Friday 30 May 2014

Addendum to Contra Blumenthal: Daniel 9:24-27

These points I cut out of the original response and want to address them here and in another article. Namely the points about Daniel 9:24-27 and part of the Isaiah 53 objections raised by Yisroel Blumenthal.

This article shall take a look the famous prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.

Jews and Christians acknowledge that a purpose is either to be accomplished during or at the end of the Second Temple period, both mentioning an anointed one who is cut off. Several candidates of the prince who is to come are put forward. For example Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the temple with a statue of Jupiter and profaned the altar with pig sacrifice, which is something that was indeed an abomination. David Pawson is such an evangelical who has spoken on this, but takes into consideration that the anointed one who is cut off in Daniel 9 is Yeshua at a later date. He mentions Epiphanes in this video here from 29:57-31:45. Watch from 27:43 for more info on Daniel 11.

I admit that the subject of Daniel 9 is indeed a tricky one, considering Christians have wondered when the decree of Cyrus starts and some have pointed it's end to Christ's baptism, or his entry into Jerusalem.

However, Rabbi Blumenthal is convinced of the following:
"This passage talks of God’s ultimate program for the expiation of sin, the ushering in of everlasting righteousness and the culmination of all prophecy. Jews and Christian differ in their interpretation of this passage in two areas. Christians insist that the program must be completed within the 490 year time-frame mentioned in this passage (and this is the thrust of Brown’s argument), while Jews believe that the 490 year time-frame is a preparation period which must precede the implementation of God’s program. The second area of disagreement between the Jewish and Christian interpreters of this passage focuses on the nature of God’s program. Christians accept that the career of Jesus was a fulfillment of God’s program while Jews recognize that the scriptures paint quite a different picture.

This passage is not the only description Daniel gives us of these events. In chapter 11 verse 31 Daniel describes the violation of the sanctuary using the same terminology that he uses in the passage under discussion (9:26, 27). This event is to take place at the close of the 490 years. This event is to be followed by a refining process (11:33-35). This refining process represents God’s program for the ultimate expiation of sin and for the salvation of mankind. This clearly indicates that the program will only begin at the close of the 490 years. The 490 years were decreed in order to pave the way for the program to be set in motion.

What is God’s program for the expiation of sin and the ushering in of everlasting righteousness? The scriptures spell out the details of God’s program for the salvation of the world clearly and consistently. Daniel’s prophecy must be read in the context of the overall message of scripture.

God’s program for the expiation of Israel’s sin and for the establishment of Israel’s everlasting righteousness requires that Israel undergo a period of suffering. The purpose of this suffering is to refine Israel so that her sin can be pardoned (Leviticus 26:41, Isaiah1:25, 40:2, 48:10, Psalm 66:9, Daniel 11:31 – 35). Ultimately Israel will be redeemed from her suffering and her sins will be wiped away (Deuteronomy 32:43, Isaiah 44:22, Jeremiah 31:33, 33:8,50:20, Ezekiel 36:25, 37:23). At that time Israel will be exalted, the light of God will shine upon her head, and her everlasting righteousness will be revealed to all (Isaiah 24:23, 35:10, 51:11, 52;10, 12, 60:1 – 3, 19 – 21, 61:11 – 62:3, Jeremiah 33;9, Zephaniah 3:20). These prophecies all affirm that the expiation of Israel’s sin and her ultimate exaltation will only take place at the time of her physical redemption and restoration to the land.

We can safely assume that Daniel knew all of this. Daniel had been hoping and praying that the 70 years of the Babylonian exile would be the end of Israel’s suffering, and the subsequent deliverance would usher in the ultimate Messianic era. In this passage (Daniel 9:24 – 27) Daniel was informed that this was not to be. His nation and the holy city still needed to undergo a period of purification before the final redemption process can begin. The suffering of the Babylonian exile and the turmoil of the SecondTemple era was going to prepare the nation for the long exile ahead. It will be the suffering that follows the destruction of the SecondTemple that will begin the ultimate process for the expiation of sin and for the establishment of everlasting righteousness. The 490 years which end with the destruction of the city and the Temple (Daniel 9:26), can only mark the beginning of the process. The completion of the process will be accomplished through the Messiah of the Jewish scriptures, the one who will lead the nation in her age of glory.

In conclusion we can say that there is no passage in the Jewish scriptures which requires that the Messiah put in an appearance before the destruction of the SecondTemple. When we take the three passages from the Hebrew Bible that Brown presented to support his theory and read them in the context of the fullness of the scriptural message, we see that these passages do not support his hypothesis."

What I will be mentioning here is a theory if one is to take the interpretation of Rabbi Blumenthal into consideration.

If the 490 years were to be decreed to pave way for God's plan of redemption or begin that plan, it is safe to say that Jesus' death after the 490 years would begin the plan of redemption. Depending on which decree the 490 years begin, they either end with Jesus' birth, or his baptism and once the years have elapsed, the ultimate plan of redemption will begin and through Jesus, the Jews would be purified of their sins and wickedness.

Just to comment on Daniel 11:31-33, it's similarity to Daniel 9:24-27 is indeed something worth commenting on. Daniel 11:31-33 does have a historical application, namely Antiochous Epiphanes who I had mentioned earlier in this topic but it's application to Anti-Christ is also something worth noting. The Anti-Christ will make a covenant and he breaks the covenant half way through and people in Israel and in the Gentile world, will resist Anti-Christ and refuse to take his mark, much like how the Jews resisted Epiphanes, God preserving a remnant in both contexts.

Once Jesus returns, he will restore Israel completely in their land and they shall be a holy people forevermore. The program itself certainly had to begin before the second temple was destroyed but not completed but for sure expiation for sin was made when Jesus uttered the words "it is finished".

Bare in mind that this is a theory that I have if Blumenthal's interpretation is taken into consideration. I leave you guys to come to your own conclusion.

Answering Judaism.

1 comment:

  1. Your theory is specious. Daniel 9 has nothing to do with Jesus. I am sure you are familiar with the proper translation from the Hebrew and the context of this chapter which is set forth in verse 1. For the benefit of your readers, in verse 1 Daniel is contemplating the "davar" ie word of Hashem to Jeremiah concerning the 70 years of exile since the destruction of Jerusalem. Gavriel says he will give Daniel understanding of this word in verses 22,23. Daniel 9 has nothing to do with any decree- it is a warning to Daniel's people of what must be done before the final redemption. The text clearly refers to 2 anointed ones and 2 time periods ( ie an anointed prince who comes after 7 weeks and an anointed who is "kareit" cut off
    after the 62 week period. Jesus does not fit into this scenario