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even in troublous times. And after threescore and two 26 weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and
to 171 (comp. for the earlier part of the period Ezr. iv., Neh. vi., ix. 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. Is. Ix.). A 'broad place,' or as we might say 'a square,' was a standing feature in an Eastern city: see in A. V. Jer. v. 1, and in R.V. 2 Ch. xxix. 4, xxxii. 6, Ezr. x. 9 (one before the Temple), Neh. viii. 1, 3, 16, --unhappily, in A.V. nearly always1, 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' (n for ), two words often found in parallelism: see in A.V. Jer. v. 1; in R.V. Prov. i. 20, vii. 12, Is. xv. 3; also Cant. iii. 2, Am. v. 16, Nah. ii. 4 (here, badly, broad way's). 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.
in strait of times] For the expression cf. Is. xxxiii. 6, ‘stability (i.e. security) of thy times': for 'times,' also, I Ch. xxix. 30.
26, 27. The 70th week (B.C. 171 to 164).
26. And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and shall have no......] The anointed one' cannot be the same as the anointed one' of v. 25; for he lives 62 'weeks' (i.e. 434 years) after him. The language is intentionally allusive and ambiguous. The term 'anointed' (see on v. 25) is used sometimes of the high-priest; and the reference, it seems, is here to Onias III. Onias III. was highpriest till B.C. 175, when he was superseded by his brother Jason, who by the offer of 440 talents of silver purchased the office from Antiochus for himself (2 Macc. iv. 7-9). Jason held office for three years, at the end of which time a certain Menelaus, whom he had employed as his agent to carry the 440 talents to the king, took advantage of the occasion to secure the high-priesthood for himself by offering Antiochus 300 talents more. The money promised by Menelaus not being paid, he was summoned before the king. When he arrived he found Antiochus absent in Cilicia and a courtier named Andronicus representing him at Antioch. Menelaus, anxious to secure Andronicus's favour, presented him with some golden vessels which he had stolen from the Temple. Onias, who was in the neighbourhood, hearing of what he had done, rebuked him sharply for his sacrilege; and Menelaus, resenting
1 As Gen. xix. 2; Deut. xiii. 16; 2 Sam. xxi. 12 (see R.V. marg.); Jer. ix. 21; Lam. ii. 11, 12; Zech. viii. 4, 5.
the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the
the rebuke, prevailed upon Andronicus to assassinate Onias. Antiochus, upon his return home, was vexed with what had occurred, and (according to 2 Macc.) had Andronicus put to death at the very spot at which he had murdered Onias (2 Macc. iv. 7—9, 23—38). The assassination of one who was the lawful high-priest was an occurrence which might well be singled out for mention in the prophecy; and how the godly character of Onias, and his unjust end, impressed the Jews, appears from what is said of him in 2 Macc. iii. 1, 2, iv. 2, 35-37, xv. 121. On the chronological difficulty involved in the verse, see below, p. 146 f. and shall have no....... ] The clause is difficult; though the same text (1) was perhaps already read (but rendered incorrectly) by the LXX. (kal ovк čoтai), and is distinctly implied by Aq., Symm., and the Pesh. The rendering and shall have nothing' may be defended by Ex. xxii. 3 [Heb. 2], though, it is true, the 'thing' lacking is there more easily supplied from the context than is the case here; but the sense obtained is not very satisfactory, and the sentence (in the Heb.) reads also incompletely; we should have expected, 'and shall have no [helper],'-as Grätz would actually read, comparing xi. 45,or '[successor],' or '[seed],' or something of the kind. Still, if the text be sound, this, it seems, must be the meaning: the anointed one,' when he is cut off,' will have nought, i.e. he will be left with nothing, -no name; no house, no legitimate successor. (LXX. and be no more, would be the correct rendering of 'N; but this reading is suspiciously easy.) The rendering of A.V., but not for himself,' is an impossible one: ' is not a synonym of No, but always includes the substantive verb, there is not,' was not,' 'shall not be' (the tense being supplied according to the context).
the people of a prince that shall come] viz. against the land, the verb being used in the same hostile sense which it has in i. 1, xi. 13, 16, 21, 40, 41. The allusion is to the soldiery of Antiochus Epiphanes, who set Jerusalem on fire, and pulled down many of the houses and fortifications, so that the inhabitants took flight, and the city could be described as being without inhabitant, like a wilderness' (1 Macc. i. 31, 32, 38,
1 This account of the end of Onias III. is accepted generally by historians (e.g. Ewald, v. 295; Schürer, i. 152; Grätz ii. 2, 303): but 2 Macc. (which alone records it) is known to contain much that is not historical; and Josephus not only does not mention the assassination of Onias, but, while he sometimes (Ant. XII. ix. 7, XIII. iii. 1-3, xx. x.) speaks of Onias' son as fleeing to Egypt, and founding there the temple at Leontopolis, elsewhere (B. J. 1. i. 1, VII. X. 2-3) says that Onias himself, after Antiochus' attack upon Jerusalem in 170 (Introduction, p. xliii.), fled to Egypt, and founded the temple at Leontopolis (cf. Bäthgen, ZATW, 1886, pp. 278-282). On these and some other grounds, Wellhausen (Gött. Gel Anz. 1895, pp. 950-6; Isr. u. Füd. Gesch.3, 1897, pp. 244-7), partly following Willrich (Juden u. Griechen vor der Makkab. Erhebung, 1895, pp. 77-90), regards the account of Onias' murder in 2 Macc. as apocryphal: see, however, on the other side, Büchler, Die Tobinden u. die Oniaden (1899), pp. 106-124, 240 f., 275 f., 353-6, whose conclusion on this subject has the weighty support of the historian Niese, Kritik der beiden Makk.bücher, 1900, p. 96 f. If Wellhausen's view is correct, the reference in this verse of Dan, will be to the cessation of the legitimate high-priesthood, when Jason was superseded by the Benjaminite (2 Macc. iv. 23, cf. iii. 4; Büchler, p. 14) Menelaus.
city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many 27 for one week and in the midst of the week he shall cause
iii. 45)—'people' being used as in 2 Sam. x. 13, Ez. xxx. 11, &c., of a body of troops. On the treatment which the Temple received at the same time, see above on viii. 11.
but his end (shall be) with a flood] he will be swept away in the flood of a Divine judgement. The word (cf. xi. 22) may be suggested by Nah. i. 8; cf. the cognate verb (also of an overwhelming Divine judgement) in Is. x. 22 (overflowing with righteousness,' i.e. judicial righteousness, judgement), xxviii. 2, 15, 17, 18, xxx. 28.
and until the end (shall be) war, (even) that which is determined of desolations] until the end (i.e. until the close of the seventieth week,the period pictured by the writer (see on viii. 17) as the 'end' of the present dispensation), the war waged by Antiochus against the saints (vii. 21) will continue, together with the accompanying 'desolations,' determined upon in the Divine counsels. The word rendered 'that which is determined,' which recurs in v. 27, and xi. 36, is a rare one; and is manifestly a reminiscence of Is. x. 23, xxviii. 22. For 'desolations,' comp. I Macc. i. 39, iii. 45, iv. 38 (quoted in the notes on viii. 11).
27. And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week] Lit. make mighty a covenant. The expression is a peculiar one; but apparently (the Heb. being late) make mighty is used in the weakened sense of make strong or confirm; cf. Ps. ciii. 11, cxvii. 2 (where 'is great' ought rather to be is mighty: the word is also sometimes rendered prevail, as Gen. xlix. 26, Ps. lxv. 3). The subject is naturally the 'prince' just named (v. 26). If the text be sound, the allusion will be to the manner in which Antiochus found apostate Jews ready to cooperate with him in his efforts to extirpate their religion: see on xi. 30; and cf. 1 Macc. i. 11-15, where, conversely, the Hellenizing Jews say, 'Let us go and make a covenant with the nations that are round about us.'
and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and meal-offering to cease] alluding to the suspension of the Temple services by Antiochus from the 15th of Chisleu, B.C. 168, to the 25th of Chisleu, B.C. 165 (1 Macc. i. 54, iv. 52 f.: see the note on ch. viii. 14). The 'half-week' does not seem to coincide exactly with the three and a half years of vii. 25 and xii. 7; for xii. 11 appears to shew that the suspension of the legitimate services did not precede the erection of the heathen altar on the 15th of Chisleu, B.C. 168; as the reckoning here is by weeks, the half-week is in all probability meant merely as a round fraction for what was strictly a little more than three-sevenths of a 'week,' three years and ten days. 'Sacrifice' and 'meal-offering' are mentioned as representing sacrifices generally: cf. 1 Sam. ii. 29, iii. 14, Am. v. 25, Is. xix. 21. The 'meal-offering' (minḥāh) was properly the accompaniment of the burnt-offering, and, as such, offered daily: see Ex. xxix. 40,
the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
41. The word might, however, be used in its more general sense, and signify' offering' or 'oblation' generally (1 Sam. ii. 17, xxvi. 19).
and upon the wing of abominations (shall be) a desolator] or better (cf. on viii. 13 and xi. 31) one that causeth appalment: in contrast to Jehovah, who rides upon the cherub (Ps. xviii. 10), the heathen foe will come against the sanctuary, riding upon a winged creature, which is the personification of the forces and practices of heathenism1. 'Abomination' (shikķūz) is often used as a contemptuous designation of a heathen god or idol, or an object connected with idolatrous rites: see e.g. Deut. xxix. 17; 1 Ki. xi. 5, 7; Jer. vii. 30. It would be better rendered-for the sake of distinction from tō'ēbāh, also 'abomination '— detestation or detestable thing (as it is actually rendered in A. V. when it occurs by the side of to ēbah, Ez. v. 11, vii. 20, xi. 18, 21); but 'abomination' is, through the N.T. (Matt. xxiv. 15; Mark xiii. 14), so inseparably connected with the Book of Daniel, that the time-honoured rendering may be left undisturbed.
Whether, however, the rendering given above expresses the real meaning of the passage may be doubted. The figure of the 'wing' is not in harmony with the context; and in xi. 31 the same two words 'abomination' and 'desolator (or appaller),' differently construed, recur, with clear reference to Antiochus's persecution,' And they shall profane the sanctuary, (even) the stronghold, and take away the continual (burnt-offering), and set up the abomination that maketh desolate (or appalleth)' (cf. xii. II 'from the time when the continual burnt-offering was taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate (or appalleth) set up'; and above, viii. 13); and it is highly probable that, slightly changing the text, we should read here, similarly, ‘and in its place (135 for so Van Lennep, Kuenen, Bevan, Kamphausen, Prince; cf. xi. 38) shall be the abomination that maketh desolate (or appalleth)'
erroneously מ a- שקוצים משומם as xii. 3, for שקוץ משומם)
repeated, and then DYP written plene Dip), i.e. instead of the legitimate sacrifice' and 'meal-offering' on the altar of burnt-offering, there will be the detestable heathen altar (see on xi. 31), built upon it by Antiochus.
and that, until the consummation, and that which is determined (i.e. the determined doom), be poured upon the desolator (or appaller)] the heathen abomination will remain upon the altar until the destined judgement come down upon its author (Antiochus). The phrase, the
1 R.V. marg. 'upon the pinnacle of abominations'; but though repúуlov (Matth. iv. 5) means a pinnacle, there is no evidence that the Heb. or Aram. acquired A.V. 'for (i.e. on account of) the overspreading,' &c., follows David Kimchi, who takes 'wing' as a figure for spreading abroad, diffusion,-'on account of the diffusion of abominations, men will be appalled.' But such a metaphorical sense of the word is very improbable.
consummation, &c., from Is. x. 23, xxviii. 22. Be poured is often used of anger or fury (Jer. xlii. 18, xliv. 6 al.).
Additional Note on the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
Probably no passage of the Old Testament has been the subject of so much discussion, or has given rise to so many and such varied interpretations, as this. Already Jerome wrote1, 'Scio de hac quaestione ab eruditissimis viris varie disputatum et unumquemque pro captu ingenii sui dixisse quod senserat'; after which he proceeds to give, in some cases quoting the explanations in full, nine different interpretations: though, deeming it dangerous' to decide between the opinions of magistri Ecclesiae and to prefer one above another, he leaves it to his reader to determine which he will adopt. Since the time of Jerome the number of divergent interpretations has greatly increased. They differ primarily in the terminus ad quem which it is desired, or which it is thought possible, to reach; this necessitates differences in the terminus a quo adopted, and also in the manner of calculating the 'weeks,' which have been treated sometimes as consisting of solar years, sometimes of lunar years, sometimes as jubile-periods of 7×7 years, sometimes as mystic or symbolic periods, not necessarily equal in length; the order 7+62 +1, implied apparently by the text, has been inverted, and altered into 62+7+1, or 62+1+7; the 62 weeks, instead of following the 7, have been made to begin concurrently with them; intervals, not taken account of in the prophecy, have been assumed in the period covered by it; the author, it has been supposed, has followed an erroneous chronology. The reason why commentators have had recourse to these varied and often singular expedients is that, understood in the plain and obvious meaning of the words,-the 'week' being naturally allowed to signify a week of years, the prophecy admits of no explanation, consistent with history, whatever; and hence, if it is to be explained at all, an assumption, or assumptions, of some kind or other, must be made; and the only question that can arise is, What assumption is the least violent one, or most adequately meets the requirements of the case? It will be unnecessary to review at length the bewildering mass of explanations that have been offered: the majority are so artificial, or extravagant, that they cannot be regarded as having a serious claim on the reader's attention. The two principal explanations will however be noticed in some detail; and specimens of others will be placed before the reader.
Two exegetical conditions may be premised, which it seems reasonable that any sound interpretation ought to satisfy: (1) the 'weeks' must have the same value throughout; (2) they must be distributed in the order in which they appear in the prophecy, i.e. 7, 62, and 1. It
1 Comm. on Dan., ad loc. (ed. Vallarsi, v. 681; ed. Migne, v. 542). They may be seen summarized in Zöckler, p. 187. None of the interpretations which he mentions has found a sponsor in modern times.
2 A synopsis will be found in Zöckler's Comm. (1870), p. 185 ff.; and in Van Lennep's De Zeventig Faarweken van Daniel, 1888, p. 99 ff.