Biblical Concept: Messiah, Temple, and Jesus


NAS Daniel 9:24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. 25 "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."


            Daniel, captive in Babylon[1], understood that the fulfillment of Jeremiah 25:11-12 was at hand--Jerusalem’s 70 years of desolation would end.  See Daniel 9:1-2.  In accord with Jeremiah 25:11-12, Daniel prayed (see Daniel 9:16-19) that God would restore the fortunes of Jerusalem.  In immediate response to Daniel’s prayer (see 9:23), the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and described the arrival of Messiah and another future destruction of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24-27). 

            As Jesus began his public ministry, He went to Jerusalem during Passover (John 2:13).  While there, He cleansed the temple from improper spiritual function (John 2:14-17 and compare Daniel 9:24b).  In response, the Jews asked Jesus for a sign that He was the expected Messiah.[2]  Jesus’ response was to cite Daniel 9:26: “destroy this temple.”  Citation of this Messianic passage, Daniel 9:26, tested the spiritual positive volition of the Jews who asked for a sign.  Note that Jesus was performing many signs in Jerusalem during this Passover and many believed.  See John 2:23b. 

            Late in Jesus’ public ministry, He again alluded to Daniel 9:26b and a destruction of Temple and Jerusalem.  See Mark 13:1-4.  The Romans fulfilled Daniel 9:26b in AD 70.

            As Jesus was yielding up His spirit on the cross, a 3 inch thick veil separating the most holy places from the rest of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (see Matthew 27:50-51).  Yes, Matthew 12:6 records Jesus’ own words that: “something greater than the temple is here.”



[1]Judah was conquered by the Babylon in 605 BC and Daniel with others were taken to Babylon.  A final subjection of Jerusalem occurred in 586 BC; see Jeremiah 25:1, 21.


[2]The Jews knew that 483 years (69 periods of 7 years) had elapsed since the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and it was time for the Messiah to appear.  Compare John 1:41 and John 4:25 with Daniel 9:25.