Daniel 9

Jewjitzu

Well-known member
There's a couple factors that give me pause however on this topic, one being the Jewish ancient translations putting 7 weeks with 62 weeks.

This mix of reasonable arguments makes me consider the possibility that the author could have been deliberately open ended and allowed for either reading - (A) that the anointed prince is a person whom the author knew from recorded history like Cyrus or a Persian-era Jewish prince, or (B) that the anointed prince is a more apocalyptic figure who comes after 69 weeks from the order to restore Jerusalem.

This kind of dual meaning shows up elsewhere in Jewish writings, especially in the figure of David. Rabbinical tradition sees David as a real historical ruler, but also as a prefigurement of the Davidic Messiah, so that some statements made in Tanakh about David can apply also by extension to Messiah.

In Isaiah 55, for instance, there is a prediction about the Israelites being under David a "commander of nations", which could imply the resurrected literal David who ruled the nation of Israel. David would resurrect according to Tanakh, and historically conquered some neighboring groups like some of the Philistines. But the prophecy seems more Messianic in Isaiah 55, as the Messiah would be a literal "commander of nations" in far greater number.
Well, David does come up again in Ezekiel, so we'll have to wait and see.
 

rakovsky

Well-known member
Yep, I don't think it has a good background.
What do you mean?

Ezek 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

Ezekiel 34 has the same kind issue with an apocalyptic Davidic prediction.
 
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Jewjitzu

Well-known member
What do you mean?
I was referring to Kapparot done today. Unfortunately, when it tried to reply to your post, it didn't copy anything over.

Ezek 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Yep, this is what I was referring to.
 

rakovsky

Well-known member
How do you understand this prophesy?


Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:

24 “Seventy weeks[bc] have been determined
concerning your people and your holy city
to put an end to[bd] rebellion,
to bring sin[be] to completion,[bf]
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in perpetual[bg] righteousness,
to seal up[bh] the prophetic vision,[bi]
and to anoint a Most Holy Place.[bj]
25 So know and understand:
From the issuing of the command[bk] to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives,[bl]
there will be a period of seven weeks[bm] and sixty-two weeks.
It will again be built,[bn] with plaza and moat,
but in distressful times.
26 Now after the sixty-two weeks,
an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing.[bo]
As for the city and the sanctuary,
the people of the coming prince will destroy[bp] them.
But his end will come speedily[bq] like a flood.[br]
Until the end of the war that has been decreed
there will be destruction.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one week.[bs]
But in the middle of that week
he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt.
On the wing[bt] of abominations will come[bu] one who destroys,
until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”
I typically like the KJV or NKJV translations for the Masoretic. Modern critics typically think that Daniel was written in the Maccabean time period, implying that it's a "pious fraud". In that case, there was no actual angel/watcher coming down and giving Daniel this prediction about 490 years. So what made the author of Daniel think that 490 years from a decree to restore Jerusalem that all these apocalyptic events would occur?

One idea is that he was trying to make a "prediction" about the Maccabean period that he was living in, and it included events in his own time, like the abuses of Antiochus Epiphanius. However, the 490 year countdown doesn't work mathematically to the Maccabean period. In some "Countermissionary" literature, I've seen the starting date for the Countdown alleged to be c. 605 BC, the time when Jeremiah got one of his prophecies. It's the earleist starting date I've seen. But even then, 605 minus 482 = 123 BC. Antiochus Epiphanius however died in 164 BC. So the author must not have been trying to describe the events of Antiochus in his apocalyptic text.

The modern critical rejoinder that Daniel's author must have gotten his dating wrong is not very persuasive, although tentatively plausible. Further, the problem with the modern critical dating isn't just the number of years, but the starting date of 605 BC. Jeremiah's prophecy wasn't literally a "word/decree/davar to restore Jerusalem." Rather, it was a prediction warning about its destruction. The actual words/decrees to rebuild the city came many years later.

So if the author was writing in the Maccabean period yet making a prediction for a time before his own current time period, what made the author think that these apocalyptic events would take place 490 years from a word to restore Jerusalem? One hypothesis is that it's related to the 7 year shemita cycle. The Torah gave a 7 year cycle for leaving the fields fallow. Supposedly Israel had failed to observe the 7 year cycyle, and this failure was a motive for Hashem to impose the Babylonian captivity.

The Torah gave a 49 year period for Jubilees when the Israelites were supposed to free all their Israelite (and gentile?) slaves, but the Israelites hadn't observed that either. This failure can be an added "spiritual" reason for the Babylonian Captivity.

One could theorize that a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, if divinely inspired or approved, could also entail or be accompanied by other divine blessings. This expectation of accompanying events could serve as a basis for the apocalyptic ones described.

However, the Israelites, on their return from Babylonian Exile, still did not observe the Torah rules about the 7 year cycle and the Jubilee of releasing servants, right? This makes it harder to expect that the Israelites would get some wonderful divine blessings like one would hope for.

In fairness to the Israelites, although I am no expert on agriculture, the Biblical demand to keep the fields fallow every 7 years sounds pretty tough to me. You don't want your population to starve. Supposedly God was supposed to provide food that year. But does that sound realistic for a whole population. Imagine if America or China said that they weren't going to farm fields for a whole year. Starvation would be massive. The only place it sounds feasible would be someplace with a relatively small population that could survive on wild plants and hunting. Maybe I am misunderstanding the 7 year fallow cycle.

The Jubilee freeing of slaves on the other hand is something that I definitely support. I am no fan of slavery.

So Daniel predicts apocalyptic events to happen 490 years after an order to restore the city, but based on the Israelites' likely violation of the Torah's requirements, one could expect that something would go awry with the resulting apocalyptic events, or that they would not come in such a wonderful form as hoped for.

In any case, Daniel 9 seems in general to be Messianic. One reason is that extreme sounding events like the sealing of prophecy and cleansing (atoning?) of sins is to happen in this 70 "week" period. Another reason is that chiastic structure in Daniel's book points to chapter 9 as central to the text. A third reason is that Rambam considered Daniel to calculate the time for the Messiah's arrival, and Daniel 9 seems like the most likely spot. Fourth, the reference to the Anointed one / Messiah being "no more" uses the same term in Hebrew for Enoch's transferrance to heaven. Fifth, the formula of "Anointed Prince (moshiach nagid)" according to Delitzsch theorizes that this combination most likely refers to the Messiah, as Cyrus and Nebudchadnezzar are the only two gentile kings called "moshiach" in the Tanakh.

Perhaps the author of Daniel expected the 490 years (a Jubilee year times ten) to have a special Jubilee-style spiritual power. Whereas the Jubilees were meant for releasing the Israelites' servants, a period of 10 Jubilees (490 years) could have a special power to release the Israelites themselves in some spiritual way. Certainly, the Messiah's role in Judaism includes a kind of liberation for the Israelites, whether that be spiritual or religious.

At this point I feel that I am speculating off the cuff in trying to look for reasons to tie the 490 years to the Messiah.

If one theorizes that Daniel 9's 70 weeks are Messianic and that the fulfillment is supposed to go awry or have a partially doomed aspect due to continued lack of Israelite observance fo the Jubilee years, this could help explain why the prophecy of 490 years ends in the "cutting off" of the "Anointed" figure (at 482 years), the destruction of the Temple, etc.
 

American Gothic

Well-known member
7 weeks and 62 weeks (of years) v. 25
483 years x 360 calendar days
=
173880 prophetic days to the "cut off" (hmmmm?)
 
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rakovsky

Well-known member
7 weeks and 62 weeks (of years) v. 25
483 years x 360 calendar days
=
173880 prophetic days to the "cut off" (hmmmm?)
I'm not sure if it needs to be 360 calendar days or if it can be in solar years (365 days).
What did you think about my analysis above in message #149?
 

American Gothic

Well-known member
I'm not sure if it needs to be 360 calendar days or if it can be in solar years (365 days).
What did you think about my analysis above in message #149?
the view I reference goes by
360 calendar month days (it's a different calendar system than the Lunar one)
the 70 weeks count starts from Artaxerxes decree in his 20th year

Daniel is a considered real prophet, in Babylon captivity times, etc. and
Daniel's revelations are related to Messiah, then the end times, and correlate to some of the Festivals
 
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Open Heart

Well-known member
I mostly wanted to look for a pretext to get people's attention to get back to the Dan. 9 context.

But as for Kapparot, my point is that Torah must not explicitly ban any and all sacrifices outside of Jerusalem. Rather, the Temple prescribes certain sacrifices for the Temple, and those specifically prescribed sacrifices would logically arguably not be performed elsewhere if there was no Temple. Kapparot serves as an illustration, because if Torah explicitly banned any and all sacrifices outside the Temple, then the Hasidics would recognize the ban.
"The vast majority of Jews, of course, don’t believe in this kind of thing and don’t practice the kaporos. They view it for what it is: a bizarre piece of medieval superstition that arose during Europe’s Dark Ages"
 

Open Heart

Well-known member
the view I reference goes by
360 calendar month days (it's a different calendar system than the Lunar one)
the 70 weeks count starts from Artaxerxes decree in his 20th year

Daniel is a considered real prophet, in Babylon captivity times, etc. and
Daniel's revelations are related to Messiah, then the end times, and correlate to some of the Festivals
Daniel is not considered a prophet by Jews. The book is placed in the section known as The Writings, not the Prophets.
 

rakovsky

Well-known member
Daniel is not considered a prophet by Jews. The book is placed in the section known as The Writings, not the Prophets.
I'm not sure that there is a practical theological difference though that results from the distinction in categories. Is there?
I guess that the categorization could signal that the text was perhaps not written by an actual prophet named "Daniel" under Babylonian rule, but rather is a holy Biblical "writing" by a different author.
 

Open Heart

Well-known member
I'm not sure that there is a practical theological difference though that results from the distinction in categories. Is there?
I guess that the categorization could signal that the text was perhaps not written by an actual prophet named "Daniel" under Babylonian rule, but rather is a holy Biblical "writing" by a different author.
Daniel was actually written during the Maccabean War.
 
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