Daniel 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured on the desolate.
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(27) And he shall confirm.—The subject of the sentence is ambiguous. Theod. makes it to be “one week.” LXX. “the covenant;” others take it to be the Antichristian prince spoken of in the last verse, an opinion which derives some support from Daniel 7:25. According to this interpretation, the covenant refers to the agreement which the prince makes with the large number of persons who become apostates. But (1) the word “covenant” does not apply to any such agreement, but rather to a covenant with God, and (2) in Daniel 9:26 it is the people of the prince, and not the prince, which is the subject of the sentence. It is therefore more appropriate to take Messiah as the subject. During the last closing week of the long period mentioned, Messiah, though cut off, shall confirm God’s covenant (comp. Daniel 11:22; Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:32) with many, that is, with those who receive Him.

In the midst of the week.—Or, during half the week (the latter half of the week, according to the LXX.), he will cause to cease all the Mosaic sacrifices (possibly those mentioned in Daniel 8:11), whether bloody or unbloody. The verb “cause to cease” is used here as in Jeremiah 36:29.

And for the overspreading . . .—The Greek versions agree in translating this as follows, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ ἱερὸν βδελυγμα τῶν ἐρημώσεων, which St. Jerome follows, “et erit in templo abominatio desolationis. However, it is not possible to obtain any such meaning from our present Hebrew text without omitting the last letter and altering the last vowel of the word translated “abominations.” As the text stands it can be literally translated only as follows, “and upon the wing of abominations is a desolator.” The desolator, of course, is the person who causes the desolations mentioned in Daniel 9:26. But what is meant by the “wing of abominations?” The language is without parallel in the Old Testament, unless such passages as Psalm 18:10; Psalm 104:3 are adduced, where, however, the plural “wings,” and not the singular, is used. If the number is disregarded, the words before us are explained to mean that “the abomination” or idolatry is the power by which the desolator accomplishes his purposes. He comes riding on the wings of abominations, using them for his ministers as God does the winds or the cherubim. As it appears decisive against this interpretation that Daniel has written “wing,” and not “wings,” it is better to explain the words as referring to the “sanctuary” spoken of in the last verse. The sense is in that case, “and upon the wing—i.e., the pinnacle of the abominations (comp. the use of πτερύγιον, Matthew 4:5) is a desolator. The Temple is thus called on account of the extent to which it had been desecrated by Israel.

Until the consummation.—These words refer back to Daniel 9:26, and mean that these abominations will continue till the desolation which God has decreed shall be poured upon that which is desolated. Though the word “desolate” is active in Daniel 8:13; Daniel 12:11, it appears in this passage to be used in a passive sense, as also in Daniel 9:18. That which is foretold by Daniel is the complete and final destruction of the same city and temple which evoked the prophet’s prayer. There is no prophecy that the desolator himself is destined to destruction. Of his doom nothing is here stated. The “prince” appears merely as the instrument pre-ordained by God, by whose people both city and sanctuary are to be destroyed.

Daniel 9:27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many — “The covenant to be confirmed by the Messiah is not a civil, but a religious compact, as such, styled by Daniel himself, the holy covenant, Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:32, the covenant of grace; which, after the infraction of the first divine law of strict obedience, was, of mere clemency, granted to all mankind by the mediation of Christ. He not only expiated the sins of the world by his death, which was the chief article of the federal system; but in person, by the energy of his miracles, by the efficacy of his doctrine, and, soon after his resurrection, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, he induced many myriads of the Jews to accede to this covenant, which the Prophet Jeremiah so admirably describes, Jeremiah 31:33-34 : compare Hebrews 8:6-13. He shall confirm this covenant with MANY, not with ALL, which marks the exclusion of the obstinate and impious Jews, whose fate is predicted in the preceding and following clause. By an obvious analogy, the Christian covenant, though offered to all, is still confirmed with many; namely, those only who, by a rational faith and moral subjection, having his law written in their hearts, attain to that exalted privilege.”

For one week — “Christ’s personal ministry continued to its fourth year. St. John (John 2:13; John 5:1; John 6:4; John 11:15;) distinctly reckons four passovers; the first, A.D. 30, Feb. 15, and the first year of his ministry; the second, A.D. 31; the third, A.D. 32; the fourth, A.D. 33. The half year precedes the first passover from his baptism. The first half week of Daniel is from the beginning of Christ’s first preaching, Mark 1:15, Repent ye, and believe the gospel, A. 30, to his death, April 3, A. 33; or rather, to the pentecost following, when all the Christian mysteries were completed. The duration of Christ’s ministry is so ascertained by St. John; and is so suitable to the great events of his life as well as to this prophecy, that, as it needs not to be protracted, so it cannot be shortened with any degree of probability. The second half week is from the feast of pentecost, (when St. Peter with so much energy converted three thousand of the Jews,) to the conversion of Cornelius, and the first-fruits of the Gentiles, by the same apostle. The best chronologers place the vision of St. Peter, and the conversion of Cornelius, in the fourth year after the passion; and in the same year we may place the foundation of the church of Antioch, where the disciples were first called CHRISTIANS, Acts 11:26. Thus a prediction, which began with the happy event of rebuilding the earthly Jerusalem, sublimely terminates with the structure of the heavenly, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, JESUS CHRIST himself being the chief corner-stone, Ephesians 2:20-22. The confirmation of the Christian covenant in one week, or seven years, includes its full effect, both in the conversion of many myriads of the Jews, and in the first-fruits of the Gentile Church.”

And in the MIDST of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease — “The sacrifice here specified, with its attendant bread-offering, was eucharistical, as well as propitiatory, being a slain victim, on which the offerers feasted in token of amity and reconciliation with God. When Christ, in the MIDST of the week, offered his own body, that great sacrifice for the expiation of sin, to reconcile sinners to God; by that most holy and acceptable victim, he completed and abolished all the typical sacrifices of the law. The legal sacrifices, indeed, continued to be offered at the temple, for thirty-six years after Christ’s death; but, in effect, they ceased, at that instant their efficacy was no more, after that Christ had given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour, Ephesians 5:2. Hence forward the Christian religion abrogated the Levitical sacrifices, as was accurately foretold by the psalmist, Psalm 40:6, as commented by the inspired writer to the Hebrews 10:5-10.”

And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate —

Or, more literally, And he shall be a desolator by the wing of abominations. Or, And being a desolator, he shall command over a wing of abominations. The desolator is the Roman army of sixty thousand men: Jos., B. J. 3:4. 2. The wing, as well as the flood, is the Hebrew metaphor for great armies. Abominations, in the Jewish style, are idols. The word is so used by Daniel 11:31, for the idol of the Olympian Jupiter, which Antiochus placed on God’s altar, 1Ma 1:57. In this prophecy, it denotes the standards of the Roman legions. To every legion was a golden eagle with expanded wings, grasping a thunder-bolt. The eagles, with the standards of the cohorts, ten in each legion, adorned with the image of the reigning Cesar, were deified, adored, and sworn by; each eagle was placed in a little temple, or shrine; and there was a chapel in the camp where all the eagles were adored. At Rome they were deposited in the temple of Mars. Such deified ensigns were an abomination to the Jews: see Joshua 17:7; Joshua 17:2; Joshua 18:8. The prediction was minutely verified when the Romans, upon the flight of the seditious into the city, and upon the burning of the temple and adjacent buildings, brought the ensigns to the holy place, fixed them against the eastern gate, offered sacrifices to them, and hailed Titus Imperator, Joshua 6:6. 1. The allusion to the Roman standards is observable in that prediction of Moses; The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flieth, a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand, Deuteronomy 28:49 : see also Matthew 24:15-16. The eagles, and the language, and the distance from Rome, discriminate the Romans from the Chaldeans, whose tongue was only a dialect of the Hebrew.”

“The concluding clause, Even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate, is elliptical. It may be thus literally translated, and the ellipses supplied; Even until the consummation and excision, the divine wrath shall be poured on the desolate city, temple and people; which expresses so complete a devastation, as cannot be described but in the emphatic words of Christ, when his disciples beheld with admiration the recent magnificence of Herod’s temple. See ye not all these things? Verily, I say unto you, there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And, Daniel 9:21, Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Christ’s own prediction was memorably verified against the attempt of the apostate emperor, Julian, expressly to defeat it: an attempt which confirms the principle of prophecy, that the designs and counsels of God are independent of the projects of men, either to frustrate or fulfil them.” The war of Adrian, A.D. 133, may be also intended in this last clause of the prophecy; and the re-duplication of images and expressions, rising one above another, may relate to the two completions. “It is worthy of attention, that the ancient prophecies, prior to this of Daniel, have no such exact specification of the time of their completion. Chronology was not reducible to historic certainty prior to the Olympiads. When that era became the authentic measure of time, God was pleased to give this singular credential to the Christian religion; whose author and original could not be more precisely ascertained than by a measure of time, adapted to the ideas of the Jewish law, including ten jubilees, or seventy sabbatic years, nearly commencing with the war of Peloponnesus [between the Athenians and Lacedemonians;] in the recital of which, the unexampled accuracy of Thucydides led the example of the most exact notation of time to other historians. If chronology for six hundred years after Cyrus had been as perplexed as it was for six hundred years before, it would not have been possible to ascertain the completion of a prophecy, specifying so many particular dates.” — Dr. Apthorp. The reader will observe, that several false and evasive systems have been advanced on the subject of this prophecy; but it has not been judged proper to embarrass this exposition of the passage with a refutation of them. 9:20-27 An answer was immediately sent to Daniel's prayer, and it is a very memorable one. We cannot now expect that God should send answers to our prayers by angels, but if we pray with fervency for that which God has promised, we may by faith take the promise as an immediate answer to the prayer; for He is faithful that has promised. Daniel had a far greater and more glorious redemption discovered to him, which God would work out for his church in the latter days. Those who would be acquainted with Christ and his grace, must be much in prayer. The evening offering was a type of the great sacrifice Christ was to offer in the evening of the world: in virtue of that sacrifice Daniel's prayer was accepted; and for the sake of that, this glorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him. We have, in verses 24-27, one of the most remarkable prophecies of Christ, of his coming and his salvation. It shows that the Jews are guilty of most obstinate unbelief, in expecting another Messiah, so long after the time expressly fixed for his coming. The seventy weeks mean a day for a year, or 490 years. About the end of this period a sacrifice would be offered, making full atonement for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness for the complete justification of every believer. Then the Jews, in the crucifixion of Jesus, would commit that crime by which the measure of their guilt would be filled up, and troubles would come upon their nation. All blessings bestowed on sinful man come through Christ's atoning sacrifice, who suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Here is our way of access to the throne of grace, and of our entrance to heaven. This seals the sum of prophecy, and confirms the covenant with many; and while we rejoice in the blessings of salvation, we should remember what they cost the Redeemer. How can those escape who neglect so great salvation!And he shall confirm the covenant - literally, "he shall make strong" - והגביר vehı̂gebı̂yr. The idea is that of giving strength, or stability; of making firm and sure. The Hebrew word here evidently refers to the "covenant" which God is said to establish with his people - so often referred to in the Scriptures as expressing the relation between Him and them, and hence used, in general, to denote the laws and institutions of the true religion - the laws which God has made for his church; his promises to be their protector, etc., and the institutions which grow out of that relation. The margin reads it, more in accordance with the Hebrew, "a," meaning that he would confirm or establish "a covenant" with the many. According to this, it is not necessary to suppose that it was any existing covenant that it referred to, but that he would ratify what was understood by the word "covenant;" that is, that he would lead many to enter into a true and real covenant with God. This would be fulfilled if he should perform such a work as would bring the "many" into a relation to God corresponding to what was sustained to him by his ancient people; that is, bring them to be his true friends and worshippers.

The meaning of the expression here cannot be mistaken, that during the time specified, "he" (whoever may be referred to) would, for "one week" - pursue such a course as would tend to establish the true religion; to render it more stable and firm; to give it higher sanctions in the approbation of the "many," and to bring it to bear more decidedly and powerfully on the heart. Whether this would be by some law enacted in its favor; or by protection extended over the nation; or by present example; or by instruction; or by some work of a new kind, and new influences which he would set forth, is not mentioned, and beforehand perhaps it could not have been well anticipated in what way this would be. There has been a difference of opinion, however, as to the proper nominative to the verb "confirm" - הגביר hı̂gebı̂yr - whether it is the Messiah, or the foreign prince, or the "one week." Hengstenberg prefers the latter, and renders it, "And one week shall confirm the covenant; with many."

So also Lengerke renders it. Bertholdt renders it "he," that is, "he shall unite himself firmly with many for one week" - or, a period of seven years, ein Jahrsiebend lang. It seems to me that it is an unnatural construction to make the word "week" the nominative to the verb, and that the more obvious interpretation is to refer it to some person to whom the whole subject relates. It is not usual to represent time as an agent in accomplishing a work. In poetic and metaphorical language, indeed, we personate time as cutting down men, as a destroyer, &e., but this usage would not justify the expression that "time would confirm a covenant with many." That is, evidently, the work of conscious, intelligent agent; and it is most natural, therefore, to understand this as of one of the two agents who are spoken of in the passage. These two agents are the "Messiah," and the "prince that should come."

But it is not reasonable to suppose that the latter is referred to, because it is said Daniel 9:26 that the effect and the purpose of his coming would be to "destroy the city and the sanctuary." He was to come "with a flood," and the effect of his coming would be only desolation. The more correct interpretation, therefore, is to refer it to the Messiah, who is the principal subject of the prophecy; and the work which, according to this, he was to perform was, during that "one week," to exert such an influence as would tend to establish a covenant between the people and God. The effect of his work during that one week would be to secure their adhesion to the "true religion;" to confirm to them the Divine promises, and to establish the principles of that religion which would lead them to God. Nothing is said of the mode by which that would be done; and anything, therefore, which would secure this would be a fulfillment of the prophecy. As a matter of fact, if it refers to the Lord Jesus, this was done by his personal instructions, his example, his sufferings and death, and the arrangements which he made to secure the proper effect of his work on the minds of the people - all designed to procure for them the friendship and favor of God, and to unite them to him in the bonds of an enduring covenant.

With many - לרבים lârabı̂ym. Or, for many; or, unto many. He would perform a work which would pertain to many, or which would bear on many, leading them to God. There is nothing in the word here which would indicate who they were, whether his own immediate followers, or those who already were in the covenant. The simple idea is, that this would pertain to "many" persons, and it would be fulfilled if the effect of his work were to confirm "many" who were already in the covenant, or if he should bring "many" others into a covenant relation with God. Nothing could be determined from the meaning of the word used here as to which of these things was designed, and consequently a fair fulfillment would be found if either of them occurred. If it refers to the Messiah, it would be fulfilled if in fact the effect of his coming should be either by statute or by instructions to confirm and establish those who already sustained this relation to God, or if he gathered other followers, and confirmed them in their allegiance to God.

For one week - The fair interpretation of this, according to the principles adopted throughout this exposition, is, that this includes the space of seven years. See the notes at Daniel 9:24. This is the one week that makes up the seventy - seven of them, or forty-nine years, embracing the period from the command to rebuild the city and temple to its completion under Nehemiah; sixty-two, or four hundred and thirty-four years, to the public appearing of the Messiah, and this one week to complete the whole seventy, or four hundred and ninety years "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness," etc., Daniel 9:24. It is essential, therefore, to find something done, occupying these seven years, that would go to "confirm the covenant" in the sense above explained. In the consideration of this, the attention is arrested by the announcement of an important event which was to occur "in the midst of the week," to wit, in causing the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, showing that there was to be an important change occurring during the "week," or that while he would be, in fact, confirming the covenant through the week in some proper sense, the sacrifice and oblation would cease, and therefore the confirming of the many in the covenant must depend on something else than the continuation of the sacrifice and oblation. In regard to this language, as in respect to all the rest of the prophecy, there are, in fact, just two questions: one is, what is fairly to be understood by the words, or what is the proper interpretation, independent of anything in the result; the other is, whether anything occurred in what is regarded as the fulfillment which corresponds with the language so interpreted.

(1) The first inquiry then, is, What is the fair meaning of the language? Or what would one who had a correct knowledge of the proper principles of interpretation understand by this? Now, in regard to this, while it may be admitted, perhaps, that there would be some liability to a difference of view in interpreting it with no reference to the event, or no shaping of its meaning by the event, the following things seem to be clear:

(a) that the "one week," would comprise seven years, immediately succeeding the appearance of the Messiah, or the sixty-two weeks, and that there was something which he would do in "confirming the covenant," or in establishing the principles of religion, which would extend through that period of seven years, or that that would be, in some proper sense, "a period" of time, having a beginning - to wit, his appearing, and some proper close or termination at the end of the seven years: that is, that there would be some reason why that should be a marked period, or why the whole should terminate there, and not at some other time.

(b) That in the middle of that period of seven years, another important event would occur, serving to divide that time into two portions, and especially to be known as causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease; in some way affecting the public offering of sacrifice, so that from that time there would be in fact a cessation.

(c) And that this would be succeeded by the consummation of the whole matter expressed in the words, "and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it desolate," etc. It is not said, however, that this latter would immediately occur, but this would be one of the events that would pertain to the fulfillment of the prophecy. There is nothing, indeed, in the prediction to forbid the expectation that this would occur at once, nor is there anything in the words which makes it imperative that we should so understand it. It may be admitted that this would be the most natural interpretation, but it cannot be shown that that is required. It may be added, also, that this may not have pertained to the direct design of the prophecy - which was to foretell the coming of the Messiah, but that this was appended to show the end of the whole thing. When the Messiah should have come, and should have made an atonement for sin, the great design of rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple would have been accomplished, and both might pass away. Whether that would occur immediately or not might be in itself a matter of indifference; but it was important to state here that it would occur, for that was properly a completion of the design of rebuilding the city, and of the purpose for which it had ever been set apart as a holy city.

(2) The other inquiry is whether there was that in what is regarded as the fulfillment of this, which fairly corresponds with the prediction. I have attempted above (on Daniel 9:25) to show that this refers to the Messiah properly so called - the Lord Jesus Christ. The inquiry now is, therefore, whether we can find in his life and death what is a fair fulfillment of these reasonable expectations. In order to see this, it is proper to review these points in their order:

(a) The period, then, which is embraced in the prophecy, is seven years, and it is necessary to find in his life and work something which would be accomplished during these seven years which could be properly referred to as "confirming the covenant with many." The main difficulty in the case is on this point, and I acknowledge that this seems to me to be the most embarrassing portion of the prophecy, and that the solutions which can be given of this are less satisfactory than those that pertain to any other part. Were it not that the remarkable clause "in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease," were added, I admit that the natural interpretation would be, that he would do this personally, and that we might look for something which he would himself accomplish during the whole period of seven years. That clause, however, looks as if some remarkable event were to occur in the middle of that period, for the fact that he would tense the sacrifice and oblation to cease - that is, would bring the rites of the temple to a close - shows that what is meant by "confirming the covenant" is different from the ordinary worship under the ancient economy. No Jew would think of expressing himself thus, or would see how it was practicable to "confirm the covenant" at the same time that all his sacrifices were to cease. The confirming of the covenant, therefore, during that "one week," must be consistent with some work or event that would cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease in the middle of that period.

(b) The true fulfillment, it seems to me, is to be found in the bearing of the work of the Saviour on the Hebrew people - the ancient covenant people of God - for about the period of seven years after he entered on his work. Then the particular relation of his work to the Jewish people ceased. It may not be practicable to make out the exact time of "seven years" in reference to this, and it may be admitted that this would not be understood from the prophecy before the things occurred; but still there are a number of circumstances which will show that this interpretation is not only plausibIe, but that it has in its very nature strong probability in its favor. They are such as these:

(1) The ministry of the Saviour himself was wholly among the Jews, and his work was what would, in their common language, be spoken of as "confirming the covenant; "that is, it would be strengthening the principles of religion, bringing the Divine promises to bear on the mind, and leading men to God, etc.


27. he shall confirm the covenant—Christ. The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him also elsewhere. Isa 42:6, "I will give thee for a covenant of the people" (that is, He in whom the covenant between Israel and God is personally expressed); compare Lu 22:20, "The new testament in My blood"; Mal 3:1, "the angel of the covenant"; Jer 31:31-34, describes the Messianic covenant in full. Contrast Da 11:30, 32, "forsake the covenant," "do wickedly against the covenant." The prophecy as to Messiah's confirming the covenant with many would comfort the faithful in Antiochus' times, who suffered partly from persecuting enemies, partly from false friends (Da 11:33-35). Hence arises the similarity of the language here and in Da 11:30, 32, referring to Antiochus, the type of Antichrist.

with many—(Isa 53:11; Mt 20:28; 26:28; Ro 5:15, 19; Heb 9:28).

in … midst of … week—The seventy weeks extend to A.D. 33. Israel was not actually destroyed till A.D. 79, but it was so virtually, A.D. 33, about three or four years after Christ's death, during which the Gospel was preached exclusively to the Jews. When the Jews persecuted the Church and stoned Stephen (Ac 7:54-60), the respite of grace granted to them was at an end (Lu 13:7-9). Israel, having rejected Christ, was rejected by Christ, and henceforth is counted dead (compare Ge 2:17 with Ge 5:5; Ho 13:1, 2), its actual destruction by Titus being the consummation of the removal of the kingdom of God from Israel to the Gentiles (Mt 21:43), which is not to be restored until Christ's second coming, when Israel shall be at the head of humanity (Mt 23:39; Ac 1:6, 7; Ro 11:25-31; 15:1-32). The interval forms for the covenant-people a great parenthesis.

he shall cause the sacrifice … oblation to cease—distinct from the temporary "taking away" of "the daily" (sacrifice) by Antiochus (Da 8:11; 11:31). Messiah was to cause all sacrifices and oblations in general to "cease" utterly. There is here an allusion only to Antiochus' act; to comfort God's people when sacrificial worship was to be trodden down, by pointing them to the Messianic time when salvation would fully come and yet temple sacrifices cease. This is the same consolation as Jeremiah and Ezekiel gave under like circumstances, when the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was impending (Jer 3:16; 31:31; Eze 11:19). Jesus died in the middle of the last week, A.D. 30. His prophetic life lasted three and a half years; the very time in which "the saints are given into the hand" of Antichrist (Da 7:25). Three and a half does not, like ten, designate the power of the world in its fulness, but (while opposed to the divine, expressed by seven) broken and defeated in its seeming triumph; for immediately after the three and a half times, judgment falls on the victorious world powers (Da 7:25, 26). So Jesus' death seemed the triumph of the world, but was really its defeat (Joh 12:31). The rending of the veil marked the cessation of sacrifices through Christ's death (Le 4:6, 17; 16:2, 15; Heb 10:14-18). There cannot be a covenant without sacrifice (Ge 8:20; 9:17; 15:9, &c.; Heb 9:15). Here the old covenant is to be confirmed, but in a way peculiar to the New Testament, namely, by the one sacrifice, which would terminate all sacrifices (Ps 40:6, 11). Thus as the Levitical rites approached their end, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, with ever increasing clearness, oppose the spiritual new covenant to the transient earthly elements of the old.

for the overspreading of abominations—On account of the abominations committed by the unholy people against the Holy One, He shall not only destroy the city and sanctuary (Da 9:25), but shall continue its desolation until the time of the consummation "determined" by God (the phrase is quoted from Isa 10:22, 23), when at last the world power shall be judged and dominion be given to the saints of the Most High (Da 7:26, 27). Auberlen translates, "On account of the desolating summit of abominations (compare Da 11:31; 12:11; thus the repetition of the same thing as in Da 9:26 is avoided), and till the consummation which is determined, it (the curse, Da 9:11, foretold by Moses) will pour on the desolated." Israel reached the summit of abominations, which drew down desolation (Mt 24:28), nay, which is the desolation itself, when, after murdering Messiah, they offered sacrifices, Mosaic indeed in form, but heathenish in spirit (compare Isa 1:13; Eze 5:11). Christ refers to this passage (Mt 24:15), "When ye see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place" (the latter words being tacitly implied in "abominations" as being such as are committed against the sanctuary). Tregelles translates, "upon the wing of abominations shall be that which causeth desolation"; namely, an idol set up on a wing or pinnacle of the temple (compare Mt 4:5) by Antichrist, who makes a covenant with the restored Jews for the last of the seventy weeks of years (fulfilling Jesus' words, "If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive"), and for the first three and a half years keeps it, then in the midst of the week breaks it, causing the daily sacrifices to cease. Tregelles thus identifies the last half week with the time, times, and a half of the persecuting little horn (Da 7:25). But thus there is a gap of at least 1830 years put between the sixty-nine weeks and the seventieth week. Sir Isaac Newton explains the wing ("overspreading") of abominations to be the Roman ensigns (eagles) brought to the east gate of the temple, and there sacrificed to by the soldiers; the war, ending in the destruction of Jerusalem, lasted from spring A.D. 67 to autumn A.D. 70, that is, just three and a half years, or the last half week of years [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 6.6].

poured upon the desolate—Tregelles translates, "the causer of desolation," namely, Antichrist. Compare "abomination that maketh desolate" (Da 12:11). Perhaps both interpretations of the whole passage may be in part true; the Roman desolator, Titus, being a type of Antichrist, the final desolator of Jerusalem. Bacon [The Advancement of Learning, 2.3] says, "Prophecies are of the nature of the Author, with whom a thousand years are as one day; and therefore are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have a springing and germinant accomplishment through many years, though the height and fulness of them may refer to one age."

He: this

he is not Titus making truce with the Jews, which he did not, though he endeavoured to persuade them that he might spare them. I say then with Graser, Mede, and others, that this he is the Messiah, and the covenant he confirms is the new testament or covenant, called therefore the covenant of the people, Isaiah 42:6 49:8; and the Angel of the covenant, Malachi 3:1; and the Surety of the covenant, Hebrews 7:22; and the ancient rabbins called the Messias xrk a middle man, or middle man between two.

Quest. How did Christ confirm the covenant?

Answ. 1. By testimony,

(1.) Of angels, Luke 2:10 Mt 28;

(2.) John Baptist;

(3.) Of the wise men;

(4.) By the saints then living, Luke 1:2;

(5.) Moses and Elias, Matthew 17:3;

(6.) Pharisees, as Nicodemus, John 3:2;

(7.) The devils that confessed him.

2. By his preaching.

3. By signs and wonders.

4. By his holy life.

5. By his resurrection and ascension.

6. By his death and blood shed.

Shall confirm the covenant; rybgh he shall corroborate it, as if it began before his coming to fail and be invalid.

With many; noting hereby the paucity of the Jewish church and nation, compared with the great increase and enlargement by believing Gentiles throughout all nations and ages of the world, Isaiah 11:9 49:6 53:11,12 54:2,3 Mr 16:15 Acts 13:46: q.d. With many Jews first and last, and with many more of the nations, yea, with the many whom the rabbins and Pharisees despise as the rabble, the common people, Isaiah 42:3 Matthew 21:31 John 7:48,49 1 Corinthians 1:26,27.

For one week; by a figure, take the greater part of the whole, he shall, though rejected by the chief and bulk of the Jewish nation, yet make the new testament prevail with many in that time, i.e. at the latter end of the seventy weeks.

The sacrifice and the oblation to cease; zebach and mincha, bloody and unbloody, to cease. i.e. all the Jewish rites, and Levitical ceremonious worship, i.e. by the burning of the temple before the city was taken, for they were only to offer sacrifice in the temple, nor had they wherewithal in the siege. Yet is there more in it than this, viz. that the Lord Jesus, by his death, and by the execution of his wrath, and abrogate and put an end to this laborious service, and made it to cease for ever.

For the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate; desolate

for the wing, for the manifold and great abominations stretching, and our text hath it well overspreading. This abomination was the Roman army with their eagles, and with their superstitious rites in approaching to besiege and subdue any place; and this is executed by Christ upon them, Matthew 22:7, when he is called a King sending forth his armies, and destroying the murderers that destroyed him, and burning their city, and their coming is Christ’s coming, Malachi 3:1,2Jo 21:22 Jam 5:7; therefore it is said here,

he shall make it desolate. Even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate: here all this is made the effect of God’s decree, and therefore irrevocable. This word shomen notes that this people were bewitched, sottishly superstitious, wanderers, banished, the astonishment and scorn of the world; all which did justly and dreadfully befall them, and they verify it to this day.

They that will curiously search further into the seventy weeks and other numbers in Daniel, and have leisure and skill, let them read Graserus, L’Empereur, Wasmuth, Mede, Willet, Wichmannus, Sanctius, Rainoldus, Pererius, Derorlon, Broughton, Liveleius, Helvicns, Calovius, Geierus. &c. Read also Joseph Med. p. 861, &c., and Bail. p. 180, &c. This scripture shows the coming of the Messiah so clearly, his sufferings, and the wrath of God so severely upon the Jews for it, that it thoroughly confutes their unbelief; and fully confirms our faith in Jesus Christ. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week,.... Sixty nine of the seventy weeks being accounted for, and the several events observed to be fulfilled in them; the angel proceeds to take notice of the remaining "one" week, or seven years, and what should be done within that space of time: a covenant should be confirmed with many; which is not to be understood of the Messiah's confirming the covenant of grace with many, or on account of all his people, by fulfilling the conditions of it, and by his blood and sacrifice, through which all the blessings of it come to them; for this is not for one week only, but for ever; but this is to be interpreted of the Roman people, spoken of in the latter part of the preceding verse; who, in order to accomplish their design to destroy the city and temple of Jerusalem, made peace with many nations, entered into covenant and alliance with them, particularly the Medes, Parthians, and Armenians, for the space of one week, or seven years; as it appears they did at the beginning of this week (l):

and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; the daily sacrifice of the Jews, and all their other offerings; and which was literally fulfilled "in the half part" (m) of this week, as it may be rendered; towards the close of the latter half of it, when the city of Jerusalem, being closely besieged by Titus, what through the closeness of the siege, the divisions of the people, and the want both of time and men, and beasts to offer, the daily sacrifice ceased, as Josephus (n) says, to the great grief of the people; nor have the Jews, ever since the destruction of their city and temple, offered any sacrifice, esteeming it unlawful so to do in a strange land:

and at the same time, in the same half part of the week,

for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate; that is, the Roman people shall make the land of Judea desolate, for the overspreading of their abominations or idolatries in it. The words may be rendered, as by some, "upon the wing", the battlements of the temple,

shall be the abominations, or "idols of the desolator", or "of him that makes desolate" (o); so Bishop Lloyd; meaning either the ensigns of the Roman army, which had upon them the images of their gods or emperors; and being set up in the holy place, and sacrificed to, nothing could be a greater abomination to the Jews; or else the blood of the zealots slain on these battlements, by which the holy place was polluted; see Matthew 24:15,

even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate; that is, either these abominations shall continue in the place where they are set until the utter destruction of the city and temple; or the desolation made there should continue until the consummation of God's wrath and vengeance upon them; until the whole he has determined is poured out on this desolate people; and which continues unto this day, and will till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, Luke 21:24. Some, as Bishop Lloyd, render it, "upon the desolator" (p); meaning the Romans; and the sense they take to be is, that this vengeance shall continue upon the Jews until it is turned upon the head of those who have made them desolate: now this "one week", according to the sense given, must begin in the sixty third year of the vulgar era of Christ, about thirty years after the expiration of the sixty nine weeks; since it ends in the seventieth year of the same era, in which was the destruction of Jerusalem, the grand event assigned to it in this famous prophecy; when it might have been expected it should have begun at the end of the sixty nine weeks, and run on in a direct line from them. The true reason of its being thus separated from them is the longsuffering and forbearance of God to the people of the Jews, who gave them, as to the old world, space to repent; but his grace and goodness being slighted, things began to work at the beginning of this week towards their final ruin, which, in the close of it, was fully accomplished: from the whole of this prophecy it clearly appears that the Messiah must be come many hundred years ago. The Jews are sensible of the force of this reasoning; so that, to terrify persons from considering this prophecy, they denounce the following curse, "let them burst, or their bones rot, that compute the times" (q). R. Nehemiah, who lived about fifty years before the coming of Christ, declared the time of the Messiah, as signified by Daniel, could not be protracted longer than those fifty years (r). The Jews also say the world is divided into six parts, and the last part is from Daniel to the Messiah (s).

(l) See Marshall's Chron. Treat. p. 271. (m) "et in dimidio hebdomadis", Montanus, Michaelis; "dimidio septimanae", Cocceius. (n) De Bello, Jud. l. 6. c. 2.((o) "desolator", Piscator, Gejerus; "desolans", Covveius; "stupefaciens", Montanus. (p) "super obstupescentem", Montanus; "in stupendem", Cocceius, (q) T. Bab. Sanhedrin. fol. 97. 2.((r) Apud Grotium de Ver. Rel. Christ l. 5. sect. 14. (s) Caphtor Uperah, fol 17. 2.

And he {a} shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to {b} cease, {c} and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

(a) By the preaching of the Gospel he affirmed his promise, first to the Jews, and after to the Gentiles.

(b) Christ accomplished this by his death and resurrection.

(c) Meaning that Jerusalem and the sanctuary would be utterly destroyed because of their rebellion against God, and their idolatry: or as some read, that the plague will be so great, that they will all be astonished at them.

27. And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week] Lit. make mighty a covenant. The expression is a peculiar one; but apparently (the Heb. being late) make mighty is used in the weakened sense of make strong or confirm; cf. Psalm 103:11; Psalm 117:2 (where ‘is great’ ought rather to be is mighty: the word is also sometimes rendered prevail, as Genesis 49:26, Psalm 65:3). The subject is naturally the ‘prince’ just named (Daniel 9:26). If the text be sound, the allusion will be to the manner in which Antiochus found apostate Jews ready to cooperate with him in his efforts to extirpate their religion: see on Daniel 11:30; and cf. 1Ma 1:11-15, where, conversely, the Hellenizing Jews say, ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the nations that are round about us.’

and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and meal-offering to cease] alluding to the suspension of the Temple services by Antiochus from the 15th of Chisleu, b.c. 168, to the 25th of Chisleu, b.c. 165 (1Ma 1:54; 1Ma 4:52 f.: see the note on ch. Daniel 8:14). The ‘half-week’ does not seem to coincide exactly with the three and a half years of Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7; for Daniel 12:11 appears to shew that the suspension of the legitimate services did not precede the erection of the heathen altar on the 15th of Chisleu, b.c. 168; as the reckoning here is by weeks, the half-week is in all probability meant merely as a round fraction for what was strictly a little more than three-sevenths of a ‘week,’ three years and ten days. ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘meal-offering’ are mentioned as representing sacrifices generally: cf. 1 Samuel 2:29; 1 Samuel 3:14, Amos 5:25, Isaiah 19:21. The ‘meal-offering’ (minḥâh) was properly the accompaniment of the burnt-offering, and, as such, offered daily: see Exodus 29:40-41. The word might, however, be used in its more general sense, and signify ‘offering’ or ‘oblation’ generally (1 Samuel 2:17; 1 Samuel 26:19).

and upon the wing of abominations (shall be) a desolator] or better (cf. on Daniel 8:13 and Daniel 11:31) one that causeth appalment: in contrast to Jehovah, who rides upon the cherub (Psalm 18:10), the heathen foe will come against the sanctuary, riding upon a winged creature, which is the personification of the forces and practices of heathenism[340]. ‘Abomination’ (shiḳḳûẓ) is often used as a contemptuous designation of a heathen god or idol, or an object connected with idolatrous rites: see e.g. Deuteronomy 29:17; 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:7; Jeremiah 7:30. It would be better rendered—for the sake of distinction from tô‘çbâh, also ‘abomination’—detestation or detestable thing (as it is actually rendered in A.V. when it occurs by the side of tô‘çbâh, Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 7:20; Ezekiel 11:18; Ezekiel 11:21); but ‘abomination’ is, through the N.T. (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14), so inseparably connected with the Book of Daniel, that the time-honoured rendering may be left undisturbed.

[340] R.V. marg. ‘upon the pinnacle of abominations’; but though πτερύγιον (Matthew 4:5) means a pinnacle, there is no evidence that the Heb. or Aram. כנף acquired this sense. A.V. ‘for (i.e. on account of) the overspreading,’ &c., follows David Kimchi, who takes ‘wing’ as a figure for spreading abroad, diffusion,—‘on account of the diffusion of abominations, men will be appalled.’ But such a metaphorical sense of the word is very improbable.

Whether, however, the rendering given above expresses the real meaning of the passage may be doubted. The figure of the ‘wing’ is not in harmony with the context; and in Daniel 11:31 the same two words ‘abomination’ and ‘desolator (or appaller),’ differently construed, recur, with clear reference to Antiochus’s persecution, ‘And they shall profane the sanctuary, (even) the stronghold, and take away the continual (burnt-offering), and set up the abomination that maketh desolate (or appalleth)’ (cf. Daniel 12:11 ‘from the time when the continual burnt-offering was taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate (or appalleth) set up’; and above, Daniel 8:13); and it is highly probable that, slightly changing the text, we should read here, similarly, ‘and in its place (כנו for כנף: so Van Lennep, Kuenen, Bevan, Kamphausen, Prince; cf. Daniel 11:38) shall be the abomination that maketh desolate (or appalleth)’ (שׁקוץ משׁומם, as Daniel 11:31, for שׁקוצים משׁומם,—a מ erroneously repeated, and then שׁקוצם written plene שׁקוצים), i.e. instead of the legitimate ‘sacrifice’ and ‘meal-offering’ on the altar of burnt-offering, there will be the detestable heathen altar (see on Daniel 11:31), built upon it by Antiochus.

and that, until the consummation, and that which is determined (i.e. the determined doom), be poured upon the desolator (or appaller)] the heathen abomination will remain upon the altar until the destined judgement come down upon its author (Antiochus). The phrase, the consummation, &c., from Isaiah 10:23; Isaiah 28:22. Be poured is often used of anger or fury (Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 44:6 al.).Verse 27. - And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. The verse in the Septuagint corresponding to this is evidently mixed up with confluent readings and notes as to earlier verses, "And the covenant shall be strong upon many, and again he shall turn ('repent') ἐπιστρέψει), and it shall be built in breadth and length, and according to the end of times until the end of the war, and after seven and seventy times and sixty-two years until the end of the war; and the desolation shall be taken away in confirming (or 'when he shall confirm') the covenant to many weeks; and in the end of the week the sacrifice and the oblation shall be taken away, and upon the temple shall be the abomination of desolation until the end, and an end shall be given to the desolation." In this mass of confusion this much is clear - the clause, "the covenant shall be strong (δυναστεύσει) upon many," is a doublet of the clause, "when he shall confirm the covenant to many weeks." The clause, "and after seven and seventy times and sixty-two years," is a doublet of the beginning of the twenty-sixth verse; "Till the end of the war, and the desolation shall be taken away," is an alternative version of the last clause of the twenty-sixth verse. When those extraneous elements are got rid of, we have left a rendering of the twenty-seventh verse, which may afford us light as to the text. "The covenant shall be strong upon many" is a possible rendering of the Hebrew (see Psalm 12:5). The alternative reading, "when he shall confirm (ἐν τῷ κατισχῦσαι) the covenant during many weeks," implies the infinitive with the preposition בְ, and "weeks" in the plural, and one omitted - the latter is omitted, indeed, by both. "And in the end of the week" - reading קֵצ (qaytz) instead of חֲצִי (hatzee) - "sacrifice and offering shall be taken away, and upon the temple shall be the abomination of desolation" - reading קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh), "holy," instead of זֶבַח (kenaph), "wing," "outspreading," or it may be tendered "wing of temple" - "until the end, and an end be given to desolation" - reading תֻּתַּן (toottan), "is given," or "appointed," instead of תִּתַּך (tittak), "poured out." Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic, "And one week shall confirm (δυναμώσει) a covenant to many, and in the middle (ἡμίσει) of the week my sacrifice and offering shall be taken away" - reading זִבְחִי (zebehee) instead of זֶבַח (zebah), and possibly min hath, instead of minhah - "and upon the temple (shall be) the abomination of desolations, and till (at) the end of the time an end is set (given) to the desolation." It will be observed that Theodotion agrees with the LXX. in reading קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh) instead of כֵּנַפ (kenaph), and תֻּתַּן (toottan) instead of תִּתַּך (tittak) The Peshitta is closer still to the Massoretic, but the last verb the translator seems to have read as tanah, "shall rest." Tertullian, in his quotation from the Vetus, shows that in this verse it follows Theodotion, or rather the version which he made his basis. He, however, connects "half a week" with "one week." The Vulgate rendering is, "One week also shall confirm the covenant to many, and in the middle of the week sacrifice and offering shall cease" - reading יִשׁבַת: (yishbath) - "and in the temple shall be the abomination of desolation" - therefore reading with the Greek versions and the Vetus, קדֶשׁ instead of כָנָפ - "and even to the consummation and end shall the desolation continue" - reading, therefore, תֵּשֵׁב instead of תִּתַּך, and omitting the preposition עַל ('al), "upon" - the latter is not a probable reading. From this examination of the versions one thing is clear - we must accept, with all its difficulties, "confirms." Gratz would change one letter, and translate, "he shall cause many to transgress the covenant." The wilder supposition of Professor Bevan, which would change two letters, and translate, "the covenant shall be annulled for many," is equally out of court. The next point is kenaph, "expansion." Here the Greek and Latin versions, including that in Matthew 24:15, but excluding the doublet mixed up in the text of the Vatican and Alexandrian Codices, have read קֹדֶשׁ. The Peshitta and the author of the reading intruded into the Alexandrian Codex have read כְּנַפ. (kenaph). However, these two are not agreed as to the interpretation. The Peshitta renders "wings," the Vatican and Alexandrian scribes render πτερύγιον, the word used (Matthew 4:5) for a pinnacle of the temple. There is, whichever is preferred, not the slightest justification for the suggestion of Kuenen that we should read כּנּו instead of כְּנַפ Professor Bevan thinks "this emendation is well-nigh certain." If that is so, any suggestion of any critic may be equally commended. We have practically four Greek versions here, two Syriae if we include Paulus Tellensis, two Latin, and not one of them gives the slightest hint that this "well-nigh certain" reading was in existence. The balance of evidence is decidedly in favour of קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh), especially so in the light of our Lord's words. Had the text with which his hearers were familiar contained the suggestive word כִּנַפ, "wing," it was impossible, speaking as he did of the setting up of the Roman eagles in the temple, to have avoided remarking on the word used. Our Lord in this case must have had the Hebrew before him, as he does not render as the Greek versions do, ἐπὶ τὸ ἱερόν, but ἐν τόλῳ ἁγίῳ. We must thus hold קֹדֶשׁ to have been the original text. And he shall confirm the covenant with many. What is the subject of the verb here? Hengstenberg, Hitzig, and yon Lengerke make the one week the nominative of the verb. Professor Bevan objects that to represent a week making a covenant, or making it burdensome, is without analogy. Both Hitzig and Hengstenberg appeal to Malachi 3:19; Isaiah 22:5; Job 3:3, where a "day" is represented as acting. Theodotion translates thus. The natural meaning, according to the Hebrew, if we do not pass beyond the clause before us for the subject of the verb, is בְּרִית, (bereeth), "covenant." Thus we ought naturally to render either - taking the hiphil in its causative sense - "a covenant," or "the covenant shall confirm;" i.e. secure "one week to many," or - and this is better, as supported by Psalm 12:5 (4), in the sense given to the hiphil of גָבַר (gabar) - "the covenant shall prevail for many during one week." This agrees with the first version we find in the Septuagint, The covenant - God's covenant with Israel, and this it must be here - "prevails with many;" his covenant to send a Messiah, a part of the eternal covenant with Israel, would prevail with the hearts of many of Israel during one week. If we reckon our Lord's ministry to have begun in the year A.D. , and the conversion of St. Paul A.D. , we have the interval required. After the conversion of St. Paul, the Gentiles more than the Jews were brought into the Church. Another theory is that it is the coming prince who is referred to. This is assumed by critics to be Antiochus; e.g. Ewald. Moses Stuart, who adopts this view, refers to the covenant made with Antiochus by many of the Jews. But bereeth thus absolute, is used not of alliances, but of the Divine covenant. The theory that the coming prince is Jason the brother of Onias does not suit with the idea of confirming the Divine covenant, so the interpreters that hold this view - e.g. Bevan - do not make "the prince" the subject of the verb. If bereeth is the Divine covenant, as by usage it is, then the prince whose people were to lay waste the temple and city cannot be he that confirms the covenant. We might take the last clause of ver. 26 as in a parenthesis, and regard the subject of the verb "confirm" as the Messiah who was cut off. It seems, however, preferable to take the construction as we have done above, and make bereeth the subject of the verb. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. In accordance with our interpretation of the previous clause, we would interpret this, "The covenant shall cause offering and oblation to cease." What covenant is this? The new Messianic covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 8:8) quotes this passage as Messianic, and as proving that sacrifice and offering had ceased with Christ's sacrifice of himself. Interpreters of the critical school are reduced to considerable difficulties in their endeavours to square this passage with their preconceived notions Bevan admits that the natural subject of the verb yashbeeth is the "prince who shall come;" but having come to the conclusion that this coming prince is Jason, he could not be said to make sacrifice and offering cease. Professor Bevan is constrained to change the reading from hiphil into the kal. He has certainly the justification that the Septuagint and Theodotion both make the word passive. Ewald regards the coming prince as Epiphanes. If so, then he must be the subject all through. In that case we are obliged to contradict usage and maintain that the covenant confirmed refers to an alliance made with apostate Jews; but this, as we have said, contradicts the usage in regard to "covenant" in this absolute position. Further, we have, in the end of ver. 26, the "end of the war" referred to. Yet, according to this interpretation, after the war is over the prince is making sacrifice and offering to cease. Ewald, recognizing the difficulties of his interpretation,declares, "As soon as the discourse touches upon the man and his projects, it is at once agitated with the profoundest disorder." The midst of the week. On the ordinary Christian interpretation, this applies to the crucifixion of our Lord, which took place, according to the received calculation, during the fourth year after his baptism by John, and the consequent opening of his ministry. Hitzig and many critical commentators see a reference in the half-week to the time, times, and half a time, and they identify that with the time during which Antiochus had set up the heathen altar in the temple. It is to be observed that this view has the support of 1 Macc. 1:54, which applies the next clause to Antiochus. If the traditional view is correct - that the prophecy published in the days of Cyrus applied to the coming Romans - then it was but natural that a writer in the clays of John Hyrcanus should be prone to interpret the prophecy of events in his own time. As we have already seen, the reference cannot be to Antiochus. The extreme popularity of Daniel by the time 1 Maccabees was written, probably about B.C. 100, is to be observed. For the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate. This is rendered in the Revised Version, "And upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate;" in the margin the rendering is, "upon the pinnacle of abominations." We have seen that the great balance of evidence was in favour of inserting קֹדֶשׁ, "holy place," instead of כָּנָפ, "wing." Even if we take the Massoretic reading, and render it according either to the text or the margin, we have difficulties. We have no instance of a bird supporting itself by one wing. If כְּנָפ. (konaph), "wing," is retained, the reference to the Roman eagles can scarcely be resisted. The word has several derivative meanings: "The edge" of the earth, as Isaiah 24:16; from this is derived the rendering in the Revised. In the present passage, Gesenius, Furst, and Wirier regard it as equivalent to πτερύγιον; but no such meaning is elsewhere found in Hebrew. "He shall make it desolate." In Hebrew, this is only one word, meshomaym, the participle. The word occurs twice in Ezra 9:1, 4, and there means "astonished," "stupefied." It is imitated in Daniel 11:31, but the preceding word, שִׁקּוּצ (shiqqootz), is in the singular, and agrees with meshomaym. Here we have the noun shiqqootzeem in the plural while the participle is in the singular. In Daniel 12:11 we have another variation, שִׁקוּצ שֹׁמֵם. The versions translate as if the word had been in the singular; hence we may doubt whether the noun was not originally singular, all the more that in the parallel passage (Daniel 11:31) we have the singular used. An accidental reduplication of the מ, which begins מְשׁמֵם, would explain the present reading. Professor Bevan suggests that we read מֻשָׁמִים, the hophal participle plural from שׂוּם, "to sit;" but the evidence of the versions is decisive against this. The rendering of the clause would be thus, "and upon the temple the abomination of desolation." The usage of shiqqootz leads us to think of heathen idols, as 1 Kings 11:1, Chemosh, the abomination of Moab; Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon, 2 Kings 23:13; Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Zidonians. More important is Jeremiah 32:34, "They set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it." We have here the combination suggested by Professor Bevan. From the fact that Daniel seems to have been saturated with Jeremiah, his suggestion might have had weight; but the utter want of any hint in the versions that the reading was even doubtful, compels us to be against this view. There is no case where shiqqootz means "altar," but many where it means" idol." So the setting up of a heathen altar is not what would naturally be thought of in this connection. The traditional opinion, that this refers to the Roman eagle standards, which were in a sense "idols," and were regarded especially as such by the Jews, is certainly at least plausible on grammatical grounds, and may be regarded as certain from other reasons; e.g. its suitability to the meaning of the other verses. Even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured out upon the desolate. The Revised Version is very different here, "And even unto the consummation, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolator." We have already seen that תִּתַּך (tittak)," poured out," must be abandoned, as not present in any of the versions. Most of them have read 1 Samuel 2:15. The generality of the phenomenon is due to the normal structure of the Hebrew clause. An end shall be set some time to the desolation of Zion, although that end may coincide with 'the end of all things.

In this verse there is a brief comprehensive statement regarding the fulfilment of the dream to the king, which is then extended from v. 26 to 30. At the end of twelve months, i.e., after the expiry of twelve months from the time of the dream, the king betook himself to his palace at Babylon, i.e., to the flat roof of the palace; cf. 2 Samuel 11:2. The addition at Babylon does not indicate that the king was then living at a distance from Babylon, as Berth., v. Leng., Maur., and others imagine, but is altogether suitable to the matter, because Nebuchadnezzar certainly had palaces outside of Babylon, but it is made with special reference to the language of the king which follows regarding the greatness of Babylon. ענה means here not simply to begin to speak, but properly to answer, and suggests to us a foregoing colloquy of the king with himself in his own mind. Whether one may conclude from that, in connection with the statement of time, after twelve months, that Nebuchadnezzar, exactly one year after he had received the important dream, was actively engaging himself regarding that dream, must remain undetermined, and can be of no use to a psychological explanation of the occurrence of the dream. The thoughts which Nebuchadnezzar expresses in v. 26 (Daniel 4:29) are not favourable to such a supposition. Had the king remembered that dream and its interpretation, he would scarcely have spoken so proudly of his splendid city which he had built as he does in v. 27 (Daniel 4:30).

When he surveyed the great and magnificent city from the top of his palace, "pride overcame him," so that he dedicated the building of this great city as the house of his kingdom to the might of his power and the honour of his majesty. From the addition רבּתא it does not follow that this predicate was a standing Epitheton ornans of Babylon, as with חמת , Amos 6:2, and other towns of Asia; for although Pausanias and Strabo call Babylon μεγάλη and μεγίστη πόλις, yet it bears this designation as a surname in no ancient author. But in Revelation 14:8 this predicate, quoted from the passage before us, is given to Babylon, and in the mouth of Nebuchadnezzar it quite corresponds to the self-praise of his great might by which he had built Babylon as the residence of a great king. בּנה designates, as בּנה more frequently, not the building or founding of a city, for the founding of Babylon took place in the earliest times after the Flood (Genesis 11), and was dedicated to the god Belus, or the mythic Semiramis, i.e., in the pre-historic time; but בּנה means the building up, the enlargement, the adorning of the city מלכוּ לבּית, for the house of the kingdom, i.e., for a royal residence; cf. The related expression ממלכה בּית, Amos 7:13. בּית stands in this connection neither for town nor for היכל (Daniel 4:29), but has the meaning dwelling-place. The royalty of the Babylonian kingdom has its dwelling-place, its seat, in Babylon, the capital of the kingdom.

With reference to the great buildings of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, vide the statements of Berosus in Josephi Ant. x. 11, 1, and con. Ap. i. 19, and of Abydenus in Eusebii praepar. evang. ix. 41, and Chron. i. p. 59; also the delineation of these buildings in Duncker's Gesch. des Alterth. i. p. 854ff. The presumption of this language appears in the words, "by the strength of my might, and for the splendour (honour) of my majesty." Thus Nebuchadnezzar describes himself as the creator of his kingdom and of its glory, while the building up of his capital as a residence bearing witness to his glory and his might pointed at the same time to the duration of his dynasty. This proud utterance is immediately followed by his humiliation by the omnipotent God. A voice fell from heaven. נפל as in Isaiah 9:7, of the sudden coming of a divine revelation. אמרין for the passive, as Daniel 3:4. The perf. עדּת denotes the matter as finished. At the moment when Nebuchadnezzar heard in his soul the voice from heaven, the prophecy begins to be fulfilled, the king becomes deranged, and is deprived of his royalty.

Daniel 4:29-30 (Daniel 4:32-33)


The fulfilling of the dream.

Nebuchadnezzar narrates the fulfilment of the dream altogether objectively, so that he speaks of himself in the third person. Berth., Hitz., and others find here that the author falls out of the role of the king into the narrative tone, and thus betrays the fact that some other than the king framed the edict. But this conclusion is opposed by the fact that Nebuchadnezzar from v. 31 speaks of his recovery again in the first person. Thus it is beyond doubt that the change of person has its reason in the matter itself. Certainly it could not be in this that Nebuchadnezzar thought it unbecoming to speak in his own person of his madness; for if he had had so tender a regard for his own person, he would not have published the whole occurrence in a manifesto addressed to his subjects. But the reason of his speaking of his madness in the third person, as if some other one were narrating it, lies simply in this, that in that condition he was not Ich equals Ego (Kliefoth). With the return of the Ich, I, on the recovery from his madness, Nebuchadnezzar begins again to narrate in the first person (v. 31 34).

Here the contents of the prophecy, v. 22 (v. 25), are repeated, and then in v. 30 (v. 33) it is stated that the word regarding Nebuchadnezzar immediately began to be fulfilled. On שׁעתא בהּ, cf. Daniel 3:6. ספת, from סוּף, to go to an end. The prophecy goes to an end when it is realized, is fulfilled. The fulfilling is related in the words of the prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar is driven from among men, viz., by his madness, in which he fled from intercourse with men, and lived under the open air of heaven as a beast among the beasts, eating grass like the cattle; and his person was so neglected, that his hair became like the eagles' fathers and his nails like birds' claws. כּנשׁרין and כּצפּרין are abbreviated comparisons; vide under Daniel 4:16. That this condition was a peculiar appearance of the madness is expressly mentioned in v. 31 (Daniel 4:34), where the recovery is designated as the restoration of his understanding.

This malady, in which men regard themselves as beasts and imitate their manner of life, is called insania zoanthropica, or, in the case of those who think themselves wolves, lycanthropia. The condition is described in a manner true to nature. Even "as to the eating of grass," as G. Rsch, in the Deutsch. Morgenl. Zeitschr. xv. p. 521, remarks, "there is nothing to perplex or that needs to be explained. It is a circumstance that has occurred in recent times, as e.g., in the case of a woman in the Wrttemberg asylum for the insane." Historical documents regarding this form of madness have been collected by Trusen in his Sitten, Gebr. u. Krank. der alten Hebrer, p. 205f., 2nd ed., and by Friedreich in Zur Bibel, i. p. 308f.

(Note: Regarding the statement, "his hair grew as the feathers of an eagle," etc., Friedr. remarks, p. 316, that, besides the neglect of the external appearance, there is also to be observed the circumstance that sometimes in psychical maladies the nails assume a peculiarly monstrous luxuriance with deformity. Besides, his remaining for a long time in the open air is to be considered, "for it is an actual experience that the hair, the more it is exposed to the influences of the rough weather and to the sun's rays, the more does it grow in hardness, and thus becomes like unto the feathers of an eagle.")

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