MESSIAH THE PRINCE
We come now to a portion of the 70 weeks prophecy which has
sometimes been neglected or completely overlooked. Many editions
of the King James Version include the following marginal
rendering of Daniel 9:26: "... and [the Jews they shall be no
more his people, and the prince's [Messiah's] future people shall
destroy the city and the sanctuary." This rendering, including
the brackets, is given in the margin of Bibles published by such
well known companies as the following: Collins, Harper, Hertel,
Holman, National, Nelson, Oxford, Whitman, Winston, World,
Zondervan, etc. According to this, the people that were to
destroy Jerusalem and the temple would be MESSIAH'S PEOPLE!
This interpretation is not based on the margin only, however; it
can also be seen in the regular text. The prophecy spoke of the
coming of "Messiah THE PRINCE." The next sentence says: "And the
people of THE PRINCE that shall come shall destroy the city and
the sanctuary." Unless a person has a theory to uphold, none
would suppose that the prince in the one sentence is any
different than the prince in the next. The passage mentions
Messiah the prince and then talks about the people of the prince.
To believe that the prince in the first sentence is Jesus Christ,
and the prince in the next sentence is the Antichrist, is
certainly contrary to the normal use of language.
If we make a statement to the effect that a certain prince is
going to come, and then we make a statement about the people of
the prince that shall come, none would take it to mean that we
are talking about a good prince in the first instance and a
wicked prince in the second. We see no reason for doing so here.
The prince all the way through the passage is Messiah.
According to the margin, as well as the regular text, then, the
meaning is that it would be the people of Messiah the prince that
would destroy the city and the sanctuary!
Looking further in the prophecy, there is something else we
should notice in this connection. We have seen that "he" who was
to confirm the covenant and "he" who would cause sacrifice to
cease was Messiah. Then verse 27 goes on to say: "...he shall
make it desolate." To be consistent, if "he" in the first part of
verse 27 refers to Messiah, then so does it here. The subject is
the desolation of Jerusalem (city and temple) and this passage
indicates that Messiah would make it desolate.
But we all know and recognize that it was the armies of Titus
that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. How, then, are we to
understand the statement that it would be the people of Messiah
the prince that would destroy the city and the sanctuary (verse
26)? And, believing Messiah to be the subject of the passage, in
what sense are we to understand that "he" would be the one that
would "make desolate", as we read in verse 27?
Since the prophecy spoke of Messiah bringing blessings upon
Daniel's people and city, some have not understood that he would
also be the one to bring judgment upon those that were
disobedient. But Messiah is both "saviour" and "judge" (Lk.2:11;
Acts 10:42). He is mentioned not only as a "Lamb", but also as a
"Lion"(Rev.5:5,6); a "servant" and yet "King of kings"(Is. 53:11;
1 Tim.6:15); a "man", and yet "the Lord from heaven"
(1 Cor.15:47); he is the true foundation stone, and yet a stone
of "stumbling" (1 Cor.3:11; 1 Peter 2:8). "And whosoever shall
fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall
fall, it will grind him to powder" (Mt.21:44).
Similar contrasts are seen in the Old Testament. If God's people
were obedient, they would be "blessed" by him; if not, he would
bring a "curse" upon them (Deut.28). He is a God not only of
"compassion", but of "anger" (Micah 7:19,20; Hosea 6:1). "He was
their SAVIOUR. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the
angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he
REDEEMED them;...But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit;
therefore he was turned to be their ENEMY, and he fought against
them" (Isaiah 63:8-10).
Now if the saviour and redeemer in the Old Testament was "turned"
and became the "enemy" of, and "fought against" that rebellious
people, it is not inconsistent to believe that the one who is
revealed as the saviour and redeemer of the New Testament could
also bring judgment upon those who rebelled against him and
rejected his Holy Spirit. There is no straining of argument here
at all. We are on solid Bible ground.
Since Christ will be the one that will judge the world in the
appointed day of Judgment (Acts 17:31), why should we suppose
that he who was given "all power in heaven and in earth" (Mt.28:
19) could not bring judgment upon a reprobate city in 70 A.D.?
Christians generally acknowledge that the judgment that fell upon
Jerusalem was the judgment of God, that is, divine judgment. But
many have not thought of this judgment as being the work of the
SON of God, the Messiah. However, according to John 5:22,26,27,
"The Father... hath committed all judgment unto the Son... As the
Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have
life in himself; And hath given him authority to EXECUTE JUDGMENT
also, because he is the Son of man."
It may sound strange for us to speak of the destruction of
Jerusalem as being accomplished by the Lord, when the actual
persons that did the work of destruction were the armies of
Titus. But there is no contradiction here whatsoever. With a
little patience, we can search the scriptures and find example
after example in which the Lord spoke of the overthrow and
destruction of various kingdoms as HIS WORK. He repeatedly said,
"I will do this.." and yet the context shows that the actual work
of destruction was accomplished by heathen armies who did not
have the faintest idea that it was the judgment of God they were
carrying out! We shall see that in this sense, God even spoke of
a heathen military leader as "my servant" and a heathen army as
"his army:' The evidence is complete and conclusive. Let us take,
for example, the Lord's judgment that fell upon EGYPT in the days
"Thus saith the Lord... Behold, I will... take Nebuchadnezzar the
king of Babylon, *MY SERVANT*... And when he cometh, he shall
smite the land of Egypt... and *I WILL* kindle a fire in the
houses of the gods of Egypt... and the houses of the gods of the
Egyptians shall he burn with fire" (Jer.43:10-13). "*I WILL* also
make the multitude of Egypt cease." How? "By the hand of
Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon. He and his people with him...
shall be brought to destroy the land... *I will* set fire in
Egypt... thus *WILL I* execute judgments in Egypt" (Ez.30:10-19).
"Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt... I will cause the
sword to fall out of his hand. And I will scatter the
Egyptians... I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon...
**I shall put my sword** into the hand of the king of Babylon"
(Ez.30:22-25). "I shall bring thy destruction.... For thus saith
the Lord God; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon
thee. By the **sword of the mighty will I cause** thy multitude
to fall... *I shall* make the land of Egypt desolate"
Here we read of things God said HE would do, yet the actual
instruments that carried out the divine will were heathen armies
under the direction of Nebuchadrezzar whom God refers to as "my
servant." We also read of judgments that God pronounced upon
other cities and countries - judgments that are described as the
work of God, yet it is evident that armies of men were the
instruments that did the actual work of destruction.
"Behold, *I will* bring upon Tyrus, Nebuchadrezzar king of
Babylon, a king of kings from the north, with horses and
chariots... He shall slay with the sword... he shall set engines
of war against thy walls" (Ez.26:7). "*I will* send a fire on the
wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof" (Amos
"I will bring distress upon men...O Canaan, the land of the
Philistines, I will even destroy thee... Ye Ethiopians also, ye
shall be *slain by MY sword.* And he will ... destroy Assyria;
and will make Nineveh a desolation" (Zeph.1:17; 2:5-13). "The
burden of Nineveh... I am against thee, saith the Lord... and I
will burn her chariots ... I will cut off thy prey from the
earth... I will cast abominable filth upon thee... and it shall
come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall... say,
Nineveh is laid waste" (Nahum 1:1,2; 2:13; 3:5-7).
"I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the
palaces thereof: and I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod...
and I will turn my hand against Ekron ... I will send a fire upon
Teman... I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the
palaces of Kirioth... and I will cut off the judge from the midst
thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof" (Amos 1:7-15;
2:2,3). "I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it
shall consume the palaces of Benhadad" (Jer.49:27).
"I will make Samaria as an heap ...I will pour down the stones
thereof... and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate ...I
will cut off thy horses...I will destroy thy chariots: and I will
cut off the cities of thy land" (Micah 1:6,7; 5:10-14).
"Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Zidon... I
will send into her pestilence... and the wounded shall be judged
in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side"
Here, then, are numerous examples in which cities were overthrown
or destroyed by armies, yet God speaks of it as what **HE** would
do. Similar wording describes the destruction that came upon his
own people that were disobedient in Old Testament times.
"The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far" (Deut.
28:49). Who would do this? The Lord! "My soul shall abhor you",
God warned, "and I will make your cities waste, and bring the
land into desolation... I will scatter you among the heathen...
your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste"
Through the prophet Joel, God called the people to repentance. He
described the threat of an invading heathen army; a "great
people" who would conquer and destroy by fire; riding on horses
and with chariots; well-trained, not breaking their ranks;
heavily armoured, so that if they fell upon a sword, they would
not be wounded; and successful in their work of destruction (Joel
2:1-10). "And the Lord shall utter his voice before HIS ARMY" -
and with God directing this army - "who can abide?" (verse 11).
"Therefore", God warned, "turn ye even to me with all your heart
... Let the priests ... say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give
not thy heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over
them." If they would repent, then the Lord said: "I will remove
far off from you the northern army" (verses 12-20).
Here is an example of a "heathen" army that would come against
Judah and Jerusalem to carry out God's judgment against them.
Since these "people" would be carrying out God's judgment, they
are referred to as "his army." The same point is evident in the
'Behold, I will bring evil upon this people... Behold, I will lay
stumbling blocks ... Behold, a people cometh from the north
country... they shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel,
and have no mercy... they ride upon horses, set in array as men
for war against thee, O daughter of Zion" (Jer.6:18-23). "Behold,
I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and
he shall burn it with fire. Behold, I will command, saith the
Lord... and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it
with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation"
(Jer.34:2,22). "I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall
devour the palaces of Jerusalem" (Amos 2:5). "Judah hath
multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities,
and it shall devour the palaces thereof" (Hosea 8:14). "I will
set my face against them... fire shall devour them... and I will
make the land desolate" (Ez.15:7,8).
"After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah and the great
pride of Jerusalem ...I will dash them one against another...I
will not pity ... but destroy them... Judah shall be carried away
captive... This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me,
saith the Lord... Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem!" (Jer.13:9-27).
"Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not harken unto me... Then will
I make... this city a curse to all nations... desolate without an
inhabitant" (Jer.26:1-9). "Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the
bloody city! I will even make the pile for the fire great... I
will profane my sanctuary" (Ez.24).
"Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?...
Therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein"
(Amos 2:5;6:8). "Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am
against thee, and will execute judgments... and I will do in thee
that which I have not done, and where unto I will not do anymore
the like, because of thine abominations... I will bring the sword
upon thee" (Ez.5:8-17). "I will also stretch out mine hand upon
Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut
off the remnant of Baal... I will search Jerusalem ... and punish
the men that... say in their heart, the Lord will not do good,
neither will he do evil" (Zeph.1:4,12). "Behold, I will send...
Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, **my servant**... against
this land... and will utterly destroy... and these nations shall
serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jer.25:8-11).
Thus did the prophets warn the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem
in the Old Testament. What happened, of course, is now history.
Repentance did not come. "They mocked the messengers of God, and
despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of
the Lord arose against his people." And how was the wrath of the
Lord carried out? "He [God] brought upon them the king of the
Chaldees [Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon], who slew their young
men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no
compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped
for age: he [God] gave them all into his hand... and they burnt
the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt
all the palaces thereof with fire" (Jer. 52:12-14; 2 Chron.
Concerning the desolate condition that resulted in those days.
God said: "My fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was
kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem;
and they are wasted and desolate" (Jer.44:6). The evidence is
plain. The destruction that came upon Judah and Jerusalem was
carried out by the armies of the king of Babylon. Yet. because
these armies were actually carrying out the judgment of God, the
Lord spoke of these armies as HIS PEOPLE, their work as HIS WORK,
and their leader as HIS SERVANT!
We could say that the armies of Nebuchadnezzar destroyed
Jerusalem and Judah - and be correct - for this the scriptures
plainly say. On the other hand, we could say that God destroyed
Jerusalem and Judah - and be correct - for this the scriptures
also plainly say. Such was God's judgment; but heathen armies,
working as his instruments, did the actual work of destruction.
Now then, if such wording is understood in the destruction that
came to Jerusalem and that land in the Old Testament, why should
we suppose that the same wording would be out of place concerning
the same city and land in connection with the destruction that
came upon it in 70 A.D.?
We could say that the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
and be perfectly correct. But since such was the Lord's judgment
upon an unrepentant nation, we can also say that Jerusalem was -
in a very real sense - destroyed by the Lord, for the heathen
armies were but carrying out his judgment!
We understand, then, that the Roman armies were "the people of
the prince [Messiah, the Lord]that destroyed the city and the
sanctuary. They were not his people in the sense that they were
Christians, of course; but they were his people in the sense that
they carried out his judgment, even as Nebuchadnezzar's armies
had been his people in the destruction that came upon that land
and people in the Old Testament.
Messiah the Prince is the subject all the way through the passage
(Dan.9:24-27). Once we understand this, it no longer matters
whether the word "he" of verse 27 is connected with the word
"prince" in the phrase "the people of the prince" or with
"Messiah the prince", for both expressions refer to Messiah!
Looking again at the prophecy, we read: "And the people of the
prince [Messiah that shall come shall destroy the city and the
sanctuary; and the end thereof [the destruction of the city and
the sanctuary] shall be with a flood" (Dan.9:26). The word
"flood" here is sheteph (number 7858 in Strong's Concordance) and
comes from the word shataph (number 7857 in Strong's
Concordance). The two terms are tied together in Daniel 11:22
which describes an enemy invasion in these words: "And with the
arms of a flood [sheteph] shall they be over-flown [shataph] from
before him, and shall be broken."
The word overflow (from which the word flood comes) is used in
the following other places in the book of Daniel: "... a
multitude of great forces... [shall] overflow, and pass through"
(11:10). "...his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down
slain" (11:26). "... he shall enter into the countries, and shall
overflow and pass over... many countries shall be overthrown"
(verse 40). All of the references to "overflowing" in Daniel
refer to the overflowing of enemy invasions. Such would be the
"flood" that would destroy Jerusalem.
It is not unusual for the Scriptures to use the word flood in
this way. In the midst of battle, David said, "The foods of
ungodly men made me afraid" (Ps.18:4; 2 Sam.22:5). "The enemy
shall come in like a f l o o d" (Isaiah 59:19). "Who is this that
cometh up as a f l o o d...? Egypt riseth up like a flood... and
he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will
destroy... Come up, ye horses; and rage ye chariots; and let the
mighty men come forth" (Jer.46:7-9).
An invading army is likened to "an overflowing f l o o d" in
Jeremiah 47:2,3. The destruction of Nineveh which was
accomplished by an invading army is described by the prophetic
term: "an overrunning f l o o d" (Nahum 1:1, 8).
According to Daniel's prophecy, the "end" that was to come upon
the city and temple of Jerusalem would also be "with a flood" -
the flood of an invading enemy army. And this is confirmed, of
course, by the actual fulfillment. As the Romans hammered away at
the massive gates and city walls, at various places breaches were
made and a rush of warriors from the far away Tiber flowed into
the city like an overwhelming flood - and finally brought about
The prophecy continues with these words: "And unto the end of the
war [against Jerusalem] desolations are determined" or as the
marginal rendering says: :It shall be cut off by desolations."
This work of destruction is further described in verse 27: "And
for the overspreading of abominations he [Messiah, the Lord]
shall make it desolate." According to Jesus' own interpretation
concerning these "abominations" that would make "desolate", we
know that this is a reference to Gentile armies (Mt.24; Lk.21).
Bearing this in mind, let us notice this verse again: "And for" -
on behalf of - "the overspreading of abominations [the invading
Gentile armies] he [Messiah, the Lord] shall make it desolate."
God would move "for" these heathen armies spreading around
Jerusalem to take it. Or as a marginal translation has it: "With
the abominable armies, he shall make it desolate." These armies
were but his instruments to carry out his judgment.
To what extent did the prophecy say these heathen armies would
cause desolation in Jerusalem? Would they merely destroy a small
portion of a wall, or maybe just a portion of the temple, or a
few houses? No, the prophecy continues by saying that the Lord
with abominable armies would "make it desolate, even until the
consummation " - the complete destruction (kalah, number 3617,
Strong's Concordance). In other words, these armies would begin
to tear down and destroy, bit by bit, section by section even
until the consummation, even until their work of destruction was
complete. Or as Jesus put it when commenting on this very
(1. Concerning the overthrow of Babylon, we read: "The sea is
come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the
waves thereof. Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a
wilderness... when her waves do roar like great waters" (Jer.51:
42,43,55). Jesus, in reference to the destruction that was to
come upon Jerusalem, spoke of "the sea and waves roaring." That
is, "Distress of nations with perplexity" (Lk.21:25). Neither
Babylon or Jerusalem was destroyed by the literal sea or waves.
These expressions are figurative).
prophecy: "One stone shall not be left upon another that shall
not be thrown down!"
(Well this may be as Woodrow points out, but even he has missed
the important fact that a part of the Temple Wall was NOT CAST
DOWN! It remains to this very day. It is known as the "Wailing
Wall" - for this prophecy of the desolation of Jerusalem is YET
to be fulfilled again just before the Messiah comes in power and
glory, to establish His Kingdom on earth for a 1,000 years. see
my other studies in this section of Prophecy - Keith Hunt).
And the nine closing words of the prophecy again stress these
things for emphasis: "And that determined shall be poured upon
the desolate." The judgment was certain!
The Jewish nation had filled the cup of iniquity full. They had
rejected and killed the Messiah and persecuted those he sent unto
them. What Jesus said in the parable of the marriage feast
perfectly fits the divine judgment that fell upon Jerusalem. They
rejected the King's invitation and killed the messengers he sent
unto them. Consequently, "when the King heard thereof, he was
wroth: and he sent forth his armies and destroyed those
murderers, and burned up their city" (Mt. 22:7).
The prophecy of Daniel 9 said that 69 weeks would measure unto
Messiah, which they did. After this, he was cut off in the midst
of the remaining week - the 70th week - becoming the perfect and
final sacrifice in God's plan. Through his redemptive work, he
made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, and
brought in everlasting righteousness through the gospel.
The grand theme of the prophecy is Jesus Christ! Its great
fulfillment shines forth from Calvary with glory and power! Its
timing is perfect. Its words harmonious. Its message satisfies
the soul. To cast all of this aside and attempt to apply much of
the prophecy to a time yet future and to the Antichrist (instead
of Christ and his redemptive work at Calvary) is, we feel, a
serious error. We appeal to all brethren who have taught or
believed this to reconsider this interpretation in the light of
Entered on Keith Hunt's Website August 2003
Now, you need to study Woodrow's in-depth explanation of the much
misunderstood prophecy of 2 Thessalonians 2 and the "man of sin."
He has to my mind the best OVERALL explanation (actually as he
shows, an old explanation form the past by many "scholars" and
Bible commentators). There will be a final fulfilment of 2 Thes.
2 but the most part is already history - Keith Hunt)