29th Mar 2018
Daniel 9:24 – Some Fulfilled Then — Some Not Fulfilled?
I have been sharing with our visitors here some of the exchanges I have been having with Sam Frost, former preterist, on FaceBook. Frost now denies that Daniel 9 foretold the coming of Jesus. It was fulfilled in the days and events of Antiochus Epiphanes IV, in the second century BC.
Just recently, Frost took a novel approach to the seventy week prophecy, claiming that the constituent elements list in verse 24 did not have to all be fulfilled within that period of time. Some could be fulfilled within the countdown, some could be fulfilled afterward. I emphasized that any fair reading of the text would demand fulfillment within the seventy week countdown. Here is what he said:
“Notice that Don nowhere mentioned the Lamed-Infinitive – which is used in verse 24. This is another example of “my way or nothing” with Don. Let me simply use and example. “We must stitch seventy stitches in your arm IN ORDER FOR the wound to heal.” Now, does the wound heal WHEN the stitches are put in place, or are they put in place SO THAT the wound can heal? Thus, it is entirely possible, grammatically speaking, that the seventy weeks run their course SO THAT all or some of the items can THEN do their thing. Of course, I realize that Don is “amazed” by what Hebrew grammar can do – that it is elastic in many places (Hebrew ain’t English). Don has probably never read some of the material I have read, or even considered other plausible, textual considerations. There is no other way except Don’s way….
“The seventy sevens must run their course “in order to…” – this implies and can mean that the seventy sevens run their course SO THAT the things listed can be completed. Or, as others have seen, SOME of the items in 9.24 can be fulfilled within the seventy sevens, but not all.”
So, per Frost, the seventy weeks was simply the prelude, the lead in, for the fulfillment of the constituent elements. The seventy weeks was not a “cut out” period of time (as the language suggests) for the fulfillment, the seventy weeks had to take place for the final fulfillment.
Now, first of all, the six infinitives of v. 24 do indicate that seventy weeks are determined “in order to.” Well, “in order to” do what? In order to accomplish the elements of v. 24! Sam’s new proposal has the text saying– “Seventy weeks are determined to make reconciliation, but, the reconciliation will not take place until long after the seventy weeks are ended.” Or, “Seventy weeks are determined on your people and on your city to finish the transgression, but, who knows when, maybe years and years and years after the end of the seventieth week, the transgressions will be full.” (By the way, take note that Frost did not offer a single scholarly source for his claims about the lamed infinitives. He just threw out his reference to them, indicating that they support his claim, but, he did not support his claim with the sources. Interesting to say the least! A professor fried of mine, who teaches Hebrew on the college level, is currently writing a response to Frost’s claims about the lamed infinitive. I will be sharing that later).
Now, I would point out that Sam has told us that “finish the transgression” meant to “fill the measure of sin” Not only that, he applied it to Israel filling the measure of her sin, in the time of Antiochus, and being judged for that sin, at the hands of Antiochus. So, Frost has the filling up of the measure of sin definitely confined to the seventy weeks.
Here is what that means: It means that Sam has SOME of the six constituent elements of Daniel 9 fulfilled within the seventy weeks, but some of them not fulfilled within that period! (And that is what he says!) But the question is, where is the pen knife to delineate which ones belong to and would be fulfilled within that period that had been “cut off” determined, to accomplish all of the six elements – and those that might not be fulfilled for who knows how long after their expiration?
The text says “Seventy weeks are determined, in order to…”
The text does not say SOME of the six would be fulfilled within the seventy weeks.
It does not say – nor imply – that any of the six would be fulfilled after the seventy weeks was expired.
It does not say or indicate that the weeks were determined to begin the fulfillment of those elements, but that fulfillment would be afterward by who knows how long.
A look at every English translation on BibleGateway.com of Daniel 9:24 gives the rendering “seventy weeks are determined to bring in, to make, to finish, to seal, to anoint.” Seventy are determined to accomplish! That is the meaning on any fair reading of any of those translations. The force is that everyone of the elements would be accomplished within the seventy weeks– not afterward!
So, in this proposed view, the seventy weeks were not truly determined “to bring in everlasting righteousness’ etc.– as virtually every translation renders the 6 infinitives in the text. The seventy weeks were merely determined. For what? Sam simply says “in order to.” Well, again, yes, but, the meaning is “in order to accomplished” the promises of verse 24! “In order to” is not some vague, nebulous, elastic reference. It is made in direct connection to “seventy weeks are determined in order to.” Seventy weeks are determined and “in order to” are inseparable.
Sam’s proposal raises an interesting question. Since Sam has thrown out the idea that some of the elements of Daniel 9:24 could be fulfilled after the end of the seventy weeks, perhaps he would be so kind as to tell us WHICH ONE (OR ONES) OF THOSE SIX ELEMENTS MIGHT HAVE BEEN FULFILLED AFTER THE DESIGNATED SEVENTY WEEKS EXPIRED?
Was it the making of the Atonement? Well, let’s not forget that with the death of Onias (BC 171), there were no more qualified High Priests to offer the Atoning sacrifice! NONE! (That is, until Jesus, the True Great High Priest came along!) But, if Sam points to Jesus as the One who would ultimately make the true Atonement, then he would thereby be surrendering his view- stated repeatedly and emphatically – that Daniel 9 is not a messianic prophecy. Although Sam has been asked numerous times about who would make the Atonement and when the promised Atonement was made, he has never offered a keystroke of response.
Sam has told us that the sealing of vision and prophet has reference to the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25, 27, etc.). Well, Jeremiah’s prophecy of a 70 year exile was considered by Daniel to be fulfilled when Daniel 9 was written (Daniel 9:2f). Jeremiah’s prophecy did not extend to the days of Antiochus.
But more, if one turns the seventy weeks into an extended reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy, then most assuredly the seventy weeks were determined to fulfill the vision and prophecy! There is no textual or contextual justification for extrapolating the sealing (fulfillment) of vision and prophecy beyond the seventy weeks; “Seventy weeks are determined…to seal vision and prophet”!
Sam has told us that Antiochus appeared in the middle of the seventieth week. That means that the seventy weeks ended three and a half years later. Yet, the city and the temple were not destroyed (as demanded by the text of Daniel 9). In the countdown of Daniel 9 it is more than evident that the destruction of the city is “the full end” with an overwhelming flood of destruction. That is the end of the seventy weeks.
Everlasting righteousness was not established and brought in by the death of Antiochus or the rise of the Maccabeans, who were in fact, ruthless warriors, and certainly not qualified priests! So, once again, I would note that Sam has been asked repeatedly to tell us who brought in the everlasting righteousness and when they accomplished that. The problem for Sam’s paradigm that he has “thrown out” is severe– as I see it.
There were no qualified High Priests after Onias to accomplish any of the mandated cultic tenets and elements of Daniel 9:24.
The everlasting kingdom of righteousness was not established in the time of Antiochus- period.
So, if Sam’s proposal is correct, and everlasting righteousness was established after the end of the seventy weeks, we will eagerly await Sam’s explanation as to who accomplished this, and when. (It has been several days since I asked Frost to answer these issues, but, at the time of this posting, he has not offered a keystroke of response).
In light of Frost’s claims, consider carefully the following:
Daniel 9 is irrefutably about the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh.
Per the actual text, the seventy weeks were determined in order to accomplish those things.
Old Covenant Israel’s covenant history would end – be consummated at the end of the seventy weeks.
But, Sam says, no, those elements did not have to be all fulfilled within the seventy weeks. Some would be, some not. Those not fulfilled within the seventy weeks could be fulfilled later. He did not tell us how much longer after the expiration of the seventy weeks that some of the elements might be fulfilled. He left that hanging. But, inquiring minds want to know!
Until Sam graces us with some answers on this, consider the following:
Some elements of Daniel 9:24 might be (could be) fulfilled after the expiration of the seventy weeks – Sam Frost.
But, any and all of the elements of Daniel 9:24 are God’s Old Covenant promises, made to Israel after the flesh.
Therefore, any and all elements of Daniel 9:24 that were not fulfilled within the seventy weeks are Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, that would be, must be, fulfilled after the termination of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24.
Follow that with this:
Any and all elements of Daniel 9:24 that were not fulfilled within the seventy weeks are Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, that would be, must be, fulfilled after the termination of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24.
But, not one jot or one tittle of God’s Old Covenant promises, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, could pass until it was all fulfilled.
Therefore, not one jot or one tittle of God’s Old Covenant promises, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, (inclusive of any of the constituent elements of Daniel 9 that were not fulfilled within the seventy weeks) could pass until it was all fulfilled.
Where ever Sam Frost might posit the final fulfillment of any of the constituent elements of Daniel 9:24 – beyond the expiration of the seventy weeks – this means that God’s Old Covenant promises, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, would or will remain valid and binding.
The bottom line is that if you say that some of the elements in Daniel 9:24 were to be fulfilled within the seventy weeks and some elements could be fulfilled outside that countdown, you must be able to confirm that claim / analysis with exegetical support. You must be able to document your assertions linguistically, grammatically, contextually, and not with mere assertions. You should be able to provide the scholarly citations that support your claims concerning the grammar of the text. Mr. Frost offered none of this kind of proof.
Not only that, but, the reader needs to remember that in previous articles I have noted that the putting away of sin, the making of the Atonement, the bringing in of everlasting righteousness and the anointing of the Most Holy, were not fulfilled in the days of Antiochus, and could not be! Why? Because those elements were foundationally tied to the High Priesthood, and, as we have seen, from the murder of Onias IV, slain at the hands of Antiochus’ henchman, there was no genealogically – or morally!- qualified High Priest! And by the way, Sam Frost agreed that Onias was the last of the Zadokite High Priests!
So, if there was no High Priest in the days of Antiochus to accomplish and fulfill these four elements foretold in Daniel 9:24, who would accomplish them, and when?
And, there is one final thought here. If Mr. Frost posited the fulfillment of these four elements of Daniel 9 outside the seventy weeks, then that means that only two of the six elements listed were to be fulfilled within the seventy week countdown! Would one ever get the idea that when the text says Seventy weeks are determined, to put away sin, to make the atonement, to finish transgression, to seal vision and prophecy, to anoint the Most Holy” that what it was really saying was, “Seventy weeks are determined to finish the transgression and seal vision and prophecy, everything else lies outside that seventy weeks!”? To say that this is not suggested, implied, taught, or even allowed by the text is an understatement!
Daniel 9:24 is very clear, unless one is seeking to avoid its prophetic significance. All six elements of verse 24 were to be fulfilled within the seventy week countdown. And, when one admits to the liturgical demands of three of those elements (The Atonement, putting away of sin, anointing the Most Holy) in light of what we have noted above– there was no qualified High Priest from the time of Onias onward), this certainly seems to demand that Daniel 9 truly is a messianic prophecy. It foretold the AD 70 fall and destruction of the City and the Temple. It foretold the ultimate Atonement, the putting away of sin, the anointing of the Most Holy, and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness– all of that accomplished by the final, the True, the Ultimate High Priest, Jesus.
Be sure to get a copy of my book, Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection, to see how the NT writers incorporate the promises of Daniel in their expectation of the Resurrection.