“Just aware of the wording of this verse. (Dan 9:27) The huge difference between ‘confirming’ an agreement and ‘making’ an agreement. It seems to leave an opening for deception. The covenant could be made and the anti-Christ could have absolutely nothing to do with it, and then after an unspecified time, he could come in and ‘sign on’ to an already existing covenant. But would it not be very unusual to come in to a covenant and confirm it, but with a time limit of 7 years?
Your very good question brought some things to mind on Dan 9:27 that I’ve not really covered before. You are right; that difference could be huge. I fully expect the confirming of what is already existing and not the creation of something new. I believe our best clue as to which covenant is in view is to consult Daniel’s continued vision in Dan 11. There the covenant is called “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30). This is the covenant that the AC [Anti-Christ] hates and assaults in the middle of the week (Dan 11:31; 12:11). Significantly, his assault on the covenant is with a flood (Dan 11:22) just as it is in Dan 9:26. Why then, would this not be the covenant that is broken in the middle of the week in Dan 9:27? I think the evidence is nearly conclusive that it is.
Now consider, today the great sticking point is Jerusalem, but perhaps more than anything, the recognition of Israel’s right to exist. Well, the holy covenant was all about God’s gift of the Land to the physical descendants of Abraham. What if one or more of the nations currently opposed to Israel come to find themselves in a position where it is better strategy to “confirm” Israel’s right to dwell in the Land than continue to oppose it, while at the very same time hating their presence there and looking for the first opportunity to recapture Jerusalem? That’s exactly where we are, and though now, it may seem remote, that’s where I see things headed.
In such case, the covenant would NOT be considered holy by either the Antichrist, or the other nations that participate (he confirms it with many). To them, it is only a league (Dan 11:23), a peace arrangement (Dan 8:25), but from the standpoint of history and prophecy the presence of the Jewish people in the Land is part of the “holy covenant” that God made with the fathers. The restoration on the holy hill of the sanctuary and daily sacrifice is part of that “holy covenant.” Jewish right to Jerusalem is at the heart of what God promised. These institutions are set apart and holy in themselves, because of God’s name and decree, despite the personal unholiness of the nation that is about to go into its most terrible time of covenant discipline, the time of Jacob’s trouble.
As to the time limitation of the 7 years. That may be something for the believer in prophecy to know in order to discern the time, or it may take the form of a provisional arrangement that is agreed to be tested for 7 years before revision and finalization. That’s possible, just as Henry Kissinger used to suggest 5 and 10 year interims of provisional arrangements as a kind of test run before possible revision and finalization.
But back to the question of what kind of covenant will be “confirmed” rather than newly framed. The word of the oath is that the Land would belong to Abraham’s physical descendants forever. On that side the covenant is holy. To recognize Israel’s right to the Land, particularly Jerusalem, would indeed be to confirm something that is holy (in that sense). Paradoxically, at the very same time, God calls the “league” with Antichrist a covenant with death and hell (Isa 28:15, 18), the exact opposite of holy. This is because Israel is trusting in man to secure the peace. Of course, this is what all the prophets continually warned against. It’s the “reed of Egypt” that pierces through the hand when it is leaned upon. Israel is leaning upon themselves, and that’s why they will lean upon the Antichrist.
This brings the question, on what are we leaning? Has the church done less to mix the holy with the profane? Israel’s deal with the Devil is nothing more in essence than what continually happens when through fear and unbelief those set apart to be holy put their trust in man and ways and wisdom of the world. It always brings the discipline of desolation, particularly when man inserts himself into the place reserved for God alone. There is always a spiritual essence that is being embodied in these outward events, that to miss is to miss the point.
Well, one thought leads to another. Good to touch base with you. His blessing be upon your family, Reggie