Re-thinking the seven-year treaty

Everywhere I’ve looked, the “firm covenant” in Daniel 9 is interpreted to mean Anti-Christ will make a seven-year peace treaty with Israel.*

Here is the pertinent section of the passage:

The people of a leader who will come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. His end shall come in a flood; until the end of the war, which is decreed, there will be desolation. For one week** he shall make a firm covenant with the many; half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and offering. In their place shall be the desolating abomination until the ruin that is decreed is poured out upon the desolator.  Daniel 9:26-27

Here is what I see:

The Anti-Christ will confirm a seven-year contract of some kind with some group called “the many.” Three and a half years later, his followers will destroy Jerusalem and desecrate the Third Temple.*** Between this destruction and the end of the Last War (commonly called Armageddon), the Anti-Christ will rule and things will be really bad for God’s people. The Anti-Christ will set himself up as god, but his ruin will come very quickly (“in a flood”) at the end.

I have two problems with the interpretation I mentioned above. One is with designating the covenant specifically as a peace treaty. The text isn’t that specific.

Covenant (noun): An agreement. Synonyms: contract, agreement, undertaking, commitment, guarantee, warrant, pledge, promise, bond, indenture.

Confirm (transitive verb): 1. To support or establish the certainty or validity of; verify, make valid or binding by a formal or legal act; ratify. N.b., some translations say “confirm a covenant”, but this means the same thing as “make a firm covenant.”

My other problem with the interpretation is in designating that “the many” must be the nation of Israel. I can find nothing in the text to support this. Based on Revelation 17, I think it’s more likely that “the many” is the United Nations.****

Dan 9 and Rev 17 The Many


*So far as I know, the Catholic Church has no teaching on this.

** Often in Bible prophecy, a “day” means a year while a “week” means a period of seven years.

***The Third Temple must be rebuilt before Anti-Christ can desecrate and destroy it. And the traditional schedule of sacrifices and offerings must be renewed before Anti-Christ can abolish them. Everything is literally in place to both build a new Temple and start up the sacrifices and offerings. All that’s needed is for someone to identify the site where the First and Second Temples were truly located.

****See for a fuller explanation of my interpretation of “the many.”

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