Who is the ruler who will come?
What confirms the belief in the resurrection of the Roman Empire (to those of that persuasion) is the idea that the second ruler mentioned in Daniel 9:24-27 is Roman since the Romans did destroy Jerusalem, therefore it’s presumed that the one who confirms a covenant and the one who causes desolation are also Roman. They believe these prophecies to be about the time before Jesus’ second coming. This provides their identification of the fifth entity (feet of clay), which they never call a fifth kingdom; but Dan 2:42 clearly does. One should ask the question: does Daniel 9:26 really say that the ‘ruler who will come’ is Roman? and does this say a Roman will be the Antichrist?
Daniel 9:24-27 (NIV) 24 "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. v25 "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. v26 After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. v27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven’. In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And one who causes desolation will place abominations on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. "
There are a few theologians that have believed that the ‘Anointed One, the ruler who comes’ in Dan 9:25 and the ‘ruler who will come’ in verse v26 are the same. I don’t see this as so improbable. Dan 9:25 makes an unambiguous introduction of the ‘Anointed one, the ruler’ as being the Messiah, why would there be no introduction of the ‘ruler who will come’ as being someone else. This entire passage has one subject: Messiah.
There are many prophesies where God calls the agent sent to punish or destroy a nation, “my servants”; Ezekiel 14:22 speaks of “every disaster I (God) have brought upon Jerusalem.” If the anointed one (Jesus) is God, then the people who come to destroy the city may be called his servants in which case the ruler (who will come) in verse 26 is not disqualified from being Jesus. The rules of personal pronouns dictate that the “he” that confirms a covenant refers back to the ruler (who will come) who is more likely to be Jesus, and Jesus, as the final sacrifice would be “he” who puts an end to the need for animal sacrifices (Those not knowing this kept on sacrificing of course). The seven would be the ministry of Christ to establish the New covenant divided into 3.5 years as the lamb ending in his crucifixion (which is the middle of the seven), and another 3.5 years as the lion ending in the establishment of his kingdom. One might say, Jesus spent 3.5 years to establish the New Covenant by invitation to those who are willing, and has another 3.5 years reserved to bring in others to his Covenant who require a little rougher approach.
In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus quotes Isa 61:1-2, a messianic prophecy, but he only reads the first part that speaks of soft subjects of good news and freeing of captives stopping short of the sentence “and the day of vengeance.” He went on to say that the part he quoted was fulfilled in their hearing; the vengeance part is yet to come. The two divisions of messianic prophecy do not clearly indicate the time laps between the two events; this provides a precedent for an unspecified time lapse between two divisions of the seven of Dan 9:27. The agenda for the prophecy in Dan 9 includes “to put an end to sin,” and “to bring in everlasting righteousness;” the final end of sin is after the return of Christ. The atonement part was finished at Calvary; this is a clue (sets a precedence) that the seven is divided, and corresponds nicely with the two parts in Isa 61 that Jesus quoted.
If the prophecy of the seventy sevens is about the messiah, the “one who sets up the abomination” is then a new actor that comes on the scene, nothing says he’s Roman. The entire passage is chronological until “the end will come like a flood,” after which two events, ‘the end of sacrifice’ and ‘the placing of abominations’, are added out of order for additional information. This interpretation would stick closer to the general theme of the bible as illustrated by the metaphor of the target, which alludes to the plan of salvation through the tool of the Jewish people, specifically Jesus. For the purposes of this hypothetical scenario, I’ll take this as correct.
· This will be point three: Jesus is the ruler that comes, puts an end to sacrifice and confirms a covenant over the duration of seven years. He is the ruler who sends an army to destroy Judah.
Jesus is the only ruler who actually came to Jerusalem. Titus, the general that destroyed the city was not a ruler. If Jesus is ‘the ruler that comes’, this, of course means that the Anti Christ doesn’t make a seven year peace pact with Israel as is usually taught. Notice also that Dan 9:27 says confirms (H1396 gabar gaw-bar' a primitive root; to be strong; by implication, to prevail, act insolently:--exceed, confirm, be great, be mighty, prevail, put to more (strength), strengthen, be stronger, be valiant.,) not make or originate a covenant. Jesus made the covenant, that can be done in a moment, but here he takes seven years to makes it strong, or as we used to say, “make it a heavy issue” by the extreme payment he made, and by the things he taught, and will teach. This is more believable because behind everything in the Old Testament is the real purpose of salvation.
There is no absolute proof that Jesus’ ministry was three and one half years, but God tends to work in a numerically orderly fashion. Jesus is shown to have been in Jerusalem for three Passovers, John 2:23, John 6:4 and John 13:1, so no less than two years can be accounted for, but three plus is more probable. I’d say half of 7 just fits a pattern of how God uses numbers.
The identity of the fifth kingdom
In Daniel 2’s metaphor of the statue; notice the direct uninterrupted transition from one ruling power to the next over the holy land. So what followed after the dominion of Rome?
The fourth beast, Rome, did destroy the Temple and continued to rule Judah even after it divided into the Northern and Southern Empires. The Northern part eventually disintegrated but the holy land remained part of the Southern Roman Empire, (The Byzantine Empire). The Jews might have been driven from Jerusalem after Hadrian destroyed it in 135 AD; but under Christian rule a great altar was allowed to be built and visited annually according to the 1970 encyclopedia Britannica pg.1009F, last paragraph.
The Muslims took control of Jerusalem in 638 AD. In 688AD Caliph Abdul-al-Malik began the building of the Dome of the Rock, ending any further possibility of a sacrifice being made on the holy site. The people and the territory that came under the rule of Islam were that of the first three beasts. The European part had sloughed off and is no longer part of the picture; it is likely that this Islamic ruler ship is represented by the little horn. Can Islamic ruler ship qualify as the fifth kingdom? The statue of Daniel makes It is clear that the power that annexes Judah after the fourth section is immediately the fifth section (the feet). There is no air gap between sections; there is no other possibility other than this section representing Islamic ruleship.
Islamic rulership has not been a single national entity one might argue. The Muslims will tell you that they are all one Ummah (the greater Muslim community that recognizes no boarders). They may fight among themselves, but if someone else attacks a Muslim nation, then suddenly they are all brothers.
Could it be, perhaps, a singular mind behind a specific philosophical agenda has ruled: Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Evil may have a variety of human faces, and perform physical acts, but the spiritual opposition to righteousness is ultimately not human. Ezek 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.13. You were in Eden, the garden of God.” There was a human king of Tyre, but behind that face was an evil spirit, which begs the question, who was the real king? Dan2:44 States that in the days of those kings (represented by the statue), the God of heaven will set up his kingdom. Bearing this in mind, and knowing that more than one king has been in power during time periods represented by sections of the prophetic statue or beasts, it’s certain that a reference to a king bridges the reign of several or perhaps many human kings, who in the case of the fifth kingdom could come from any one of the territories or ethnic groups that made up the first three Empires.
Could there be more than one ‘abomination that causes desolation’?
To speak of two or more similar events while not specifying that there is more than the single event is consistent with a riddle. No lie need be told, but a wrong conclusion is drawn just the same. Could this explain what is happening in Daniel concerning the abomination that causes desolation?
The sacrifices at the holy site in Jerusalem have been stopped a number of times, knowing when is useful in fixing time lines of prophetic events. The 4 times mentioned in Daniel 8:11, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11, are usually thought to be speaking of the same event, but I’m not of this opinion for a number of reasons. Num 12:6 "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.v7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. v8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles.” God sometimes speaks in riddles. Daniel is one book that definitely has its misdirecting statements. Dan 12:9 “He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.”
The abomination that causes desolation is a manifestation that has occurred more than once. The bible gives evidence that it is a single event on a cursory examination, but then conflicts arise. Before getting to that, notice the difference in the passages translated into ‘the abomination that causes desolation from the interlinear: Dan 9:27 “and on wing of abomination one making desolate;” Dan 11:31 “and they give the abomination one making desolate:” Dan 12:11 “and to give of abomination one-desolating.” The phrases are clearly different and none sound like a singularity, but an idiomatic phrase like: “the c**p hit the fan” (meaning significant trouble begins), uses the word ‘the’ and it’s certainly not a single entity or occurrence.
The prophecy in Daniel 11 is so historically accurate that cynical academics proclaim the book to be a forgery written hundreds of years after Daniels time. It provides an unbroken, unmistakable chain of rulers linked with identifying events from the breakup of the kingdom of Alexander the Great directly to Antiochus 4 Epiphanies. There are some great sites on the internet that compare Daniel 11 with actual history that will make this point if you’re interested.Here is a good one:Bible Prophecy-Verify History
As for the abomination that caused desolation, after the war and destruction that Antiochus 4 was responsible for: after stopping the sacrifices, he set up a statue of Zeus in the temple and sacrificed swine on the altar, blaspheming God. Chapter 11 essentially makes the conclusion unavoidable that this is an abomination of desolation, Dan 11:31 “Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.”, but Jesus said in Matt 24:15 that the event was still future, so there is a conflict. Some teachers explain this by calling Antiochus a ‘pre-figuring’ of the coming Antichrist. I suppose you could say that, but Dan 11 doesn’t equivocate about the abomination of desolation being set up by him. It doesn’t call it a sort of abomination of desolation. It’s the real thing, not a mere type.
In Matthew 24 and Mark 13, Jesus seems to link the ‘abomination that causes desolation’, or a manifestation of it, to the time of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, but Luke’s version in Luke 21:22 says: “for days of vengeance are these, to fulfill all that is written.” It’s the time of the punishment in fulfillment of prophecy e.g. Isa 10:22 “Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. V23 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land”. The Jews were not totally driven from the land until long after the temple was destroyed. Incidentally, this is another verse telling us that the Lord is the ruler who sends the people to destroy Jerusalem.
It’s clear, it’s important to note, that the punishment event is not a short incident: Ezek 15:7 “I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the LORD.”
If you read only Matthew 24’s and Mark 13’s account of what my NIV chapter subject header calls: “signs of the end of the age,” and note that the disciples question was about when the temple would be destroyed, you’d expect an abomination in the holy place in 70 AD, but Luke expands the scope of what Jesus was talking about to the time the prophetic word of God is fully implemented, which is an indistinct point in time. The year 135 AD would be high on the list of fulfilling the likes of : Ezek 15:6 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem.” This begins to come to pass by the might of Rome. In 70 AD there was destruction, but after 135AD, there was something unholy upon the holy place.
Because the Romans had plans to build their own city on the ruins of Jerusalem, and to build a heathen temple on the holy site, the Jews revolted in 135 AD, lead by Shimon Bar Kosiba known as Bar Kokhba (son of the star), and widely considered to be the promised Messiah. The Romans under the Emperor Hadrian crushed the uprising and virtually depopulated Judea, after which the Jews were barred from entering Jerusalem, which was renamed Aelia Capitolina, except for once a year according to some sources; but certainly after Constantine (AD 306-37) Jews were allowed access to the remaining remnant of the Temple, the Wailing Wall. The temple of Jupiter was built on the holy mount, and this qualifies as another manifestation of the ‘abomination that causes desolation.’
Daniel 11 depicts two kings, coming from Alexander the Greats Empire, as agents of punishment of Israel until messiah comes: the king of the North and king of the South. The identification of the king of the North and the king of the South are not in doubt. The king of the North is the geopolitical and ethnic region generally represented by Syria (Seleucids), the king of the South is Egypt (Ptolemaic). History and Dan 11 match so perfectly that the identification is undoubtable.
What became Syria was part of the first three beasts, and in Dan11, it is this power (The king of the North) that stops the sacrifices and sets up the abomination that causes desolation, not Rome. This is also stated in Dan 8:8 The goat (Alexander’s kingdom) became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven (Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt). V9 Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. Dan V10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. Dan 8:11 It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Dan V12 Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
The thread of kings of the North and South and their activities is not lost, from the breakup of Alexander the Greats empire to the following point: Dan 11:31 (interlinear) “and arms shall stand on their part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily (sacrifice), and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate,” so there is a clear contradiction between this unmistakable ID of the perpetrator being non-Roman, and the generally claimed identification of it being the Romans that set up (or are to set up) the abomination gleaned from a mistake in understanding who the ruler is who’s people destroy Jerusalem in Dan 9’s prophecy of the seven sevens. However, if the three references Dan 9:27, 11:31 and 12:11 to the abomination are separate events, then there is nothing to disqualify Rome from being responsible for one of them. Jesus said it would be a future event and Dan 11:31 speaks of its fulfillment by the king of the North before Jesus time. The only solution is that they are in fact separate events.
It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.