Daniel 9:25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(25) Know therefore.—The difficulty of this verse is considerably increased by the principal accent in the Hebrew text being placed after the words “seven weeks.” According to the present punctuation, the translation is “Unto an Anointed one a prince shall be seven weeks, and during sixty and two weeks [Jerusalem] shall be built up” . . . This is opposed (1) to ancient translations except the LXX.; (2) to Daniel 9:26, which connects the sixty-two weeks with the Anointed, and not with the building of the city.

The commandment.—To be explained, as in Daniel 9:23, to mean revelation. But to what revelation is the allusion? Is it to the edict of Cyrus (Ezra 6:14), which Isaiah predicts (Isaiah 44:28)? Or are we to explain it of what happened in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes? (See Excursus G.) It is obvious that there is no reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy, for nothing is there stated which can be interpreted to be a command to rebuild Jerusalem.

Messiah the Prince.—Literally, an Anointed one, a prince, the two nouns being placed in apposition, and the article omitted before each, the person and the office of the person contemplated being sufficiently definite. He is to be “anointed,” that is, King and Priest at once (see 1Samuel 10:1; 1Samuel 13:14; 1Samuel 25:30); in fact, He is to possess those attributes which in other passages are ascribed to the Messiah. It is needless to point out that Cyrus, though spoken of (Isaiah 45:1) as an “anointed of Jehovah,” cannot be indicated here. By no calculation can he be said to have come either seven weeks or, sixty-nine weeks from the time of the commencement of the Captivity.

The street . . . the wall.—By the street is meant the large square, which, according to Ezra 10:9, was in front of the Temple. With this the “wall” is contrasted, but what is meant cannot be ascertained. According to the etymology, it means “something cut off.” The English Version follows the ancient translations.

In troublous times.—The whole history of the rebuilding of Jerusalem tells us one long tale of protracted opposition. Zerubbabel was compelled to undergo the persecution of his adversaries, and to bear their misrepresentations (Ezra 4:1-6). Attempts to delay the works were made in the reign of Darius (Ezra 5:6). In later times (Ezra 4:12) complaints were made that the walls were being rebuilt. Probably on this occasion the works that had been executed were destroyed (Nehemiah 1:3), and it was not until the twentieth year of Artaxerxes that Nehemiah succeeded in completing the walls, and not even then without the most indefatigable labours.

Daniel 9:25. Know therefore and understand — Learn therefore and retain; from the going forth of the commandment — From the publication of the edict by the Persian king; to restore and to build Jerusalem — Or, to build again Jerusalem: so the verb שׂובis translated in the latter part of the verse. Daniel had besought God to behold their desolations, and the ruins of the city which was called by his name, Daniel 9:18. In answer to this his supplication, the angel acquaints him, that an order should be issued from the Persian king to rebuild both the city and its wall. Now when, after this, the commandment did actually go forth, the faith of God’s people would be greatly confirmed, respecting the accomplishment of this wonderful prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, the prescience of the end being confirmed by that of all the intermediate events.

Four edicts of the kings of Persia, in favour of the Jews, mentioned in Scripture, are, 1st, That of Cyrus, Ezra 1:1. 2d, That of Darius Hystaspes, Ezra 4:6; Haggai 1:1; Haggai 2:3 d, That of Artaxerxes Longimanus, in the seventh year of his reign, Ezra 7.; Ezra 8:4 th, That in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, Nehemiah 2:1. The first of these edicts cannot be applied to this prophecy, inasmuch as from the first of Cyrus, before Christ 536, to the death of Christ, A.D. 34, are 570 years. It was, however, the basis of liberty to the Jews, for all the indulgences granted them afterward, by the following kings of Persia, were founded on the precedent of this great monarch. So that he might well be considered as fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah: He shall build my city, he shall let go my captives, Isaiah 45:13. In consequence of this decree 50,000 Jews returned under Zerubbabel, and partly dispersed themselves in their several tribes, and partly settled at Jerusalem, and began to build both the city and temple. But this was in a very rude and tumultuous manner, and they met with so many hinderances from the Samaritans and others, that the decree was not carried into effect. This therefore is not the period we are to reckon from. The second, namely, that of Darius Hystaspes, was made about fourteen years after, preceding the death of Christ 550 years. But neither was this efficacious. Besides, it related to the temple only, as appears from the letter of the Samaritan colony to Cambyses, Ezra 4:11-16; neither therefore is this the period. The third decree, which was that of Artaxerxes Longimanus, recorded at large Ezra 7:12-26, “was of great solemnity and efficacy, importing no less than the restoration of the Jewish constitution, both civil and ecclesiastical, providing in the first place for the re-establishment of divine worship with becoming order and magnificence, exempting the priesthood from all taxes; then, for the civil government of the people, the institution of tribunals, and the administration of justice, according to the law of Moses. This decree answers to all the characters of the prophecy, the restoring of the constitution, the rebuilding of the city, and the chronological periods distinctly specified,” and is, no doubt, here chiefly intended.

“It is not unpleasing to conjecture the cause that moved the Persian monarch thus to emulate and transcend the magnanimity of Cyrus. Josephus with great probability, supposes the famous Esther to have been the queen of Artaxerxes. By her influence both the edicts of the seventh and twentieth of his reign were obtained: which is almost demonstrable from Nehemiah’s prayer, Nehemiah 1:5-11; and relation, Nehemiah 2:1-11. Thus the providence of God raised a Jewish heroine to the throne of Persia, first to preserve his people from massacre and extermination, and afterward to facilitate and complete their resettlement. Under these auspices, Ezra, like another Moses, became a second founder of the Jewish state: and his return with the captives to restore Jerusalem is the glorious epoch, from which the seventy weeks begin. God was pleased to reward the heroic virtue of Esther with a long and uninterrupted prosperity, being in full favour with the king from the seventh to the twentieth year of his reign, and perhaps earlier and later: and she had the felicity, than which none on earth can be greater, of having restored her nation to the full possession of their religion, laws, and liberties.”

“The fourth and last edict was that which the same Artaxerxes granted to Nehemiah, in the twentieth year of his reign, to repair and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Between the two edicts of the seventh and the twentieth, the rebuilding had met with so much opposition and hostility, that Nehemiah had much of the fortifications to begin again: the temple, which is the essential part of the completion, being finished, in consequence of the former edict. It is easy to solve the seeming difficulty respecting the thirteen years between the two edicts; for the archangel commences the seventy weeks, not from the actual rebuilding the walls and streets, but from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild them. So that the date of the first edict, not the work itself, is the epoch from whence begins the period of four hundred and ninety years. The work itself, though interrupted and resumed, properly began with the permission to execute it. Ezra began the foundation of the temple; Nehemiah completed the walls on the old foundations, and celebrated the encænia, keeping the dedication with gladness and with thanksgivings, Nehemiah 12:27. Thus, of the four edicts, the first two are excluded because they were not efficacious, and prolong the term to near six hundred years: and the fourth was only a confirmation of the third. No other commencement of the four hundred and ninety years agrees with the event, than that of the seventh of Artaxerxes: and this system is perspicuous, and free from all difficulties.” — Apthorp.

In order to manifest the perspicuity of this exposition, and give it the greater evidence, it may be well to examine the distinct characters of each of the three intervals into which the seventy weeks are divided; namely, seven weeks, threescore and two weeks, and one week. The reason of this distribution into three intervals, flowing in uninterrupted succession, is not so obscure as to elude discovery. The first and third of these intervals are marked by great events; the restoration of the Jewish polity, the expiation of Christ’s passion, and his covenant with the Jews and Gentiles. The long interval which connects the two extremes, necessarily contains sixty-two weeks. “In our English version, the sense of the twenty-fifth verse is somewhat obscured by the punctuation. It is easily rectified thus: From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks — The angel then specifies the great events of each of these intervals. In the first, of seven weeks, the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And thus it was; the city and the walls were rebuilt in forty-nine years, not without much opposition and various impediments. Nothing can be more exact than this period of the completion, both for the interval of forty-nine years, ending with the sixteenth of Darius; and for the troublous times in which the Jewish patriots restored and rebuilt their city.” — Dr. Apthorp. It must be observed here, 1st, That the restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem, here spoken of, though it may chiefly respect the laws and constitution, is not so merely figurative as to exclude the literal sense: for though the city itself was in some degree rebuilt before this period, yet it was done so imperfectly, by reason of their poverty, and the opposition and envy of their neighbours, that the work was to be resumed in the seventh of Longimanus, whose long reign, and his favour to the nation of his queen, providentially effected its complete restoration. 2d, The troublous times mentioned, refer both to the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks. “The peculiarity in the application of these times to the seven weeks, consists in the almost continual obstructions which the restored Jews met with, chiefly from the Samaritans, and also from their idolatrous neighbours the Moabites, Ammonites, and others, in the difficult work of rebuilding the temple and walls of the new city; insomuch that the artificers were obliged to carry on their work with arms in their hands to repulse their assailants. But the troublous times here predicted have also an aspect on the long period of sixty-two weeks, in which the Jewish history abundantly verified this sad circumstance. Not to mention their general calamities and subjection to their potent neighbours of Syria and Egypt, their city was taken and their temple profaned by Ptolemy I., by Antiochus, by Crassus, by Pompey, by Herod: and their state was often so critical, that a particular providence was manifested in their preservation, especially in raising them up those illustrious patriots, who so nobly resisted the tyranny and persecution of Antiochus. Few periods of history are more savage and inglorious, more profligate and flagitious, than that of the successors of Alexander: and the Jewish government is not to be calumniated for their portion in the general calamities of those ages; while they are deserving of the highest admiration for their constancy, in being the only people on earth who adhered to the exclusive worship of the ONLY GOD.” — Apthorp.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!Know, therefore, and understand - Hengstenberg renders this, "and thou wilt know and understand;" and supposes that the design of Gabriel is to awaken the attention and interest of Daniel by the assurance that, if he would give attention, he would understand the subject by the explanation which he was about to give. So also Theodotion renders it in the future tense. The Hebrew is in the future tense, and would probably convey the idea that he might, or would know and understand the matter. So Lengerke renders it, "Und so mogest du wissen," etc. The object is doubtless to call the attention of Daniel to the subject, with the assurance that he might comprehend the great points of the communication which he was about to make respecting the seventy weeks. In the previous verse, the statement was a general one; in this, the angel states the time when the period of the seventy weeks was to commence, and then that the whole period was to be broken up or divided into three smaller portions or epochs, each evidently marking some important event, or constituting an important era. The first period of seven weeks was evidently to be characterized by something in which it would be different from what would follow, or it would reach to some important epoch, and then would follow a continuous period of sixty-two weeks, after which, during the remaining one week, to complete the whole number of seventy, the Messiah would come and would be cut off, and the series of desolations would commence which would result in the entire destruction of the city.

That from the going forth of the commandment - Hebrew, "of the word" - דבר dâbâr. It is used, however, as in Daniel 9:23, in the sense of commandment or order. The expression "gone forth" (מצא môtsâ') would properly apply to the "issuing" of an order or decree. So in Daniel 9:23 - דבר יצא yâtsâ' dâbâr - "the commandment went forth." The word properly means a going forth, and is applied to the rising sun, that goes forth from the east, Psalm 19:6 (7); then a "place" of going forth, as a gate, a fountain of waters, the east, etc., Ezekiel 42:11; Isaiah 41:18; Psalm 75:6 (7). The word here has undoubted reference to the promulgation of a decree or command, but there is nothing in the words to determine "by whom" the command was to be issued. So far as the "language" is concerned, it would apply equally well to a command issued by God, or by the Persian king, and nothing but the circumstances can determine which is referred to. Hengstenberg supposes that it is the former, and that the reference is to the Divine purpose, or the command issued from the "heavenly council" to rebuild Jerusalem. But the more natural and obvious meaning is, to understand it of the command' actually issued by the Persian monarch to restore and build the city of Jerusalem. This has been the interpretation given by the great body of expositors, and the reasons for it seem to be perfectly clear:

(a) This would be the interpretation affixed to it naturally, if there were no theory to support, or if it did not open a chronological difficulty not easy to settle.

(b) This is the only interpretation which can give anything like definiteness to the passage. Its purpose is to designate some fixed and certain period from which a reckoning could be made as to the time when the Messiah would come. But, so far as appears, there was no such definite and marked command on the part of God; no period which can be fixed upon when he gave commandment to restore and build Jerusalem; no exact and settled point from which one could reckon as to the period when the Messiah would come. It seems to me, therefore, to be clear, that the allusion is to some order to rebuild the city, and as this order could come only from one who had at that time jurisdiction over Jerusalem, and Judea, and who could command the resources necessary to rebuild the ruined city, that order must be one that would emanate from the reigning power; that is, in fact, the Persian power - for that was the power that had jurisdiction at the close of the seventy years' exile. But, as there were several orders or commands in regard to the restoration of the city and the temple, and as there has been much difficulty in ascertaining the exact chronology of the events of that remote period, it has not been easy to determine the precise order referred to, or to relieve the whole subject from perplexity and difficulty. Lengerke supposes that the reference here is the same as in Daniel 9:2, to the promise made to Jeremiah, and that this is the true point from which the reckoning is to be made. The exact edict referred to will be more properly considered at the close of the verse. All that is necessarily implied here is, that the time from which the reckoning is to be commenced is some command or order issued to restore and build Jerusalem.

To restore - Margin, "build again." The Hebrew is, properly, "to cause to return" - להשׁיב lehâshı̂yb. The word might be applied to the return of the captives to their own land, but it is evidently used here with reference to the city of Jerusalem, and the meaning must be, "to restore it to its former condition." It was evidently the purpose to cause it to return, as it were, to its former spendour; to reinstate it in its former condition as a holy city - the city where the worship of God would be celebrated, and it is this purpose which is referred to here. The word, in Hiphil, is used in this sense of restoring to a former state, or to renew, in the following places: Psalm 80:3, "Turn us again - השׁיבנוּ hăshı̂ybēnû - and cause thy face to shine." So Psalm 80:7, Psalm 80:19. Isaiah 1:26, "And I will "restore" thy judges as at the first," etc. The meaning here would be met by the supposition that Jerusalem was to be put into its former condition.

And to build Jerusalem - It was then in ruins. The command, which is referred to here, must be one to build it up again - its houses, temple, walls; and the fair sense is, that some such order would be issued, and the reckoning of the seventy weeks must "begin" at the issuing of this command. The proper interpretation of the prophecy demands that "that" time shall be assumed in endeavoring to ascertain when the seventy weeks would terminate. In doing this, it is evidently required in all fairness that we should not take the time when the Messiah "did" appear - or the birth of the Lord Jesus, assuming that to be the "terminus ad quem" - the point to which the seventy weeks were to extend - and then reckon "backward" for a space of four hundred and ninety years, to see whether we cannot find some event which by a possible construction would bear to be applied as the "terminus a quo," the point from which we are to begin to reckon; but we are to ascertain when, in fact, the order was given to rebuild Jerusalem, and to make "that" the "terminus a quo" - the starting point in the reckoning. The consideration of the fulfillment of this may with propriety be reserved to the close of the verse.

Unto the Messiah - The word Messiah occurs but four times in the common version of the Scriptures: Daniel 9:25-26 : John 1:41; John 4:25. It is synonymous in meaning with the word "Christ," the Anointed. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. Messiah is the Hebrew word; Christ the Greek. The Hebrew word (משׁיח mâshı̂yach) occurs frequently in the Old Testament, and, with the exception of these two places in Daniel, it is uniformly translated "anointed," and is applied to priests, to prophets, and to kings, as being originally set apart to their offices by solemn acts of anointing. So far as the "language" is concerned here, it might be applied to anyone who sustained these offices, and the proper application is to be determined from the connection. Our translators have introduced the article - "unto the Messiah." This is wanting in the Hebrew, and should not have been introduced, as it gives a definiteness to the prophecy which the original language does not necessarily demand.

Our translators undoubtedly understood it as referring to him who is known as the Messiah, but this is not necessarily implied in the original. All that the language fairly conveys is, "until an anointed one." Who "that" was to be is to be determined from other circumstances than the mere use of the language, and in the interpretation of the language it should not be assumed that the reference is to any particular individual. That some eminent personage is designated; some one who by way of eminence would be properly regarded as anointed of God; some one who would act so important a part as to characterize the age, or determine the epoch in which he should live; some one so prominent that he could be referred to as "anointed," with no more definite appellation; some one who would be understood to be referred to by the mere use of this language, may be fairly concluded from the expression used - for the angel clearly meant to imply this, and to direct the mind forward to some one who would have such a prominence in the history of the world.

The object now is merely to ascertain the meaning of the "language." All that is fairly implied is, that it refers to some one who would have such a prominence as anointed, or set apart to the office of prophet, priest, or king, that it could be understood that he was referred to by the use of this language. The reference is not to the anointed one, as of one who was already known or looked forward to as such - for then the article would have been used; but to some one who, when he appeared, would have such marked characteristics that there would be no difficulty in determining that he was the one intended. Hengstenberg well remarks, "We must, therefore, translate "an anointed one, a prince," and assume that the prophet, in accordance with the uniform character of his prophecy, chose the more indefinite, instead of the more definite designation, and spoke only of AN anointed one, a prince, instead of the anointed one, the prince - κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν kat' exochēn - and left his hearers to draw a deeper knowledge respecting him, from the prevailing expectations, grounded on earlier prophecies of a future great King, from the remaining declarations of the context, and from the fulfillment, the coincidence of which with the prophecy must here be the more obvious, since an accurate date had been given." - Christol. ii. 334, 335.

The Vulgate renders this, Usque ad Christum ducem - "even to Christ the leader," or ruler. The Syriac, "to the advent of Christ the king." Theodotion, ἕως Χριστοῦ ἡγουμένου heōs Christou hēgoumenou - "Christ the leader," or ruler. The question whether this refers to Christ will be more appropriately considered at the close of the verse. The inquiry will then occur, also, whether this refers to his birth, or to his appearance as the anointed one - his taking upon himself publicly the office. The language would apply to either, though it would perhaps more properly refer to the latter - to the time when he should appear as such - or should be anointed, crowned, or set apart to the office, and be fully instituted in it. It could not be demonstrated that either of these applications would be a departure from the fair interpretation of the words, and the application must be determined by some other circumstances, if any are expressed. What those are in the case will be considered at the close of the verse.

The Prince - נגיד nāgı̂yd. This word properly means a leader, a prefect, a prince. It is a word of very general character, and might be applied to any leader or ruler. It is applied to an overseer, or, as we should say, a "secretary" of the treasury, 1 Chronicles 26:24; 2 Chronicles 31:12; an overseer of the temple, 1 Chronicles 9:11; 2 Chronicles 31:13; of the palace, 2 Chronicles 28:7; and of military affairs, 1 Chronicles 13:1; 2 Chronicles 32:21. It is also used absolutely to denote a prince of a people, any one of royal dignity, 1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 13:14. - Gesenius. So far as this word, therefore, is concerned, it would apply to any prince or leader, civil or military; any one of royal dignity, or who should distinguish himself, or make himself a leader in civil, ecclesiastical, or military affairs, or who should receive an appointment to any such station. It is a word which would be as applicable to the Messiah as to any other leader, but which has nothing in itself to make it necessary to apply it to him. All that can be fairly deduced from its use here is, that it would be some prominent leader; some one that would be known without anymore definite designation; someone on whom the mind would naturally rest, and someone to whom when he appeared it would be applied without hesitation and without difficulty. There can be no doubt that a Hebrew, in the circumstances of Daniel, and with the known views and expectations of the Hebrew people, would apply such a phrase to the Messiah.

Shall be seven weeks - See the notes at Daniel 9:24. The reason for dividing the whole period into seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week, is not formally stated, and will be considered at the close of the verse. All that is necessary here in order to an explanation of the language, and of what is to be anticipated in the fulfillment, is this:

(a) That, according to the above interpretation Daniel 9:24, the period would be forty-nine years.

(b) That this was to be the "first" portion of the whole time, not time that would be properly taken out of any part of the whole period.


25. from the going forth of the commandment—namely the command from God, whence originated the command of the Persian king (Ezr 6:14). Auberlen remarks, there is but one Apocalypse in each Testament. Its purpose in each is to sum up all the preceding prophecies, previous to the "troublous times" of the Gentiles, in which there was to be no revelation. Daniel sums up all the previous Messianic prophecy, separating into its individual phases what the prophets had seen in one and the same perspective, the temporary deliverance from captivity and the antitypical final Messianic deliverance. The seventy weeks are separated (Da 9:25-27) into three unequal parts, seven, sixty-two, one. The seventieth is the consummation of the preceding ones, as the Sabbath of God succeeds the working days; an idea suggested by the division into weeks. In the sixty-nine weeks Jerusalem is restored, and so a place is prepared for Messiah wherein to accomplish His sabbatic work (Da 9:25, 26) of "confirming the covenant" (Da 9:27). The Messianic time is the Sabbath of Israel's history, in which it had the offer of all God's mercies, but in which it was cut off for a time by its rejection of them. As the seventy weeks end with seven years, or a week, so they begin with seven times seven, that is, seven weeks. As the seventieth week is separated from the rest as a period of revelation, so it may be with the seven weeks. The number seven is associated with revelation; for the seven spirits of God are the mediators of all His revelations (Re 1:4; 3:1; 4:5). Ten is the number of what is human; for example, the world power issues in ten heads and ten horns (Da 2:42; 7:7). Seventy is ten multiplied by seven, the human moulded by the divine. The seventy years of exile symbolize the triumph of the world power over Israel. In the seven times seventy years the world number ten is likewise contained, that is, God's people is still under the power of the world ("troublous times"); but the number of the divine is multiplied by itself; seven times seven years, at the beginning a period of Old Testament revelation to God's people by Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi, whose labors extend over about half a century, or seven weeks, and whose writings are last in the canon; and in the end, seven years, the period of New Testament revelation in Messiah. The commencing seven weeks of years of Old Testament revelation are hurried over, in order that the chief stress might rest on the Messianic week. Yet the seven weeks of Old Testament revelation are marked by their separation from the sixty-two, to be above those sixty-two wherein there was to be none.

Messiah the Prince—Hebrew, Nagid. Messiah is Jesus' title in respect to Israel (Ps 2:2; Mt 27:37, 42). Nagid, as Prince of the Gentiles (Isa 55:4). Nagid is applied to Titus, only as representative of Christ, who designates the Roman destruction of Jerusalem as, in a sense, His coming (Mt 24:29-31; Joh 21:22). Messiah denotes His calling; Nagid, His power. He is to "be cut off, and there shall be nothing for Him." (So the Hebrew for "not for Himself," Da 9:26, ought to be translated). Yet He is "the Prince" who is to "come," by His representative at first, to inflict judgment, and at last in person.

wall—the "trench" or "scarped rampart" [Tregelles]. The street and trench include the complete restoration of the city externally and internally, which was during the sixty-nine weeks.

Know therefore and understand, i.e. by deep consideration, upon a due search of reason, and comparing of things, and minding what the angel saith.

Seven weeks from the publication of the edict, whether of Cyrus or Darius, to restore and to build, we shall see anon.

Even in troublous times; noting the enemy should create them much trouble in the building and reparations of the wall, city, and temple, which they did many ways, as we read in Nehemiah, which the Spirit of God doth premonish them of, lest they should think this their chief deliverance and redemption. These seven weeks are therefore mentioned by themselves, and repeated no more, because they contained the time of building the wall, city, and temple of Jerusalem, at the end of which seem to begin the sixty-two weeks. Know, therefore, and understand,.... Take notice and observe, for the clearer understanding of these seventy weeks, and the events to be fulfilled in them, what will be further said concerning them, the beginning of them, their distinct periods, and what shall be accomplished in them:

that from the time of the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem; this commandment is the beginning of the seventy weeks or four hundred and ninety years, and from it they are to be reckoned; and which designs not the proclamation of Cyrus in the first year of his reign, which was only to rebuild the temple, and not the city of Jerusalem, Ezra 1:1, nor the decree of Darius Hystaspes, which also only regards the temple, and is only a confirmation of the decree of Cyrus, Ezra 6:1 and for the same reasons it cannot be the decree in the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes; which only confirmed what his predecessors had granted concerning the temple, and provision for sacrifices, and exemption of the priests from toll, tribute, or custom, Ezra 7:7, but has not a word of building the wall and streets of Jerusalem, as that has, which was made in the twentieth year of his reign; and seems therefore to be the commandment or decree here referred to, Nehemiah 2:1, and this is the general epoch of the seventy weeks, and where the first seven begin; though Gussetius (a) thinks that the word does not signify any edict or decree, but a "thing"; and designs the thing itself, restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem; and that the following date is to be reckoned, not from any order to rebuild that city, but from the thing itself, from the moment when it first began to be rebuilt: and as singular is the notion of Tirinus (b), who is of opinion that this is to be understood of the going out, or the end of the word; not whereby the holy city was ordered to be built, but when it was really built; and so begins the account from the dedication of the new city, in the twenty third year of Artaxerxes, Nehemiah 12:27. There are others who suppose that not any human word, decree, commandment, or order, is here meant, but a divine one; either the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, foretelling the seventy years' captivity of the Jews, and their deliverance from it; and reckon these four hundred and ninety years from the destruction of the first temple, to the destruction of the second temple, as Jarchi, Saadiah, Jacchiades, and others; but between these two destructions was a course of six hundred and fifty six or six hundred and fifty seven years: others take the beginning of the seventy weeks to be from the going forth of the commandment to the angel, at the beginning of Daniel's prayers, as Aben Ezra; and to end at the destruction of the second temple; but, for a like reason, this must be rejected as the other; since this space of time will outrun the seventy weeks near one hundred and twenty years: it is best therefore to interpret this of a royal edict, the order or commandment of a king of Persia to rebuild Jerusalem; and it seems correct to reckon the number given, either from the seventh, or rather from the twentieth, of Artaxerxes Longimanus before mentioned; and either these reckonings, as Bishop Chandler (c) observes, are sufficient for our purpose, to show the completion of the prophecy in Christ:

"the commencement of the weeks (as he remarks) must be either from the seventh of Artaxerxes, which falls on 457 B.C. or from the twentieth of Artaxerxes; (add to 457 B.C., twenty six years after Christ, which is the number that four hundred and eighty three years, or sixty nine weeks, exceeds four hundred and fifty seven years); and you are brought to the beginning of John the Baptist's preaching up the advent of the Messiah; add seven years or one week to the former, and you come to the thirty third year of A.D. which was the year of Jesus Christ's death or else compute four hundred and ninety years, the whole seventy weeks, from the seventh of Artaxerxes, by subtracting four hundred and fifty seven years (the space of time between that year and the beginning of A.D.) from four hundred and ninety, and there remains thirty three, the year of our Lord's death. Let the twentieth of Artaxerxes be the date of the seventy weeks, which is 455 B.C. and reckon sixty nine weeks of Chaldean years; seventy Chaldee years being equal to sixty nine Julian; and so four hundred and seventy eight Julian years making four hundred and eighty three Chaldee years, and they end in the thirty third year after Christ, or the passover following (d)'';

the several particulars into which these seventy weeks are divided:

unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; by whom is meant, not Cyrus, as Jarchi and Jacchiades; who, though called Messiah or anointed, Isaiah 44:28, cannot be intended; for this prince was to be cut off after seven, and sixty two weeks, or four hundred and eighty three years; whereas Cyrus died ages before this, and even died before the expiration of the seven weeks, or forty nine years; nor Joshua the high priest, or Zerubbabel, as Ben Gersom and others nor Nehemiah as Aben Ezra; nor Artaxerxes, which R. Azariah (e) thinks probable; for to none of these will this character agree, which denotes some eminent person known by this name; nor the work ascribed to him, Daniel 9:24, nor can it be said of either of them that they were cut off, and much less at such a period as is here fixed: it is right to interpret it of the promised and expected Saviour, whom the Psalmist David had frequently spoken of under the name of the Messiah, and as a King and Prince; see Psalm 2:2 and who is David, the Prince Ezekiel before this had prophesied of, Ezekiel 34:24, and is the same with the Prince of peace in the famous prophecy of him in Isaiah 9:6. The Syriac version, though not a literal one, gives the true sense of the passage, rendering it,

"unto the coming of the King Messiah;''

unto which there were to be seven, and sixty two weeks, or sixty nine weeks, which make four hundred and eighty three years; and these being understood of eastern years, used by the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Persians, consisting of three hundred and sixty days, reckoning thirty days to a month, and twelve months to a year, there were just four hundred and eighty three of these from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes to the thirty third of the vulgar era of Christ, and the nineteenth of Tiberius Caesar, in which he suffered. Sir Isaac Newton (f) thinks the seven weeks unto Messiah, which he detaches from the sixty two, respects the second coming of Christ, when he shall come as a Prince, and destroy antichrist, and that it takes in the compass of a jubilee; but when it will begin and end he does not pretend to say; but the true reason of the sixty nine weeks being divided into seven, and sixty two, is on account of the particular and distinct events assigned to each period, as follows:

the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times; that is, within the space of seven weeks, or forty nine years, reckoning from the twentieth of Artaxerxes; when the Jews had a grant to rebuild their city and wall, and were furnished with materials for it; and which was done in very troublesome times; Nehemiah, and the Jews with him, met with much trouble from Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, while they were setting up the wall of the city, and filling the streets with ranges of houses, Nehemiah chapters four and five for which the space of seven weeks, or forty nine years, were cut out and appointed; and that this event belongs solely to this period is clear from the Messiah's coming being appropriated to the period of the sixty two weeks; which leaves this entirely where it is fixed.

(a) Ebr. Comment. p. 177, 329. (b) Chronolog. Sacr. p. 44. (c) Answer to the Grounds and Reasons, &c. p. 139. (d) See these seventy weeks more largely considered, in a Treatise of mine, concerning the prophecies of the Old Testament respecting the Messiah, &c. p. 64-78. (e) Meor Enayim, c. 41. fol. 134. 2.((f) Observations on Daniel, p. 132, 133, 134.

Know therefore and understand, that from {s} the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven {t} weeks, and {u} threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

(s) That is, from the time that Cyrus gave them permission to depart.

(t) These weeks make forty-nine years, of which forty-six are referred to the time of the building of the temple, and three to the laying of the foundation.

(u) Counting from the sixth year of Darius, who gave the second commandment for the building of the temple are sixty-two weeks, which make 434 years, which comprehend the time from the building of the temple until the baptism of Christ.

25. The 7 weeks and the following 62 weeks.

understand] R.V. discern,—the Hebrew word being the same as that rendered have discernment in Daniel 9:13 (R.V.), and different from the one rendered understand in Daniel 9:2; Daniel 9:23.

the going forth of the word] cf. (for the expression) Daniel 9:23, Isaiah 55:11. The reference is to the Divine word spoken by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 31:38 f.), the meaning of whose predictions is here interpreted (cf. Daniel 9:2).

to restore] lit. to cause to return or bring back, often used of exiles (as Jeremiah 12:15), but not used elsewhere of restoring (i.e. rebuilding) a city. To repeople (השִׁיב for הָשִׁיב),—lit. to cause to sit, figuratively of a city, to cause to be inhabited,—is a plausible emendation (Bevan): cf. the same word in Isaiah 44:26 (‘she shall be made to be inhabited,’ lit. be made to sit), Jeremiah 30:18 (see R.V. marg.: lit. shall sit), Ezekiel 36:33 (lit. cause the cities to sit, followed by ‘and the waste places shall be builded’).

unto an anointed one, a prince] The term ‘anointed’ is used most frequently in the O.T. of the theocratic ruler of Israel (‘Jehovah’s anointed,’ ‘his, my, anointed,’ &c., 1 Samuel 12:3, Psalm 18:50, &c., but never ‘the anointed’); of the high-priest, Leviticus 4:3; Leviticus 4:5; Leviticus 4:16; Leviticus 6:21 (‘the high-priest, the anointed one’), 2Ma 1:10; in a figurative sense also of Cyrus, as the agent commissioned by Jehovah for the restoration of His people, Isaiah 45:1, and of the patriarchs, Psalm 105:15 (‘Touch not mine anointed ones’). On the rend. of A.V., see further p. 144.

prince (נגיד),—properly one in front, leader,—is used (a) of the chief ruler of Israel, 1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 13:14 and frequently; (b) of a foreign ruler, Ezekiel 28:2; (c. of some high official connected with the Temple, Jeremiah 20:1 (‘who was prince-overseer in the house of Jehovah’), 1 Chronicles 9:11, 2 Chronicles 31:18; 2 Chronicles 35:8, Nehemiah 11:11; (d) in the Chronicles, more generally, of a leader (1 Chronicles 9:20; 1 Chronicles 13:1; 1 Chronicles 27:16), commander (2 Chronicles 11:11), or superintendent (1 Chronicles 26:24, 2 Chronicles 31:12). The ‘anointed one, the prince,’ who is here meant, is apparently (see more fully below) Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1), who is called in Isaiah 45:1 Jehovah’s ‘anointed,’ and who, it is said in Isaiah 44:26; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:13, will give command for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, which is here, it will be observed, just the subject of the following clause. Grätz and Bevan, however, suppose that Jeshua, son of Jozadak, the first high-priest after the restoration (Ezra 3:2; Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 3:1), is intended. The date would suit in either case: the prophecies contained in Jeremiah 30-31 were delivered probably shortly before the fall of Jerusalem, about b.c. 587, and 49 years from 587 would be 538, which was just the date of the capture of Babylon by Cyrus. Jeshua is mentioned among those who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2).

shall be seven weeks: and for threescore and two weeks it shall be built again, (with) broad place and moat (?); and that, in strait of times] so, according to the Heb. interpunction, in manifest agreement with what the sense requires. Seven weeks are to elapse from the ‘word’ commanding the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the ‘anointed one, the prince’; then it will be built again, as a complete city, with ‘broad place’ and moat (?), but in strait of times,—with allusion, viz. to the subject, and sometimes oppressed, condition of Jerusalem from b.c. 538 to 171 (comp. for the earlier part of the period Ezra 4, Nehemiah 6; Nehemiah 9:37): Jerusalem would, indeed, be rebuilt, after the restoration in 538, with material completeness, but would not until long afterwards enjoy the splendour and independence which the prophets had promised (e.g. Isaiah 60.). A ‘broad place,’ or as we might say ‘a square,’ was a standing feature in an Eastern city: see in A.V. Jeremiah 5:1, and in R.V. 2 Chronicles 29:4; 2 Chronicles 32:6, Ezra 10:9 (one before the Temple), Nehemiah 8:1; Nehemiah 8:3; Nehemiah 8:16,—unhappily, in A.V. nearly always[338], and even in R.V. often, misrendered street, and so confused with something entirely different. The word rendered ‘moat’ does not occur elsewhere in the O.T.: the root signifies to cut, make incisions, and in the Mishna almost the same word is used of a trench in a field or vineyard. Whether these facts justify the definite sense of moat is, perhaps, questionable, especially as ‘walls’ and ‘towers’ are more commonly mentioned in connexion with the defences of Jerusalem. Prof. Bevan, following the Pesh., suggests the plausible emendation, ‘broad place and street’ (חוץ for חרוץ), two words often found in parallelism: see in A.V. Jeremiah 5:1; in R.V. Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 7:12, Isaiah 15:3; also Song of Solomon 3:2, Amos 5:16, Nahum 2:4 (here, badly, broad ways). Whether, however, the text be altered or not, the general sense remains the same: Jerusalem will be rebuilt with the usual material completeness of an Eastern city; but will not enjoy political ease and freedom.

[338] As Genesis 19:2; Deuteronomy 13:16; 2 Samuel 21:12 (see R.V. marg.); Jeremiah 9:21; Lamentations 2:11-12; Zechariah 8:4-5.

in strait of times] For the expression cf. Isaiah 33:6, ‘stability (i.e. security) of thy times’: for ‘times,’ also, 1 Chronicles 29:30.

25–27. The 70 weeks are now broken up into three periods of 7, 62, and 1 week, respectively; and the events by which each of these periods is to be marked are signalized.Verse 25. - Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. The version of the LXX. is widely different from this, "And thou shalt know and shalt understand and shalt discover that the commandments are determined, and thou shalt build Jerusalem a city of the Lord." The change in the first clause is due to a doublet reading - tishmah being also read as well as tishkayl, which may have become confluent in the Hebrew text before the Septuagint translator wrote. Instead of min-motza, he must have read v'timtza, deriving this, not from יָצָא (yatza), "to go forth," but from מָצָא (matza), "to find" - a reading that is opposed by the fact that many manuscripts write the word plerum, מוצָא. Dabar must have been in the plural, and some such word as neherotzeem must have been supplied instead of hasheeb. The fact, however, that the same change occurs in Theodotion might render it at least possible that this was the word in the text, but Paulus Tellensis must have had a different reading, "Thou shalt find the precepts for answering;" a marginal reading adds, "and for the understanding the weeks." In the next clause, וּבָנִיתָ (oova-neetha) instead of לִבְנות (libenoth), and instead of עַד ('adh) עִר ('eer), must have been read, and "Messiah the Prince" has been par, phrased into Κυρίῳ. The last clause may be regarded as omitted. Not impossibly this may have resulted from the end of the one verse being so like the beginning of the next. Theodotion's rendering is much more in agreement with the received text, "And thou shalt know and understand, from the going forth of the word to determine and build Jerusalem, until the anointed leader, is seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, and he shall return, and the broad places and the wall shall be built, and the times shall be distressful." As above remarked, harootz is read instead of hasheeb. The Peshitta differs considerably from the received text, "Thou shalt know and understand from the decreeing of the word to restore and build Jerusalem, to the coming of the anointed king, is seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, to restore and build Jerusalem, its wall, and its palaces, at the end of the time." The rendering of the Vetus, as preserved to us in Tertuliian, runs thus, "And thou shalt know and perceive and understand from the going forth of the speech (sermo) for the restoring and rebuilding of Jerusalem, even to Christ the Leader, are sixty-two weeks and a half; and he shall return and build in joy, and the wall (convollationem), and times shall be renewed." Jerome's rendering is," Know and understand from the going forth of the word that Jerusalem should be again built, even to Christ the Leader, shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, and the squares shall be again built and the walls in hard times." What cannot fail to impress one is the confusion that exists as to the original text. Of necessity conjectural emendations have been resorted to, with not much advantage. The most plausible is the suggestion of Professor Bevan to read lehosheeh, "to repeople," instead of lehasheeb, "to restore;" but there is no sign in the versions of such a reading being accepted. On the whole, a reading not far removed from the received has probability in its favour. Going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. To what does this refer? Hengstenberg ('Christology,' 3:128) says, "There can be no doubt that motza dabar signifies the issue of the decree." This view has the advantage that in ver. 23 we have the same combination, יצא דבר (yatza dabar), "a command went forth." The probability is always in favour of holding a word not to change its meaning in contiguous verses, unless there is some indication that a change has taken place. Other commentators assume as strongly that the word must be the word of the Lord to Jeremiah; hence Bevan renders dabar, "promise," without so much as a hint that there can be any doubt in the matter. Behrmaun takes the לְ, the sign of the infinitive, as being equivalent to ut, and that hence this is a case of indirect speech - a usage gravely to be suspected, as certainly unexampled elsewhere in Biblical Hebrew. He refers to Ewald's 'Grammar,' but at his reference Ewald says that yKi is the sign of the semi-oblique narrative used in Hebrew. In a note Ewald refers to לאמר as introducing speeches; but that is not in point here. If dabar had meant "promise" or "prophecy" here, it would have been followed with the words in which the prophecy was announced. If, on the other hand, dabar is taken as" a decree," the infinitive is natural. The question, then, arises, "Whose decree is it that is here referred to?" Daniel was hoping for a decree being issued by Cyrus; of this he would naturally think, but what he thought is not to be taken as necessarily true. The prophets did not always know the meaning of their own prophecies. We must examine the record, and see what decree suits best with the words of our text. Many commentators think the reference here is to a Divine decree (Hengstenberg, Wolf. etc.). The difficulty of this view is that there is in appearance a definite starting-point given for the period named to begin. Now, a decree of God has no visible time-relation. This view, when maintained by those who hold that the prophecy of Jeremiah is referred to, may have some justification, only that a prophecy is never regarded as a decree, rendering certain its fulfilment. It must be, then, a human decree. The decree of Cyrus did not involve any rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. The altar was set up - that was all; the temple, even, was not built. The terms of the decree of Cyrus, as we have it in Ezra 1:2, are, "The Lord God of heaven... hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem." This clearly is not the decree intended. When Darius Hystaspis founded his permission to build the temple on the decree of Cyrus, there was no word of permitting them to rebuild the city walls. When, in the seventh year of Arta-xerxes, Ezra and his companions left Babylon and came to Jerusalem, still, though there was no command given to build again the walls of Jerusalem, there is more nearly implied a restoration of Jerusalem as a city. We may, then, start from B.C. 458. To Nehemiah, in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, was there a positive command given to build the wall of Jerusalem. This date brings us to B.C. 445. Starting from the first date, the end of the 490 years is A.D. , and the end of the 69 weeks (equivalent to 483 years) is A.D. . If, again, we start from the latter of these dates, the termination of the 490 years is A.D. , and of the 483 years A.D. . No one can fail to be struck with the fact that these dates are very near the most sacred date of all history - that of the crucifixion of our Lord. We know there is considerable diversity of opinion as to the date at which that event occurred. But, further, we are not to expect that prophecy shall have the accuracy we have in astronomical ephemerides. We admit there are great difficulties. We admit, further, that seven weeks mark, with wonderful precision, the time which elapsed from the capture of Jerusalem to the accession of Cyrus to the throne of Babylon. The interval was really fifty years. We do not know the occurrences that marked the relation of the Jewish people to their Persian masters during the century and more which elapsed between this twentieth year of Artaxerxes and the overthrow of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great. The city walls and internal buildings of Jerusalem may have taken fifty years to erect - we simply cannot tell. It is, at all events, a singular thing that the date of our Lord's crucifixion so nearly coincides with the termination of the 483 years. What is the result of starting from the date at which the prophecy was given? Assuming that the writer lived in the reign of Epiphanes, and meant to indicate the date of some event near his own period by the end of the 490 or the 483 years, let us see what follows. If we take the Massoretic date of the prophecy, it was given in the year of the accession of Nebuchadnezzar, or the next year - his first year, according to Babylonian chronology, that is to say, B.C. 606 or B.C. 605. Subtract 483 from either of these, and we have the utterly inconspicuous years B.C. 122 and B.C. 123, that is to say, twelve or thirteen years after the death of Simon the Maccabee. If three years and a half are added, to reach the middle of the week, we have B.C. 119, an equally inconspicuous year. Professor Bevan, however, follows Ewald, and begins with the destruction of Jerusalem. That the statement contradicts the text, which dates "from the going forth of a promise to people and build again Jerusalem," according to Professor Bevan's own translation, not from the destruction of Jerusalem, is looked upon evidently as of no importance. Of course, the refuge is the ignorance of the author of Darnel, notwithstanding that Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:1) dates his first prophecy "the fourth year of Jehoiakim," and his letter (Jeremiah 29:2), after the captivity of Jeconiah, and immediately after. Moreover, something more than ignorance is needed to explain the author of Daniel confounding the going forth of a prophecy to rebuild Jerusalem with the destruction of it. If we take the date of the destruction of Jerusalem, B.C. 588, and add 483 years, we reach B.C. 105 - a year conspicuous only for the death of John Hyrcanus. This is so obvious, that many devices have been tried to square matters. Ewald drops out seventy years. Professor Bevan justly characterizes this device as fantastic. Hitzig would make the first seven years run parallel with the first seven weeks of the sixty-two. Professor Bevan rejects this as "highly artificial, and scarcely reconcilable with the text." So, again, in company with Graf and Cornill, he takes refuge in the author's ignorance. If, again, we take B.C. 164, the date the critics wish to make the terminus ad quem, which is chosen because it is the year of the purification of the temple; if four hundred and eighty-three years are added to that date, we have B.C. 647 - a date that falls within the reign of Manasseh. As, however, the point of time is the anointing of a holy one, and there is reference also to an anointed prince in this verse, a more plausible date would be B.C. 153, the year when Jonathan the brother of Judas the Maccabee assumed the high priesthood (1 Macc. 10:21); to this add 483, and 636 is the result - a date during Josiah's reign. Of course, the refuge is the ignorance of our author; he didn't know any better. The difficulty is to understand, if he was so ignorant as to what was so comparatively near his own time, how he was so well informed as to Babylonian affairs. The critics cannot make the author of Daniel at once exceptionally ignorant and exceptionally well-informed. If, however, we take Mr. Galloway's reading ('Shadow on the Sundial,' p. 48) of the LXX. Version of this verse, we have "seven and seventy weeks" or five hundred and thirty-nine years. If we reckon these years from the decree of Cyrus, B.C. 538, we reach A.D. . Messiah the Prince; "the anointed prince." Both priests and kings were anointed, as a sign of consecration to their office. Very rarely are priests referred to as "anointed," and never without a distinct statement that they are priests, whereas "the Lord's anointed" always applies to kings. Priests are sometimes called "rulers," נְגִיד (negeed), but only in relation to the temple. Never is princedom and the anointing combined in regard to priest. These ideas are connected in regard to Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:22). We do not deny that this title would apply to the later Maccabeans, like Alexander Jannseus, who was at once high priest and king. We also note, however, that it applies to our Lord, who claimed to be anointed "to preach good tidings" (Luke 4:18). The street shall be built again. Rehob, "street," is really "broad place." Instead of the heaps of confused rubbish, the city was once more to be laid off in orderly streets and squares, so that Zechariah's prophecy might be fulfilled (Zechariah 8:5), "The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing." And the wall, even in troublous times. This was certainly fulfilled in the days of Nehemiah; one has only to read the Book of Nehemiah to see that. The word harootz, translated "wall," is of somewhat doubtful significance. It means (Isaiah 10:22) "a determination." In Job 41:22 (30) it is translated "a threshing-wain," whereas in Proverbs 3:14 it means "fine gold." Furst would make it mean here "a marked-off quarter of a city." Gesenius makes it mean here "a ditch " - a view that Winer also holds. Cornill ('Siebzig Jahrwochen,' p. 5) says most interpreters explain harootz, from the Targumic, as "ditches." It would seem that a bettor rendering would be "a palisade;" the ruling idea of all meanings, save the last, as pointed out by Winer, is "sharpness." "A ditch" or "a wall" conveys no suggestion of sharpness, but "a palisade" does. Not impossibly, before the wall was erected, the city was protected by "a palisade," and would certainly be set up in troublous times. It is to be observed that the events referred to in these two last clauses have no distinct temporal relation to the weeks. We might surmise that it referred to the time during which the city was being rebuilt - street and palisade - but we are destitute of informatiou which might enable us either to confirm or contradict that view. This period may be during the Maccabean struggle; we cannot tell. Ver 26. - And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. The version of the LXX. is nearly unintelligible as it stands, though the genesis of each separate clause from a text akin to the Massoretic can be easily understood, "And after seven and seventy and sixty-two, the anointing shall be taken away, and shall not be, and the kingdom of the heathen shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the Messiah, and his end shall come with wrath, and it shall be warred with war till the time of the end." The first clause has strayed from the end of the preceding verse, and שִׁבְעִים (shibeeem), "seventy," is confused with שִׁבֻעִים (shibooeem), "weeks." It is a possible thing that the Kabbalistic use of numbers had something to do with this number, for if these numbers are expressed in letters, and the letters taken as initials, we have the initials of this sentence סלעמיתּ בבל זמן עד, "The time until the overthrow of Babylon." They must have read משחה instead of מִָשיחַ. It is difficult to understand how "the people of the prince that shall come" could be read, "the kingdom of the Gentiles." save by supposing a somewhat arbitrary paraphrase. The last clause has probably assumed the present shape through the insertion of some part of the verb לחם, and the omission of the end of the verse. Theodotion's rendering is in closer agreement with the Massoretic text, yet is wide from it too, "After the sixty-two weeks anointing shall be utterly destroyed, and judgment is not in it (or 'him,' αὐτῷ), and he (it) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the leader that cometh; they shall be cut off with a flood, even until the end of the war, having been arranged by disappearances in order." The introduction of κρίμα is difficult to explain, except as an explanatory addition from Isaiah 53:8. Still more difficult is it to understand the genesis of the last clause. The Peshitta, though considerably closer to the Massoretic in the beginning of the verse, is as far apart in the last clause, "And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed shall he killed, and there was not to him, and the city of the holy shall be destroyed with the king that cometh and his end is with a flood, even until the end of the war of the fragments of destruction." The Vetus, as represented by the quotation in Tertullian, is not so close to the LXX. as it usually is, "And after the sixty-two weeks, even the anointing shall be destroyed, and shall not be, and with the coming leader he shall destroy the holy city, and thus shall be destroyed in the end of the war, because he shall be destroyed even to death." This version agrees neither with the LXX. nor with Theodotion. Jerome translates into an eminently Christian sense, "And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain, and his people who will deny him will not be. And his people with a leader about to come, will destroy the city and sanctuary, its end wasting, and after the end of the war desolation determined." And after three score and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off. The period of sixty-two weeks must begin after the seven weeks have ended, as the completed period to Messiah the prince is seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. The Messiah: the word has no article, and, therefore, it is argued, it ought to be rendered "an anointed one;" but the use of the article is not so rigid. It is omitted in poetic and semi-poetic passages: eg. the first word in the Hebrew Bible is anarthreus, although we are obliged to translate it with the article. Further, the Messiah the Prince has already been mentioned, and, therefore, comes somewhat into the region of proper names, as Amos 7:12, "the sanctuary of king," instead of "the king;" so 1 Kings 21:13, "curse God and king." We take "Messiah" here as equivalent to "the Messiah" above mentioned. Who is it that is here referred to? The common critical position assuming, without reason assigned, that "anointed" without any subject may refer to a priest, asserts that the reference here is to Onias III. The account of his murder is given in 2 Macc. 4:39. He had succeeded his father, Simon If., as high priest, B.C. 198. In connection with his high-priesthood is the legendary story told (2 Macc. 3.) of the attempt of Heliodorus to spoil the temple. On the accession of Epiphanes, Jason, the brother of Onias, endeavoured to undermine him with the king, and succeeded: Onias, displaced, in favour of Jason, retired to Antioch. Three years after Jason, in turn, was superseded by Menelaus, who, according to 2 Maccabees, was a Benjamite. Onias rebuked Menelaus for selling some of the sacred vessels; Menelaus bribed Andronieus to put Onias to death, which he did, alluring him from the sanctuary of Daphne, in which he had taken refuge. Josephus gives a different account of matters ('Ant.,' 12:05), "About this time, Onias having died, he (Epiphanes) gives the high-priesthood to his brother Jesus, for the son whom Onias left was only a child. This Jesus, who was brother of Onias, was deprived of the high-priesthood. The king, being angry with him, gave it to his youngest brother Onias." Josephus adds, "These two brothers changed their names - Jesus became Jason, and Onias Menelaus. After a little, Onias (Menelaus) was expelled from Jerusalem, and retired to Antiochus and abjured his religion." In 1 Macccabees there is no reference to the death of Onias at all. Certainly the First Book of Maccabees does not take up this part of the history, but if this Onias was murdered, and his murder so affected Jewish feeling, that it became a date of superlative interest in Jewish history - the writer would at least have referred to it. The whole story, as told in 2 Maccabees, has a doubtful look. Even if we disregard the Heliodorus legend altogether, and the suspicion of the whole history which it engenders, we have Menelaus, a man who, according to 2 Maccabees, is a Benjamite, intruded into an office for which only Aaronites were eligible, without a hint that the writer thought it an additional element in the guilt of the usurper. Josephus mentions it as a point against Alcimus, that he was not of the high-priestly family ('Ant.,' 11:9. 5), yet Alcimus was a descendant of Aaron (1 Macc. 7:13). We have, further, a zealous Jew retiring to Antioch, and, when in danger, betaking himself for safety to the heathen sanctuary of Daphne. We know the orgies that consecrated the groves of Daphne. These would make Daphne the last place in which a Jewish high priest would seek refuge; if his very presence in the sanctuary would not be held by the Greeks as polluting it. Titus, even though we had not the express evidence of Josephus against it, the narrative is self-condemned. The whole story is baseless, and, whether true or false, did not affect Jewish imagination in the way assumed by critics. Had the story been that, while high priest, he was allured from the sacred precincts of the temple at Jerusalem and been murdered, then the legend, even if untrue, might well have affected the Jews deeply. But a high priest who had surrendered his office and retired into a heathen city was a less sacred person, and his allurement from a heathen sanctuary and his murder was a less heinous crime. The whole notion that Onias III. can be thought of here is an absurdity that would have been scorned at once by these critics, had any necessity of argument required it. The origin of this legend of the murder of Onias IIl. is to be sought in the murder or execution of Onias Menelaus by order of Antiochus Eupator (Jos., 'Ant.,' 12:09.5; 2 Macc. 13:5). Is the anointed one Seleucus Philopator? Bleek, von Lengerke, Maurer, and Ewald hold this view. Seleucus is alleged to have been murdered by Helio-dorus: this rests on the sole authority of Appian, in a narrative in which there is evidence of confusion. Even if it be granted, it is difficult to imagine a heathen prince called "Messiah." Certainly Cyrus is called so in the Second Isaiah, but this is because of the work he is to do for Israel. There seems a necessity to maintain that it was some one who was to be the anointed prince of the Jewish people, who should thus be cut off. But not for himself. Great difference of opinion exists as to the precise meaning of this phrase. The meaning expressed by the Authorized Version would have required at least in normal Hebrew, not ואין לו (v'ayin lo), but וְללֺא לו (velo'lo). The Revised Version is preferable, "and shall have nothing." It may mean "he shall not be," but that is not so natural. The Revised, however, is vague, and one is inclined to seek for an explanation in a parallel passage in Daniel 11:45, וְאֵין עפּוזִרִ לו, "And there was no helper to him." It is no sufficient answer to say, as does Professor Bevan, that Daniel 11:45 applies to Epiphanes, and this does not. The same statement might be made of two different persons. It seems to be a more condensed expression of what we find in Isaiah 63:3, "Of the people there was none with me." Behrmann's translation is indefensible, "No one remains to him, i.e. follows him;" he gives no particular reference. This view assumes Onias III. to be the Messiah. He was, according to Josephus, on his death succeeded by first one and then the other of his two brothers, because his son was too young for the office. The further assumption has to be made that, in the opinion of the pious, they were not successors of Onias. The pious of that time have left no record of their opinions. And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The word translated "prince" is rarely to be rendered" king." The only cases are these of Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:22) and Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:5). The former was anointed, נגיד, while his father was still living; the latter occurs in a poetical passage. Priests are sometimes called" princes," or "rulers," but that is simply in regard to the house of God and the sacerdotal arrangements. If the verse stood by itself, there would seem little possible difficulty in regard to accepting the old Jewish interpretation which made "the prince" Titus, who was left to carry on the siege of Jerusalem while his father was in Rome, busied with the duties incumbent on the occupant of the imperial throne. Certainly the Romans, the people of the prince, did destroy the city and the sanctuary in a more thorough way than any one since Nebuchadnezzar. And the end thereof shall be with a flood. It is difficult to decide the reference of "thereof" here. The reference grammatically seems to be restricted to "the people," as that is the nominative of the preceding verb. It may, however, without much grammatical strain, refer to the prince. In regard to prophecy, especially apocalyptic prophecy, grammar cannot be regarded as affording a final canon for interpretation. The main subject of the verse is the Messiah who shall be cut off. There might, therefore, be a reference to him, "his end" being the vengeance that came upon the people for deserting him. This is the interpretation of the Septuagint, "The kingdom of the heathen shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the Messiah," identifying "prince" with "Messiah," and his end shall come with wrath." Theodotion refers to the city and the sanctuary, for he has, "They shall be cut off with a flood." The Peshitta refers to the king that cometh. The Vetus has finem belli. Jerome has finis eius vast#as, his reference being to the city. The idea of Hitzig, that the prenominal suffix refers to the campaign, seems the most natural one. Of course, Hitzig refers it to the campaign of Antiochus, but the interpretation does not necessitate that. With a flood; not a literal flood. This word does not elsewhere refer to a number of men, save in the eleventh chapter of this book; that chapter, however, is of doubtful authenticity. All that we draw from the use of shateph, "a flood," for "a multitude of men," and of shataph, "to overflow," "to overrun," is that, in the opinion of the author of the eleventh chapter, the phrase here means "a multitude of men." "Wrath," or "devastation," seems to be the best meaning of the word. The latter seems, on the whole, the more natural rendering here. If so, no one can fail to see how apt a description it gives of the state of Judaea, and especially of Jerusalem, after the war which was concluded by the capture of the city by Titus. And unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Rather it should be rendered, "until the end was the decree of desolations," viz. the end of this campaign above referred to, and until that end is reached, war, which is itself a decree of desolations, is determined. Taken thus, this clause explains that which has gone before. The text here, however, is evidently in such a corrupt state that no decision can be made with any feeling of confidence. The Septuagint appears to have read yillahaym instead of nehresheth, and has omitted the last word altogether. Theodotion has, "by order in disappearances," but one cannot tell what Hebrew words these represent. The Vetus, which usually stands closely related to the Septuagint, omits a number of words. The uncertainty of the text renders one chary of suggesting meanings. 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.")

Daniel 9:25 Interlinear
Daniel 9:25 Parallel Texts

Daniel 9:25 NIV
Daniel 9:25 NLT
Daniel 9:25 ESV
Daniel 9:25 NASB
Daniel 9:25 KJV

Daniel 9:25 Bible Apps
Daniel 9:25 Parallel
Daniel 9:25 Biblia Paralela
Daniel 9:25 Chinese Bible
Daniel 9:25 French Bible
Daniel 9:25 German Bible

Bible Hub

Daniel 9:24
Top of Page
Top of Page