Jerusalem’s Destruction

Filed in Biblical Studies, Daniel, Olivet Discourse by on April 23, 2014

Jerusalem’s Destruction
Matthew 24:2 and Daniel 9:26

In the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew’s gospel, the Lord Jesus predicts, “There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Similarly, Daniel 9:26 states, “And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed (ESV).

It is our conviction that the prediction by our Lord in Matthew 24:2 and the prediction in Daniel 9:26 refer to the same fulfillment: the destruction of the second temple by the Romans. The lack of clarity concerning this detail has been hampered by the failure of translators to correctly render Daniel 9:26 and by the failure of commentators to correctly understand the author’s intent. We hope to correct this misunderstanding.

We could better understand 9:26, if the translation would indicate which antecedents go with each pronoun. Notice, “And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one (the sanctuary) will suffer destruction and there will be nothing left of it. For the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy completely the city (feminine) and the sanctuary (masculine). Its (the sanctuary’s) end shall come with a flood and to the end of (it=sanctuary) there shall be war.”

Our translation better reflects the sense intended by Daniel. It also accords with the prophetic statement of our Lord in Matthew 24:2. The Romans did destroy Jerusalem and their destruction of the sanctuary was complete. Daniel 9:26 and Matthew 23:38 promise “desolation.” It is our hope and prayer that Jerusalem’s desolation will soon end. Come Lord Jesus, come!

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