Daniel Chapter 9 - The Messiah

Updated: Dec 25, 2019



70 WEEKS

are determined upon thy people and thy holy city



Jesus Christ is the Messiah



Daniel chapter 9 locates the very year Christ was to be ANNOINTED as the Messiah and begin His ministry, the DURATION of His ministry, and the very year He was to DIE for our transgression, and in doing so, cause the Jewish sacrificial system to cease.

A forbidden prophecy

This prophecy proves so clearly that Jesus was the Messiah that anti-christian Jewish scholars forbid people to read it.

“May his bones and his memory rot who shall try to number the 70 weeks.” See Talmud, [the oral law of Judaism] Sanhedrin, 97b, Soncino ed., p659.




DANIEL CHAPTER 9


1 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;

In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;

10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that areabout us.

17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.

18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

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;

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 itdesolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.


v 1 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;


In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus = 539BC. Darius is probably the historical Gobryas. 


This was about 11 years after the vision of Daniel 8. There are several good reasons for this:

The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Daniel 8:20-21
  1. Heaven waited until Daniel was studying the 70 “YEARS” prophecy (v 2) until he was given the 70 “WEEKS” prophecy.

  2. Daniel 9 contains two prophetic periods - 70 years (Dan 9:2) & 70 “weeks” (Dan 9:24).

  3. Both were prophetic periods.

  4. Both use the number 70. This was no coincidence. 

  5. Both concern Daniel's people Israel.

  6. The 70 years captivity were because of Israel’s disobedience.

  7. The 70 weeks are given for Israel to cease their disobedience. "To make an end of sins…" (v 24).

  8. The 70 “years” ENDED in the reign of Medo-Persia. 

  9. The 70 “weeks” BEGAN in the reign of Medo-Persia.




The two periods form a pattern:

A. Introduction (v 1)

    B. The 70 “years” (v 2)

        C. Daniel’s prayer concerning the 70 “years.”

A’ Introduction to the 70 weeks (v 20-22)

    B’ The 70 “weeks” (v 24)

        C’ The prophecy of the 70 "weeks."


The 70 years were LITERAL time (70 historical years), one unbroken period without any gaps. 

The 70 “weeks,” were SYMBOLIC TIME, one unbroken period without any gaps. 


The 70 weeks are clearly symbolic of a larger actual period as they reach from the commandment to restore & build Jerusalem (v 25) unto the Messiah (Christ).  Even though  some time had passed between the events of Daniel 8 & 9 the chapters are connected. A passing of time does not in itself prove the chapters are unrelated. Centuries passed between the Old & New Testament yet both are certainly connected. Connections are based on content not necessarily chronology.


v 2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.


Because of their disobedience God had allowed Babylon to take many captive, ruin Jerusalem & destroy God’s sanctuary. Jeremiah had prophesied that the captivity in Babylon would last 70 years (Jer 25:11-12; 29:10. 605-536BC inclusive) and Daniel understood that the 70 years were almost finished. However the message that the sanctuary would not be cleansed until 2300 days (Dan 8:14) caused Daniel to fear a delay in their liberation. 2Ch 7:14 said,  "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."


verses 3-18 = Daniel therefore prayed and confessed his and his people’s sins calling on God’s goodness and asking that God “DEFER NOT,” (v 19) that is, not to delay their liberation. 

At this very time, with Daniel misunderstanding the vision of the 2300 days of chapter 8, Gabriel returns:

v 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.


Defer not = i.e. do not put off the release from captivity promised in Jeremiah’s prophecy. 

Because he did not understand the vision of Daniel 8 Daniel apparently thought that the 2300 days were to be an extension of their captivity. 

Note: Daniel believed in the literal fulfilment of prophecy.


v 20  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. 


"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29

Gabriel = Gabriel had been commanded to make Daniel understand the vision recored in chapter 8 (v 16). He had explained everything except the 2300 days which "none understood." (Dan 8:27). 


"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb 4:15
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb 4:15

The vision at the beginning = “At the beginning” is from the Hebrew word Tehillah. Which vision does Daniel refer to? Daniel 8 was the previous vision in which Gabriel is mentioned by name. Daniel 8:1 also refers us back to “the vision at the first (Heb. Tehillah)” referring us back to the earlier vision of Dan 7. Since the same Hebrew word, Tehillah is used in Dan 8 & 9, we may assume that the “vision given at the first” refers to the vision of Dan 7. Therefore the one Daniel refers to in Dan 7:16 as, “one of them that stood by” is Gabriel. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 are thus all connected by the appearance of Gabriel, though Daniel 8 is the first vision in which Gabriel is referred to by name. The three chapters are related:

Daniel 7 brings to view the Kingdom and Christ as KING

Daniel 8 brings to view the sanctuary and Christ as PRIEST

Daniel 9  brings to view the sacrifice and Christ as SACRIFICE.





Working backward, Christ was our 1. Sacrifice, then our 2. Priest, before He will return as 3. King of Kings.  In order for Christ to reign as King He must finish His work as Priest. In order for Christ to be Priest He first had to offer Himself as Sacrifice.


About the time of the evening oblation = Gabriel appears at the very time that the sacrifice and offering would have been presented if the Jewish sanctuary had still been operational. Gabriel’s return at this time is fitting for in verse 25 he indicates that the sacrificial services would be resumed when Jerusalem was restored. In verse 27 he then describes the period when the sacrifices and oblations would cease forever; an event that every sacrifice pointed to and that would be accomplished by the death of the Messiah.


The return of the King of Kings.
The return of the King of Kings.

Gabriel’s appearance at this time is also fitting as he comes to correct Daniel misunderstandings. Daniel apparently thought that the release from Babylonian captivity would be deferred (Dan 9:19) and no doubt thought that the 2300 days of Daniel 8 were somehow related.

v 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give

thee skill and understanding.

To give the…understanding = Gabriel had interpreted the meanings of the beasts and horns

in Dan 8, but the 2300 days had not been explained (See Dan 8:27). Gabriel here returns to give Daniel understanding. Heaven saw that Daniel had misunderstandings and Gabriel was sent to correct his misunderstanding.

v 23  At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come

to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider

the vision. 


Consider the vision = There is NO VISION in Daniel chapter 9. Gabriel here directs Daniel's

attention to the previous vision of chapter 8, and specifically to the subject of time, which

Daniel had not understood.

Daniel 9 is further explanation of Daniel 8. Note the connections:


DANIEL 8

The angel GABRIEL begins explaining the vision (v 16).


Gabriel was commanded to "make this man [Daniel] to UNDERSTAND the vision," (8:16) but did not complete this commandment.


Two words for vision are used in Daniel 8.

The whole "VISION" in verse 1 is from the Hebrew chazown. The VISION of the [2300] evening and mornings (v 26) is from the Hebrew MAREH.


It was the TIME element of the vision that was not unexplained. The 2300 'days.'



THE VISION

Daniel 8 mentions the "CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY" (v 14) which occurred in the LAST month of the Jewish ceremonial activities. (Lev 23:27). Christ's work as Priest.


The 2300 days mentioned the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan 8:14), a work that occurred at the END of the ceremonial year (Lev 16 & Lev 23:27-32).


The RAM and a GOAT, mentioned in this chapter, though here representing pagan nations, bring to mind the sacrificial aspects of Christ. The Goat specifically bringing to mind the Cleansing of the sanctuary when a goat was sacrificed.


DANIEL 9

The same angel, "The angel GABRIEL who I had seen in the vision at the beginning." (v 21). As Daniel chapter 9 contains NO VISION this must be referring to the earlier vision of Daniel 8.


"I am now come forth to give thee skill and UNDERSTANDING." (v 22).


Daniel 9 has no vision. Gabriel tells Daniel to "Consider THE VISON (MAREH)" (v 23), that is specifically the vision of the 2300 days.

This was a vision he evidently had not understood.


Gabriel began with the subject of TIME. "70 WEEKS are determined upon thy people…"

The word "determined" is translated from the Hebrew word chathak, and means "CUT OFF." 

The 70 weeks (490 days) were evidently cut off the larger 2300 days of chapter 8.


The seventy weeks were to "SEAL UP THE VISION." As there is no vision in Dan 9 this must refer to the previous vision. It would be senseless to say that the 70 weeks sealed up themselves.


Daniel 9 brings to mind the death of Messiah our PASSOVER, which occurred in the FIRST month of the Jewish ceremonial activities (Lev 23:5).

Christ's work as Sacrifice.


Daniel 9 speaks of the anointing of the most holy (v 24), a work that occurred at the BEGINNING of the ministry in the sanctuary (Exo 30:26-29; 40:9; cf. Heb 9:18-24). 


Daniel 9 brings to mind the sacrifice of Christ


The STRUCTURE of Daniel’s visions confirms that chapter 9 is further explanation of chapter 8 

Daniel’s visions are followed by a corresponding explanation:

Dan 2 - the DREAM followed by its EXPLANATION.

Dan 7 - the VISION followed by its EXPLANATION.

Dan 8 - the VISION followed by a partial EXPLANATION.

Dan 9 - no vision just further EXPLANATION.

Dan 10-12 - no vision just further EXPLANATION.

Daniel chapters 9-12 contain no vision because they are actually further explanation of the things described in the vision of chapter 8. These connections show that Daniel chapter 9 is given to help explain the 2300 days of the vision of chapter 8. The correct understanding of the 70 weeks (490 DAYS) of chapter 9 help us understand the 2300 DAYS prophecy of chapter 8.


Verse 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.


Seventy Weeks = 490 days


Commandment to restore & build Jerusalem

Jesus was baptised & anointed. At this time Jesus became the Messiah which means anointed

Jesus cut off (killed) at Calvary ending the sacrifice & oblation

70 weeks end. Kingdom taken from literal Israel. Gospel goes to the Gentiles.


The 70 weeks (490 prophetic days) prophecy is a period of probation specifically for Daniel's people, the Jewish nation. They were to "...finish the transgression, ad 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." God had appointed them a specific period of time to make an end of sin.. God had allowed this prophetic period for forgiveness of Israel's sin. When Peter came to Jesus with the question: "...Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.  Matt 18:21,22. Jesus here alluded to Daniel’s 70 weeks and His long suffering toward the Jewish people.

God forgave Israel 70 x 7 times (Matt 18:22) but in the end they rejected Him, crucified His Son and began to persecute His church. 


Weeks = Heb. Shabua. 

Shabua is used a total of 19 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and in EVERY instance it refers to a week of days. The Hebrew word for seven, “shibah” and is not used here. 


Are determined upon thy people = Literally "CUT OFF" specifically for Daniel's people, Israel.  The word "determined" is from the Hebrew "chathak" which means "cut off". The 70 weeks time prophecy was "cut off" from the larger time prophecy of 2300 days of Daniel 8 which was the only vision not explained in Daniel 8. This "time of the Jews" would be followed by “the times of the Gentiles.” Luke 21:24, Acts 13:46 



490 days cut off the 2300 days

As Gabriel is here explaining the vision of chapter 8, the 70 weeks, or 490 days, are evidently "CUT OFF" from the larger 2300 days of chapter 8. 

As the 70 weeks, 490 days, were CUT OFF the 2300 days, the start of the 70 weeks must also be the start of the 2300 days. Both periods therefore began together.  


Are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city = The 70 weeks or 490 'days' was especially for Daniel's people and city and were given as a probationary period in which God wanted the Jewish nation to cease from sin.


To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins = Christ, by His death, caused the requirement of sacrifices and oblations to cease. The 70 'weeks' were a probationary period in which Israel were to stop sinning. The word translated "sins" (Heb. chatta'oth and chatta'th in some manuscripts) may mean sins or sin offerings. Of its 290 occurrences 135 times it refers to sin offerings. The plural chatta'oth almost invariably means sins. By His death Christ made to cease the necessity of giving sin offerings.

“Christ made an end of sin, bearing its heavy curse in His own body on the tree, and He hath taken away the curse from all those who believe in Him as a personal Saviour. He makes an end of the controlling power of sin in the heart, and the life and character of the believer testify to the genuine character of the grace of Christ.” 1SM, p395.


To make reconciliation for iniquity = "We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son," (Rom 5:10; Col 1:21-22; 2 Cor 5:18-20). 

The reconciling death of Christ occurred WITHIN the 70 weeks. See on v 26-27.  The Futurist view, which claims that the 69 weeks ended before Christ’s death and that the 70th week is still future, is clearly in error because such an interpretation does not have the reconciling death of Christ WITHIN the 70 weeks.

"By His perfect obedience He has satisfied the claims of the law, and my only hope is found in looking to Him as my substitute and surety, who obeyed the law perfectly for me. By faith in His merits I am free from the condemnation of the law." 1SM, p396.

"Men will learn of the reconciliation for iniquity and of the everlasting righteousness which the Messiah has brought in through His sacrifice." 7T 149. 


Bring in everlasting righteousness = By His perfect life and death Christ made everlasting righteousness available to all. Christ's death occurred during the 70 weeks.  


Seal up the vision = Christ sealed up the vision and prophecy of Dan 8. The vision that Gabriel had come help Daniel understand was that of chapter 8, in particular the 2300 days. The 70 week therefore "seal up" the vision of "THE" specific vision (singular) of the 2300 days. The fulfilment of the 70 weeks 'seal up', or make sure the fulfilment of the larger 2300 days.

Note: It does not read visionS or prophecieS (plural) and cannot therefore refer to the ending of ALL prophetic visionS which will occur at the Second Coming. This cannot therefore be used to argue that the 70 week prophecy must reach till the second coming as Futurists claim.


Anoint the Most holy = Heb. ‘Kodesh kodashim.’ This term is never applied to a person in Scripture, unless it is here. It is always applied to places and things of the sanctuary. The singular term may be thought of as referring to the sanctuary as a whole. “To anoint a most holy place.” RSV.

All the things mentioned in this text were accomplished by Christ. As Moses anointed the earthly sanctuary before His priestly work began within (Exo 40:9; Exo 30:22-30) so Christ anointed the heavenly sanctuary before He began His Priestly work. The earthly was "serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things," Heb 8:4-5. Christ's ascension to begin His heavenly ministry also occurred during the 70 weeks.


Vs 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." 

The commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem = Three Persian decrees contributed to the rebuilding and restoration of Jerusalem. The final part being issued in 457BC. 


King Cyrus Decree in 537 BC - the shortest decree. “a DECREE concerning the house of God at Jerusalem...”  Ezra 1:1-6; Isa 44:28. Only concerned building.

King Darius' decree in 520BC - medium length. “Then Darius the king made a DECREE...”

Ezra 6:1 13. Enc Brit’,Vol 3, p886. Also 

concerned building.

King Artaxerxes decree of 457BC - longest decree. “I make a DECREE..Set magistrates and judges...[teach] the law of thy God.” etc. (Ezra 7:7-8, 12, 21, 23-26).

RESTORED the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish civil and religious state. An ACTUAL COPY of this decree, in the original language, is recorded in Scripture (Ezra 7:11).


All THREE DECREES formed the ONE COMMANDMENT

“And they builded and finished it, according to THE DECREE [singular] of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia.” Ezra 6:14.

Only with Artaxerxes