Preterist Scholar Inadvertently Supports the Pre-Mil View of Daniel’s 70 Weeks

  Here is a very interesting quote from “Modern Preterist” Samuel Lee (1783-1852), which shows that Preterists have not always historically held the view which places Christ’s crucifixion in the midst of Daniel’s 70th week.  Lee assures the reader that the “cutting off” of the Messiah occurred at the end of the sixty-ninth week.  But his interpretation places a strategic weapon in the hands of Pre-Millennialists.  Instead of acknowledging the possible futuricity of the 70th week, Lee veers off down the road of destructive Preterism.  Clearly at a loss as to the timing of Daniel’s remaining week, he writes:

“Let it be remembered, all here is indefinite.  No mathematical time, or portion of time, is therefore to be thought of.”

  As a consequence of his Preterism, Lee claimed that the 70th week of Daniel was a “mystical week” of unknown duration.  By this he enabled the interpretation of the “42 months” (last half of the week) to be juggled to fit his theory of fulfillment.  But such subjectivity stands self-condemned.  For if each of the other 69 weeks translates into a literal period of 7 years, then surely the last week, the most important and crucial of them all, cannot be “spiritualized” to mean anything other than a literal period of seven years

(from An Inquiry Into The Nature, Progress, and End of Prophecy, 1849)

  “After threescore and two weeks” (i.e. together with the proceeding seven already mentioned, making sixty-nine as before), “shall Messiah be cut off.”  But “after” must be taken here in the sense of “within,” as in the case, “After three days I will rise again (Matt. 27: 63), that is, within three days:and so the chief priests understood this; for their request was,  that “the sepulchre be made sure until the third day;” not until the fourth and after the third should have passed: and it was accordingly, early on the third day that our Lord arose.  Similarly to this also is the place, “When the eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His name was called Jesus,” &c.   But this circumcision necessarily took place within the eighth day.  The cutting off of the Messiah therefore, mentioned above, must take place, acording to Daniel, within his sixty-ninth week, and before the seventieth had commenced: which will be evident enough from what follows, viz.–

   “And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary:” which, according to this context, should take place after the cutting off the Messiah, and after the sixty-ninth week of this prediction should have passed.  And of this again, the next verse affords sufficient proof in saying, “And he shall confirm” (li. magnify) “the covenant with” the “many for one weekAnd,” it is added, “in the midst of the week” (i.e. as just now referred to) “he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease,” &c.   Now this cessation could, and did, take place, only upon the fall of the Temple.  The Jews persevered in their usual services of course, and they would have continued to do so, had not God caused these to cease in this way.  It was accordingly so done, and it was done by the people of the Prince, i.e., the Romans, who should so come: and, be it observed here, this takes place in the one week, which is over and above the sixty-nine just mentioned.  It was in this seventieth week of Daniel, therefore, that this was to come to pass: and this again, in the midst of the said week.  And the fact of the case sufficiently informs us, when this happened.  It shows us too at the same time, that one half of Daniel’s sevetieth week, must now have past, and that another half was still to come.

   The angel accordingly further tells is (ver. 26), that “the end thereof shall be” (as) “with a flood.”  That is, the events of the end of the once holy city and sanctuary should be thus overwhelming.  He adds, “And unto the end of the war” (i.e. still farther on) “desolations are determined.”  The next verse informs us, after speaking of the cessation sacrifice and oblation, that “for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it” (i.e. Jerusalem) “desolate.”  It is added, “Even until the consummation” (i.e. complete end), “and” (until) “that determined shall be poured upon the desolate,” rather “Desolator.”  We have now therefore, a further consummation to be effected within this seventieth week: it is a determined judgment to be executed upon the Desolator himself: that is, upon the people of the prince who should come as a Desolator, and destroy the city and the sanctuary.  We are also told, that even until this consummation, Jerusalem should be made desolate: which is the same thing with “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21: 24, &c.).  The END of this seventieth week therefore, exhibits the overthrow of this Prince, and of his power: it also places Jerusalem in a state of desolation, and brings us, of necessity, to our Lord’s prediction (Luke 21: 21), “When ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the the desolation thereof is nigh.”

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