B”H – Article placed on the internet, Adar 5766 [March 2006]

Deciphering Daniel’s Prophecy Chapter 9 [Verses 24-27] Regarding The Building And The Destruction Of The Temple And The Coming Of  Messiah

 

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[ Daniel 9, verse 24 ] Seventy weeks are decreed upon your nation and upon your holy city to end the rebellious sin and to seal away the sins and to atone iniquity and to bring everlasting righteousness and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint the Holy of Holies.
Explanation: Every week mentioned here is a cycle of seven years as we find in Tractate Sanhedrin page 97a [“The week that the son of David comes: the first year, the following verse is fulfilled…”](and also from Tractate Pesachim 12a, one can prove that a week is a seven year cycle). The beginning of the seventy weeks starts from the time of the destruction of the First Temple as clarified in the next verse.

[ Daniel 9, verse 25 ] Now know and comprehend from the emergence of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks you shall return and it will be built {with} street and moat and in the troubled times.
Explanation: From the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile, which took place at the time of the destruction of the First Temple, the materialistic need emerged to “restore and build Jerusalem“.
Now according to Rashi fifty two years after the destruction of the First Temple [which was seventy years after the first conquest by Babylon of the land of Israel], Coresh {called by some Bible translations, Cyrus} declared that Jerusalem should be rebuilt on behalf of the Jewish people.

    Coresh is called “anointed” by the prophetic book of Yishayahu {Isaiah} in chapter 45, as it is written: “thus does G-d say to his anointed, to Coresh, where I have grasped his right hand to trample nations before him and the loins of the kings I will loosen, to open up before him doors and gates will not be shut. I shall go before you and the twisted pathways I will make straight; brass doors shall I smash and the iron door bolt, I will tear apart. And I will give you treasures of the dark and hidden, secret wealth in order that you know that I am G-d that calls your name, the L-rd of Israel. For the sake of my servant Yaakov {Jacob} and Israel my chosen one and I will call to you by your name, I will nickname you  and you have not known me. I am G-d and besides me there is no god; I have girded you and you have not known me. In order that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is nothing except me; I am G-d and there is no other. I construct light, and create darkness I make peace and create evil, I G-d do all these.”

    Within the 52 years, there are 7 full weeks [seven times seven = 49 ] with a remainder of 3 years, which seemingly is disregarded because it is the way of the Bible to round off numbers. [For an example of rounding off of numbers, compare between Numbers 11:21 and Numbers 2:32].
In other words, there will be seven seven year cycles from the time of the Temple’s destruction until the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Thus have I said to my anointed, to Coresh”. And this is the intention of “know and comprehend from the emergence of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed prince, seven weeks” [weeks being cycles of seven years].
According to the Sages from the time of Coresh until the destruction of the Second Temple and Jerusalem [by the Romans] a period of 438 years elapsed and within the period of 438 there were 62 full cycles of seven years [62 times seven = 434] with a remainder of four years that is disregarded [ for it is the manner of the Bible to round off numbers]. So this is the explanation of and sixty-two weeks you shall return and it will be built {with} street and moat and in the troubled times.

[ Daniel 9, verse 26 ] And after sixty-two weeks the anointed will be cut off and there is none for him; and the city and Holy, the nation of the prince that comes, will destroy {them}, and his end is in a wave that wipes away and to the end of the war, desolations are decreed.
Explanation A for the verse: If the details provided by the disciple of the Rama, Rabbi David Ganz in his book, Tzemach Dovid, [Prague 5352-1592]  are correct then it seems that this is a prophecy about Yosef Ben-Gurion that fell into the hands of the Romans three years before the destruction of the Second Temple. Now this is a translated quote:

    After these things the Caesar Neron sent against them Vespasian and his son Titus after they had returned from victory against… in order to wreak the vengeance of the Romans. And they brought with them warriors too large in number to be counted and the hand of King Agripas was with the Romans. Then Yosef the son of Gurion the Cohen/priest was anointed as the Cohen who is anointed for war and he smote the Romans with a great and gigantic blow that there wasn’t any blow like it against the Romans at that time; yet after many days the Romans slew all his people by the sword and Yosef the Cohen was sent in chains by Vespasian together with him to Rome.

 Explanation B for the phrase: The anointed will be cut off –  That the Romans will wreck the great merit of Coresh, “the anointed of G-d“, by acts of destruction, “and there is none for him” – no merits for him from the vantage point of observing the seven laws of the  sons of Noah, for Coresh did not observe all of the seven laws. [see Most of The Prohibitions of The Bible Do Not Apply To Gentiles.]

    Regarding “and the city and Holy, the nation of the prince that comes, will destroy {them}, and his end is in a wave that wipes away” – This refers to Titus the son of Caesar Vespasian [who  was appointed as Caesar in the middle of the war] who destroyed the Second Temple and in the end, Titus too, became the Caesar. After his death the ashes of the body of Titus were scattered upon seven seas [out of fear of the vengeance of G-d] as explained by the words of our Sages in tractate Gittin page 56.

Explanation B for the phrase: and his end is in a wave that wipes away This refers to the end of the nation of Titus – the sons of Eisav {Esau} [ according to tractate Gittin page 56, Titus was from the offspring of Eisav ] in a flood that will wipe them away in the future. This idea is based on the view of Midrash Rabba, Parshat Noach, [34,11] that the promise of G-d after the flood, “I will not continue to strike all that live as I have done” is not an eternal promise. “While all the days of the earth, {are} seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, etc.” Rabbi Yudan said in the name of Rabbi Shmuel:

What do the sons of Noah presume, that their covenant that was enacted endures forever? Rather all the time that the sky and the earth endure their covenant endures. When that very day of which it is written [Yishayahu {Isaiah} chapter 51] “for the sky like smoke shall be stirred and the earth as a garment shall wear out“, arrives; at that time, “Then it shall be annulled on that day”, etc.
[ Maharzu explains there: “While all the days of the earth
. The simple understanding implies that there will be a time when the covenant will not endure, and as it is stated, “and the earth as a garment shall wear out“… “Then it shall be annulled on that day”, etc. This verse is in Zechariah “And I shall take my stick, namely pleasantness and I shall chop it to annul the covenant that I enacted with all the nations. Then it shall be annulled on that day”… Now the midrash links this verse to the verse in Yishayahu {Isaiah} chapter 51 based on method 17 {for midrashic interpretation}. For in Zechariah it is written that a time will come that he will annul his covenant and it wasn’t explained during what time the sky and the earth will be nullified. Now in Yishayahu it is explicit that the time will come that the heaven and the earth will be nullified.  And in the Torah it is explicit that the covenant is dependent upon the sky and the earth. {here ends the words of Maharzu}]….Another interpretation regarding “While all the days of the earth…“. Rabbi Huna said in the name of Rabbi Acha: 

What do the sons of Noah presume, that their covenant that was enacted stands forever? Thus have I said to them, While all the days of the earth, {are} seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat and summer and winter and day and night…{Genesis 8:22}. Rather all the time that day and night endure their covenant endures. Now when the day arrives of which it is written: [Zechariah chapter 14] “And there shall be one day, it will be known as belonging to G-d, not daylight nor nighttime”, in that same hour, “Then it shall be annulled on that day”, [until here are the words of the midrash].

    Now one should note that according to the Biblical book of Ovadia {Obadiah} the sons of Eisav shall be our enemies in the future, as it is written: “And the house of Yaakov {Jacob} shall be fire and the house of Yosef {Joseph} a flame and the house of Eisav as straw and they shall ignite with them and consume them and there will not be a remnant for the house of Eisav for G-d has spoken”…And deliverers will ascend upon Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Eisav and the kingdom shall be for G-d”.
Regarding the phrase –
and to the end of the war, desolations are decreedIbn Ezra explained there, that the Romans fought for many years until Jerusalem was wrecked to desolations.
[ Daniel 9, verse 27 ] And he shall strengthen a union {alternately translated: a treaty} for the many, for one week and half of the week he will cease slaughter and meal offering and on the wing {alternately translated: spread} of abominations that make desolate and until extermination which is indeed decreed, be poured upon the desolator.    This seemingly refers to the seventieth week [the cycle of seven years] before the full redemption, which is not attached to the 69th week. Now regarding this week it is written in tractate Sanhedrin 97a: The week that the son of David comes in, the first year, the following Biblical verse is fulfilled:

And I shall bring rain upon one city  And upon another city I shall not bring rain : that there will be little rain and hunger in this place and satiation in another place.] In the second year, the arrows of hunger are sent forth [explanation: a bit of hunger, that there won’t be satiation in any place]. In the third year, a great famine and men, women, children, pious men, and men of great action die and Torah is forgotten from those who learn it [explanation: because they don’t have  what to eat]. In the fourth, satiation and not satiation. In the fifth, great satiation and they eat and drink and rejoice and Torah returns to those that learn it. In the sixth sounds {alternate translation: :voices} [explanation sounds (or voices) will go out that the son of David comes. A second interpretation states: that this refers to the sounds from a shofar blast for it was stated, “And he shall blow with the great shofar” {Yishayahu/Isaiah 27:13}]. In the seventh year, wars [explanation: between the star worshippers {a euphemism} and Israel]. At the departure of the seventh [in other words a short time after the seventh year is finished] the son of David comes.
    Rabbi Yosef said, “behold there were several seven year cycles that were like what was described, but he [the son of David] did not come?” [explanation: One year a famine and another year satiation and nevertheless the son of David did not come.] Abayei responded, “In the sixth year sounds {or voices} [explanation: did the sounds {or voices} that the son of David comes, go out]? Did the seventh year where wars take place occur? Furthermore, have they {the sufferings} come in this order? [Explanation: that is to say that the sufferings that were recounted here did not take place in the proper order within a seven year cycle, however when they occur, the Messiah will come.]

    Our Sages noted that wars will take place between the Gentiles [who are nicknamed in many sources as star worshippers out of fear of the censor] and Israel, in the seventh year in which the son of David comes. And against Israel in that time: [ Daniel 9, verse 27 ] And he shall strengthen namely, the nation of Titus [the sons of Eisav {Esau}] a union to aid one another in war. for the many, one week. – for many nations or for many people for seven years [that is to say until the victory of Israel].
and half of the week he will cease slaughter and meal offering and on the wing [alternately translated: spread] of abominations that make desolate and until extermination which indeed is decreed , be poured upon the desolator – before the coming of the Messiah the sacrificial service will be restored as explained in my article: Sacrifices As Part of a Course of Redemption Even Though They Don’t Do Teshuva [ Repent ] http://www.vilnagaon.org/book/messiah.htm

    Under the influence of the nation of Titus [perhaps with the assistance of the wicked of Israel] for three and a half years again the slaughter of animals for the sacrificial service and the meal offering will cease after the period that we will renew them. And since the number 1290 days is equal approximately to three and one half years [half of a Biblical week], I will bring support for my interpretation from the end of the book of Daniel: And from the time of the removal of the Tamid and the placing of an abomination that makes desolate, 1290 days. Happy is he that waits and arrives at the days 1335. Now you go till the end time and rest and stand up for your allotted portion at the end of days . {Alt. translation, at the end of the right hand (of G-d)}.

 

 

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