Final Week - Abomination

The final “week” of the prophecy includes verbal links to the other visions of Daniel, especially the “abomination of desolation” – Daniel 9:27

Caesar - Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash
The “
seventy weeks” prophecy concludes with several unanswered questions. However, the prophecy is not the end of the matter. Clear verbal links connect it to the visions of chapters 7 and 8, and to the subsequent vision in chapter 11; it is one part of a larger whole. The complete picture becomes clear when all the visions of Daniel are considered - [Caesar - Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash].

The most striking features common to the several visions are the “abomination that desolates” and the cessation of the daily burnt offering. The failure to see these connections leads to inaccurate interpretations.
  • (Daniel 9:27) - “And he will make a firm covenant with many for one week, and in the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations will come one that desolates; and even to the full end, and that determined, will wrath be poured out upon the desolate.
He will make a firm covenant.” The figure designated as the “leader” or nagid is the subject of the verb rendered “confirm.” He “confirms” (gabar), or perhaps better, he “strengthens” a covenant - (Strong’s - #H1396).

With many” refers to the occupants of the city who submitted to the “leader,” in contrast to those who refused to do so, the same group that was “corrupted” by him in the preceding verse. Note the following parallel passages:
  • (Daniel 11:30-32) - “Then will come in against him the ships of Cyprus, and he will be disheartened, and again have indignation against a holy covenant, and will act with effect, and again gain intelligence, CONCERNING THEM WHO ARE FORSAKING A HOLY COVENANT. And arms from him will arise, and will profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and will set aside the continual burnt offering, and place the abomination that astounds. And THEM WHO ARE READY TO DEAL LAWLESSLY WITH A COVENANT will he make impious by flatteries, but the people who know their God will be strong and act with effect.
  • (Daniel 12:10-11) - “Many will purify themselves and be made white and be refined, but the lawless will act lawlessly, and NONE OF THE LAWLESS SHALL UNDERSTAND, but they who make wise shall understand; and from the time of the removal of the continual burnt offering and the placing of the abomination that astounds will be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
The “covenant” made with the “many” alludes to the same event described in the interpretation of the vision of the goat, the “king of fierce countenance” who “corrupted” the people of the saints (“By his cunning he caused deceit to succeed in his hand… and by their careless security will he CORRUPT THE MANY”) - (Daniel 8:23-25).

He causes the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This is a clear link to the previous vision when the “little horn” desecrated the Temple, removed the daily sacrifice, and erected the “transgression that desolates.” Likewise in chapter 11, the “king of the south” set-up the “abomination that desolates” and removed the “daily burnt offering.” In the present passage, the installation of the “abomination” followed the “covenant” that the “leader” had made with the “people.” Thus, the same events are in view in all three visions, especially, the defilement of the Sanctuary - (Daniel 8:8-1411:31,12:10-11).

The concluding events occurred in the last “half of the week,” that is, in the latter part of the final or “seventieth week.” The period is described elsewhere in Daniel, although with different terms and images:
  • (Daniel 7:25-26) - “And he shall speak words against the Most-High and will wear out the saints. And he will think to change the times and the law; and they will be given into his hand until a TIME AND TIMES AND HALF A TIME.
  • (Daniel 8:19-26) - “Behold, I will make you know what will be in the LATTER TIME OF THE INDIGNATION; for it belongs to the appointed time of THE END…And in the LATTER TIME OF THEIR KINGDOM, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance…he also will stand up against the prince of princes but will be broken without handbut shut up the vision; for it belongs to many days to come.”
  • (Daniel 12:6-8) - “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? It will be for A TIME, TIMES AND A HALF; and when they have made an end of breaking in pieces the power of the holy people, all these things will be finished.”
On the wings of abomination, he comes desolating.” The Hebrew noun rendered “abomination” refers to objects that are ritually unclean, such as idols, heathen altars, and pagan sacrifices. It means that which is “detestable, abominable” - (Strong’s #H8251). In the Hebrew Bible, the term is applied to idolatrous objects - (Deuteronomy 29:17 – “And you have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold”).

What “wing” refers to is not clear. The Hebrew clause reads: “And upon wing of abominations, desolating.” It uses the common noun for the “wing” of a bird or insect. Here, it may be metaphorical for an “extremity” of something; most likely, to the four “wings” or “horns” of the altar of burnt offering. But the intended referent is not entirely clear - (Exodus 38:2).

Even until the end, and that a determined one, which will pour down upon the desolater.” More accurately, “and until the end, what was decreed was pouring out upon him who was desolating.” That is, the “leader” who “desolated” the sanctuary would himself be desolated as “decreed,” presumably by God. The Hebrew term is applied twice in the passage: “desolations are decreed… until the end, a decreed one.” “Decreed” occurs in a similar context in the next vision:
  • The king will do according to his will… he will prosper until the indignation be accomplished; for that which is decreed will be done” (Daniel 11:36).
Poured down” refers to the same reality as the “flood” in the preceding verse. In the end, the one who “desolated” the sanctuary will himself be overwhelmed with desolation.

The verbal links are important, especially the references to the “abomination that desolates.” They demonstrate that the same events are in view in the visions of chapters 7, 8, 9 and 11, and in the conclusion of the book - (Daniel 12:10-11).

The “seventy weeks” end with an ambiguous conclusion. However, the prophecy is neither the highlight nor the conclusion of the book. The connections to its other visions are critical to understanding it. And while the prophecy of the “seventy weeks” includes several ambiguities, the historical references in chapters 8 and 11 are clear and explicit.

The prophecy provides several chronological clues to the larger picture, and it keeps the focus on the “abomination of desolation” and the desecration of the sanctuary by a malevolent ruler. However, the audience must continue to examine the remainder of the book to gain further insight.



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