Saturday, April 10, 2010
Are the Seventy Sevens about Jesus?
I recently was listening to someone make the case that the church has never seen the seventy sevens in Daniel 9:24-27 as a prophecy about Christ until the last 200 years. Specifically mentioned was that the Reformers did not make that case and neither did the early church. So, it was asserted, it was generally known to be a prophecy about Zerrubbabel or Joshua the High Priest and no one before the past 200 years said anything different.
So, while they were still speaking I checked the Calvin commentaries on my computer and found this on the reference in Dan 9:25:
"Some desire to take this singular noun in a plural sense, as if it were the Christ of the Lord, meaning his priests; while some refer it to Zerubbabel, and others to Joshua. But clearly enough the angel speaks of Christ"
-John Calvin. Daniel Commentary on Dan 9:25
Then I looked at the early church and found:
"Accordingly the times must be inquired into of the predicted and future nativity of the Christ, and of His passion, and of the extermination of the city of Jerusalem, that is, its devastation, For Daniel says [And quotes Daniel 9:26]."
-Tertuallian. Answer to the Jews Ch 8. [2nd Century AD]
"[Quotes Daniel 9:24-27]...and thus Christ became King of the Jews, reigning in Jerusalem in the fulfillment of the seven weeks."
-Clement of Alexandria. Stromata. Ch 21. [2nd-3rd Century AD]
"The weeks of years, also, which the prophet Daniel had predicted, extending to the leadership of Christ, have been fulfilled."
-Origen. De Principiis. Bk 4. Ch 1. [3rd Century AD]
Now, this doesn't mean that Daniel 9:24-27 has to be about Christ. But I do wonder why people make up evidence that is easily falsifiable to help their case. All it did was convince me not to trust this person's appeals to evidence without lots of documentation.