The Old Testament Book of Daniel is probably one of the more interesting narratives in the entire canon of Scripture, with the possible exception of the enigmatic Books of Ezekiel, and Revelation in the New Testament. There is quite a remarkable connection between the two books [Daniel and Revelation] because the narratives overlap in several places; especially in these last few chapters. The most notable passage is found in the ninth chapter, which refers to "Messiah the Prince" and most Fundamental Christian Theologians and Messianic Jewish scholarship believe 1 Daniel 9: 24-25 to refer to the person of Jesus [Yeshua] of Nazareth, the holy seed of the Virgin Mary, came into the world around 6 B.C. in the city of Bethlehem, in Judea. And while this is a very convincing and plausible interpretation, yet, the context has to be taken into consideration by reading chapters 8 thru 11, for the most part.
8: 8-12a, 13-14, 17
Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn ["Antiochus Epiphanes IV"- Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 7-10; 2 Maccabees 4: 7a] which grew exceedingly great toward the south [Egypt], toward the east, and toward the glorious land [Israel]. And it [the little horn-"Antiochus Epiphanes IV"] grew up to the host of heaven; and it [the little horn-"Antiochus Epiphanes IV"] cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground and trampled them. He [the little horn-"Antiochus Epiphanes IV"] even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 44-49). Because of transgressions (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 10-15; 41-43, 52; 2 Maccabees 4: 10-17a), an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices. And I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, "How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 45) and the transgression of desolation (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 54a; 2 Maccabees 6: 1-2), the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?" And he said to me, "For two thousand and three hundred days, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed." So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end [End of the profanation of the Temple]."
NOTE: The horrible "Abomination of Desolation" is pun for 'lord of heaven' rendered as Shiqqus shomen (Cp. Daniel 9: 27; 11: 31; 2 Maccabees 6: 2) in the original Hebrew, equivalent to the Syrian "Baal shomen" and refers to the god Zeus-Olympias, which was erected upon the altar of holocausts [burnt offerings] in the sanctuary [Temple] on the fifteenth day in the year one hundred and forty-five [167 B.C.], the month 'Chislev' [December]. Judas Maccabeus and his brothers purified (cleansed) the sanctuary and rededicated it by offering sacrifices on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month [Chislev-"December"], in the year one hundred and forty eight [164 B.C.], which amounts to one thousand and ninety-five days (Cp. 1 Maccabees 4: 4: 36-38, 52-55). Curiously, in 2 Maccabees 10: 1-8, esp. verse 3b, this celebration of cleansing the sanctuary took place two years after the Gentiles profaned the sanctuary and not three years as in the first Book. King Antiochus Epiphanes IV receives word that the Israelites have pulled down the Abomination of Desolation which he had placed on the altar in Jerusalem (Cp. 1 Maccabees 6: 7). References are taken from the New American Bible footnotes.
8: 15, 17, 19
Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision, and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end." And he said, "Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be."
NOTE: The "end' refers to the indignation regarding profaning the sanctuary and the abomination of desolation upon the altar and NOT necessarily the 'End of the World.'
As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation ["Kittim"-Greece as in v. 21], but not with its power. And in the latter times of their kingdom, when the [Jewish] transgressors have reached their fullness (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 10-15; 41-43, 52; 2 Maccabees 4: 14), a king shall arise, having a fierce countenance, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy to an extraordinary degree, and shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 29-30); and he shall exalt himself in his heart (Cp. 2 Maccabees 5: 17a, 21b). He shall destroy many people in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without human means (Cp. 1 Maccabees 6: 8-13, 16). And the vision of the evenings and mornings (Cp. 8: 14) which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days (Cp. 8: 14-- "2,300 evenings and mornings") in the future. And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king's business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it [including Daniel].
Seventy weeks [Heb. heptads-"sevens" or 70 X 7's] are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 10-15; 41-43, 52; 2 Maccabees 4: 14), to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of (1) the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Cp. 2 Chronicles 36: 22-23; Ezra 1: 1-3; 4: 3b) until (2) Messiah the Prince, there shall be (1a) seven weeks and (2a) sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times (Cp. Ezra 4: 12-13, 16, 23-24; 5: 3). And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off (Cp. 1 Maccabees 9: 17-21), but not for Himself. And the people [army/troops] of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it [the city or sanctuary??] shall be with a flood; and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a treaty [of peace] with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 44-49). And on the wing [of the Temple] abominations shall be one who makes desolate (Cp. 1 Maccabees 1: 54; 2 Maccabees 6: 2), even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolator.
NOTE: Instead combining all the events together with the chronology, it is possible that the “seven” weeks [7 X 7’s] pertain to the time of the command to rebuild the Temple and its completion as a separate event in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra. The Messiah would be killed [cut off] 62 weeks [62 X 7’s] ater the command by King Cyrus to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. The chronology of the ‘Weeks’ s taken from the footnotes in The Orthodox Jewish Bible, AFI International Publishers, New York, 2010, “Daniel.” Also, it must be kept in mind that this ‘Messiah’ would be associated with the cleansing of the sanctuary [Temple], which happened during the time of Judas Maccabeus; as in the following:
11: 29, 32
At the appointed time he [2 Maccabees 2: 4: 7; 5: 1, 11-1416, 21; 6: 1-2a] shall return and go toward the south [Egypt]; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
Daniel 12: 11-12
And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand three hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
1 Maccabees 4: 36, 42-43, 52-54, 56
Then Judas and his brothers said, "Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary [Temple] and rededicate it. He [Judas] chose blameless priests, devoted to the law [Torah]; these purified the sanctuary and carried away the stones of the "Abomination [of Desolation]" to an unclean place. Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of 'Chislev' [December 14], in the year one hundred and forty-eight [164 B.C.], they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law [Torah] on the new altar of holocausts [burnt offerings] they had made; On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered the holocausts [burnt offerings] and sacrifices of deliverance and praise.
1 Maccabees 9: 17-21
The battle was fought desperately, and many on both sides fell wounded. Then Judas fell [mortally wounded], and the rest fled. Jonathan and Simon took their brother Judas and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein. All Israel bewailed him in great grief. They mourned for him many days, and they said, "How the mighty one has fallen, the savior [messiah] of Israel."
COMMENT: Judas Maccabeus was killed sometime between 160-159 B.C. Although the Apocryphal Book of Maccabees is not considered as "inspired" but it contains valuable information and a believable historical account, especially in the first book, that seems to support the narrative found in DANIEL. The second Book of Maccabees is not quite as consistent but there are a few good correspondingly valid passages that can be used to corroborate the earlier account and also DANIEL. Of course, because of Daniel's link to the Book of Revelation its Eschatological ("End Times") significance cannot be overlooked; especially when reading it along with the Book of Ezekiel, as well. Be that as it may, even the highly beloved and spiritually gifted Daniel never fully grasped the meaning of the vision he was privileged to experience (Cp. Daniel 8: 27; 9: 20-23; 12: 8a).
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January 17, 2011
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