The book of Daniel, chapter 9, verse 25 reads, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” The grammatical structure of this verse differs slightly in the KJV, NIV, and CTS versions, as follows:
The book of Daniel, chapter 9, verse 25 is a crucial passage in the Bible that has been the subject of much scholarly debate and analysis. This verse is a prophecy about the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem after it was destroyed, and it has significant grammatical differences in various versions of the Bible, including the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), and Catholic Translation Service (CTS). In this article, we will conduct a comprehensive grammatical analysis of this passage and examine its historical context and prophecies regarding the rebuilding of the temple. We will also discuss the impact of grammatical changes on the prophecy’s meaning and draw insights from Rabbi Tovia’s interpretation.
KJV: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
NIV: “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”
CTS: “Know and understand this: from the issuing of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Anointed, a prince, there shall be seven weeks; during sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, with squares and moat, despite the times.”
The KJV version uses archaic language and includes “threescore” instead of “sixty,” which may confuse modern readers. In contrast, the NIV and CTS versions use more contemporary language and provide more clarity about the prophecy’s timeline and events. However, the overall meaning of the verse remains consistent across all versions.
Historical Context and Prophecies:
The book of Daniel was written during the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE. The prophet Daniel received a vision from God about the future of Israel and the world, including prophecies about the coming of the Messiah and the end times. In chapter 9, Daniel prays for forgiveness and restoration for Israel, and the angel Gabriel appears to give him a prophecy about the rebuilding of the temple.
The prophecy in verse 25 refers to the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, which was given by King Cyrus of Persia in 538 BCE.
The prophecy specifies that there will be seven “weeks” (49 years) and sixty-two “weeks” (434 years) between the commandment and the arrival of the Messiah. This timeline corresponds to the period between the rebuilding of the temple in 516 BCE and the arrival of Jesus Christ in the first century CE. The prophecy also mentions that the street and wall will be rebuilt despite “troublous times,” which likely refers to the difficulties and opposition faced by the Jews during the rebuilding process.
The book of Nehemiah and Ezra provide historical accounts of the rebuilding of the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah, who was a Persian official, led the effort to rebuild the walls in the face of opposition from neighboring tribes. Ezra, a priest and scribe, oversaw the reconstruction of the temple and the restoration of worship according to the Mosaic law. Together, these books provide valuable historical context for the prophecy in Daniel 9:25 and demonstrate how it was fulfilled in the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
Impact of Grammatical Changes:
The differences in grammar and language between the KJV, NIV, and CTS versions of Daniel 9:25 do not significantly alter the prophecy’s overall meaning. However, minor variations in word choice and syntax can affect how readers interpret the passage. For example, the KJV’s use of “threescore” instead of “sixty” may cause confusion for readers who are not familiar with archaic English. Additionally, the NIV’s use of “Anointed One, the ruler” instead of “Messiah the Prince” may shift the focus away from Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Insights from Rabbi Tovia:
Rabbi Tovia Singer is a prominent Jewish scholar who has written extensively about the book of Daniel and its prophecies. In his interpretation of Daniel 9:25, Rabbi Tovia emphasizes the importance of understanding the Hebrew language and the cultural context of the prophecy. He notes that the Hebrew word for “weeks” (shavuim) can also mean “units of seven,” which suggests that the prophecy is not referring to literal weeks but rather to a period of 49 years. Additionally, Rabbi Tovia argues that the prophecy’s focus on the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of worship underscores the importance of following God’s laws and commandments.
The grammatical analysis of Daniel 9:25 reveals minor differences in language and syntax between the KJV, NIV, and CTS versions but does not significantly alter the prophecy’s overall meaning. The historical context of the passage provides valuable insight into the rebuilding of the temple and the challenges faced by the Jews during this time. Moreover, the prophecy’s timeline corresponds with the period between the rebuilding of the temple and the arrival of Jesus Christ, demonstrating its fulfillment. Finally, insights from Rabbi Tovia highlight the importance of understanding the Hebrew language and cultural context of the prophecy and the significance of following God’s laws and commandments. Overall, Daniel 9:25 is a powerful prophecy that underscores the importance of faith, perseverance, and following God’s will.
The Bible (KJV, NIV, CTS versions)
Rabbi Tovia Singer’s website: https://outreachjudaism.org/
“The Book of Daniel” by Joyce Baldwin