The second half of Daniel’s seventieth prophetic week is that of 1290 days found in Daniel 12:11. This time period begins when “the daily sacrifice is taken away” and ends when “the abomination that makes desolate (is) set up.” Concerning the abomination of desolation, it is not a carbon copy of what was done by Antiochus Epiphanes cir. 167 BC. In fact, all Antiochus did was carry out the judgment of God upon what was already an abomination to him. Notice:
2 Maccabees 5:17-20 KJVA (17) And so haughty was Antiochus in mind, that he considered not that the Lord was angry for a while for the sins of them that dwelt in the city, and therefore his eye was not upon the place. (18) For had they not been formerly wrapped in many sins, this man, as soon as he had come, had forthwith been scourged, and put back from his presumption, as Heliodorus was, whom Seleucus the king sent to view the treasury. (19) Nevertheless God did not choose the people for the place’s sake, but the place far the people’s sake. (20) And therefore the place itself, that was partaker with them of the adversity that happened to the nation, did afterward communicate in the benefits sent from the Lord: and as it was forsaken in the wrath of the Almighty, so again, the great Lord being reconciled, it was set up with all glory.
The Lord merely used this gentile leader to chastise his people and bring about their repentance from an abominable course that would have brought about their judgment and destruction long before the coming of Christ. Antiochus was the instrument of God to bring about the repentance of his people before it was too late.
In Daniel 9:27 the use of the pronoun he seems vague. Some believe it could mean either the Messiah or “the prince who is to come,” i.e. the Beast! But the context leaves little doubt as to whom “he” refers. Notice:
Daniel 9:26-27 KJV And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (emphasis mine)
The two verses quoted above are compound and complex sentences. The subjects of each compound clause are in bold. The subjects in verse-26 are Messiah, people, and the word end. The word he could not refer to the words people or end. The word he in verse-27 could refer only to Messiah in verse-26. The phrase: “of the prince that shall come” is a complex prepositional phrase and describes only one of the main thoughts of the compound sentence in verse-26. It has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on in verse-27.
Furthermore, the word for “cut off” in verse-26 is karath (G3772) and actually means “cut a covenant.” The same word is used of God who made a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:18) and of Israel who made a covenant with God (Jeremiah 34:18). The whole idea in Daniel 9:26-27 of Messiah being cut or cut off is not simply being killed, but in dying he cuts or make a covenant—the New Covenant, which if taken lightly Christ will not hold that man guiltless (Matthew 24:50-51)! Daniel 9:27 shows Messiah was cut 3½ years into the 70th week of years. Christ was crucified 3½ years into his public ministry. Daniel 9:26 says that Messiah will be cut off after the 69th week, but does not say how long after. Verse-27 shows that it is 3 ½ years into the seventieth week. Whatever can be said about the 1290 days, it cannot be authoritatively denied that Jesus, the Messiah, was cut off 1260 days after he had begun his ministry; and 1260 days is the midst of a week of years!
Daniel 9:27 says “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week…” Although many claim this refers to the Beast making a future deal with modern Israel, Scripture shows that Jesus confirmed the covenant for 1260 days, or 3 ½ years of the 7-year week, and was cut (off) in the midst of that prophetic week. Could he also have fulfilled the final 3 ½ years of the seventieth week as well, via the Holy Spirit in the persons of the Apostles following his Resurrection? For those of us who prefer the truth to involving ourselves in prophetic plots of end time intrigue, Jesus did, in fact, confirm the covenant for the second 3 ½ years. He was cut (off) in the middle of the prophetic seventieth week, and through his single sacrifice caused the need of the daily sacrifice to cease. Notice:
Hebrews 10:10-18 KJV By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. (15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (emphasis mine)
Did you catch that? “…where remission of these is there is no more offering for sin.” Whatever we may think about ending the sacrificial system in the Temple, Jesus certainly did cause the daily sacrifice to cease in the lives of all who received him as their Passover Lamb. Thousands of Jews were converted in the first few days after hearing Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, 31 AD. Did they continue to offer sacrifices of lambs, and goats and bulls when they sinned? Did they continue to look to the old system? The obvious answer to these questions is “No!” While sacrifices did continue for those who looked to Jesus, such were offered in ceremonial worship (cf. Acts 21:23-24). No one looked to the Law to save them or cover their sins (cf. Acts 15:10-11). What was done in the spiritual realm was later borne out in the physical realm as well in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (cf. Romans 4:17b).
The study of the 1260 days leaves us at the death of Christ on the Feast of Passover, Nisan 14, 31 AD. While Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights, he could not continue to confirm the covenant until he rose from the dead. Therefore the 1290 days cannot begin until after his resurrection. According to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, the Wave Sheaf Offering, which occurred during the eight day Passover festival, marked the beginning of the harvest season for the year. It consisted of an ephah of grain, which was approximately 3 ½ pecks. The sheaves were marked and tied into a number of bunches on Passover evening and harvested a few days later.
When the grain was harvested just after the 7th day Sabbath was passed, it was made ready for the offering in the morning, at or around the time of the morning sacrifice. When the firstfruits of the grain harvest were offered to God, the rest of the grain was sanctified and could be harvested. The Wave Sheaf offering pictures the resurrected Christ being offered to God, as the Firstfruits of the harvest of mankind (1Corinthians 15:20-23). When God accepted the sacrifice of Christ, he sanctified the rest of the harvest. No further sacrifice is needed for our acceptance, and thus all other sacrifices including the daily sacrifice were “taken way” (Daniel 8:11; 12:11) as far as our acceptance before God is concerned. They had become ceremonial worship after Jesus’ resurrection and acceptance by the Father at the time of the Wave Sheave offering early on the morning–the First Day of the Weeks that counted to Pentecost.
It is from this point that we can begin counting the 1290 days. These days count from the time of the offering of the Wave Sheaf – when Christ ascended to his Father just after his resurrection (cf. John 20:17 and Matthew 28:9). At this point the Daily Sacrifice was officially taken away. Notice how the Septuagint translates Daniel 9:27…
Daniel 9:27 Brenton (LXX) And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.
“My Sacrifice and Drink-Offering” is Christ. He was taken away from us in the crucifixion and received in our stead by the Father on the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering. From this point onward to the time the abomination that makes desolate is set up (Daniel 12:11) was 1290 days, culminating in the killing of Stephen. Stephen’s death marks the first time blood was shed in Christ’s name since the crucifixion. It is the end of the “safe” period mentioned in Revelation 12:13-17, there called a “time, times and half a time” or 3 ½ prophetic years (1290 days). Daniel calls it a time when the power of the holy people will be “scattered” (cf. Acts 8:1, 4). A graph is provided below to show how the calculations would appear on paper. The abomination that brought desolation was the open rebellion of the Jewish leadership who approved of Stephen’s murder. The high priest and the Sanhedrin effectively set themselves up in authority opposing the authority of God. This brought the desolation of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple.
|Month||31 AD||32 AD||33 AD||34 AD||Totals|
|1st||Resurrection Sunday 12 days left in the month||30||30||30|
|7th||30||30||30||10th day of the month or the Day of Atonement|
|Totals||366 days||354 days||383 days||187 days||1290 days|
The 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) began at the time of the ‘Wave-Sheaf’ offering on Nisan 18, AD. This offering sanctified the rest of the harvest. Nothing could be harvested until the time of this offering (Leviticus 23:10-14). It represented Jesus’ sacrifice and our Father’s acceptance him, thus sanctifying the ‘harvest’ of mankind. No further sacrifice was needed, because Christ–“My Sacrifice and Drink Offering was taken away (crucified) and accepted by the Father when he received Jesus’ sacrifice on this day.
The animal sacrificial system looked forward to Jesus’ sacrifice on Golgotha. The 1290 days ended with the total rejection of Jesus in unbelief by the Jewish authorities. They were given sufficient time to repent, but they preferred man over God. This is the abomination that makes desolate. It was set up when the high priest, the leader of the people, rejected Christ and commanded the stoning of Stephen on the Day of Atonement in 34 AD. Thus, both the 1260 days and the 1290 days end in the shedding of blood.
May the Lord open our eyes to see the truth of his word and cause us to stop placing our trust in men. We need to be careful and watch that men do not take away our devotion to him. God help us!