Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Daniel's People...Daniel 9:24

I want first to refer readers back to two previous articles. On December 11, 2009 I wrote about the dangers of "reinterpreting" Old Testament passages rather than "interpreting" them according to their own intention. In that article we clarified that New Testament writers do not deny, contradict, or change ("reinterpret") the intended meaning of Old Testament texts. On December 21, 2009 I used Isaiah 7:14 as an illustrative test case, showing that Matthew used this passage in the same way Isaiah intended it - Matthew did not "reinterpret" Isaiah.

Now, from Daniel 9:24, we observe the introduction to Daniel's record of the prophecy of the "70 Weeks". Daniel 9:24 records, "Seventy weeks have been decreed FOR YOUR PEOPLE AND FOR YOUR HOLY CITY". Daniel's "holy city" is Jerusalem. Attempts to make this a "heavenly" or "spiritual" Jerusalem do not work for the entire context through Daniel 9:27 specifies the city of Jerusalem. New Testament passages, such as Hebrews 12:22 do not change or reinterpret Daniel 9:24.

Daniel's "people" are in particular the people of the house of Judah, i.e. the Jewish people. Daniel was taken into Babylonian captivity as one of them. Daniel's prayer and resultant prophecy of chapter nine are in the context of praying according to the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the end of the 70 years of captivity for the Jews (9:2). There is no shift in the identity of Daniel's people as we come to 9:24. The 70 Weeks of Daniel's prophecy are for the Jewish people, Daniel's people. Attempts to reinterpret "Daniel's people" to include the Church are improper attempts change the intent of Daniel's prophecy. New Testament passages like Romans 2:28-29, Romans 11:17ff., Second Corinthians 3:6 and others indicate that Church-age believers are grafted into (joined to and participate in) Israel's covenant promises. Such passages do not redefine Israel as the Church (nor does Galatians 6:16). Neither are such passages reinterpreting "Daniel's people" to include Church-age believers in the 70 weeks of Daniel's prophecy.

So, Daniel's people are the Jews and his prophecy centers on Jerusalem. The details of all 70 Weeks of Daniel's prophecy, including the 70th Week (9:27), pertain to Daniel's people - not to the Church.