[b-hebrew] Hebrew Text of Daniel 9:24

Hedrick Gary GaryH at cjfm.org
Sun Nov 25 16:14:06 EST 2012

The NLT (New Living Translation from Tyndale House Publishers) places a bit of a unique spin on its rendering of Daniel 9:24:

שבעים שבעים נחתך על־עמך ועל־עיר קדשך לכלא הפשע ולחתם חטאות ולכפר עון ולהביא צדק עלמים ולחתם חזון ונביא ולמשח קדש קדשים׃

Here's the translation: "A period of seventy sets of seven* has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place."

According to this translation, Daniel's "people" and his "holy city" (Jerusalem) are the subjects who perform the actions: finish rebellion, put an end to sin, and atone for guilt. 

Most other translations don't seem to make this connection. Here's the ESV, for instance:

"Seventy weeks* are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place."

Many evangelical Christian commentators see the Messiah (Anointed One) in vv. 25-26 as the One who makes the actions in v. 24 possible (i.e., finish transgression, end sin, atone for iniquity). 

So it looks to me like there may be a grammatical issue here. If the subject in the sentence is "your people and your holy city," then Daniel's people (Israel) are the ones themselves who are performing the actions--finishing their rebellion, ending sin, atoning for iniquity.

Doesn't it seem like al-amcha (upon your people) would mean the people of Israel are the objects of the action in this verse? Wouldn't beh-amcha (by your people) make more sense if the "people" here were the ones performing the action?

Trust all of you who are stateside had a nice Thanksgiving weekend!

Best regards,

Gary Hedrick
San Antonio, Texas USA

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