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Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2

DANIEL

Week 27, chapter 9 continued 2

We’ll not quite finish Daniel 9 today, but we’ll get close. Because Daniel 9 verses 24 through 27 are so difficult and controversial yet crucial we’re going to spend more time with it today, and begin with a brief review of what we studied last week. These verses form the core of End Times prophecies, and therefore of the many End Times doctrines. So if you care at all about the End Times, here is where you begin.

The first thing I want to reaffirm, however, is that we’re not going to arrive at a strict doctrine when we conclude this study because there is none to be had. Although each of the several thousand Christian denominations has produced some doctrine or another about the 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy, each doctrine necessarily involves a combination of speculation and a requirement that that doctrine upholds their other fundamental faith pillars. So substantial liberties are often taken to avoid making the 70 weeks doctrines conflict with other long held church viewpoints that are considered untouchable. Further IF Daniel’s 70 weeks is speaking about unfulfilled prophecy (which, by the way, is not at all agreed upon by Bible academics and various denominations), then we have to be humble enough to admit that all we’re getting is a peek through a fuzzy lens of what is coming and by no means do we find a well-defined program.

As Sir Isaac Newton said (I paraphrase), Bible prophecy is put there for us to have hope in the future; but it is not there for us to know or to see the future. And that hope is realized when the prophecy actually comes about and in hindsight we are able to behold the mastery of the Lord over time and space, and the faithfulness and glory of God at work. So we must not think that the Bible Scriptures give us sufficient information to come to any inalterable conclusion as to how exactly the 70 weeks will play out, or precisely when it will happen, or what it will look like. Our job as Believers is to know as much as we can of inspired Scripture so that we can be sufficiently armed with the truth to recognize the fulfillment of prophecy when it happens. But we have only one source for that knowledge and it is Holy Scripture, not manmade doctrines or speculative novels.

Therefore my objective is to present you with a range of likely possibilities as to what the various aspects of the 70 weeks prophecy seems to be telling us, as taken directly from the Bible. I want to establish a set of bookends, if you would, giving us the outer boundaries of what could be the reasonably expected outcomes. And yet at the same time we will probably discard some of the possibilities that have been asserted by Church authorities and Bible scholars over the centuries as settled doctrine because the passage of history has proved them wrong or these doctrines fundamentally disagree with Scripture. And the first of the range of possibilities to address is just what the 70 weeks is indicating by way of time. Does the 70 weeks consist of literal weeks? Or does “week” mean the time period is 70 months, or 70

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 years, or 70 -something else? The most common interpretation is that it means 70 weeks of years, or 70 sevens, or 70 times 7 years (all meaning the same thing), which equals 490 years. And we discussed last time that the Hebrew word usually translated as weeks, shabua , more literally means sevens; so the term weeks is actually more of a mirage than a problem to find a way around. The next most popular interpretation is that the 70 weeks or 70 sevens is nothing but a symbolic number, and therefore it doesn’t indicate any particular length of time. While that interpretation seems the least likely to me, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. And I demonstrated to you that there was a passage in Matthew 18 that speaks of forgiving a brother 70 times 7 (490 times). These words are credited to Yeshua and as we discussed, it is self- evident that that this cannot possibly mean that Christ’s instruction is that we should forgive someone up to and including 490 times, but upon the 491 st offense we may quit forgiving. Therefore in Matthew we have some evidence for the term “70 times 7” being merely symbolic of a God-ordained large, but indeterminate, number (even though, of course, the two times we see this term in the Bible they are in two different contexts).

And for the purpose of additional context, what we are reading in the last several verses of Daniel 9 is the angel Gabriel presenting Daniel with an urgent oracle brought from the Lord. That context is quite important for our understanding because it is clear that there are only two parties present and involved in this passage. Thus when Gabriel addresses Daniel using the possessive pronoun “your”, the only possible way to understand it (since Daniel is alone with Gabriel), is that the “your” obviously refers to Daniel.

If we take nothing else from the study of the prophecy of the 70 weeks, which is at the heart of End Times matters as far as the Church is concerned, it ought to be that Christians are in no way mentioned or alluded to. That is, the first words of verse 24 that are: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for YOUR people and for YOUR holy city……..” those words are referring specifically and exclusively to Daniel’s people, the Jews. And what is “ your holy city”? It is the ONLY holy city the Jews know of: Jerusalem. So gentile Christians, listen up: this prophecy was not and never will be directed to you….to us. Will we be affected by it and will we have great benefit derived from it? Absolutely! But only because we have been grafted into the promises and covenants made to Israel by the God of Israel, and that happens by means of our faith and trust in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus the Christ. But this prophecy of the 70 weeks is aimed strictly at the physical, tangible Jewish people and the Jerusalem of Israel.

So with that context in mind, let’s again read the last few verses of Daniel 9.

RE-READ DANIEL 9:24 – end

Last week I briefly listed the 6 goals that were to occur during this period of 70 weeks (490 years) and I told you we’d begin with the final one: anointing the Especially Holy Place. The Hebrew words are qodesh qodashim and they literally mean the holiest holy. Or in more familiar English grammar the Most Holy. The word “place” that we find added in many English translations, in truth, is not there. So the 6 th goal is to anoint the Most Holy. Some scholars have said that this must be referring to Messiah; that is, as the High Priest and Lord of Lords Christ is the Most Holy. Naturally this choice of interpretation has a great deal to do with certain of that particular Bible editor’s personal church doctrines. For one thing such an interpretation

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 allows for a claim that there will be no future Temple when Christ is reigning on earth. Rather, these editors say the Temple that is described in excruciatingly minute detail in the Book of Ezekiel is not real and earthly, it is “spiritual”, heavenly or it is allegorical. Therefore there will be no physical Temple in Jerusalem, no physical sacrifices on an Altar, no physical Levite Priesthood, etc. This is in keeping with certain doctrines that replace everything Israel with the gentile Church. And so anointing the Holy of Holies of a new Temple back into renewed service to God, at the same time that Christ has returned and is reigning, can’t work for them.

However nowhere in the Bible is the term qodesh qodashim ever used to refer to a person. To contend that this 6 th goal of Daniel 9 is referring to anointing the Messiah is further refuted when we remember that Messiah ( Mashiach in Hebrew) already means “anointed one”. So we would have the anointing of the already-anointed one. Making Yeshua as the one who is going to be anointed in this passage breaks with Scripture, practice, common sense and the Biblically established God-patterns. Rather, Biblically, qodesh qodashim is always referring to the Tabernacle or the Temple’s innermost room that in English is usually called the Holy of Holies. Therefore the list of likely possibilities of what this 6 th goal is referring to is limited to one; it is the Temple structure, and specifically the Holy of Holies. So to give this phrase a little more precise meaning, it would have to be: “To consecrate the Holy of Holies by anointing it into service”.

But now I want to go back and revisit each of these 6 goals because while the dramatic war of Armageddon, the Anti-Christ, the Rapture, and the rebuilding of the Temple and all the rest is typically what the Church focuses on concerning the 70 weeks prophecy, we need to keep in mind that God has stated in verse 24 precisely what the entire purpose of the 70 weeks is for. And those dramatic events that modern Evangelical and Fundamental Christians hold as most important are nowhere described. Rather God has established 6 goals, or milestones, that must take place during that 490 year time frame, and those goals, when accomplished, will complete His work of redemption. And again notice that all of this is aimed at the Jews. So let’s learn all we can about these 6 goals and how we ought to understand them and apply them. And the best way to do that is to consider them in their original Hebrew language.

Contained in verse 24 the first goal is usually said to be “putting an end to transgression”. The Hebrew is le-kalle ha-pesha . Le-kalle more means to restrain than to end. Without getting too technical, kalle can be spelled with or without a heh (an H) as the last letter. With a heh it means to end or to finish. Here in verse 24 it is spelled without a heh . Therefore the sense of the word is to shut up, or hold in, or to restrain. It even is the word used to describe arresting someone to put them in prison. So the idea is not that transgression is ended and finished, but rather it is restrained and hindered so that it no longer spreads like a malicious virus. The Hebrew word pesha indeed means transgression, and when used in reference to transgressing against God it is to be taken in the sense of rebellion. So because the goal is in the context of offending God, a good English translation that gets to the heart of the matter might be, “restraining rebellion”.

The second goal is usually stated as “making an end of sin”. The Hebrew is ulahatom hatta’ot . Ulahatom means to be finished. Because the term “to end” in modern Western words comes closer to meaning “to abolish” in our vernacular, then “to end” for us is not a

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 good choice of terms and gives us the wrong impression. To finish ( ulahatom ) means to complete the task; not to abolish the task. The second word is something a person who studies Torah ought to be familiar with: hatta’ot . Hatta’ot is the plural of hatta’at, and it is the name of a particular kind of sacrificial offering ordained by the Law of Moses, and it is used for a specific purpose. A hatta’at offering is usually translated into English as a sin offering. And while that is generally OK, I have preferred to call it a purification offering. You can go back to our study of Leviticus and get a detailed explanation of why I think it is better for our understanding to call it a purification offering. That said, that hatta’at’s purpose is to purify because a person becomes unclean when a sin is committed. So for our purposes today, we’ll just leave it at sin offering so as not to confuse. But here’s the point that is so critical and I hope impacts you as it should: in almost every English translation we’ll see the word hatta’at translated in Daniel verse 24 NOT as sin offering , but just as sin . Thus the sense we get is that the idea is that sin is ended; no more sin is possible. It doesn’t exist anymore. But that is factuallly incorrect; the idea is that for some unstated reason the PURPOSE for the hatta’at sacrificial offering is finished. Its purpose has been fulfilled. There is no more need for sin offerings at the Altar. I think you see where this is leading.

It is a fundamental faith pillar of many ChristianChurches that at the cross Christ brought an end to sin. At least He did for all who trust in Him. And essentially the doctrine is that sin in the sense that the Hebrews always thought of sin and the way that the Bible had always taught about sin up to Yeshua’s crucifixion (sin as meaning disobedience to the Law), was no more. Some denominations go so far as to imply that because Christ ended sin then obviously sinning has become virtually impossible for a true Believer (at least in God’s eyes, because due to Christ’s death He now overlooks our sins). And then this leads to the logical conclusion that since it was the Law of Moses that was the code of God’s commandments that carefully defined sin, then it can only mean that since sin is abolished so is the Law! As we have discussed time and time again, in the Sermon on the Mount Yeshua admonished, warned against, and stated that there would be an eternal penalty of being judged as least in the Kingdom of Heaven, for anyone who thought that He had come to abolish the Law, or who taught others that He had.

Bottom line: the 2 nd goal ought to be read as something like: “to finish or complete the task of the sin offering”. And that is, of course, precisely what Messiah did on the cross. Since He was the once and for all “sin offering”, no more sacrifices of bulls and goats for one’s sins were needed. So, to summarize (and we’ll do this more than once): goal #1 is to restrain rebellion (against God), and goal #2 is to finish or complete the sin offering.

The 3 rd listed goal that is to take place during those 70 weeks of years is to “make reconciliation for iniquity”. In Hebrew this is ulekapper avon . The word kapper ought to sound familiar to us; it is from the root word kippur , which means atonement (as in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement). Since atonement is not really a word we hear much among Christians in modern times, Bible editors tend to substitute the word reconciliation for this passage instead. That is not wrong per se; however it does break the connection between the Torah teaching on atonement and what it is that occurs when a sacrifice is made to God for our sins. This might sound like slicing the onion too thin, but it’s not. It is the act of atonement that results in reconciliation with God. And in the previous goal, finishing the task of the sin offering, the act of

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 the sin offering was the Torah-required means of atonement. Once the atonement was completed, THEN the sinner could be reconciled with God. First atonement, then reconciliation. So atonement is the means and reconciliation is the hoped for result of the sin offering.

Translating the next word, avon , to iniquity is a good translation providing we know what iniquity means. And iniquity is sort of the sum total of what sin does to a human being. It is because of our sins that we carry iniquity. It is because of our sins that we become perverse in God’s eyes. So again, sin and iniquity are not the same things and that is why the Hebrew language uses two distinctly different words for those two terms. Iniquity is the result of sin; but sin is not the result of iniquity. It’s a one way street.

So, for our modern English language and mindsets, the better way to state the 3 rd goal is “to make atonement for our perverse condition”; our perverse condition before God that has resulted from our sinning against Him.

That ends the series of 3 so-called negative goals because they all involve wrong-doing on Israel’s part. Next up is the 4 th goal that is “to bring in everlasting righteousness”. The Hebrew is ulehabi olamim tzedek . Ulehabi means to bring about; olamim means perpetual or forever; and tzedek means righteousness. So “to bring in everlasting righteousness” is a very good and apt translation. Just one thing: it must be understood that righteousness is to be recognized as a gift of grace from God. This is not speaking about improved behavior on the part of a former sinner. And this is to be seen in contrast to the first 3 goals that had to do with transgressions, sin and iniquity. Only when the first 3 goals are accomplished can the next 3 goals occur. Only when sin, transgression and iniquity are dealt with from a spiritual perspective, can eternal righteousness come about.

So let’s pause and see the sequence: 1 st , the restraining of rebellion (against God). 2 nd , finishing the task (or purpose) of the sin offering. 3 rd , making atonement for our perverse human condition that has resulted from our sinning. And 4 th , bringing in everlasting righteousness.

The 5 th listed goal is “to seal up vision and prophecy”. In Hebrew this is ve-la-hatom hazon ve- navi . Ve-la-hatom means to put a seal on something. Hazon means a vision like what Daniel has been having (presumably it is from God). And navi means prophet. That’s right, not prophecy but rather prophet. To seal up means to give something validation; to certify it, to preserve it and to prevent it from being tampered with. Thus it is one thing to seal up prophecy and another to seal up the prophet. So the better translation for the modern Westerner here (that best meets with our vernacular), is “to validate and preserve vision and prophet”. This is about the Lord authenticating what has been promised and predicted by means of validating the ones (the Prophets) who were the messengers of God’s oracles. So this is a good time to hammer away again that all 5 of these goals are appointed for Israel, not the gentile world; this series of promises is made to Daniel’s people, not simply any generic person. And except by the extension of benefits offered through salvation in Jesus Christ, no gentile would have a place in it.

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 So, the list of goals is: 1) restraining rebellion. 2) completing the task of the sin offering. 3) making atonement for our perverse human condition. 4) establishing everlasting righteousness. 5) preserving vision and prophet. And 6) anointing the Holy of Holies into service. All of these things must occur during that 490 year time span, because that time span has been set apart for that purpose by Yehoveh. And all of these things are needed in God’s plan to achieve redemption to its fullest. But by definition the result of all of these things happening through Israel is that the conditions of the world are so radically changed that from this point forward it enters us into a new era; an unprecedented era of a worldwide Kingdom of God.

But now verses 25 and 26 throw us a curveball. I hope you can handle some basic math, because we are going to be dealing with several numbers. This passage tells us that God has divided those 70 weeks into 3 distinct segments: it begins with a 7 “week” segment that is followed by a 62 week segment that is followed by a 1 week segment. Or, assuming a week means 7 years (and not 7 days), then it begins with a 49 year segment, followed by a 434 year segment, followed by a 7 year segment (49 + 434 + 7 = 490).

The 49 year segment (the first segment) begins the countdown of the 490 total years of the prophecy, and it is said to be the time span from when the order is given for Jerusalem to be restored and rebuilt, until an anointed prince arrives. In other words, whoever is the potentate that is still holding the Jews captive he will not only finally end the Jews’ exile but also will order that Jerusalem is rebuilt. And to order that Jerusalem will be rebuilt is essentially like instituting the Marshall Plan at the end of WWII. That is, the Allies who won the war created a plan to rebuild a decimated Europe, including Germany, for the benefit of the people of each of those war torn nations. Wise leadership understands that you can’t send people home to nothing, and no hope. It will only lead to more conflict because these people have nothing to lose.

Also notice that the termination point of this 1 st segment of 49 years in duration is, according to the wording of the CJB, when an anointed prince comes. But who is this anointed prince? This causes major problems and therefore disagreements among theologians. In general it is said that this Mashiach nagid (in Hebrew) can only be Christ. But it is historically impossible to claim that it was only 49 years from when the Jews were encouraged to leave the Persian Empire and return to Jerusalem, until Christ came, because even if the exact year of the order to return and rebuild is disputed, it was sometime in the mid 5 th century B.C.. Some Bible scholars like Edward Young and Dr. Kiel don’t have a problem with that huge discrepancy because they subscribe to the idea that the 70 weeks is purely symbolic anyway and thus no particular amount of years is contemplated.

However even Dr. Kiel is somewhat bothered with his own explanation of this 1 st segment of 49 years taking close to 400 years to actually happen, assuming the anointed prince being referred to is Jesus. So another thought is that the grammatical construction of the sentence, wherein in English translations we typically find a comma or a period after the words “until an anointed prince comes”, is really the cause of the problem, and it is therefore only an artificial problem. Thus the way it has been traditionally punctuated is incorrect. And that is entirely possible because in the original Hebrew there was no punctuation to speak of; it was added

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 long after the fact by gentile Christian Bible editors. Thus this troubling passage ought to be translated more like this, as it is found (interestingly) in the KJV: 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 .

So the idea we find in the KJV is that we are to add together the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks (totaling 69 weeks), which gives us 483 years. And so it is to be 483 years from the time that the order is given for Jerusalem to be rebuilt until Messiah arrives. And so although awkwardly stated the 7 weeks (the first 49 years) is the time from when the order to rebuild Jerusalem was given until Jerusalem was restored to some level that God agrees amounts to full restoration. Now truthfully, I have no idea how anyone from Daniel’s day (nor for some centuries following him) could have made heads nor tails of this. Only with the passage of history can we begin to see what actually happened, and even then doctrinal agendas try to get in the way and distort matters.

Let’s lay out some possibilities and see what works and what doesn’t. The Amillennial theological viewpoint, and the modern liberal Bible scholarship viewpoint, demands that the entire 70 weeks (490 years) end during the era of Antiochus Epiphanies (each for their own reasons). Thus they say that the decree to rebuild Jerusalem did not come from an earthly king, but rather the decree to rebuild was a divine word from God. And that divine word from God was essentially given at the same moment that God was using King Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem (even though there is no mention of such a word from God to rebuild Jerusalem in Scripture). Further that it was 62 weeks of years and not 69 weeks of years from the order to rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed prince came, because the first 7 week segment is contained within the next 62 week segment (there was a 7 year overlap). And that the anointed prince was NOT Messiah, it was the evil Antiochus Epiphanies. I must say that it is hard for me to even put this on our list of legitimate possibilities because the speculation is so expansive, the assumptions are without evidence, and the math doesn’t add up. And yet a sizeable segment of Christian denominations and Bible scholars will not budge from this viewpoint.

So let’s see how that viewpoint works out if we apply a little logic to it. If we take 587 B.C. as the date that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem (give or take a year), then that would be when God supposedly gave the word to rebuild Jerusalem. And then if we go forward the 62 weeks of years that these scholars claim is correct (434 years) we arrive at 153 B.C. Since these scholars say that the anointed prince was Epiphanies, then according to their math Epiphanies could not possibly appear prior to 153 B.C. And yet we know from multiple reliable historical records that Epiphanies reign and life ended several years earlier in 164 B.C. So I’ll leave it to you to decide if you would like to keep this particular theological viewpoint on your own personal list of the range of possibilities.

The other two mainstream viewpoints on the 70 weeks begin with the assumption that the anointed prince is not Antiochus Epiphanies but rather is Jesus; but how they wind up thereafter is quite different. One view is that indeed the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks are

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 consecutive, so there is a total of 69 weeks (483 years) from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah comes. And both assume that this decree is an actual decree of a real human earthly king, not a secret word of God that has no mention in the Bible. But where the differences begin is that one view is that it was in the 7 th year of Artaxerxes of Persia when the decree was given, and the other view is that it was in his 20 th year. The first view is taken from Ezra 7, when Artaxerxes orders the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

READ EZRA 7:8 – 16

To repeat: this narrative in Ezra 7 occurred during Arataxerxes’ 7 th year, it concerned the Temple, and this decree was given in 458 B.C.

However the opposing view points out that this decree in his 7 th year was NOT to rebuild Jerusalem but only to the rebuild the Temple, so that is not what Daniel’s prophecy is referring to. This opposing view takes its cue from the book of Nehemiah. Thus we read this in Nehemiah 2:

Nehemiah 2:1-5 CJB

In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of Artach’shashta the king, it happened that I took the wine and brought it to the king. Prior to then I had never appeared sad in his presence. 2 The king asked, “Why do you look so sad? You’re not sick, so this must be some deep inner grief.” At this, I became very fearful, 3 as I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why shouldn’t I look sad, when the city, the place where my ancestors’ tombs are, lies in ruins; and its gates are completely burned up?” 4 The king asked me, “What is it that you want?” I prayed to the God of heaven,

5 then said to the king, “If it pleases the king, if your servant has won your favor, send me to Y’hudah, to the city of my ancestors’ tombs, so that I can rebuild it.” While we don’t definitively find King Artaxerxes making a decree to “go rebuild Jerusalem”, the ensuing verses and chapters make it clear that he approved of it and supported the effort.

This event in Nehemiah 2 happened in the 20 th year of Artaxerxes, which was 445 B.C., 13 years after this same king had ordered the rebuilding of the Temple. Therefore from this viewpoint, it was 69 weeks of years (483 years) later from this date (445 B.C.) that Messiah should come. However when we go forward from 445 B.C. by 483 years, we arrive at 37 A.D. And no Bible scholar that I’m aware of would accept that date as when Yeshua arrived (was born) or what is more likely meant, He was baptized by the Holy Spirit in the Jordan River,

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 which started His ministry.

However if we take the view from the book of Ezra that it was in Artaxerxes’ 7 th year in 458 B.C. that should be our starting point, and the order to rebuild the Temple can be assumed to be as one in the same as to rebuild Jerusalem, we get an amazingly intriguing possibility. Because if we start at 458 B.C. and go forward by 69 weeks of years (483 years) as the prophecy says we arrive at 25 A.D. and that is well within a narrow window of time that could be assigned to Jesus’ baptism, which is when he was consecrated into His earthly ministry, and could rightly be considered as the moment when the “anointed prince comes”.

So with that we now have possibilities numbers 2 and 3 to consider that we could add to the first possibility I gave you that the count of years from the order to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah comes begins with Nebuchadnezzar and ends with Antiochus Epiphanies. I favor the last possibility that starts the count in 458 B.C. as the most likely because it not only fulfills the prophecy and the supporting Scriptures but it also works hand in glove within the bounds of historical fact. Yet, we should not so easily now just discard the other possibilities because none of them are without flaws and difficulties. Rather with this information we should watch, wait, and stay alert.

Verse 26 tells us that after 62 weeks (434 years) the Messiah will be cut-off and have nothing. This also corresponds with verse 25 that says that for 62 weeks Jerusalem will remain built, but the times will be troubled. Thus continuing to assume that the 62 weeks comes immediately after the initial 7 weeks, then the total elapsed time is 69 weeks or 483 years. Of course the alternative view is that we are only dealing with symbolism so none of the different times or segments of years given to us matter. But if you are like me, it is difficult to imagine these years as having no tangible meaning whatsoever. Then why use them at all? And especially why go so far as to break down the 70 years into 3 different segments, no 2 segments the same, if none of it has any actual basis in time? Regardless of which viewpoint one adopts, Messiah being cut-off is said to happen during a time when Jerusalem exists (it has not yet been destroyed), even though it will be during troubling times for the people of Jerusalem and Israel.

We’ll close today with this thought. Please notice the phrase in verse 26 says that the Messiah shall be cut off and have nothing. The Hebrew word for cut off is karet . We’ve talked about this important Hebrew word on numerous occasions and the point of it is that often it carries a dual meaning, especially when being cut off is a punishment for violating God’s law. Karet is usually used in the Bible as a judicial word that speaks of a certain negative consequence that results from a guilty verdict. That is, when a person is karet as a judgment for sin it means that they are cut off physically (they are forcefully separated from their family and community), and they are also forcefully spiritually separated from God (as a decision and punishment by God). Here in verse 26 we’re told that this is what will happen to Messiah. Could that actually apply to Christ? Could He be cut off ( karet ) by God His Father, forcefully separated from Him, as predicted here in Daniel 9?

Matthew 27:43-46 CJB

Lesson 27 – Daniel 9 Cont. 2 43 “He trusted God? So, let him rescue him if he wants him! After all, he did say, ‘I’m the Son of God’!” 44 Even the robbers nailed up with him insulted him in the same way.

45 From noon until three o’clock in the afternoon, all the Land was covered with darkness. 46 At about three, Yeshua uttered a loud cry, “Eli! Eli! L’mah sh’vaktani? (My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?)”

All the sins of the world were heaped upon Yeshua’s shoulders as he was dying, suffocating, nailed to that cross. He was essentially being punished by His Father for everything from murder, to adultery to petty theft. He did none of these things of course, but He was our innocent substitute much in the same way all those bulls and goats were for centuries. And part of the punishment decreed by the Law of Moses for the worst of these crimes was karet . And our Savior was cursed with karet so that we don’t have to be. On that cross Yeshua was separated from His people and deserted by His Father, the God of the Universe for our sakes.

Next week we’ll deal with the 70 th week of Daniel.