ESV and Daniel 9.25-26

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PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe this should be on an OT Prophets forum

I use many translations when studying, but primarily use the Nearly Inspired Version since it is used at our church.

I was a big ESV guy at one point. Still respect it and the people who use it. However, I have at least one issue. Compare the ESV with other translations on Dan 9.25-26:

Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
(ESV)

"Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree 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. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. [8] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
(NIV)

"So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a )decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
(NAS)

Compare the GB, KJV, ERV, ASV, HCSB, NKJV, etc...

Know therefore and understand: from the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of an anointed prince, there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and moat, but in a troubled time. After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its [52] end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
(NRSV)

(Compare the RSV, REB)


Why does the ESV side with the liberal versions against the more conservative translations? Doesn't it contradict the clear understanding that this was a prophecy of the coming of Christ? Doesn't it say there will be multiple anointed ones (not "the" Anointed One/Messiah)?

I've always understood the "seven weeks" to be from the decree to the completion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. I think the liberals say it's promising the coming of Judas Maccabaeus (after all, we know that Daniel is a fraud and was really written to "comfort the persecuted by pretending it was a prophecy." :gpl:) Their translations support this, while others say it is about THE Anointed One. Anyone help out here?
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
That's a valid translation given the Hebrew text.

"The Messiah" or "The Annointed" would be "ha mashiach" as in Lev 4:16

the "ha" is missing from the Daniel passage, which is the "the"
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
As others have pointed out, the ESV is basically a conservative re-edition of the RSV.

The whole question in Dan. 9 gets the treatment it does from all sides because there is no "neat" chronological "fix" that works out mathematically (assuming that "years" and "490" are what is in view). Many fundies and liberals BOTH try to decide what Daniel is predicting, time-wise, and then "exonerate" him as a prophet or "expose" him as a fallible guesser.

I find v24, at least the end phrase, to be just as problematic: "anoint a most holy place"--what is that? How do you do that?

On the question of "anointed" v25, the Hebrew has no definite article, so there is at least an argument that this is an "indefinite" reference. However, if such an identifier is a well known title, as with a proper name the definite article is unnecessary. So, while this may be a "translator's decision," it does seem needlessly ambiguous. Besides, to whom do such readers then refer this figure? Or his time? This basically turns into a prophecy that leaves us saying "Huh? Who is Daniel thinking of, or God, for that matter?"

The "and for 62 weeks" seems to monkey a bit with the text. It may not be as bad as what liberals sometimes do to Gen. 1:1-3, but I'm not very pleased with this rendering. All in all, not a good job on these verses, in my opinion.
 
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