Daniel Chapters Nine and Ten: A Simple Summary

In my last post, I asked readers to read Chapters Nine, Ten and Eleven in preparation for a brief examination of the prophesies in them.  The main reason at the time was to compare and contrast what the text says to what the Dispensationalist view is.

Does the Dispensationalist interpretation of the Daniel prophesies line up with Scripture?

Does the Dispensationalist interpretation of the Daniel prophesies line up with Scripture?

In this post I want to zero in on the prophesies contained in chapters Nine and Ten.  These are pretty straight forward and finished and will make a good blog post.  We’ll come back to Chapter Eleven and combine that with Chapter Twelve because the chapter break between them seems artificial and they go together.  This final prophesy is not finished and lends itself to more speculation than the first two.

Daniel Chapter Nine

The Seventy Weeks

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:24-27, ESV)

Dispensationalists do a great job of unpacking the future history of this prophesy (all of the prophesies really). But they fall into eisogesis in their insistence of placing an unnecessary “parenthetical” (c.f. the chart above) between the first 69 weeks and the seventieth week. Eisogesis is the practice of placing one’s theory into the text.  Thus the interpreter can make the text say what he or she wishes it says. This is in contrast to exegesis in which the interpreter is informed by the text. In this case, Dispensationalists need to split the time up artificially in order to lend credence to their theory of a “pre-tribulation rapture” in which all Christians are taken away from the earth and get to avoid the really bad times near the end of the earth. 

If one is not burdened with the need for proof texting of that sort, this prophesy is very simple to interpret.  Jesus the Messiah (or Christ) will come to earth for a time and will put an end to sacrifices (by His death and resurrection). Soon after that, the temple will be destroyed.  That all happened.   Basically what we have here is Gabriel announcing the coming of Christ who is Jesus.  He plays a similar role in the Gospels when he speaks to Mary the mother of Jesus and Zechariah the father of John the Baptizer.

Daniel Chapter Ten

Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince. (Daniel 10:16-21, ESV)

Chapter Ten gives some very interesting insights into the spiritual realm.  I challenge anyone to read it and take it in as a literal and fascinating account of an actual interaction between a prophet of God and divine beings. Awesome! The prophetic piece is contained only in that last line that I placed in bold print above. Michael is proclaimed here to be what we might call the guardian angel of the people of God. The “one having the appearance of man” is a theophany of Jesus who here states that only the prince of Israel is on His side in the spiritual battle that is ongoing. This sounds remarkably familiar: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John14:6, ESV).

The first two prophesies are simple.  The first foretells the coming of Jesus the Christ.  The second prophesy informs us that He is the only Way (to eternal life). These interpretations are held up by a literal reading of Scripture. Furthermore, when one approaches Scripture with the orthodox, Christocentric rendering and allows Scripture to interpret Scripture, there is no reason to pretend that they are more complicated then has been demonstrated in this simple summary.

Next we will examine Daniel Chapters Eleven and Twelve.

God Bless,

Christopher

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