2.3 – Christ or Antichrist?
Following on from chapter 2.2 – Physical & Characteristic Nature of the Antichrist – I will now provide further verses from the Bible (or Gospels) regarding the Antichrist as well as his system of control; both prior and during the messianic age to come.
I’d like to mention that after reading the verses in the Book of Daniel in particular, I was very confused and somewhat distressed by what I read. I’ll explain why, but first, see what Bible.org says about the Book of Daniel:
|“Interpretations of Daniel’s prophecies differ widely. Liberals reject all prophecies, because they require a sovereign God and a miraculous revelation of future events. While conservative, evangelical scholars believe the prophecies in Daniel are true, their interpretations differ greatly.” [source]|
After compiling all the verses regarding the Antichrist, I have tried to understand the Book of Daniel, but quickly became lost in its translations/interpretations. However, I will add further commentary from various other sources to try and explain. I will highlight my confusion (in red) and the explanations given by various other commentators (in green).
Bible verses courtesy of www.biblegateway.com:
|Daniel 7: (Amplified Bible) 20And about the ten horns [representing kings] that were on its head, and the other horn which came up later and before which three of [the horns] fell, the horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things and which looked greater than the others. 21As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them 24And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise; and another shall arise after them, and he shall be different from the former ones, and he shall subdue and put down three kings. 25And he shall speak words against the Most High [God] and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change the time [of sacred feasts and holy days] and the law; and the saints shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time [three and one-half years]. 26But the judgment shall be set [by the court of the Most High], and they shall take away his dominion to consume it [gradually] and to destroy it [suddenly] in the end. 27And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions shall serve and obey Him.|
|Daniel 8: (Amplified Bible) 23And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors [the apostate Jews] have reached the fullness [of their wickedness, taxing the limits of God’s mercy], a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark trickery and craftiness shall stand up. 24And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall corrupt and destroy astonishingly and shall prosper and do his own pleasure, and he shall corrupt and destroy the mighty men and the holy people (the people of the saints). 25And through his policy he shall cause trickery to prosper in his hand; he shall magnify himself in his heart and mind, and in their security he will corrupt and destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken and that by no [human] hand.|
|Daniel 9: (Amplified Bible) 24Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city [Jerusalem], to finish and put an end to transgression, to seal up and make full the measure of sin, to purge away and make expiation and reconciliation for sin, to bring in everlasting righteousness (permanent moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint a Holy of Holies. 25Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Anointed One, a Prince, shall be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it shall be built again with [city] square and moat, but in troublous times. 26And after the sixty-two weeks [of years] shall the Anointed One be cut off or killed and shall have nothing [and no one] belonging to [and defending] Him. And the people of the [other] prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood; and even to the end there shall be war, and desolations are decreed. 27And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator.|
Right now, my main interest is in trying to understand who this “anointed one” is. Not in the numbers of years or weeks he will be in power etc. Not for now anyway.
So here is a summary of my confusion:
- Who (or what) are “the ten horns”, “and the other horn which came up later” (eleventh horn?) in Daniel 7 : 20?
- In Daniel 9 : 24-27, why are there commandments and a decree (from God) set upon Christians to; “anoint a Holy of Holies”, but only for this “anointed one” to then be “cut off or killed”? Surely he can’t be Jesus, as this would not follow the whole theme (of Jesus killing the Antichrist, and not the other way around). Then who?
- If this wasn’t clear enough, out pops this “other prince”, that is supposedly going to destroy Jerusalem in Daniel 9 : 26. Who is this “other prince”? Or is it still talking about one of the 2 mentioned so far? Either way, the biggest thing I have understood is neither of these princes are Jesus. So what on Earth’s going on there?
It seems I am not the only person having problems understanding these verses (particularly chapter 9, verses: 24-27).
Commentary 1: extracts courtesy of www.raptureme.com (author: Thomas Ice)
Antichrist or Christ?
Right off the bat, the first question that arises in verse 27 is to whom does the pronoun “he” refer to? I believe that “he” must refer to “the prince who is to come” in verse 26. However, opponents of literal interpretation disagree. Preterist, Dr. Kenneth Gentry says, “[T]he indefinite pronoun ‘he’ does not refer back to ‘the prince who is to come’ of verse 26.” Fellow preterist, Gary DeMar, insists “it is Jesus who ‘will make a firm covenant with the many,’ not the antichrist.” Yet, such an errant interpretation violates the grammar and syntax of the Hebrew text.
In Hebrew grammar, as with most languages, a pronoun would refer to the nearest antecedent, unless there was a contextual reason to think otherwise. In this instance, the nearest antecedent in agreement with “he” is “the prince who is to come” in verse 26. This is recognized by a majority of scholars, including a number of amillennialists such as Kiel and Leupold. Only a priori theological bias could lead a trained interpreter of Scripture to any other conclusion. Robert Culver explains the correct meaning of this text as follows:
The ordinary rules of grammar establish that the leading actor of this verse is the Antichrist, the great evil man of the end time. . . . If the pronoun “he” were present in the Hebrew, a case might possibly be made for the introduction of an entirely new personality into the story at this point. However, there is no pronoun; only the third masculine singular form of the verb indicates that an antecedent is to be sought, and that of necessity in the preceding context. Usually, the last preceding noun that agrees in gender and number and agrees with the sense is the antecedent. This is unquestionably . . . “the coming prince” of verse 26. He is a “coming” prince, that is, one whom the reader would already know as a prince to come, because he is the same as the “little horn” on the fourth beast of chapter 7.
Leon Wood provides a list of further reasons for taking the “he” in verse 27 as a reference to “the prince who is to come” of verse 26. Second, as noted above, the unusual manner of mention in verse twenty-six regarding that prince calls for just such a further reference as this. There is no reason for the earlier notice unless something further is to be said regarding him, for he does nothing nor plays any part in activities there described. Third, several matters show that what is now said regarding the one in reference does not suit if that reference is to Christ.
(a) This person makes a “firm covenant” with people, but Christ made no covenant. God made a Covenant of Grace with people, and Christ fulfilled requirements under it, but this is quite different from Christ’s making a covenant.
(b) Even if Christ had made a covenant with people during His lifetime, the idea of mentioning it only here in the overall thought of the passage would be unusual, when the subjects of His death and even the destruction of Jerusalem have already been set forth.
(c) The idea of the seventieth week, here closely associated with this one, does not fit the life or ministry of Christ, as will be shown presently.
(d) The idea that this one causes “sacrifice and offering to cease” does not fit in reference to Christ in this context. The amillennial view holds that these words refer to Christ’s supreme sacrifice in death, which made all other sacrifices and offerings of no further use, thus making them to cease in principle. But, if so, what would be the reason for such a statement (true as it is) in view of the purpose of the overall prediction? One could understand a direct statement concerning Christ’s providing atonement for sin—though its placing at this point in the general thought order the passage would be strange—because that would be important to sin-bondaged Israelites. But why, if that is the basic thought, should it be expressed so indirectly, in terms of sacrificing and offering being made to cease?
What do the “four beasts” and the “ten horns” represent?
Commentary 2: extracts courtesy of http://bible.org/seriespage/daniel’s-disturbing-dream-daniel-71-28 (Study By: Bob Deffinbaugh).
Each of the four beasts represent a king and thus a resulting kingdom. Each beast has its own unique characteristics. The fourth beast appears to differ from the other three in that he is more beastly, more powerful, more destructive, and more arrogant. This beast is also unique among the four in that he grows 11 horns. These horns are also kings, from whom kingdoms arise (verse 24). This fourth beast seems to regenerate in the form of subsequent kings and kingdoms. His final offspring, so to speak, is the little horn which becomes the great blasphemer, whose life and kingdom is suddenly cut off by the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man.
The ten horns, Daniel is told, represent ten kings who will emerge out of the fourth kingdom. An eleventh king then rises to power, different from the others, replacing three of the previous kings. This king’s boasting turns to blasphemy. He not only speaks against the Most High, he oppresses the saints. He intends to make changes in time and in law. Just what this means is unclear, but it suggests this arrogant king not only speaks against God, but, like Satan, he aspires to change the order God has established. He surpasses those before him by speaking boastfully, then blaspheming, and finally seeking to overthrow God’s order.
The final words of verse 25 are carefully chosen to let the reader know that while this king appears to be successfully opposing God, all he does is a part of the divine plan for the last days. The eleventh horn may hope to change the time, but in God’s plan this king is granted “a time, times, and half a time” —three and a half years to oppose and oppress the saints. God grants this king success and his saints suffering, but only for an appointed time.When the court sits for judgment, his dominion is taken from him and he is destroyed forever. At this time the kingdom of God is established. The saints of the Highest One are given all the kingdoms of the earth for an everlasting kingdom. They will serve and obey Him forever.
Daniel’s vision ends here, but its impact on him does not end. His thoughts alarm him, and his face pales. Nevertheless, Daniel tells no one, keeping the matter to himself and suffering a quiet agony over the future events God has revealed to him.
Now for the most important question at hand:
Why are there commandments and a decree (from God) set upon Christians to; “anoint a Holy of Holies”, but only for this ‘anointed one’ to then be “cut off or killed”?
Commentary 3: extracts courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_Messianic_prophecy#Daniel_9:24-27
Some Christians interpret the phrase that the Messiah “would be cut off, but not for himself” as meaning that he would be killed for someone else and take this as being fulfilled by the crucifixion of Jesus. According to these Christians, the references to “most holy”, “anointed” and “prince” speak of Jesus, while the phrase “anointed shall be cut off” points to his crucifixion, and the “people of the prince who is to come” are the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus refers to the “horrible abomination” or “abomination of desolation,” (Mark 13:14) and the Gospel of Matthew adds a direct reference to this as being from the Book of Daniel (Matthew 24: 15): “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel…” In this interpretation, the abomination was the Roman army, which had surrounded and destroyed Jerusalem..
The general scholarly view is that Daniel is writing a contemporaneous account of the Maccabean Revolt c. 167 BCE and the “cutting off of an anointed one” (9:26)— refers to the murder of the legitimate high priest Onias III; the abomination that causes desolation refers to Antiochus IV erecting a statue of Zeus in the Temple, the final straw breaking the uneasy coexistence of the traditionalist Jews and the more Hellenized Jews. This view is also supported by the Jewish Encyclopedia as the well the Roman Catholic New American Bible commentary. A similar event happens in 132 CE, where Hadrian erects a statue of Jupiter on the sacred ground of the Temple, sparking the Bar Kokhba Revolt. A minority view Jesus’ prediction of the abomination causing desolation to refer to Hadrian erecting the statue of Jupiter and “false Christs” as a reference to Bar Kokhba, who was considered a messiah for a while after the revolt.
… Commentary 4: extracts courtesy of http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/daniel_9_24b.htm – Research and commentary by George Konig and Ray Konig
The prophet Daniel was Jewish exile who lived during the time of the Babylonian Captivity, about 500 years before the birth of Jesus. During Daniel’s lifetime, the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and had taken many Jews as captives to Babylon. Daniel, while in Babylon, delivered a prophecy of what would happen during the centuries that followed. Here is our summary of Daniel 9:24-26:1. There would be a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. 2. Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt. 3. Then an anointed one (Messiah) would be “cut off” (an idiom for “rejected” or “killed”). 4. Then Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed again.All of these events later happened, in the same order in which they are described in Daniel 9:24-26:
1. After the Medo-Persians had conquered the neo-Babylonian empire about 2500 years ago, they ruled a vast empire that included the land of Israel. About 2400 years ago (about 445 BC), Persian king Artaxerxes gave permission to the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem, which was still in ruins after having been destroyed earlier by the Babylonians. 2. The Jews rebuilt the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. 3. Then, about 2000 years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Messiah who had been promised by Old Testament prophets. But, many people rejected Jesus as the Messiah and he was crucified by the Romans. 4. About 40 years after Jesus was crucified, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. (The Temple has not been rebuilt since then).
In conclusion, the last commentary (#4) makes more sense, however, this is supposed to be a prophecy about the future, about the end times, not when Jesus (Isaa a.s) was around the first time. This is certified by Daniel 8:17 where it clearly states:
17So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.”
Other than that, there is no clear agreement amongst any of the commentators. In fact, it draws more questions than providing clear answers. In the end, I can only speculate from my own deductions that this “anointed one” will most likely be the Antichrist himself, once Jerusalem is rebuilt, the throne in the temple created for him, and for this so called “prince” to enter the city in “troublesome times”. After all, why would Jesus EVER want to sit on a throne, let alone enter the city in turbulent times? This is NOT Jesus in my view. No way!
No wonder it was referred to as “Daniel’s disturbing dream”. Very disturbing indeed.
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