when Antiochus became king.” The identification with Antiochus Epiphanes, an evil ruler who persecuted the Jews and sought to corrupt them into idolatry, certainly makes sense. Indeed, a detailed prophecy of the succession of Greek Syrian rulers, especially Antiochus Epiphanes, is given in Daniel 11.

However, there is evidently much more to this prophecy. At least some measure of duality is intended since Gabriel (an angel mentioned for this first time in this chapter) explains that “the vision refers to the time of the end” (verse 17; see also verses 19, 23, 26). First of all, it should be recognized that since the Roman Empire took over from the Greek Syrian kingdom, Rome and powers emerging from it could, in a sense, be said to derive from Alexander’s empire—just as Greece and Persia emerged, to some degree, from Babylon. Indeed, the final resurrection of the Roman Empire in Revelation 17-18 is also clearly a resurrection of the Babylonian Empire. The beast of Revelation 13 is a conglomeration of the four beasts of Daniel’s image, as the Roman Empire had swallowed up the earlier kingdoms. Therefore, the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 could be synonymous on some level—or at least parallel (although, while the horn of Daniel 8 could signify Antiochus as well as the Roman civil or religious leader through the ages and at the end time, the little horn of Daniel 7, springing from Rome, could not represent Antiochus except as a precursor to the actual fulfillment).

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary offers the “plausible explanation…that the little horn arising from the third kingdom serves as a prototype of the little horn of the fourth kingdom. The crisis destined to confront God’s people in the time of the earlier little horn, Antiochus Epiphanes, will bear a strong similarity to the crisis that will befall them in the eschatological or final phase of the fourth kingdom in the last days…. In each case a determined effort will be made by a ruthless dictator to suppress completely the biblical faith and the worship of the one true God” (note on verses 9-10).

“Continuing on with the predicted career of Antiochus (v. 10), we encounter the remarkable statement that he will grow up to ‘the host of heaven’ and will throw ‘some of the starry host down to the earth,’ where he will ‘trample on them.’ The ‘host’…is a term most often used of the armies of angels in the service of God (esp[ecially] in the frequent title… Yahweh of hosts’), or else of the stars in heaven (cf. Jer 33:22). But it is also used of the people of God, who are to become as the stars in number (Gen 12:3; 15:5) and in Exodus 12:41 are spoken of as ‘the hosts of Yahweh’…who went out of the land of Egypt…. Now since the Greek tyrant can hardly affect either the angels of heaven or the literal stars in the sky, it is quite evident that the phrase ‘the host of the heavens’ must refer to those Jewish believers that will join the Maccabees in defending their faith and liberty. It is then implied here that Antiochus will cut down and destroy many of the Jews during the time of tribulation he will bring on them, when he will have ‘trampled on them'” (same note). Of course, God’s people at the end time—both physical and spiritual Israel, the Church—is probably also intended. And there is likely an additional meaning.

In verse 11, this little horn exalts itself as high as the “Prince of the host”—the “Prince of princes” (verse 25)—God. Besides the megalomania of Antiochus, this verse also appears parallel to the prophecy of the “man of sin” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the end-time religious leader “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” And in all this, the exaltation as well as the assault on heaven’s hosts, we are probably also seeing, in type, a description of the spiritual power behind these human figures—Satan the Devil, who assaulted heaven in an attempt to replace the Almighty and even corrupted and brought to ruin others of God’s angels (see Revelation 12:4).

Like Satan, the little horn casts truth—God’s word and law (John 17:17; Psalm 119:142; 160)—to the ground. He causes the daily evening and morning sacrifices to cease and brings about the “transgression of desolation” to God’s sanctuary (verses 11-13). To what does this refer? On the spiritual level, Satan strives to end the prayers of God’s people and bring them to ultimate ruin—and he succeeds in this with some. Yet, on the physical level, the “transgression of desolation” is obviously parallel with the “abomination of desolation” set up by Antiochus Epiphanes as foretold in Daniel 11:31—an idolatrous desecration of the temple in conjunction with the ending of the literal sacrifices. We will see more about this in our reading of Daniel 11. Despite the past fulfillment of this prophecy, Jesus Christ made it clear that Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation was also to be fulfilled in an end-time context as the signal event preceding the Great Tribulation (see Matthew 24:15ff.).

Verse 14 of Daniel 8 states that the sanctuary would be cleansed after 2,300 “evening-mornings,” as the word “days” is literally rendered (NKJV margin, compare verse 26). Expositor’s notes: “This apparently precise period of time has been understood by interpreters in two different ways, either as 2,300 twenty-four-hour days (understanding ereb boqer, ‘evening morning,’ as indicating an entire day from sunset to sunset, like the similar expression in Gen[esis] 1), or else as 1,150 days composed of 1,150 evenings and 1,150 mornings [for a total of 2,300]. In other words, the interval would either be 6 years and 111 days, or else half of that time: 3 years and 55 days. Both views have persuasive advocates, but the preponderance of evidence seems to favor the latter interpretation. The context speaks of the suspension of the tamid (‘sacrifice’), a reference to the olat tamid (‘continual burnt offering’) that was offered regularly each morning and evening (or, as the Hebrews would reckon it, each evening, when the new day began, and each morning). Surely there could have been no other reason for the compound expression ereb boqer than the reference to the two sacrifices that marked each day in temple worship” (noted on verses 13-14).

There were three years from the temple desecration by Antiochus in 168 B.C. until its cleansing and rededication by the Maccabees in 165 (see 1 Maccabees 1:54; 4:52-53)—an event now celebrated by the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Yet since the prophecy is primarily for the end-time, it also seems that there must be a last-days application, either of 1,150 days or perhaps 2,300. Indeed, some have postulated a 2,300-year fulfillment, stretching from ancient times to the future, based on the prophetic day-for-a-year principle, although it is not clear how this could fit (and this appears unlikely with the particular expression evening-morning, which if denoting a day would seem specific to a 24-hour day)

In verse 25, Gabriel told Daniel that the little horn would be broken “without human hand” (see margin). According to the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees, Antiochus died of painful diseases. And in the end time, the Beast and False Prophet will be destroyed by the divine Jesus Christ.

Daniel was utterly shocked by the vision, finding it far more traumatizing than his previous one as he considered the terrible plight his people would experience in the future. Whereas Gabriel had awakened him from sleep to explain the vision’s imagery (verse 18), the prophet now fainted and was sick for days (verse 27). He was able afterward to resume his state duties but remained stunned for some time.


Daniel Prays for His People (Daniel 9)

It is the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede over Babylonia (539-538 B.C.). The rule of the Chaldean Empire was now over. Yet what did this mean for the captives of Judah in Babylon? Daniel at this point considers what Scripture has to say. It is not clear if he turned to Jeremiah’s prophecy at this time or if he was simply recalling what he already knew from it. The prophecy explained that God “would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (verse 2). As explained in the Bible Reading Program’s comments on Jeremiah 25, Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years had two aspects to it. It denoted the 70 years of Babylonian imperial rule—from 609 to 539 B.C. Yet it also meant that Judah and Jerusalem would suffer 70 years of desolation following the invasion of Babylonian forces. This most obviously fits the time from the great destruction of 586 until the rebuilding of the temple in 516. (In fact, Zechariah 7:5 later made it clear that the 70 years began after the commencement of the fast of the fifth month, which was instituted following the temple’s destruction in 586.)

Yet it should be remembered that there were three waves of Babylonian invasion and captivity in Judah—and Daniel did not have the hindsight of the temple’s reconstruction in 516. Perhaps he was trying to determine the starting and ending points of the 70 years—or even considering the possibility of multiple fulfillments. Daniel himself had been carried away captive in 605 B.C., when Babylon first invaded Jerusalem and robbed its temple. That was 67 years ago. Counting 70 years from that point, the end would be just a few years away. No doubt Daniel also had in mind Isaiah’s prophecy, given some 150 years prior, wherein God had said, “Cyrus, He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid'” (Isaiah 44:28).

Perhaps Daniel felt that even if the ultimate fulfillment of the 70 years was more than two decades away, there could yet be an opportunity for early waves of return, as conditions seemed to merit that possibility.

Yet as Daniel gives further consideration to Scripture, particularly the terms of the covenant as written down by Moses, he understands that there will be no redemption or return at all without national repentance. And sad to say, as he surveys the spiritual condition of his people, he realizes all too well that they have not as yet, despite all that they have experienced, humbled themselves in repentant prayer and seeking God’s truth (Daniel 9:13).

So Daniel resolves to intercede for the nation, imploring God through prayer and fasting that He act without delay for the sake of His holy name to restore His sanctuary, His city and His people. Notice that Daniel, despite his own sterling record of following God, does not take the high-and-mighty approach of saying throughout, “Look at what they have done.” Rather he includes himself as one of the guilty. And indeed no human being is without sin (Romans 3:23). Yet Daniel, through regular repentance, was already considered righteous before God. He certainly didn’t stand guilty in the way the rest of the nation did. So Daniel was, in a sense, taking the sins of the people on himself—and in this way he serves as a type and forerunner of the ultimate intercessor and sin-bearer, Jesus Christ.

Remarkably, before Daniel even finishes his prayer, the angel Gabriel appears, having been sent by God as soon as Daniel started speaking. Gabriel is the angel who had appeared to Daniel nearly a decade earlier to explain the vision of the ram and he-goat in chapter 8. Since it is specified that he arrives at the time of the evening sacrifice, it appears that Daniel had chosen this particular time to pray. “Because the temple was in ruins, regular daily sacrifices were impossible. Nevertheless, Daniel observed the ritual of worship by praying at the hour of the evening sacrifice. Daniel’s prayer was his evening offering” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 9:20-21). While not a direct command from God as to when we should now pray, it is nonetheless a good example to us of regular, daily prayer. Indeed we will later read that Daniel’s custom was to pray three times a day (6:10), just as Israel’s King David did (Psalm 55:17). And in more critical circumstances, to draw even closer to God, Daniel sought Him through fasting and even more prayer—as we must also do.


The 70-Weeks Prophecy (Daniel 9)

Daniel received a rather surprising answer to his prayer. He had asked about the 70 specified years of desolation (verse 3), but God tells him of 70 “sevens,” as the word translated “weeks” is literally rendered (verse 24, NKJV margin)—70 seven-year periods, seven times as long as Daniel was thinking about.

Just how are we to understand this prophecy? Gleason Archer, author of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, gives a thorough explanation in his New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties:

“The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 is one of the most remarkable long-range predictions in the entire Bible. It is by all odds one of the most widely discussed by students and scholars of every persuasion within the spectrum of the Christian church. And yet when it is carefully examined in light of all the relevant data of history and the information available from other parts of Scripture, it is quite clearly an accurate prediction of the time of Christ’s coming advent and a preview of the thrilling final act of the drama of human history before that advent.

“Daniel 9:24 reads: ‘Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy city {i.e., for the nation Israel and for Jerusalem}.’ The word for ‘week’…is derived from…the word for ‘seven’…. It is strongly suggestive of the idea ‘heptad’ (a series or combination of seven), rather than a ‘week’ in the sense of a series of seven days. There is no doubt that in this case we are presented with seventy sevens of years rather than of days. This leads to a total of 490 years.

“At the completion of these 490 years, according to v.24b, there will be six results: (1) ‘to finish or bring transgression {or ‘the sin of rebellion’} to an end’; (2) ‘to finish {or “seal up”} sins’; (3) ‘to make atonement for iniquity’; (4) ‘to bring in everlasting righteousness’; (5) ‘to seal up vision and prophecy’; and (6) ‘to anoint the holy of holies.’ By the end of the full 490 years, then, the present sin-cursed world order will come to an end (1 and 2), the price of redemption for sinners will have been paid (3); the kingdom of God will be established on earth, and all the earth will be permanently filled with righteousness, as the waters cover the sea (4); and the Most Holy One (Christ?), or the Most Holy Sanctuary (which seems more probable, since Christ was already anointed by the Holy Spirit at His first advent), will be solemnly anointed and inaugurated for worship in Jerusalem, the religious and political capital of the world during the Millennium (5 and 6)” (1982, p. 289).

Thus, God had a detailed, comprehensive plan leading all the way from Daniel’s day to the time of the setting up of the Messianic Kingdom!

“Daniel 9:25 reads: ‘And you are to know and understand, from the going forth of the command {or ‘decree’; lit[erally] ‘word’…} to restore and {re}build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince…will be…seven heptads and sixty-two heptads.’ This gives us two installments, 49 years and 434 years, for a total of 483 years. Significantly, the seventieth heptad is held in abeyance until v.27. Therefore we are left with a total of 483 years between the issuance of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah.

“As we examine each of the three decrees issued in regard to Jerusalem by kings subsequent to the time Daniel had this vision (538 B.C, judging from Daniel 9:1), we find that the first was that of Cyrus in 2 Chronicles 36:23: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven,…has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah’ (NASB). This decree, issued in 538 or 537, pertains only to the rebuilding of the temple, not the city of Jerusalem. The third decree is to be inferred from the granting of Nehemiah’s request by Artaxerxes I in 446 B.C., as recorded in Nehemiah 2:5-8. His request was ‘Send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.’ Then we read, ‘So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time {for my return to his palace}’ (NASB). The king also granted him a requisition of timber for the gates and walls of the city.

“It should be noted that when Nehemiah first heard from his brother Hanani that the walls of Jerusalem had not already been rebuilt, he was bitterly disappointed and depressed—as if he had previously supposed that they had been rebuilt (Neh. 1:1-4). This strongly suggests that there had already been a previous decree authorizing the rebuilding of those city walls. Such an earlier decree is found in connection with Ezra’s group that returned to Jerusalem in 457, the seventh year of Artaxerxes I. Ezra 7:6 tells us: ‘This Ezra went up from Babylon,…and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the LORD his God was upon him’ (NASB; notice the resemblance to Neh. 2:8, the last sentence). According to the following verse, Ezra was accompanied by a good-sized group of followers, including temple singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, and a company of laymen…. After arriving at Jerusalem, he busied himself first with the moral and spiritual rebuilding of his people (Ezra 7:10). But he had permission from the king to employ any unused balance of the offering funds for whatever purpose he saw fit (v.18); and he was given authority to appoint magistrates and judges and to enforce the established laws of Israel with confiscation, banishment, or death (v.26). Thus he would appear to have had the authority to set about rebuilding the city walls, for the protection of the temple mount and the religious rights of the Jewish community.

“In Ezra 9:9 Ezra makes reference to this authority in his public, penitential prayer: ‘For we are slaves; yet in our bondage, our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem’ (NASB; italics

). While this ‘wall’ may have been partly a metaphor for ‘protection,’ it seems to have included the possibility of restoring the mural defenses of Jerusalem itself. Unfortunately, we are given no details as to the years that intervened before 446; but it may be that an abortive attempt was made under Ezra’s leadership to replace the outer wall of the city, only to meet with frustration—perhaps from a lack of self-sacrificing zeal on the part of the Jewish returnees themselves or because of violent opposition from Judah’s heathen neighbors. This would account for Nehemiah’s keen disappointment (as mentioned above) when he heard that ‘the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire’ (Neh. 1:3, NASB).

“If, then, the decree of 457 granted to Ezra himself is taken as…the commencement of the 69 heptads, or 483 years, we come out to the precise year of the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah (or Christ): 483 minus 457 comes out to A.D. 26. But since a year is gained in passing from 1 B.C. to A.D. 1 (there being no such year as zero), it actually comes out to A.D. 27. It is generally agreed that Christ was crucified in [or around] A.D. 30, after a ministry of a little more than three years [or, more accurately, in the spring of A.D. 31 after a three-and-a-half-year ministry]. This means His baptism and initial ministry must have taken place in [the autumn of] A.D. 27—a most remarkable exactitude in the fulfillment of such an ancient prophecy. Only God could have predicted the coming of His Son with such amazing precision; it defies all rationalistic explanation” (pp. 289-291).

Just before Jesus began His ministry, the Jewish people “were in expectation” of the Messiah (Luke 3:15). And well they should have been—as it had been so clearly foretold in Daniel.

Archer continues in his encyclopedia: “Daniel 9:25 goes on to say, ‘It [the city] will again be built with the street and moat, even when times are difficult.’ It is fair to deduce from this that the actual completion of the reconstruction of the city, both walls and interior appointments of the city, would take up to about seven heptads, or forty-nine years [that is, within the first seven seven-year periods]. Soon after 400 B.C., then, the walls, the defensive moat, and all the streets and buildings behind those walls had been completely restored

“Daniel 9:26 goes on to foretell the tragic death of the Messiah: ‘And subsequent to the sixty-two heptads {ensuing upon the early installment of forty-nine}, the Messiah will be cut off and shall have no one {or “nothing”}.’ This suggests that the Messiah would be violently put to death, without any faithful followers to protect Him. He would die alone!” (p. 291). However this follows the New International Version translation. Instead of “and shall have no one,” the NKJV renders the phrase “but not for Himself”—which may refer to the fact that Jesus Christ died not because of Himself or anything that He had done, but as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

It should be noted that the Messiah would die “after the sixty-two weeks” (verse 26)—that is, not necessarily right at the end of them but some time after they were over. “At all events, the earlier statement ‘until Messiah the Prince’ in v.25 refers to His first appearance to Israel as the baptized and anointed Redeemer of Israel; it does not refer to the year of His death, since His ‘cutting off’ is not mentioned until v.26.

“Daniel 9:26b then foretells what will happen by way of retribution to the ‘holy city’ that has rejected Jesus and voted to have Him ‘cut off’: ‘And the people of the prince who shall come {i.e., Titus, the victorious commander of the Roman troops in A.D. 70} will destroy the holy city, and its end will come with a flood {of disaster}, and war is determined down to the {very} end, with devastation.’ These vivid terms point to the total destruction that overtook Jerusalem in that fateful year” (p. 291).

We have seen that the time from the decree of Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. to the beginning of Christ’s ministry in A.D. 27 was 69 heptads—483 years. Then we see mention of the Messiah’s death, which took place three and a half years beyond the end of the 69 heptads, and Jerusalem’s destruction, which took place nearly 40 years after that. What, then of the last heptad, the 70th “week” of years? Where do these last seven years fit? There are two main Christian interpretations of the latter part of this prophecy.

We find the 70th week in verse 27: “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Who is the “he” in this verse? That is the critical question. There are two individuals mentioned in the previous verse: 1) the Messiah and 2) the prince who is to come. The most natural antecedent for “he” in verse 27 might seem to be the last person mentioned—the prince who is to come. Yet it is possible that it refers back to the previously mentioned person, the Messiah.

Halley’s Bible Handbook, Adam Clarke’s Commentary and some other study aids prefer the Messiah as the “he” who confirms a covenant for one week. The idea is that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, launched a seven-year proclamation of the New Covenant, which He confirmed with His disciples, but was “cut off” “in the middle of the week”—that is, three and a half years into His ministry. However, it should be observed that the passage does not explicitly state that the Messiah would be cut off in the middle of the week. His being cut off was mentioned at the beginning of verse 26. The mention of the middle of the week is a separate reference in verse 27. Nevertheless, His being cut off in verse 26 is equated in this view with what is actually stated in verse 27 as having happened in the middle of the week—His bringing an end to sacrifice and offering. This refers, it is understood in this perspective, to the fact that Jesus Christ offered Himself as “one sacrifice for sins forever” (Hebrews 10:12), thus ending any need for blood sacrifices to provide atonement. (The “middle of the week” is dually understood by some to mean the middle of an actual week, Wednesday, which is indeed the day of the week on which Jesus was crucified.)

The end of Daniel 9:27 mentions the abomination of desolation referred to in Daniel 8 and 11. Christ explained that this would have an end-time fulfillment preceding the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15ff.). It would last “until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate”—or, rather, as it should be understood, on the “desolator” (NRSV). Thus in this understanding, the 70th week is divided, with the first half (the first three and a half years) being the length of Christ’s human ministry and the last half (the last three and a half years) waiting until the end time—to be fulfilled either through Christ teaching His Church while they await His return in a place of refuge for the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord or, alternatively, Christ teaching people for three and a half years after His return.

This would not seem to allow for a linear progression of events in verses 26-27 of Daniel 9. For notice that, by this interpretation, the description of events in the two verses would be: 1) Messiah dies; 2) first-century Roman destruction; 3) Messiah’s ministry; 4) Messiah dies; 5) End-time abomination and destruction. Yet it is possible that this is a Hebrew poetic arrangement—thematically A, B, A, B—where the first halves of verses 26 and 27 go together, and the latter halves of verses 26 and 27 go together. Some have pointed out as a possible weakness in this interpretation the fact that when Jesus died, this did not truly bring an end to blood sacrifices—as they continued for nearly 40 more years. Even Jesus’ disciples continued to bring sacrifices to the temple during these years. And there will be a reinstitution of temple sacrifices, as God explains through Ezekiel, during the millennial reign of Christ. Nevertheless, the once-for-all offering of Christ did end the need for the physical sacrificial system in obtaining justification with God.

The other major Christian interpretation of this section, maintained by Archer and many other commentators today, is that the “he” who confirms a covenant with many for one week in verse 27 is the one referred to immediately before in verse 26—the prince who destroys Jerusalem, the Roman leader. Yet this “he” is in this perspective a much later Roman ruler, just as we will later see in Daniel 11 that the distinctions of “king of the North” and “king of the South” denote successive rulers occupying the same offices as the prophecy progresses. Moreover, the ancient Roman destruction was a forerunner of the end-time destruction.

As mentioned in the Bible Reading Program comments on Daniel 8, and as will be more clearly seen in Daniel 11, the Greek Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes was a type of the final dictator of the end-time Roman Empire. Notice what we are told of him: “With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant [the Jewish high priest]. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully” (11:22-23). The Jewish nation had entered into a league or treaty agreement with Antiochus but he violated it. Such a league or agreement can alternatively be called a pact, compact or covenant. As part of his violation, Antiochus cut off the temple sacrifices and set up an abominable image over the temple altar—the abomination of desolation—as a type of what will transpire in the last days (see 8:11-13; 11:31; 12:11).

With all this as basis, the prince confirming a covenant with many for one week in Daniel 9:27 is seen in this alternative view as the end-time Roman leader confirming a treaty with the people of Judah (and perhaps all Israel) for what would be the final seven years of the prophecy but then revoking the agreement after three and a half years with the ending of sacrifices and the setting up of the final abomination of desolation. The condition of destruction and defilement would exist for the final three and a half years of the prophecy—until the determined consummation is poured out on this desolator.

By this interpretation, verses 26-27 do follow a linear progression: 1) Messiah dies; 2) first-century Roman destruction; 3) End-time Roman treaty with the Jews; 4) End-time breaking of treaty with ending of sacrifices; 5) End-time abomination and destruction. However, this perspective has been criticized as well. One difficulty is the fact that the Hebrew term for covenant is not used elsewhere in Daniel to denote a treaty or league.

Either way, the ending of the 70-weeks prophecy is the same—the defeat of the enemy and the triumph of God and His people. Yet, again, it was far beyond the time frame Daniel had in view. What impact this newfound understanding had on the prophet, he does not say. Yet for us, it should provide wonderful encouragement, as we see in hindsight how powerfully God has worked in history to fulfill what He has foretold—and know that the remainder yet to be fulfilled is just as certain to come.


Romans Chapter 8

This chapter continues from the previous two chapter, and clearly emphasizes what takes place at rebirth: Those who have only been born of the flesh are fleshly, while those who have been born of the Spirit are new creatures (2 Cor 5:17), Messiah now live in them (Gal 2:20), they no longer sin, wish to sin (1John 3:4-10), they delight in the law of Elohim which is Spiritual (Romans 7:22 and 7:14).

People who are constantly thinking about the flesh and the needs of the flesh, are walking in the flesh and the mind is of death. People who think and walk in the spirit, are mindful and think on life and peace. The flesh is unable to obey or subject itself to the instructions of Elohim. There is no amount of human “will” that can overcome fleshly desires to obey the letter of the law. The Torah is spiritual, the desire comes out of love.

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His. And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness. If we live by the Spirit of Elohim, we are the sons of Elohim. All of creation longs to see us also – the sons of Elohim. The creation was also held accountable for the transgression of Adam and Eve and longs for restoration. Salvation and adoption remain an expectation – for now they are unseen – it is a matter of faith.

Just as Elohim ordained beforehand that Messiah would come and redeem all, die, and raise again – so also are we appointed by Elohim beforehand for His purpose. And this purpose is known and we have been declared right before Him. Because of this, there is nothing whatsoever that can separate us from Him. When the Creator and Elohim of the Universe is for us – what then can come against us to separate us from Him? There is nothing.

We have left this teaching from United Church of God so that you can now compare it to the 70 Shabua of what this 70 weeks actually means. We are pressed for time as we travel to Missouri this weekend. My apologies for not being more thorough.