This is a head-scratcher: Stay with me on this: What is a colon? A colon is to inform the reader that what follows that colon proves, explains, defines, describes, or lists elements of what had preceded it. In modern American English usage, a complete sentence precedes a colon, and what follows is a list, description, explanation, or definition of that sentence. The elements which follow the colon may or may not be a complete sentence: since the colon is preceded by a sentence, it is a complete sentence whether what follows the colon is another sentence or not.
A period is a punctuation mark indicating a full stop, placed at the end of declarative sentences, as well as other statements thought to be complete, also called full stop. Every sentence that’s not an exclamation or a question must end with a period. The vast majority of sentences are called declarative statements --- statements that just say something and therefore end in a period. Full stop explains itself: a full stop, as a full or perfect point is obviously not an imperfect point or stop. It is hard to believe there is any other case in life in which a thing so small as the period carries so much force.
Here’s the verse in question:
Dan.9:26, “After (word of time future) threescore and two weeks (62 weeks) shall Messiah be cut off (divorced from the Jews) but (flipside) not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto (until) the end of the war desolations are determined.”
In the King James Bible, a colon comes after the pronoun, “himself:” But in many other Bibles, the colon has been changed to a period, some of them being, the Douay Version of the Catholic Bible: The New World Translation of the Jehovah Witnesses: The Amplified Bible: New International Bible (N.I.V.) Thompson Chain Reference Bible, The Reformation Study Bible and others.
The K.J.B. uses a colon, as did the Geneva Bible. Also, I have at home an 1806 Bible written by Matthew Henry that has a semi-colon, a couple of 1830 Bibles and a 1905 Self-Interpreting Bible that uses a semi-colon.
Let me quote from R.C. Sproul’s introduction in The Reformation Study Bible that closes Daniel 9:26 with a period.
Dr. Sproul wrote concerning “The Geneva Bible published in 1560, (before the K.J.B.) carefully designed to be accurate and understandable. It being the 1st English Bible to use verse divisions, as “most profitable for memory” ---- It “Dominated the English-speaking world for a hundred years. It was used by Shakespeare. The King James Bible was published in 1611 but did not supplant the Geneva Bible until fifty years later. The Pilgrims and Puritans carried the Geneva Bible to the shores of the New World. American colonists were reared on the Geneva Bible. They read it, studied it, and sought to live by its light.”
The Geneva Bible uses a colon. Yet the Reformation Study Bible uses a period. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe Dr. Sproul is one of the great modern day Biblical teachers of this century, the man is brilliant, but, he let this one slide by him.
Now, here’s the dilemma: Is the Messiah the subject being spoken of by Daniel after the word “himself:” or is it Titus? One problem with it being Titus is, Titus never became Caesar of Rome until 79 A.D., nine (9) years after the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
So, the question arises, can he be called, prince? We know the Messiah is the subject before the pronoun “himself:” and because of the rules applied to a colon and period, Jesus has to be the “prince” of the people (the Roman army, including Titus) who were sent by. Can this be qualified? “Good question, thought you’d never ask.”
Dan.5:17, “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest ((lowest) of men.”
Rev.1:5, Jesus is called the “prince (note lower case “p”) of the kings of the earth.” Compare with
Rev.17:14, “For he (Jesus) is Lord of lords, and King of kings.”
Who sent Nebuchadnezzar; Cyrus; Alexander; and the Roman’s? It has to be the same prince, the LORD Jesus Christ.
Acts 3:15, Jesus is called, “Prince of life” note upper case. Yet in Dan.8:11, He is called “the prince of the host,” (lower case).”
Joshua 5:13-14-15, When Joshua was by Jericho he saw a man with his sword drawn. Joshua goes to him and asks, “Are you for us (the Jews), or for our adversaries?”
“The man said, Nay; but as captain (meaning prince; also note captain is in lower case) of the host (meaning armies or company) of the LORD (Father) am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship--(Joshua’s worship of this “captain” tells us he was speaking to the LORD himself).”
1 Sam.17:45, David said to the Philistine (Goliath), you come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel."
Acts 5:31, Jesus is called “A Prince and Savior.”
God’s had to punish the Jews for what they had done to the prophets and to the Son of God.
Ezek.29:19, “Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will GIVE the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezar king of Babylon.”
Of course, Nebuchadnezzar led his armies, but it was God who sent him.
One more example;
Dan.5. We all know the story of King Belshazzar and the writing on the wall.
Dan.5:27, “Thou (Belshazzar) are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting your kingdom is divided and GIVEN to the Medes and Persians.” It was the Lord who sent Cyrus and his army to destroy Babylon.
So, let me paraphrase Dan.9:26,
Dan.9:26, “After 434 years shall Jesus the Jewish Messiah divorce himself from the Jews and the land (this in 26 A.D.), but not for himself: (note the colon, not period) it would be to atone for the sins of ALL people, Jews and Gentiles. Now, the people (Romans or Gentiles) who are ruled by the prince (meaning Jesus) that shall come shall (without doubt) destroy the city (Jerusalem,) and the sanctuary (Temple,) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto (until) the end of the war (still with the devil, the Jews, and Gentile nations) desolations (plural) are determined (by God.)”