When will the Great Purpose of Daniel 9 Commence?
“and to bring in everlasting righteousness,”(vs 24)
This phrase is another Danielic expression where conflicting viewpoints reign. The majority of scholars conclude that the appearance of the Messiah towards the end of the 490 years fulfills this promise. Many theories are then applied, such as where or how the 490 years ended or will end. But – what is the context?
- A timing prophecy is “formulated” for God’s people and His church to complete corrective measures against three types of sin.
- That list sequences rebellion against God and man, and any other wrongs, especially against self.
- This new positive infinitive series conveys what such action will accomplish – i.e., bring in righteousness.
The subject remains God’s people and His church (not the Messiah). The verb for “to bring in” is bo and is in the Hiphel tense infinitive. This is “causative.” That suggests that when God’s people address the first three sin issues, the outcome – the “cause” – will result in righteousness.
This is an important transition in Daniel’s study. It opens dramatically a major salvic issue. Though provision is already implied for man’s atonement in this verse, it shows that his choice is what activates the power of the Cross.
The message signifies that at the end of the seventy sevens everlasting righteousness will exist with God’s people and His church. With the onset decreed for 458–457 B.C., and knowing that that objective has not been accomplished, a timing gap is again in evidence. That 490-year period has not yet been completed. Any other conclusion removes this prophecy from its context.
There is another element within the word “righteousness” used here – sedeq. It refers to the arrival of ethical, forensic and theocratic justice. All questions about God’s character (His righteousness) are resolved. Satan reveals his character to its fullest expression (sixth trumpet) and God expresses His in supreme loveliness through His people (first seal, 144,000, two witnesses, Philadelphia church)! This occurs when corporate righteousness emerges and proceeds on throughout eternity.
There is a link to 8:14 within Daniel that is stunning! The KJV does not do justice to the Hebrew text. On or after 2300 years (another discussion) holiness (qodesh) is vindicated (nisdaq). The word nisdaq has again a forensic implication. In fact, some translate it as “adjudicated.” It has the same root as sedeq in 9:24. Nisdaq is used only in 8:14 and is in the Niphal tense – passive. What occurs to vindicate holiness and adjudicate God’s righteous character?
On or after the 2300 atonement cycles, holiness (note that there is no article “the” in front of holiness) will be vindicated/adjudicated. That is a prophecy representing the terminus to God’s plan of redemption. Righteousness wins out legally over Satan’s claims. But why is nisdaq passive? Amazing – God’s people, His church, have addressed sin and “everlasting righteousness” comes in! Daniel 8:14 begins the mareh prophecy and Daniel 9:24 reveals how it will be fulfilled! We are invited to become a facilitator in vindicating the character of God! That is pending. Something within the 490-year prophecy waits (see Appendix I – The Tarrying Time)!! What we wait for is called the “appointed time.” Daniel 8:14 and 26 must be put together with Daniel 9 to understand what these prophecies mean!
“to seal up the vision” (vs 24)
“To seal up” (hatan) usually refers to affixing a seal. This same word is used elsewhere in 8:26, 12:4 and 9, where the vision was to be silenced until the end. But here in 9:24 we are focusing on an eschatological point.
Sinned (vs 5)
The basis for Daniel’s restoration plea has been the merciful nature of God’s covenant promises.
These sins led to Judah’sis then that we become His bride and He tabernacles with us.. desolation – the “final curse.” Mercy still pled. But within the structure of Gabriel’s 490-year prophecy, restoration must come. But – this time God’s mercy becomes time-limited. That is why this prophecy is so important!
“The vision” is ha hazon – referring back to Gabriel’s last encounter over the ram, he-goat, little horn and “time of the end” timing prophecies in chapter 8. Gabriel came in chapter 9 to talk about the mareh vision. But, within the context of that discourse comes this infinitive, present-tense message about the ha hazon.
When God’s people have addressed the sin issue, when everlasting righteousness has come in – then – in present tense, the ha hazon will be finished. That is stunning! That is the end of Satan’s work on earth. Daniel also asked later when God’s deliverance and resurrection would come (be finished) (12:6). Jesus then said that the persecution would last three and a half years and then “all these things” – persecution, deliverance and resurrection – would have occurred! This relates to the same time. Gabriel ties together how we can bring together these two visions. Again, there is no way to do this unless there is a gap in the 490-year prophecy! We will look at this more deeply in the next verse.
The sealing here means that the prophecies (ha hazon) will have been confirmed by their occurrence and will have come to an end. No more conflict, persecution, horror from the antichrist – “he shall be broken without hand” (8:25), “he shall come to his end, and none shall help him (11:45). Satan’s work on earth is done!
“and to anoint the most Holy”(vs 9:24)
Again, this phrase congers up a multiplicity of interpretations. The most prominent are the “anointing” of the second Jewish temple or of Christ at His baptism. Some view this as the dedication of a third temple, yet to be built on the temple mount. No, no! That would rob God of a message of incredible hope to mankind! The end of redemptive history is in view for God’s people.
The context is in the completion of the everlasting covenant. That fulfillment is to be time-conditional for man to partner with the divine. Out of the framework of this prophetic outline, an understanding is to emerge. Daniel recognized this relationship in his prayer.
“And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments” (9:4).
In the book of Revelation John is a frequent “visitor” within the heavenly courts. Those experiences form a beautiful sequence of the work of the heavenly family’s activities through chapter 11. Chapter 12 begins a review of the events with explicit details. Notice what leads to a message of cleansing and purification, all revealing the anointing – the setting aside as holy.
- God seated on a judgment throne (4:2) – Most Holy Place
- Christ interceding, prayers of saints increase (8:3-4) – Holy Place
- Golden censor in hand – final Day of Atonement approaching (8:3-4) – Holy Place
- Coals thrown to earth (8:5) – Trumpet judgments begin against world, sealing of saints
- Christ interceding, prayers of saints increase (8:3-4) – Holy Place
- Kingdom of “our Lord” consummated (11:15) – Most Holy Place open – temple work ceased
Commensurate with this comes the sequential imagery in the next chapter (chapter 12). A pure church has finally come. A pure woman clothed with the sun (righteousness), with the moon under her feet – dominion over all – with twelve stars – the kingdom number – one from each tribe (144,000). Then the story progresses in how this all came about, with wonderful detail.
The anointing of the sanctuary is an eschatological point where the inaugurated kingdom becomes the consummated kingdom!! The work in the sanctuary ceases. There are no more sin issues to address. The Lamb’s blood has cleansed the garments, and the throng stands victorious around the throne (Revelation 7:9-15).
This term, “anoint,” is contextually a summation statement of the work of the everlasting covenant.
“Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore” (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
The sanctuary imagery from Old and New Testaments to the heavenly portrayals of the restored pure church, all combine into a glorious finale when everything has the eternal anointing of His presence. The ultimate “anointing” comes when God’s name is on our foreheads and a crown rests upon our heads. It is then that we become His bride and He tabernacles with us.
If an end to opposition against God is a prophetic hope and if everlasting righteousness is anticipated at the terminus of the 490 years, the “anointing of the most holy” must relate to cleansing and purification when only God’s presence exists in the sanctuary. No “sin record” residue remains (just like the great type in the ancient tabernacle on the Day of Atonement).
Usually, Old Testament anointing is of individuals (Exodus 28:41, 29:7; Leviticus 16:32; Judges 9:8; I Samuel 9:16; cf. Luke 7:46). But assets, in setting them aside for a sacred task, can be anointed (Exodus 29:36). As an example, in Exodus 30:26-30 is a cleansing process as the tabernacle and its furnishings were sanctified and made holy. That was to be a holy anointing throughout their generations – vs 31).
The imagery of Daniel 9:24 is one of an “everlasting anointing.” At the end of time, when God’s people have addressed sin, comes this sacred act. The Hebrew reads: To anoint the holy of holies (qodesh qodashim), which refers to the sanctuary. This combination of words “is always used in association with the tabernacle or temple.” The temple in the book of Ezekiel represents God’s church at the end. There, the Most Holy Place is anointed (Ezekiel 45:3).
“Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary, and he is there to make an atonement for the people. He is there to present his wounded side and pierced hands to his Father. He is there to plead for his Church that is upon the earth. He is cleansing the sanctuary from the sins of the people. What is our work?–It is our work to be in harmony with the work of Christ. By faith we are to work with him, to be in union with him.”
Franklin S. Fowler, Jr., M.D.; Prophecy Research Initiative © 2010
EndTime Issues…, Number 111, October 14, 2010
Miller, Stephen R.; The New American Commentary, vol. 18 (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), pp. 260-261.
Steinmann, Andrew E..; Daniel (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis),p. 466.
Collins, John J.; Daniel (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN – 1993), p. 354.
Miller, Op. cit. (quoting Montgomery), p. 262.
Steinman, Op. cit., p. 466.
White, Ellen G.; The Review and Herald, January 28, 1890.