domingo, 24 de junho de 2012


By Kenneth L. Gentry Jr 
As we work our way through Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, we come now to the main point of debate with dispensationalists.
When is the seventieth week, and what is its point?The Messiah now experiences something “after the sixty-two weeks” (Da 9:26), which follow the preceding “seven weeks” (v 25). This will occur, then, sometime after the sixty-ninth week. A natural reading of the text requires that this occurs in the seventieth week, for that is the only time frame remaining for accomplishing the prophecy’s goal listed in verse 24. That which occurs at this time is: “Messiah shall be cut off.” The Hebrew word translated “cut off” here (karath) “is used of the death penalty, Lev. 7:20; and refers to a violent death,” [1] i.e, the death of Christ on the cross.
Given the Hebraic pattern of repetition, we may easily discern a parallel between verses 26 and 27; verse 27 gives an expansion of verse 26. Negatively, Messiah’s cutting off in verse 26 results from Israel’s completing her transgression and bringing it to a culmination (v 24) by crucifying the Messiah. [2] Positively, verse 27 states this same event: “He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Considered from its positive effect, this confirming the covenant with many makes reconciliation and brings in everlasting righteousness (v 24). The confirming of a covenant (v 27) refers to the covenantal actions of verse 24, which result from the perfect covenantal Jubilee (Seventy Weeks) and are the consequence of Daniel’s covenantal prayer (cf. v 4). The covenant men-tioned, then, is the divine covenant of God’s redemptive grace. [3] Messiah comes to confirm the covenantal promises (Lk 1:72; Eph 2:12). He confirms the covenant by dying on the cross (Heb 7:22b). [4]
The word translated “confirm” (higbir) is related to the angel Gabriel’s name, who brought Daniel the revelation of the Seventy Weeks (and who later brings the revelation of Christ’s birth [Lk 1:19, 26]). “Gabriel” is based on the Hebrew gibbor, “strong one,” a concept frequently asso-ciated with the covenant God. [5] The related word found in Daniel 9:27 means to “make strong, confirm.” [6] This “firm covenant” brings about “everlasting righteousness” (Da 9:24) — hence its firmness.
Daniel’s prayer is particularly for Israel (Da 9:3ff), and recognizes God’s promises of mercy upon those who love him (v 4). Therefore, the covenant will be confirmed with many for one week. The “many”refers to the faithful in Israel. “Thus a contrast is introduced between He and the Many, a contrast which appears to reflect upon the great Messianic passage, Isaiah 52:13–53:12 and particularly 53:11. Although the entire nation will not receive salvation, the many will receive.” [7]
This confirming God’s covenant to the “many” of Israel occurs in the middle of the seventieth week (v 27). This parallels “after the sixty-two [and seven] weeks” (v 26) and provides more detail. We know Christ’s three-and-one-half-year ministry focuses on the Jews in the first half of the seventieth week (Mt 10:5b; Mt 15:24). For a period of three and one-half years after the crucifixion, [8] the apostles focus almost exclusively on the Jews, beginning first “in Judea” (Ac 1:8; 2:14) because “the gospel of Christ” is “for the Jew first” (Ro 1:16; cf. 2:10; Jn 4:22).
Although the prophecy clearly specifies the terminus of the sixty-ninth week, such is not the case with the terminus of the seventieth. Thus, the exact event that ends the seventieth is not so significant for us to know. Apparently at the stoning of Stephen, Christianity’s first martyr, the covenantal proclamation begins turning toward the Gentiles (Ac 8:1). The apostle to the Gentiles appears on the scene at Stephen’s death (Ac 7:58–8:1; 22:20), as the Jewish persecution against Christianity breaks out. Paul’s mission clearly exceeds the narrow Jewish focus (Ac 9:15; 22:21; 26:17; Ro 1:5; 11:13; 15:16; Gal 1:16; 2:7; 3:1, 8; 1Ti 2:7; 4:17).
This covenant’s confirmation occurs “in the middle of the week” (Da 9:27). Above I show that the seventieth week begins with Christ’s baptismal anointing. Then, after three and one-half years of ministry — the middle of the seventieth week — Christ suffers crucifixion (Lk 13:6–9; Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 1:10:3). Thus, the prophecy states that by his confirming the covenant, Messiah will “bring an end to sacrifice and offering” (v 27) by offering up Himself as a sacrifice for sin (Heb 9:25–26; cf. Heb 7:11–12, 18–22). Consequently, at his death the temple’s veil tears from top to bottom (Mt 27:51), showing that God is legally disestablishing the sacrificial system (cf. Mt 23:38), for Christ is the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29; Ac 8:32; 1Pe 19; Rev 5–7), who is offered once and for all (Heb 10:4–10).

1. E. J. Young, Daniel, 206.
2. Mt 20:18–19; 27:11–25; Mk 10:33; 15:1; Lk 18:32; 23:1–2; Jn 18:28–31; 19:12, 15; Ac 2:22–23; 3:13–15a; 4:26–27; 5:30; 7:52.
3. When “covenant” is mentioned in Daniel, it is always God’s covenant, see: Daniel 9:4; 11:22, 28, 30, 32. This includes even Daniel 11:22. See: J. D. Pentecost, “Daniel,” Bible Knowledge Commentary, 1:1369.
4. Mt 26:28; Mk 14:24; Lk 22:20; 1Co 11:25; 2 Co 3:6; Heb 8:8, 13; 9:15; 12:24.
5. Dt 7:9, 21; 10:17; Neh 1:5; 9:32; Isa 9:6; Da 9:4. Hengstenberg argues convincingly that the source of Daniel 9 seems to be Isaiah 10:21–23, where God is the “Mighty God” who blesses the faithful remnant.
6. Young, Daniel, 209; O. T. Allis,  Prophecy and the Church, 122; E. W. Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament, 856.
7.  Young, Daniel, 213.
8. Payne, “The Goal of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks,” 109n; Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament, 2:898. Young, Daniel, 213.

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