Responding to the Critics: Daniel 9:24, Isaiah 59 And The Taking Away of Israel’s Sin
I have demonstrated in two other articles examining the motif of the taking away of Israel’s sin, that Isaiah 40 and Isaiah 26-27 are directly parallel to Daniel 9:24-27. Those texts in Isaiah are undoubtedly Messianic. Since they are directly parallel to Daniel 9 – and since the NT writers clearly echo Daniel 9 in Messianic contexts, this serves as powerful proof that Daniel 9 was truly Messianic. It was not focused on the days and events of Antiochus Epiphanes, but on the first century and Jesus the true Messiah.
Let me say something here that is very important. I am convinced that the driving force behind those who are advocating the Antiochan view of Daniel is the mistaken idea that if they can show that Daniel 9 is not Messianic, that they have, for all practical purposes sake, negated Covenant Eschatology. In one recent FaceBook exchange, one individual said that Daniel 9 is absolutely essential for the preterist view. This shows that either that individual is ignorant of Covenant Eschatology, or, they are ignorant of Bible prophecy over all.
While I make no apologies for focusing on Daniel 9 and believe it is a very important eschatological prophecy, it is not a “make it or break it” case, if one could prove that Daniel did speak of Antiochus. It would still be more than easy to establish, based solely on the NT testimony, that the end of the age, the parousia of Christ, and the resurrection were near, at hand and coming soon in the first century.
On the other hand, if, as I am 100% confident that it is, Daniel 9 is Messianic, then without doubt, any and all futurist views of eschatology are falsified. This is true because, as I show in my Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection, book, Daniel 9 predicted the resurrection and the New Creation. Not only that, Daniel’s prophecy cannot extend beyond the destruction of the city and temple in AD 70. Thus, to establish Daniel 9 as Messianic is in fact to prove that the resurrection occurred in AD 70. The former preterists who are striving so hard to prove that Daniel 9 is not Messianic know this, without any doubt. They are thus striving with everything they have to deny the Messianic application of Daniel. In other words, their preconceived futurism is driving their exegesis, and generating false claims, some of them virtually unprecedented in the annals of Biblical commentary.
With this said, I want now to turn to Isaiah 59 as a third to text to examine in the light of the promise of Daniel 9, that within the seventy weeks, sin would be put away. I cannot over-emphasize the fact that my previous articles on this important tenet have been totally ignored. Not a word – as of the writing of this installment – has been typed in response to my articles on Isaiah 26-27 / Isaiah 40 and the article on the making of the Atonement. Literally not a keystroke!
Isaiah 59 is a very important Messianic prophecy, cited directly by the apostle Paul in his anticipation of the future to him salvation of Israel at the coming of the Lord. In my book, Elijah Has Come: A Solution to Romans 11:25-27, I offer this analysis of Isaiah 59:
● ACCUSATION ➔ In verses 1-8, Jehovah accuses Israel of being almost hopelessly sinful. Among her sins, “Your hands are defiled with blood” (v. 3). Hosea, contemporary of Isaiah, described her blood guilt, “they break all restraint. With bloodshed upon bloodshed” (Hosea 4:2). Three times in verses 1-8 Isaiah points to Israel’s internecine guilt. This three-fold accusation serves to intensify the reader’s awareness of that blood guilt.
● ACKNOWLEDGMENT ➔ In verses 9-15, Israel confesses her sin. Salvation is far from her, “justice is far from us, nor does righteousness over take us, we look for light and there is none, ….justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off, truth is fallen in the streets” (v. 9, 15).
● ACTION ➔ Jehovah, “Saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice…therefore…He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad in zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay. Fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coast lands He will fully repay. So shall they fear the name of the Lord…The Redeemer will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob” (v. 16f).
Isaiah 59 then, is just like Isaiah 27, which as we saw in our article on that text, is a prediction of the taking away of Israel’s sin, at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.
Notice also that Isaiah 59 contains another element that is found in Daniel 9, and that is the motif of the filling the measure of Israel’s sin – contextually- by shedding innocent blood.
“Therefore justice is far from us, Nor does righteousness overtake us; We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness! We grope for the wall like the blind, And we grope as if we had no eyes; We stumble at noonday as at twilight; We are as dead men in desolate places. We all growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We look for justice, but there is none; For salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And as for our iniquities, we know them” (Isaiah 59:9-12).
How is this parallel with Daniel 9? In verse 24 the Lord said that within the seventy weeks, Israel would “finish the transgression” and this means – Sam Frost agreeing!! – that Israel would fill the measure of her sin within the seventy week countdown.
It should be noted that the term “to finish the transgression” has historically been accepted as reference to Israel filling the measure of her sin, in Jesus’ generation. Eusebius, commonly called the Father of Church History, commented on Daniel 9 (which he applied Messianically):
Eusebius, Demonstration of the Gospel, on Daniel 9.24 and finish transgression– “Instead of, “For sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions,” Aquila translated, “For ending disobedience, and for completing transgression.” I think that our Saviour’s words to the Jews, “Ye have filled up the measure of your fathers,” are parallel to this.”
“And the people of the governor that cometh will destroy the city and the holy place.” Meaning that the city and the Holy Place arc not only to be ruined by the leader to come, whom I have identified in my interpretation, but also by his people. And you would not be far wrong in saying, too, that the Roman general and his army are meant by the words before us, where I think the camps of the Roman rulers are meant, who governed the nation from that time, and who destroyed the city of Jerusalem itself, and its ancient venerable Temple. For they were cut off by them as by a flood, and were at once involved in destruction until the war was concluded, so that the prophecy was fulfilled and they suffered utter desolation (400) after their plot against our Saviour, which was followed by their extreme sufferings during the siege. You will find an accurate account of it in the history of Josephus.”
“But after the prophecy of the events that happened to the Jewish nation in the intermediate period between the |135 seven and sixty-two weeks, there follows the prophecy of the new Covenant announced by our Saviour. So when all the intermediate matter between the seven and the sixty-two weeks is finished, there is added, “And he will confirm (b) a Covenant with many one week,” and in half the week the sacrifice and the libation shall be taken away, and on the Holy Place shall come the abomination of desolation, and until the fullness of time fullness shall be given to the desolation.
Side Bar: Just for fun, and since in several FaceBook posts Sam Frost is emphasizing what the early church fathers believed, let me share another quote or two from Eusebius about Daniel 9:
Eusebius Proof, Bk VIII, 118f – says: “It is quite clear that the seven times seventy weeks…was therefore the period determined for Daniel’s people, which limited the total length of the Jewish nation’s existence.”
Eusebius, Proof, BK VIII. 122 – on Seal up vision and prophecy. Since the coming of Christ all prophecy and prophet perished in Israel. “from that day there has been no prophet or seer among them; this has altogether ceased from the time named till our own day.”
So, here is one of the leading “church fathers” who presented what was considered by him to be the consensus view of Daniel 9, and he applied it Messianically– contra Sam Frost. But of course, Mr. Frost only cares about what the early church fathers believed when they agree with him.
What is so significant is that Frost has essentially entrapped himself – once again and as usual – by his most recent post on Daniel 9:24. Now, it was more than obvious that Frost believed that he had a powerful and definitive point, since, although he had been challenged by a wonderful Bible student from Australia named Julienne Chambers, as well as myself on his claims about Daniel 9, he adamantly refused to deal with the issues that we had raised and changed the discussion to Daniel 8 and the description of Antiochus Epiphanes and the issue of finishing the transgressions. I am giving his entire post here, so that you can catch the power –and the fallacy – of what he is saying:
“Let’s take one thing at a time, Julienne Chambers. (This is where Frost became evasive, refusing to deal with the issues that Julienne and I had raised and were pressing. Julienne and I had raised numerous issues that Frost had totally ignored, but6 now, he insisted that we take “one thing at time” DKP) “Seventy weeks have been determined…to “finish transgression” (NIV); “to finish THE transgression” (ESV); “to finish the wickednes” (GNB); ” until the measure of transgression is filled” (Tanak); “to shut up the transgression” (YLT). When you see this amount of differing translations, something is going on in the original.
When you look at the original, “the transgression” is with the article (“the”). It’s specific. What “transgression” needs to be “ended”, “finished”, “shut up” or “stopped”? Well, in Daniel 8.23 we have “the Transgressors” – who are the Jewish rebels that revolt against the Law. Hear the Tanak version: “When their kingdoms are at an end, when the measure of transgression has been filled, then a king will arise, impudent and versed in intrigue” (8.23). See that? “when the measure of the transgressors has been filled” – same stuff in 9.24. 8.12: “And the host is given up, with the continual sacrifice, through transgression, and it throweth down truth to the earth, and it hath worked, and prospered.” The host ended THROUGH TRANSGRESSION….the transgression. The unfaithful among the faithful Jews are at it again….their transgression has risen again…and for it their transgression, THE transgression, must be STOPPED….and what does the covenant God do to stop it? Sends a powerful nation to smash them. Now, since Antiochus IV is OBVIOUSLY in view in chapter 8, then he is the “Prince, THE ONE who is coming” to place abominations on the wing of the altar (or temple, the noun is left out) – and to put an end to the Rebellion….which he did.”
Frost essentially gave away the farm on this, although, as noted, he surely believes that he had falsified the Messianic application of Daniel 9. Frost is adamant that since Daniel 8 and 9 contain similar elements that this demands that they are both speaking of Antiochus Epiphanes. He fails to see that while there certainly are similarities in the language, there are likewise dissimilarities of content that forbid applying both chapters to Antiochus. That is for another discussion, perhaps. What I want you to see at this point is that Frost agrees that to “finish the transgression” meant to fill the measure of sin. I could not agree more!
Notice that Isaiah 59, as noted above, discussed how Israel would fill the measure of her sin. In Isaiah 59, we thus have the following elements:
1. Israel filling the measure of her sin.
2. The coming of the Lord.
3. The judgment of the wicked – the persecuting nation of Israel.
4. The salvation of the remnant at the coming of the Lord “out of Zion.”
Isaiah wrote well before Daniel. In Isaiah we have the same identical tenets that we find in Daniel 9. But, as seen, similar tenets do not prove identicality. We must establish that linkage.
First of all, we need to establish that Isaiah 59 is Messianic and that is easily done. In Paul’s discourse on the salvation of Israel – at the coming of the Lord – he directly cites Isaiah 59. This is acknowledged by virtually all scholars. So, Paul was expecting the fulfillment of Isaiah 59 at the day of the Lord for the salvation of the righteous remnant of Israel. Isaiah 59 is firmly established as Messianic.
Now, this means that Paul expected Israel to fill the measure of her sin and to be judged at the Day of the Lord, in perfect accord with Daniel 9. This means that Israel would be saved and Israel’s salvation is nothing less than the New Creation, the New World of righteousness according to Isaiah 65-66. So, the question becomes, if the arrival of the everlasting righteousness of Daniel 9 is not the New Creation (wherein dwells righteousness, 2 Peter 3:13), where is the proof of that? Frost and his followers have been asked (repeatedly!) to show where and how everlasting righteousness arrived in the time of Antiochus, but, even though they have been asked this question a host of times, they have not hit a key in response.
As I demonstrated in my previous articles, it was impossible for the Atonement and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness to be made at the time of Antiochus. There was no qualified High Priest to accomplish those things! Period, end of story. Do you catch the power of that fact? Since the last of the qualified High Priests ended with Onias, then the very things that Daniel 9 demands could not have been fulfilled in those days. Those things had to be – and they were – fulfilled by the True High Priest – Jesus, the Messiah of God. This alone is a falsification of those who deny the Messianic nature of Daniel 9. Stay tuned as we explore this critical tenet of finishing the transgressions as foretold in Daniel 9. Be sure to get a copy of my book, Elijah Has Come: A Solution to Romans 11:25-27 for an in-depth discussion of Isaiah 59 and its fulfillment in AD 70