THE CHRONICLES OF THE ELECT

Adventures in Eschatology: Daniel’s 70th Week Pt.3

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jesus-crucifixionThe Partial Preterist Side

A Case for Amillennialism: Kim Riddlebarger

This book was not a commentary but a book affirming the position of Amillennialism. It was given to me by a friend and I decided to use it as one of my references since he does address the text in some detail.

 Mr. Riddlebarger (further as RIDD) argues that throughout the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, Jesus Christ is the central figure in redemptive history and eschatology. He argues that the pillar passage of dispensationalism in Daniel 9:24-27. They would argue as followed:

  • This text speaks of God’s dealing with Israel & Gentiles
  • The gap between the 69th & 70th week of Daniel is the church age.
  • This is the main text to interpret Matthew 24 and other texts in Revelation.

RIDD states that the dispensationalist interprets the NT through the OT rather than allowing the greater revelation to interpret the Old.

Points of Exegesis

2 Chronicles 36:21 states that the 70 years spoken of in Jeremiah was completed. This is why in v.22 it mentions the first year of Cyrus, because Israel’s exile was over and the time of redemption had begun. Isaiah saw the events of Cyrus when he could say to Jerusalem “let it be rebuilt” (Isaiah 44:28). –Also see Daniel 10:1 for a parallel to 2 Chronicles 36:22

RIDD argues that this decree of Cyrus ended the 70 weeks and the new 70 weeks would begin. This last 70 weeks would end with the coming of the Messiah prince who would be “cut-off” (v.29) which is very similar to the language of Isaiah 53:8-11. There is a covenant made in v.27 by “the prince”. That prince is identified as “Messiah the prince” The dispensationalist, according to RIDD, insists that the Messiah is cut-off after 62 sevens. There is at least 2000 years between the 69 and 70 sevens. He argues that the dispensationalist is inconsistent with the professed “literal” hermeneutic here since there is no mention of a gap found in the text. RIDD argues that the dispensationalist confuses Christ with the antichrist. He sees the confusion based upon v.24 and what exactly will be accomplished at the completion of the 490 years. He continues by stating that the decrees in v.24 are accomplished during the 490 years in order for those blessings to be available to God’s people. They are enjoyed for all after the 490 years. In Christ’s obedience and death, all these things were accomplished (Romans 6:1-2,14; 5:12-19; 6:23; 3:21-26). In other words all the events in Daniel 9 were accomplished in the first coming of Christ.

The covenant made in v.27 was the New Covenant which was ratified by the “cutting-off” of Christ. He argues that the covenant made was one that existed already because of the use of “firm” in v.27. It was a covenant that was “made strong” or “prevailed” not a new covenant. The security for that was the shed blood of Christ.

What happens at the last part of the 1 week or 3 ½ years? RIDD argues that we find the answer in Rev. 12:14 which John interprets as “a time, times and a half time”. It depicts the symbolism of the church on earth during the entire time of its existence and tribulation.

The sacrifices & offerings were ended in the 2nd clause of v.27. How can this be if the sacrifices continued after Christ’s death until A.D. 70? RIDD argues that, in a religious sense, they didn’t. This is seen in Hebrews 9:26. Those sacrifices after the death of Christ were an abomination which were shadows of the sacrifice of the Messiah.

 

seventy_weeks_lgTHE SEVENTY WEEKS: Philip. Mauro

I know I shouldn’t have favourites regarding these 4 books I’m presenting however this book was definitely the best of the bunch.

Mr. Mauro begins by stating that Daniel was studying Jeremiah 25:11 & 29:10 and reading that the desolation of Jerusalem was 70 years. This period was about to expire and the decree by which they would be allowed to go back into their land to rebuild was at hand.  Mauro believes that this was done within two years by Cyrus (Ezra 1:1) which fulfilled Jeremiah’s words.  The express purpose of this was that “the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled.

Mauro states, as most expositors would agree, that seventy sevens = 490 years. He argues that the starting point of the 70 weeks is the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1) to rebuild. He argues that there are two main subjects in the prophecy:

  • The coming and cutting off of the Messiah
  • The destruction & desolation of the city and sanctuary

 Mauro brings the question to the table…when did the 490 years begin? When did the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem go forth? He argues that from the “commandment” till “Messiah the Prince” is 483 years (7 weeks + 62 Weeks) He then argues that 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1:1-4 demonstrate that the decree to rebuild was from Cyrus. He turns to Isaiah 44 & 45 to show that God had deemed that Cyrus (naming him 2 centuries before he became king) would rebuild the city.

He demonstrates that in Isaiah 44:26-27, that Cyrus was prophesied to rebuild the city (also see Isaiah 45:13). Cyrus was to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the captive Jews which is exactly what Daniel said in v.24: From the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Daniel would have known the prophecy of Isaiah. Josephus, in antiquities, quotes Cyrus as saying that he decreed that the Jews would rebuild their city (see P.33)

It should be noted that Ezra doesn’t explicitly say “Cyrus decreed the building of the city” but it is implicitly taken. Notice Ezra 6:6-12 how the Jewish opposers had complained yet the search showed that the temple was to be rebuilt upon the authority of Cyrus (see Ezra 9:9…a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem” Mauro argues that Artaxerxes could not have been the one who decreed the rebuilding. (see p37-38)

Mauro states that we are not told, in v.24, the starting point of the 490 years or how the predicted events will be accomplished however we are told these things in the following verses. Mauro argues that the 6 points mentioned in v.24 were accomplished when the Messiah was cut-off. He argues that the “know therefore” of v.25 explains the prophecy contained in v.24

 

The 6 points:

To finish the transgression: The transgression was why they were in captivity (v.11). This transgression was not post but future. Mauro argues that the transgression spoken of here was the crucifixion of the Messiah (see. P.45-46)

To make an end of sins: Christ put an end to sin by offering Himself (Heb. 9:14; 10:12) and had purged our sins (Heb. 1:3)

To make reconciliation for iniquity: The death and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus made reconciliation (Romans 5:8-10). This was totally accomplished and there is no doubt about it (Colossians 1:12-22)

To bring everlasting righteousness: Christ’s death did accomplish this (1 Corinthians 1:30). This was brought in by Christ (Romans 3:21-26). It is the enduring righteousness (Isaiah 51:8) and is the very essence of the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33 & Romans 14:17) and that which the branch of David brought (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

To seal up the vision and prophecy: Mauro would take this as the sealing up of God’s word to the Israelites. In other words, it is a part of the judgment against them. Mauro sees this prophesied elsewhere explicitly (Isaiah 28:16; 29:1, 10-11; and implicitly (Isaiah 6:10). Mauro sees the siege of 70 A.D. as a fulfillment of Isaiah 29.

To anoint the most holy place: Mauro initially believed that the anointing would be when the Lord entered into the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 9:23-24) however his position is at the time of writing this that the anointing was that of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21) who anointed the spiritual temple (2 Corinthians 6:16) of the people of God.

 

Messiah the Prince

Mauro deals with what event in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus happened in the 483rd year from the decree of Cyrus. Mr. Mauro asks “when was Jesus of Nazareth presented to Israel as the anointed one or Messiah? (P.56). he sees this at His baptism where He was anointed for His ministry and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him (Acts 10:38). Shortly after His baptism, the Lord went to the Synagogue where He read: “He has anointed me to preach the gospel”. (see Luke 4:16-21). Mauro argues that after His baptism he was constantly before the people in His Messianic character, fulfilling His Messianic mission (P.57-58). He pronounced Himself as Messiah to the woman of Samaria (John 4:25-26)

Mauro makes an interesting remark in that the confession of Christ as Messiah was the mark of the church (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:11). It could also be said that it is a sign of the new birth (1 John 5:1). Mauro argues that there is no other event that could be seen as a fulfilment of the 483 years.

The “time” of the cutting off of the Messiah is his next point. He sees this as the cross! Mauro sees:

  • The 6 predicted things in v.24 where accomplished by the cutting-off at the cross.
  • The covenant with the many (v.27) was confirmed and the sacrifice & offerings stopped
  • The judgment was to fall on the city, the temple and the people.

 

A very good argument that Mauro presented was that the cutting off was after the 62 weeks. The “cutting-off” wasn’t to happen during the 69th week but during the 70th week. It was within the 490 years from the beginning of the decree that the predictions inv.24 were fulfilled. The personal ministry of the Lord Jesus was within the final week. It is only after the 69th week that the cutting off occurs. Mauro sees the Lord’s ministry was 3 ½ years in duration, hence from His anointing to His death is in the midst of the 70th week. The text in v.27 says that He will cause the sacrifices and offerings in the middle of the last week to stop hence 3 ½ years. They stopped because He offered Himself a sacrifice for sin “once and for all”.

Mauro sees the “being cut-off and having nothing” as similar language to Isaiah 53:8. The “having nothing” would be that he had no prosperity to continue His name. This was a great calamity. He didn’t have a place to rest His head.

Mauro sees the “prince” in v.26 as Titus the Roman General. The destruction of the city & sanctuary was in A.D. 70. He sees the “flood” as being the army that invaded.  Mauro would argue that Christ “confirmed” the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13; 10:1-18).

The “he” that is in contention should be taken as the Messiah because:

  • The prophecy is primarily about Christ
  • Titus never made a covenant with the Jews.
  • There is nowhere in this text where it talks about a prince making a covenant with them in the future.

Christ confirmed the covenant: He does so in Matt. 26:28 by instituting the NT. Notice the language used by Matthew (New Covenant, many). The “many” wasn’t for all people (see Acts 3:23; Romans 11:17 & Luke 2:34)

In the Midst of the week:  Christ’s ministry lasted 3 ½ years then He was crucified.

He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease: There is no questioning that Christ put an end to these things (Hebrews. 8-10)

 

Mauro continues the argument and makes the point to mention that the “he” in v.27 is Christ. He argues that the following views cannot be substantiated by scripture:

  • That there is a future Roman prince who will make a covenant with Israel
  • That the covenant will be for 1 week
  • That the purpose will be to permit Jews to do their sacrifices
  • That the prince will break the covenant in the midst of the week.
  • Texts such as Matt.24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9 & Revelation 13:3-15 do not substantiate these claims.

Mauro states that the other sides view argues that the 70th week is a prophetic period that has been interrupted for at least 2000 years after the 69th week hence the 70th week is still future.  Mauro argues that “it is therefore a necessary law of language that time units be understood as being connected together without a break. “(see P.94 )

Mauro sees that the last 3 ½ years in the last week as non-essential. What this means is that we are not told that anything happens but only that after in the midst of the week that the Messiah is cut-off.

 

Conclusion

There were many good arguments for both sides of the debate and to be honest there are several books and articles that I wish to read to further my study of this important text. I believe Mauro made probably the best case for his position out of all these commentators. I found Mr. Paisley a little better balanced in respects to affirming his position than Mr. Ironside. Obviously, as I had previously mentioned, if you have any comments, I’m all ears!

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Written by shawnkjmcgrath

September 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm

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