Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Monday, August 07, 2006

Is the Seventy Sevens "cut off" from the 2300

One of the key points that will be brought out in most lesson studies this coming week is summed up in the following from Kenneth Hart’s notes:

9. Notice that the word used in Daniel 9:24 is translated “cut off”, “determined”, “decreed”, etc. The basic Hebrew word means “to cut off”. Cut off from what? The only plausible explanation is that this 490-year period is cut off from the 2300-year prophecy given in Daniel 8:14. If this is not the case then we have no identifiable points to which we can attach the 2300 day-year prophecy.
Dan 9:24
24 "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. (NIV)

Strongs number and Definition 2852 chathak (khaw-thak'); a primitive root; properly, to cut off, i.e. (figuratively) to decree: KJV-- determine.

I don’t know of any translation that actually translates the word as “cut off”. The particular word 2852 chathak is only used here in Daniel 9:24. It appears only wishful thinking that leads to the idea of meaning cut off from the 2300 evening and morning prophecy. As that prophecy did not really have any need for a starting date since it was dated by the desecration of the temple. Only if you assume that you cannot see this temple, i.e. that it is in heaven would you need a starting date.

Dan 8:13-14

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled-- the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?"
14 He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated." (NIV)

Here is how C. Mervyn Maxwell in his book the Magnificent Disappointment explains why you should take the70 sevens from the 2,300 days:

This is the decree that was to start the seventy weeks. And inasmuch as Gabriel’s reference to the decree was intended to help Daniel and us understand the 2,300 days, we know that the 2,300 days also began in 457 B.C. page 42

Since in both Dan. 2, 7 and 8 Daniel gives wide ranging prophecies which apparently run from the time of Babylon to the time of the Advent of Christ or the second coming of Christ depending on your view. It is hard to say that Daniel 9 is restricted to the 2300 evenings and mornings, that is, that it is an elaboration on the 2300 days. Clearly that was not what Daniel was concerned with at the start of the chapter or with his prayer as he specifically refers to the 70 year prophecy of Jeremiah. If this was written in around the 500's B.C. time period there was no temple. To assume that the decree to rebuild the temple marks the beginning of the time period where the Temple is desecrated makes no sense at all. Yet this is what our traditional understanding has said. -457 + 2300 = 1843 + the year zero = 1844

So for the 2300 days to stand for the time of the desecration of the temple, the temple has to be desecrated from before it’s construction. If the sanctuary is not the one which Daniel was expecting, i.e. the rebuilt sanctuary of the decree, then the Adventist view has to have the sanctuary in heaven be trampled and desecrated by the little horn from the time of the decree to rebuild the earthly temple. In which case even before Christ came the heavenly sanctuary would have been desecrated. So in Adventist terminology from 4 centuries before any knew of the Messiah's work of intercession His work of intercession was being desecrated.

As Bill O’Reilly would say, “tell me where I am wrong?”

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