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He will ratify a covenant

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with many for one set of seven, and in the middle of the seven

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he will cause sacrifice and offering to cease

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and above the extremity of abominations, the one who causes desolation [will come]

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until the complete destruction that has been determined is poured out on the one who desolates.


He will ratify a covenant with many that will bring about a complete set of relevant activity, and at the heart of that activity he will eliminated sacrifices and other offerings to the true God at the temple, and in an act which is nothing short of the pinnacle of abominations, the one who causes desolation will reveal himself to be what he truly is, until the complete destruction that has been decreed for him is poured out to desolate him because he is a desolator.


1: "He will ratify a covenant"

The way this was fulfilled seems to have been that some of the ruling class of Israel went along with Antiochus and he made a covenant with them. We can assume that as part of that covenant they pledged him their loyalty and he promised to treat them well. Then he changed his mind and did whatever he wanted. Josephus says it this way: “pretending peace, he (Antiochus) got possession of the city by treachery… he ventured to break the league (covenant) he had made” (The Antiquities of the Jews, chapter 5, #4, year 168).


What is meant by “in the middle of the seven?” It can be the center in time, or more likely, the central point of the spiritually relevant activity that was going on. My paraphrase column expresses it as “at the heart of” which I believe to be the intent. Antiochus was opposing the worship of the God of the Jews. No act expresses that opposition better than the removal of the temple’s original altars, the building of a new altar dedicated to Zeus on which pigs were sacrificed every day.

3: “he will cause sacrifices and offerings to cease”

From Josephus’s history called, Antiquities of the Jews, we learn the following: “So he (Antiochus) left the temple bare; and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar [of incense,] and table [of shew bread,] and the altar [of burnt-offering:] and did not abstain from even the veils… He forbad them to offer those daily sacrifices which they used to offer to God, according to the law. And when the King had built an idol altar upon God’s altar, he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their own God, and to adore those whom he took to be Gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars in every city and village; and offer swine upon them every day” (Antiquities, chapter 5, #4, year 168). So we see that Antiochus did indeed stop the sacrifices for a time; he even removed both altars from the temple and built his own altar in its place on which a pig was sacrificed each day.


Something needs to be added here because no verb is provided; “will come” is a logical choice. It is a broad term with many possible meanings. “To come out” is the idea here, expressed in the paraphrase column as “will reveal himself.”

Was This Referring to Antiochus or Titus?

These two verses make it sound like the person who will destroy the city and the temple will be the same one to cause the great “abomination.” Actually, this prophecy has been fulfilled twice by two acts done by two people, separated by over 200 years, but both of them will be called an “abomination” and even “the abomination that causes desolation.” Jesus indicated in Matthew 24:15 that one such “abomination” had already occurred which must refer to Antiochus IV. This is an example of the flexibility of symbolism where one symbol can refer to both Titus and Antiochus and still be accurate. Others see this as a reference to Satan who was behind these two men; that is also true.

Summary of the Seventy Sevens of Daniel's Vision

How was this vision an encouragement to Daniel?

The hardships mentioned in this vision are simply examples of struggles; they are not the only struggles that will come. The part about AD 70 and the part about Antiochus seem to be in reverse order – but don’t worry about it because time and timing are not a high priority in this vision. The switching of the order does not take away from symbolism or the prophecy. The true followers of God will always suffer opposition and sometimes persecution and death. But God is still at work and His plan for offering salvation to the human race is not altered by any human influences.

Daniel had become focused on the challenging situation he could see around him. We, likewise, tend to focus most of our attention or our problems. We should be encouraged in our hardships because, while we can only see our situation, God sees the big picture and wants to remind us that His plan will indeed be carried out. His plan will take time because wants to give each one ample opportunity to repent; even the evil rulers who are oppressing God’s people are given time to repent. The actions of men will not derail God’s plan, even the rebellious attitudes of Daniel’s countrymen that had caused him to be concerned.

Therefore, this was an encouragement to Daniel and is to us as well because it shows that God is still acting; His plan will be fulfilled, it cannot be derailed. Hardships are simply confirmations that God is at work because the more God works the more Satan resists.

There is one “seven” that is not described.

We know one more “seven” exists because it is part of 70, and because the others are 7 + 62 and add up to 69, not seventy. However nothing is described about that last “seven.”

Does the last “seven,” represent the “end times?”

The one remaining “seven” includes any activity which is lacking in order for the Messiah to fully establish His kingdom, to rule unhindered. The emphasis is on the activity of God and the retaliation by the enemy.

First of all this would include the activity of the Holy Spirit and the Church after Pentecost. We call this the age of the church. This era will include persecution and hardship like the other eras have, but it will also demonstrate that God is still fulfilling his plan.

Secondly, it will include continuing activity of God beyond our time and into the future. Some of the future will include more of the church age, but we don’t know how much more. Yes, the final acts of God’s intervention in human history will complete the process of establishing the reign of Jesus as uncontested king. Satan will be removed from among us; each one will enter his eternal reward (or eternal punishment), and then “the last enemy to be rendered powerless is death” (I Cor 15:26) because sin is the primary consequence of sin. We really don’t know very much more than that. What will happen after the age of the church is mostly a matter of guesses, and suppositions. There are only a few things we can be sure of.


  1. This vision is focused on the activity of God in human history.
  2. When God acts, Satan pushes back.
  3. This vision does not help us nail down anything about the future. This vision does not help us know anything about the timing of anything. The remaining “seven” was left undefined for a reason; we should leave it that way.
  4. If we look for the hand of God, we will begin to see more of what God is doing and He will give us more of a role to play in His great plan.