Category Archives: God and the ages of time Part 3: Daniels’s vision concerning 70 weeks

An important revelation given to Daniel the prophet.

God and the ages of time Part 3: Daniel’s seventy weeks.

INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL CHAPTER 9, VERSES 20 TO 27

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans”, Daniel was reading portions of the Old Testament. By these he understood that the time during which Jerusalem would be in a state of desolation would be seventy years. The passages in question would be these from the prophecy of Jeremiah:

In Jeremiah 25:11-14 we read, “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands”.

In Jeremiah 29:10-14 we read, “For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive”.

The prophecy of Jeremiah is a long one, so it may be that these two quotations are on scroll one and scroll two of the prophecy, since the half-way point of the book is around chapter 26, hence the mention of Daniel understanding “by books”, plural. But he would also know that Isaiah had prophesied that Cyrus would be appointed by God to authorise the rebuilding of Jerusalem, Isaiah 44:24-45:7.

The fact that God had promised through Jeremiah that He would hear the cry of His afflicted people if they sought Him with the whole heart, is a sign that God had heard the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of his temple, when he appealed to God to hear the cry of His people if they had been carried away captive, 1 Kings 8:46-53. No doubt Solomon was basing his prayer on God’s promise to Israel under the Palestinian covenant of Deuteronomy 29 and 30, where He pledged to “turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee…and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land thy fathers possessed”, Deuteronomy 3,5.

So it is that Daniel sets himself to pray in repentance and faith, and lay hold of the promises of God. He knew that the return on God’s side was determined, but it was also dependant on the repentance of the people, and their seeking for God with their whole heart.

The year is 455 BC, the first year of Darius the Mede, who had been given control of the realm of the Chaldeans when Belshazzar the Babylonian was slain, and the city taken by the Medo-Persian forces. He was co-rex with Cyrus the Persian until his death in 453 BC, at which point Cyrus became sole ruler of the Persian empire, Chaldea included.

We come now to the response that God gave to Daniel’s prayer, as found in Daniel 9:20-27.

9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;

In the absence of Levitical priests, Daniel was acting in a priestly manner as he prayed to God. Solomon had requested that if the nation ever found itself in captivity, that God would hear their prayer and deliver them, 1 Kings 8:46-53. Daniel realises that this will not happen unless they are repentant. By confessing the sins of the people as if they were his own sins, Daniel is “eating the sin-offering”, Leviticus 10:17. In Leviticus 26:40-46 God promised that if His people repented and confessed their sins, then He would remember His covenant with the patriarchs and with the land, and bring them back from the land of their enemies.

9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

Daniel is acting as if the temple is still standing. Solomon had appealed to God to hear when the people prayed toward the land, the city and the temple, 1 Kings 8:48. We do not know whether Solomon knew that temple would be destroyed, but certainly Daniel is praying as if it had not been; or perhaps in faith that it soon would be rebuilt. We do not know how much he knew about the heavenly sanctuary, (although his fellow prophet Isaiah had a vision of the heavenly temple), but he is “praying in the Spirit”, Jude 20, and with his face towards Jerusalem, see 6:10, and at the time of the evening oblation. This sacrifice was one of two to be offered on Israel’s altar, the morning lamb and the evening lamb, Exodus 29:38-46. The evening lamb ensured that during the night hours there was a constant reminder of Calvary to God. And since the fire had originally come down from God, it was a great comfort to any Israelite who looked on, that God was still remembered by His people, and they by Him. It was indeed night for Israel when they were in captivity, but there was the assurance that the evening sacrifice maintained the nation before God until daybreak, when the morning lamb would mingle its acceptableness with all the other sacrifices offered on the altar.

The psalmist had desired that his prayer would be set forth as incense, and the lifting up of his hands of the evening sacrifice, Psalm 141:2, and Daniel’s desire was evidently the same. The apostle Paul made the point that the hands that were lifted up by the brothers as they prayed in the assembly gatherings must be holy hands, since the equivalent of offering incense is being carried out, 1 Timothy 2:8.

Gabriel appears as a man to Daniel, for he has seen him before in the guise of a strong man, 8:15,16, such is the meaning of the word for man that is used there. When Gabriel appeared to Mary he appeared as an angel, no doubt to avoid frightening her with the sight of a man alongside her. As a godly believer, she would be familiar with the idea of angels from the Old Testament, and being spiritual would not be terrified. She was troubled by his saying, but not by his presence, Luke 1:29.

9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

It is interesting to notice that Gabriel was sent on his errand as soon as Daniel began his petition, such is the confidence that God had that his prayer would be acceptable. He was also sent to fly swiftly, for the Lord was pleased to answer his prayer, and to relieve him of his anxiety, quickly. Daniel was greatly beloved by God, and the angel knew this.

9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

Six things have yet to be accomplished by God in connection with the nation before the Messiah can reign over it. These things will not all be completed until seventy weeks have elapsed. We are used to weeks thinking of weeks of days. In Old Testament times, the word week was less restricted, and the context had to decide whether the word, which is literally the word seven, had to do with seven days, or seven years.

The chronology of the Persian period of history is unknown. Men rely on what is known as Ptolemy’s Canon, but he lived in the 2ndcentury AD, so is not a reliable witness to the time things happened several centuries BC. The only reliable method of working is to start with Adam, and use the dates the Scriptures provide. At first, periods of time are given in relation to father/son relationships, and this continues until Abraham. Then the passage of time is given in relation to events, so that the period from the call of Abraham to the Exodus was 430 years, Galatians 3:17. Perhaps even to the day, given the phrase “even the selfsame day” in Exodus 12:40,41.

Then the period from the Exodus to the fourth year of Solomon is given as 480 years, although this figure does not include those times in the Book of Judges when Israel was subjugated to the nations around. Then the reigns of the kings subsequent to Solomon are given us, with the result that Daniel was taken into captivity 522BC, and the end of the captivity, and decree of Cyrus were in 453BC. We shall return to this figure later.

We should notice that this vision has to do with Daniel’s people, and his holy city of Jerusalem. It has nothing to do with the church period we are in at the moment. There are two chapters in Scripture which are indispensable for a correct understanding of the ways of God in relation to the earth. They are the one we are considering, and Ephesians 3. In the latter chapter the apostle makes clear that the present age of the church was no known to the saints of Old Testament times, even if, like Daniel, they were prophets. So the period from the crucifixion of Christ to the rapture of the church is not included in the seventy weeks of Daniel’s vision.

Notice that the seventy weeks are determined, or cut off. From the whole of the passage of time God has severed off a certain period in which to accomplish His ends regarding the nation of Israel. This means that He is not furthering those ends at the present time, but rather is calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name, Acts 15:14.

The six things to be done are as follows:

First, to finish the transgression. This would refer specifically to the sin of idolatry that had caused the nation to go into captivity. The nation has not gone into idolatry since, but sadly will do so in the future, when the majority of the nation will worship the image of the beast, Revelation 13:15. The Lord Jesus warned them of this in Matthew 12:43-45 when He spoke of the evil spirit leaving a man, but then returning with seven others, and then he likened the nation to this man. So the last state of Israel shall be worst than the first state, when they worshipped the golden calf at the beginning of their history as a nation.

Second, to make an end of sins. The nations will have to go through great discipline so that they realise the enormity of the sins they have been guilty of as a nation. This will result in them mourning for Him when they see Him, and repenting of their sins, see Zechariah 12:9-4; John 19:37; Revelation 1:7. A fountain will be opened in Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness, a reference no doubt to the work of Calvary being made available to them in grace, Zechariah 13:1.

Third, to make reconciliation for iniquity.This is founded on the propitiatory work of Christ. Reconciliation is the result of propitiation, and is dependant upon repentance and faith, Leviticus 23:26-32. When Christ comes to earth, the nation will look with expectancy and faith upon Him whom they pierced, and will mourn for Him, thus fulfilling the two requirements for receiving the benefits of Christ’s death.

Fourth, to bring in everlasting righteousness.Whereas the first three matters have to do with the failures of the nation, which will come to light and be rectified when Messiah comes to earth for them, we now have three things that look beyond the return of Christ. “A king shall reign in righteousness”, said Isaiah 32:1. And so it shall be. The one who is the true king of righteousness and king of peace shall yet rule in the earth, Hebrews 7:2,3. That kingdom will merge into an everlasting kingdom, for “He shall reign for ever and ever”, Revelation 11:15.

Fifth, to seal up vision and prophecy.As soon as Adam lost the supremacy God had given him, prophecy began, for “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”, Revelation 19:10, and God has Him in reserve. So when He comes to reign, and to set the things right that Adam spoiled by his sin, the need for prophecies will be gone. The vision given to Daniel in this chapter will also have been fulfilled, and God’s purpose for the earth have been realised at last. In Revelation 10:5-7 we read, “And the angel…sware by Him…that there should be time  no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets”.

Sixth, to anoint the most holy.This is the name given throughout scripture to the holiest part of God’s sanctuary on earth. When the tabernacle was erected for the first time, the whole structure, and the vessels within it, were anointed, Exodus 40:9. We do not read of this happening with either Solomon’s temple or Zerubabel’s. Perhaps they were thought of as a continuation of the tabernacle. (The tabernacle was brought up to the newly built temple, as if to make this point, 2 Chronicles 5:5). When the temple described by Ezekiel is built, however, there will be a fresh start, and it will be fitting for it to be anointed. As we shall see from verse 26, the temple into which the antichrist shall enter will be destroyed, when his purpose for using it has been fulfilled. “There shall not one stone will be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down”, Matthew 24:2. The wording is very specific- “left here”. The Lord is not referring to the stones then standing before them, but the stones of the future temple, no doubt built on the same site, which will be desecrated by the Antichrist’s idol.

9:25 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 threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Not only is Daniel to know facts, but also to understand those facts. God reveals truth to us in His word, but he expects us to use our minds logically so that we may understand the significance of that truth.

The starting point of the 490 year period in question is the going forth of a commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Those who believe that the chronology as calculated by men is correct are forced to say that this commandment was in Nehemiah’s time, which is dated by them as 445BC. This is the only way that the period of 483 years between the commandment and Messiah can be correct. As we have already said, however, man’s calculations are based on guesswork, for the history of the period 479-432 BC has never been written. This fact alone should make us wary of the computations of men. If we adopt the chronology of Scripture, however, we are on safe ground. Daniel was taken into captivity in 522BC. 70 years later brings us to 453BC. Now according to 2 Chronicles 36:20-23, in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia, he issued a decree to build a temple in Jerusalem. (This would be the first year of his sole rule over the empire, Darius having died). It is important to notice that this is expressly said to be “that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled”. Now Jeremiah had prophesied that after 70 years in Babylon, the nation, if repentant, would be reinstated in the land of Israel, Jeremiah 25:10-14. And this was the very passage Daniel was reading before he prayed to God and was given his vision, Daniel 9:2.

Confirmation of this is found in the words of the Cyrus Cylinder. In it, King Cyrus stated, “I am Cyrus, king of the world, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad…All the kings of the entire world brought their heavy tributes and kissed my feet in Babylon…I (also)gathered all their (former) inhabitants and returned (to them) their habitations…I endeavoured to repair their dwelling places”. Cyrus also sent a letter to the governors of Syria: “I have given leave to as many of the Jews…to return to their own country, and to rebuild their city”.

From 452BC, to AD 29 is 483 years, (deducting 1 year for inclusive reckoning, or else both the beginning year and the ending year are counted, making 2 instead of 1), just as the prophecy said. It is true that the words of 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 and Ezra 1:1-4 do not mention the actual building of Jerusalem, but this is part of what Cyrus was commanded to do. For the decree of Cyrus had been prophesied by Isaiah some 170 years before. In chapter 44 of his prophecy he predicts that God would “frustrate the tokens of the liars”, and “make diviners mad”. This happened when Belshazzar’s astrologers were unable to read the writing on the wall, Daniel 5:7,8. God would turn their wise men backward, and make their knowledge foolish. He would “confirm the word of His servant”, (i.e. Daniel), and “perform the counsel of his messengers”, (i.e. the prophets who had foretold the downfall of Babylon). Then come these significant words, “That saith to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be inhabited’; and to the cities of Judah, ‘ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof'”; Then comes the way in which this will happen- the deep will be dry and the rivers dried up, and Cyrus will perform all God’s pleasure, and will do this by saying to Jerusalem, “Thou shalt be built”, and to the temple, “Thy foundation shall be laid”. The Medo-Persian army diverted the river Euphrates (which flowed through the city), whilst Belshazzar feasted with his lords, or great ones, including, no doubt, the chiefs of the army. Having done this, they were able to march into the city along the river bed, open the gates from the inside, (“I will open to him the two-leaved gates of brass”) and the city was taken. God further promises to loose the loins of kings, which is exactly what happened, for we read that when Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall, on that fateful night of his death, “the joints of his loins were loosed”, Daniel 5:6. So it was that Cyrus and the Medo-Persian empire succeeded the Babylonian empire. The rule over Babylonia itself was given by Cyrus to Darius the Mede, who died two years later. Daniel 6:28 shows that subsequently Cyrus took sole charge of the empire, so his “third year”, mentioned in Daniel 10:1 means the third year of his reign as sole king.

It is clear, then, that the commandment that Cyrus issued had to do with the city as well as the sanctuary. We would expect Ezra, a priest, to concentrate on telling us about the temple in the book named after him.

Following this commandment, the period until the Messiah and His cutting off was divided into two sections, 7 weeks or 49 years, and 62 weeks, or 434 years, making 483 years altogether. The street or broad place of Jerusalem would be built again, and the wall, and that in times of trouble. We know from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah this was the case, with different adversaries seeking to frustrate the work.

It is important to realise that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are really one book, and present a consecutive history of events in Jerusalem, with the book of Esther chronicling events in Shushan the capital of the Persian empire. The sequence of events with regard to the return from Babylon is as follows:

(BC dates adjusted to allow for the creation of the world in 4042 BC)

  1. Daniel taken to Babylon.
  1. Jerusalem taken and burnt.
  1. Belshazzar reigns in Babylon.
  1. Belshazzar slain, and Darius the Mede co-rex with Cyrus the Persian.
  1. Darius dies, and Cyrus now sole ruler of empire.
  1. Command issued to build Jerusalem. Joshua and Zerubbabel return.
  1. 490 years begins.
  1. Cambyses, the Ahasuerus of Ezra 4:6, begins to rule.
  1. Pseudo-Smerdis, the Artaxerxes of Ezra 4:7, usurps throne for 7 months.

438 Darius Hystaspes, known as Darius, in Ezra 4:4, Artaxerxes, in Ezra 7:1,and in Nehemiah 2:1, and Ahasuerus in Esther.

  1. Foundation of temple laid.
  1. Temple finished.
  1. Ezra comes to Jerusalem.
  1. Esther saves her people.
  1. Nehemiah comes to Jerusalem, probably for second time, see Ezra 2:2.
  1. Nehemiah returns to Babylon.
  1. Nehemiah comes back to Jerusalem.

405 Malachi’s prophecy. End of first 49 years of the 490.

That the city and the temple were being built at the same time is shown by the following scriptures:

Ezra 4:12- “the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations”.

Ezra 5:3- “Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall?”.

Ezra 5:3 above cited, occurred during the time of Haggai, and in Haggai 1:4 they dwelt in cieled houses.

Nehemiah chapter 3 gives the account of the repairingof the wall, not its building. The word repair occurs in almost every verse. This is 34 years after the Return, so it is understandable that repairs would be needed, especially in view of the hostility of their neighbours.

The 49 year period runs until the prophecy of Malachi, and a comparison between his book and the last chapters of Nehemiah will show that they write of the same conditions. Perhaps the period is divided into two to encourage those who would endure centuries without a word from heaven, until Christ came. They would be encouraged when they realised that God’s promise of restoration to Jerusalem had been realised, and that the 49 year period had significance. He had been true to His promise about the first part of the vision, He would be true as to the rest; especially as the prophecy of Isaiah 44 had been so dramatically fulfilled in the defeat of the Babylonians.

9:26 And after threescore 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 threescore and two week period is of course the second division of the 70 week period. It is not 62 weeks from the beginning of the 70 weeks. We now learn what “unto Messiah the prince” meant in verse 25; it means His cutting off, for that is the only event specified. No provision is made for a period, say, from His birth to His cutting off, as if the 62 weeks ran up to His birth.

Daniel must have been very excited to hear mention of Messiah, for He is the one the nation looked for and longed for. Daniel had already learned that the Son of Man would be given a kingdom which would last for ever, 7:13,14, yet he is now told that the Messiah would be cut off and have nothing. Not only this, but the city and the sanctuary which the decree at the beginning had sanctioned, is to be destroyed, and that by another person called the prince. Unlike after other visions, we are not told Daniel’s reaction to this one, but at this point he must have been very puzzled, for things seemed to be going badly wrong, and the objectives listed in verse 24 in danger of not being accomplished. But then he no doubt thought of the way the prophets had not only spoken of the glories of Messiah’s kingdom, but had also spoken of Him suffering, and this would afford to Daniel the explanation. Whilst Peter tells us that the prophets desired to understand about the sufferings and the glories, 1 Peter 1:10,11, he does not mean that they denied His sufferings; merely that they had difficulty reconciling the sufferings with the glory. Messiah would indeed be cut off and personally have nothing, but this was the very means that God would use to work out His purpose. There could be no ending of sins and bringing in of righteousness without Messiah being cut off.

Christ came to His own (things), and His own (people) received Him not, John 1:11. His own things would include His own land, both as Jehovah, “the land is mine”, Leviticus 25:23, and as the seed of Abraham, Genesis 15:18. His own throne, for He is of the line of David, and the Lord God will give it to Him one day, Luke 1:32. His temple, for it was His Father’s house, and He and the Father are one, John 10:30. His rightful acknowledgement, for He is the Son, and they should have reverenced Him, Matthew 21:37. He did indeed have nothing on the cross, for though He were rich, for our sakes He became poor, and descended to the poverty of being abandoned by His God, 2 Corinthians 8;9; Psalm 22:1.

We have seen that the 70 weeks does not include the present church age, so the destruction of the city and sanctuary mentioned here is not AD 70, for that was in the church age. It must take place during the last week of 7 years. When He left the temple buildings in Matthew 24:1, and prophesied their destruction, the disciples questioned Him about when it would happen. In His answer, the Lord made no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, but spoke only of the distant future. In Luke 21:20-22 He made it clear that He referred to the days of vengeance when all things would be fulfilled.

Why then is this destruction of city and sanctuary mentioned before the detail about the last week is given in verse 27? The answer lies in the connection between the death of Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem. In John 2:18-21 the Lord Jesus connected the two together, for when they had seen to it that His spirit and His body were separated in death, then they should also know that their city would be dissolved, too. And just a surely as He would rise again from the dead in three days, so a new temple would be built, and the nation would be raised up after three figurative days of obscurity and suffering, and they would live in God’s sight, Hosea 6:1,2. Jacob had prophesied of the cruelty of the sons of Levi to the Messiah, and in their anger they would slay a man, and in their self-will would dig down a wall, Genesis 49:6. The rejection of Christ guaranteed the destruction of Jerusalem and its walls. Reject the Great King, and God will reject the city of the Great King, Matthew 5:35; 22:7, whether it be in AD 70 or in the time of the Antichrist.

9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Notice that Gabriel immediately speaks of the prince, after having spoken of the people of the prince in the previous verse. In other words, the time at which the city is destroyed is the same as when the prince is operating- many centuries do not intervene. This is how we would read the two verses if we had not a reference to AD 70 in our minds.

To confirm a covenant does not mean to reaffirm it, but rather to establish it initially. We are told here that this prince will make a covenant with the many for 7 years. Inasmuch as the next event is the causing of the sacrifices in the temple to cease, it seems reasonable to say that the covenant is made with Israel, so that they may carry on their temple sacrifices unmolested for 7 years. We are not told why a limit is placed on the duration of the covenant, except that God overrules so that things come to a climax rapidly, and He steps in to deal with the situation.

Note that the covenant is with many, or “the many”, that is, the majority in Israel. The godly remnant of those times will have no sympathy with this movement, and will not sanction it. Given that the prince is the antichrist, we see how corrupt and apostate the nation will be in that day. They will make a covenant with death, and with hell they will be in agreement, Isaiah 28:18. We notice that the mention of the majority suggests that Israel will still be a democracy in those days, as now.

In the middle of this seven-year period, antichrist will break his agreement with Israel, Daniel 12:11. Coinciding with this event is the erection of an image of himself in the holy place, the signal to the remnant to flee for their lives, Matthew 24:15,16. This will desecrate it as far as the Israelites are concerned, and will force them to decide whether to go on with the antichrist, or turn to the Messiah and wait for His intervention.

Subsequent to this erection of an image in the temple, the antichrist will himself position himself there, no doubt in blasphemous imitation of the Shekinah glory of God’s presence. Perhaps the reference to overspreading is some allusion to the cherubim with their outstretched wings, protecting the ark. This one will claim Satanic protection, and by acting as he does, he will make the temple desolate or laid waste. Daniel described the present condition of the temple by this word, and now it is used by Gabriel to describe the temple of the future which although still standing, would be ruined as far as God was concerned.

Revelation 11 makes clear that the court of the temple in the future is going to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles for a period of 1260 days, or half of 7 years.

Next Gabriel makes known that despite the fact that it will seem that evil has triumphed, there will be the consummation that God decrees, and not man or Satan. But that consummation, aside from any judgement upon the antichrist which is not the subject of this prophecy, God will see to it that the desolate temple will meet its due end and shall be destroyed, as verse 26 had said. Abominations in the Old Testament are usually idols of some sort, and in fact the Lord Himself spoke of this image as the abomination of desolation.

So the order of events as mentioned in these verses as happening during the last week of seven years, is as follows:

1. Antichrist covenants with the majority in Israel to allow the temple worship in Jerusalem.

2. He breaks this covenant after three and a half years, and the sacrifices and offerings cease.

3. At this point he sets up the abomination of desolation in the temple.

4. The end of the seven-year period marks the consummation of God’s judgements, and what He has determined shall be done, including the destruction of Antichrist’s temple, so that it is left desolate.