3. The Seventieth Week will begin with the making of a "firm covenant" between the coming Roman prince and the Jewish people.
The exact language of the prophecy is, "He shall make a firm covenant with [the] many for one week" (9:27). It has been affirmed by some that the Hebrew "Berith" used here cannot mean a "covenant" between men but must refer to a covenant on the part of God. They overlook the fact, however, that the same Hebrew term is used of the treaty made between Ahab and Benhadad (1 Kings 20:34), of the treaty between Ephraim and Assyria (Hos. 12:1), and also of the treaty between Antiochus and Ptolemy Philometer (Daniel 11:22). The same Hebrew word is translated fifteen times in the Old Testament by our English word "league."
The precise nature of this "firm covenant," league, or treaty, between the Roman prince and the Jewish people is not revealed fully in Daniel 9:27. But there is at least an intimation in the verse. The fact that, following the establishment of the treaty, the Roman prince only three and one-half years later puts a stop to the Jewish sacrifices, certainly suggests that one thing involved in the treaty will be the reestablishment of the Jewish Temple sacrificial system.
Now this fits accurately into the present historical situation and dilemma of the Jew today. In the midst of all the great Jewish activity in the Land of Palestine just now there still remains one heart-breaking problem. Regardless of material and cultural progress, and it is very great, the Jew can never be satisfied until his ancient Temple is restored and the Mosaic ritual reestablished. But on the very spot where this Temple must be built, there now stands a Mohammedan mosque, one of the most sacred places in the world to millions of Muslim people. And so the United Nations finds itself today in a most unenviable position, trying to satisfy the conflicting ambitions in Palestine of two irreconcilable parties - the Jew and the Muslim - and being denounced by both sides.
What is left today of an agonizing Jewry is demanding political protection for the development of their age-long dream of a national home in Palestine. The question is, Where can the Jew find such protection? The United States is interested, but would hardly agree to assume the sole responsibility. Russia, of course, would be only too glad to take over in that land which is the gateway to three continents, the very "navel" of the earth, as the prophet Ezekiel names it. But such an arrangement would conflict violently with other interests. There remains another possible solution, namely, the commission of the problem to a group of powers. If the countries should agree to such a solution, it would doubtless have to be a group with interests centering in the Mediterranean area, a group opposed to Russian Communism, and yet not strong enough to dispute the supremacy of other nations in this area.
Now it is precisely in this area that the final Roman prince of Daniel 9:27 will effect his ten-horn coalition, beginning his own mad career as a "little horn" politically (Daniel 7:8). Yet in the brief space of three and one-half years he must rise to the pinnacle of world domination. Such an amazing achievement is not impossible, but it will require vast munitions of warfare. To get them he will need two things - political prestige and financial support. Thus the present historical situation contains some of the motives for the treaty predicted by Daniel. The Jew wants protection in Palestine and is willing to pay for it. Many of the Mediterranean nations are desperately poor. England and America are unalterably opposed to Russian control there. The Roman Catholic Vatican, in the name of religion, is calling for a holy way against Communism. The British government has found it impossible politically for her to do for the Jews in Palestine what was promised under the Balfour agreement. In the complex of this situation, what an opportunity for the rise of the "little horn"! He could declare his hatred for Communism, offer to become the champion of religion in general and the Vatican in particular, secure financial aid from the Jews by promising to sponsor their aspirations in the Holy Land, and probably receive the moral backing of the civilized world. Such a combination of forces would be almost incalculable. Some day a Roman "prince" will do something of this kind, and the event may be nearer than we think. Science has created a new and strange environment in which history can move with incredible speed. And the world's bewilderment is filled with satanic opportunity.
~Alva J. McClain~
(continued with # 12)