John MacArthur – Daniel 9 (interpreting Bible prophecy literally)
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The ninth chapter of the Book Of Daniel is one of the most important books of the Bible, especially the last four verses of the Book (vs 24-27). In it we will find information about the tribulation, which Christ discusses in Matthew Chapter 24. We will also find the identities of those who will be present during the tribulation, as well as the length of the tribulation.
Key events will take place preceding the tribulation, which is also known as the 70th week of Daniel. The catching up/rapture of the church (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18) will remove from planet Earth everyone who has been born again, those having the Spirit of God inhabiting their spirit and prompting them to live righteously. Immediately, the world will be left only with people, leaders and following citizens, who have no relationship with God. They will not have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, or the prompting of the Holy Spirit to live righteous lives. Chaos will break out all over the world, which is shown in Ezekiel 38-39 and Matthew 24:4-20. The anti-christ will make a covenant with the nation of Israel for its safety and integrity of land presence. That covenant with Israel will be made for a seven-year period. The anti-Christ will help Israel to build a temple and reestablish their sacrifices. But, in the middle of the seven years, after making peace in Israel, the anti-christ will break the treaty and do away with the Jewish sacrifices. He will proclaim himself to be God, and will call all of the world to worship him. (2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:7-8). The events of the Tribulation will intensify, as is shown in Matthew 24:21-28, and continues through Revelation through 18. At the same time, the judgments of God on planet earth escalate, as the Trumpet Judgments give way to Bowl Judgments, as they begin in Rev 15. It is important to understand that God is in control of all of the happenings of the seventieth week of Daniel, the tribulation. For instance, in Ezekiel 38:4, God causes ungodly forces to attack Israel for His own purposes. He uses the same discretion of pouring out the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments in the Book of Revelation, which will affect every living person on planet earth, who has been left behind, after having missed the rapture
Ezekiel 38:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Gog and Allies Attack Israel
1 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
He brings the invader to Palestine so that He may visit judgment (v. 8) on the invader itself (38:18–23; 39:1–10). (MacArthur)
Revelation 6:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
First Seal: The Conqueror
1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”
My note. During the time of the rule of the anti-christ over Israel, God releases the judgments (Seal, Trumpet, Bowl).
6:1 the seals. In chap. 5, Christ was the only One found worthy to open the little scroll—the title deed to the universe. As He breaks the 7 seals that secure the scroll, each seal unleashes a new demonstration of God’s judgment on the earth in the future tribulation period (see notes on 5:1; Matt. 24:3–9). These seal judgments include all the judgments to the end. The seventh seal contains the 7 trumpets; the seventh trumpet contains the 7 bowls. (MacArthur)
My note. For someone to believe that there will be no pre-tribulation rapture, such a person must also believe that every man, woman and child will come under the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments that God will inflict on planet Earth. (See Rev 3:10 and MacArthur note)
Revelation 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
3:10 keep you from the hour of trial. Christ’s description—an event still future that for a short time severely tests the whole world—must refer to the time of tribulation, the 7 year period before Christ’s earthly kingdom is consummated, featuring the unleashing of divine wrath in judgments expressed as seals, trumpets, and bowls. This period is described in detail throughout chaps. 6–19. The latter half is called “the Great Tribulation” (7:14; Matt. 24:21) and is identified as to time in 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5. The verb “to keep” is followed by a preposition whose normal meaning is “from” or “out of”—this phrase, “keep…from” supports the pretribulational rapture of the church (see notes on John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13–17). This period is the same as Daniel’s 70th week (see notes on Dan. 9:24–27) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (see notes on Jer. 30:7). (MacArthur note)
The recipients of the judgments will be those who do not have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Born again believers in Christ have had the sin problem dealt with at the time of their new birth. The cause of the tribulation will be for God to judge sin (the sin of believers has already been judged), and for Israel to come to know Christ as Messiah (those who are believers in Christ have already settled that issue). (Mine)
The Rapture John MacArthur
Turkey’s Important Role in the Ezekiel 38 War
Ezekiel 38:1—39:29 These chaps. tell of a coming northern confederacy of nations who will invade the Promised Land. (MacArthur)
A Glimpse Of Armageddon – The Sixth Bowl Judgment – Will you be there – if so, in which capacity? This is an honest question, which demands a serious response.
Revelation 16:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up
Revelation 16:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Revelation 14:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
Study notes. Biblegateway.com. MacArthur Study Bible notes.
16:16 Armageddon. The Heb. name for Mt. Megiddo, 60 mi. N of Jerusalem. The battle will rage on the nearby plains, site of Barak’s victory over the Canaanites (Judg. 4), and Gideon’s victory over the Midianites (Judg. 7). Napoleon called this valley the greatest battlefield he had ever seen. But the Battle of Armageddon will not be limited to the Megiddo plains—it will encompass the length of Palestine (see note on 14:20).
14:20 outside the city. God will determine that this bloodbath will occur outside Jerusalem, as if God wants to protect the city from the carnage all around. Zechariah 14:1–5 makes clear that Jerusalem will be attacked, but will not be destroyed in the end, but spared for the glory of the kingdom, and the believing remnant will be saved as the Lord defends them and the city against the nations. They will escape through a newly created valley as the Lord finishes judgment and sets up His kingdom. up to the horses’ bridles. The severity of the slaughter is indicated in the imagery of the blood of those killed in the Battle of Armageddon splattering as high (about 4 ft.) as the bridles of the horses involved. Equally likely, if the battle occurs near the central valley of Israel, the tremendous volume and flow of blood could easily form troughs 4 ft. deep in some places. This event clearly is described in 19:11–21. Ezekiel 39:8–16 may be describing the clean up. one thousand six hundred furlongs. See marginal note. The approximate distance from Armageddon in the N of Palestine to Edom in the S. The great battle will rage across that entire area and even slightly beyond.
Introduction to Daniel Chapter 9
Daniel 9:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Seventy Weeks
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
The ninth chapter of Daniel specifically takes up prophecy as it applies to the chosen people of God, the Jews. The prophecy as a whole is presented in verse 24. The first sixty-nine sevens is described in verse 25. The events between the sixty-ninth seventh and the seventieth seventh are detailed in verse 26. The final period of the seventieth seventh is described in verse 27. The prophecy is that “the 70 weeks relate to Daniel’s people and his city, Israel and Jerusalem.” The angel Gabriel enumerated six important purposes that God would accomplish during the period of the 70 weeks: (1) “to finish the transgression;” (2) “to put an end to sin;” (3) “to atone for iniquity;” (4) “to bring in everlasting righteousness;” (5) “to seal both vision and prophet;” and (6) “to anoint a most holy place.” The first three deal with sin. The last three focus on the positive aspects of God’s prophetic program for His people, His City, and His sanctuary. (John F. Wolvoord)
None of the six prophecies were fulfilled in the first 69 weeks, so there must be a future time for God’s people. At that time, the final seven-year tribulation period will begin. Once the church is raptured out of the world, the final seven-year period of Daniel begins, “the Tribulation.” The anti-christ shall confirm a covenant with Israel for “one week” (7 years) and help Israel build a the temple and reestablish their sacrifices. But in the middle of the week (3 1/2 years), after making peace in Israel, the anti-christ will break the treaty and do away with the Jewish sacrifices. Then, the anti-christ shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. The result will be the Great Tribulation – the last 3 1:2 years when the world will be bathed in the blood of persecution. The “Great Tribulation,” called “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” is described in Mathew 24:15-21 by Christ (David Jeremiah).
It is easy to see that the purpose of the tribulation is for God to deal with sin, and to draw His people, “Israel,” to faith in Christ. The believer in Christ has had his, or her, sin reconciled. The righteousness of Christ has been imputed on believers in Christ (Romans 3:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:9). (Mine)
Imputed righteousness is the result of someone being born again, born from above. Consider the righteousness that each born again believer in Christ had bestowed on him, or her. (Mine)
John 14:20 New King James Version (NKJV) The new birth results in the indwelling of the spirit of the believer in Christ, with the Spirit of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Mine)
20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
2 Corinthians 5:21 New King James Version (NKJV) By imputed righteousness, we are spiritually “in Christ.” We have been made righteous, with our spirit being as righteousness as that of God. (Mine)
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Colossians 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV) By being the righteousness of Christ, the Spirit of Christ takes up residence in those who have received imputed righteousness. (Mine)
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 2:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV) At the time of that imputation, or new birth, every thing that God has had against us “is nailed to the cross.” (Mine)
13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Daniel 9 New King James Version (NKJV)
Study notes are from Biblegateway.com. MacArthur Study Bible notes, unless noted.
Daniel’s Prayer for the People
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—
9:1 the first year. Ca. 539 B.C. made king. This may mean that Darius (a title, not a proper name, see note on 5:31) refers to Cyrus who was made king by God’s allowance (cf. Ps. 75:6, 7). Since Cyrus was the first monarch of the Medo-Persian empire, this time note was also the first year after the death of Belshazzar, when Babylon fell.
2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
9:2 seventy years. Daniel’s study of “the books” (OT scrolls) focused on the years prophesied for the captivity by Jeremiah in Jer. 25:11, 12 and 29:10. Since the end of that span was near, he prayed for God’s next move on behalf of Israel. Cf. 2 Chr. 36:21, where it is indicated that the 70 years of exile were intended to restore the Sabbath rests that Israel had ignored for so many years (cf. Lev. 25:4, 5; 26:34–43).
3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. 6 Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. 7 O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.
9:11 the curse. This refers to the judgment that God brought, as promised, for Israel’s disobedience in the Land (Lev. 26:21–42; Deut. 28:15–68). This is in contrast to the blessings associated with faith and obedience (Lev. 26:3–20; Deut. 28:1–14). God had given the promise that even in a time of judgment, if Israel would confess their sin, He would bring blessing again (Lev. 26:40–42).
12 And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.
13 “As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.
9:16. Daniel prayed for restoration in 3 aspects. In effect he asked God to bring back “Your city” (vv. 16, 18), “Your sanctuary (v. 17), and “Your people”(v. 19). God’s answer embraced all three (v. 24).
17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
9:4–19 I prayed. Various aspects of the passage give rich instruction regarding prayer. True prayer is: in response to the Word (v. 2), characterized by fervency and self-denial (v. 3), identified unselfishly with God’s people (v. 5), strengthened by confession (vv. 5–15), dependent on God’s character (vv. 4, 7, 9, 15), and has as its goal, God’s glory (vv. 16–19).
The Seventy-Weeks Prophecy
20 Now while I was speaking, 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,
(My note. Notice that Daniel is praying in reference to his sin and to the sin of the people of Israel.)
21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.
9:21 the man Gabriel. This angel, called a “man” because he appeared in the form of a man, appeared also in 8:16. Cf. the angel Michael in 10:13, 21; 12:1. the evening offering. This was the second lamb of two offered daily (cf. 8:14 and see note there), this one at 3 p.m., a common time for prayer (Ezra 9:5).
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:
24 “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy,And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then 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. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
9:24–26 Seventy weeks…from…until. These are weeks of years, whereas weeks of days are described in a different way (10:2, 3). The time spans from the Persian Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem, ca. 445 B.C. (Neh. 2:1–8), to the Messiah’s kingdom. This panorama includes: 1) 7 weeks or 49 years, possibly closing Nehemiah’s career in the rebuilding of the “street and wall,” as well as the end of the ministry of Malachi and the close of the OT; 2) 62 weeks or 434 more years for a total of 483 years to the first advent of Messiah. This was fulfilled at the triumphal entry on 9 Nisan, A.D. 30 (see notes on Matt. 21:1–9). The Messiah will be “cut off,” (a common reference to death); and 3) the final 7 years or 70th week of the time of Antichrist (cf. v. 27). Roman people, from whom the Antichrist will come, will “destroy the city” of Jerusalem and its temple in A.D. 70.
9:24. This highly complex and startlingly accurate prophecy answers Daniel’s prayer, not with reference to near history, but by giving the future of Israel in the final end of the age. God promises 2 sets of 3 accomplishments each….First, those related to sin are: 1) finish the transgression, i.e., restrain sin and Israel’s in particular in its long trend of apostasy, as in v. 11; 2) make an end of sins, i.e., to judge it with finality (cf. Heb. 9:26); and 3) make reconciliation for iniquity, signifies to furnish the actual basis of covering sin by full atonement, the blood of the crucified Messiah who is “cut off” (v. 26), which affects the first two realities (cf. the fountain, Zech. 13:1)…. Second, those accomplishments related to righteousness are: 1) bring in…righteousness, the eternal righteousness of Daniel’s people in their great change from centuries of apostasy; 2) seal up vision…, i.e., no more revelation is needed and God will bring these anticipations to completion by their fulfillment in Israel’s blessing as a nation; and 3) anoint the Most Holy, consecrate the Holy Place in a temple of the future that will be the center of worship in the millennial kingdom (cf. Ezek. 40–48). Clearly this must be understood to sweep to the end of Gentile power and the time of Antichrist right before Christ’s return. Summing up, the first 3 are fulfilled in principle at Christ’s first coming, in full at His return. The last 3 complete the plan at His Second Advent.
9:27 Then. This is clearly the end of the age, the Second Advent judgment, because the bringing in of righteousness did not occur 7 years after the death of the Messiah, nor did the destruction of Jerusalem fit the 7 year period (occurring 37 years later). This is the future 7 year period which ends with sin’s final judgment and Christ’s reign of righteousness; i.e., the return of Christ and the establishment of His rule. These 7 years constitute the 70th week of Daniel. he shall confirm. “He” is the last-mentioned prince (v. 26), leader of the Roman sphere (cf. chaps. 2 and 7), the Antichrist who comes in the latter days. The time is in the future tribulation period of “one week,” i.e., the final 7 years of v. 24. He confirms (lit., causes to prevail) a 7 year covenant, his own pact with Israel for what will turn out actually to be for a shorter time. The leader in this covenant is the “little horn” of 7:7, 8, 20, 21, 24–26, and the evil leader of NT prophecy (Mark 13:14; 2 Thess. 2:3–10; Rev. 13:1–10). That he is in the future, even after Christ’s First Advent, is shown by 1) Matt. 24:15; 2) by the time references that match (7:25; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5); and 3) by the end here extending to the Second Advent, matching the duration elsewhere mentioned in Daniel (2:35, 45; 7:15ff.; 12:1–3) and Rev. 11:2; 12:14; 13:5. middle of the week. This is the halfway point of the 70th week of years, i.e., 7 years leading to Christ’s second coming. The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel (v. 27a), which has resumed its ancient sacrificial system. Three and a half years of tribulation remain, agreeing with the time in other Scriptures (7:25; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5, called “Great Tribulation,” cf. Matt. 24:21) as God’s wrath intensifies. abominations…one who makes desolate. The Antichrist will cause abomination against Jewish religion. This violation will desolate or ruin what Jews regard as sacred, namely their holy temple and the honoring of God’s presence there (cf. 1 Kin. 9:3; 2 Thess. 2:4). Jesus refers directly to this text in His Olivet discourse (Matt. 24:15). See note on 11:31. the consummation. God permits this tribulation under the Antichrist’s persecutions and ultimately triumphs, achieving judgment of the sin and sinners in Israel (12:7) and in the world (cf. Jer. 25:31). This includes the Antichrist (11:45; Rev. 19:20), and all who deserve judgment (9:24; Matt. 13:41–43).
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