Malcom J (28 Nov 2011)
"Reply to Daniel Matson - What starts 70th week?"

To Daniel Matson: RE “WHAT STARTS THE 70th WEEK?”
And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.  –Daniel 9:27  LXX Interlinear Translation,  Samuel Bagster and Sons, London, 1792

I refer to your quoted interpretation of Daniel 9:27 above. According to Albert Barnes, Samuel Bagster’s translation (above) agrees with Hengstenberg’s. I quote from Barnes:

There has been a difference of opinion, however, as to the proper nominative to the verb “confirm” – הגביר higebiyr - whether it is the Messiah, or the foreign prince, or the “one week.” Hengstenberg prefers the latter, and renders it, “And one week shall confirm the covenant; with many.”
So also Lengerke renders it. Bertholdt renders it “he,” that is, “he shall unite himself firmly with many for one week” - or, a period of seven years, ein Jahrsiebend lang. It seems to me that it is an unnatural construction to make the word “week” the nominative to the verb, and that the more obvious interpretation is to refer it to some person to whom the whole subject relates. It is not usual to represent time as an agent in accomplishing a work. In poetic and metaphorical language, indeed, we personate time as cutting down men, as a destroyer, &e., but this usage would not justify the expression that “time would confirm a covenant with many.” That is, evidently, the work of conscious, intelligent agent; and it is most natural, therefore, to understand this as of one of the two agents who are spoken of in the passage. These two agents are the “Messiah,” and the “prince that should come” (underlining mine).

Though Barnes has pointed out a more correct version (which is the common translation) the personal pronoun “he” automatically refers to the most recent person before this, “the prince who is to come” (Daniel 9:26). It is understandable that some will refer to him as the Messiah (as Barnes does) but this only happens if the Messiah is the same person as “the prince who is to come.” Since this prince is the same person who destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD, it cannot be the Messiah but the anti-Messiah or Antichrist.
This being so, the Antichrist must rise out of the geographical area of the Roman Empire which destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. The “covenant” being confirmed or strengthened (Hebrew gabar) for seven years must already exist in some form. The emphasis here is on the nature of this covenant. Being set for seven years it appears to be an interim covenant like the five year Oslo Accords which were based on the land for peace formula.

Moreover, the Hebrew word translated “confirm” [gabar, Strong #1396] is a primary root meaning “to be strong, by implication to prevail, act insolently.” This is not the spirit in which Messiah would covenant with His people, but rather the spirit of those who seek to divide the land.

The political background to Antichrist’s coming is found in Daniel 7:24. “The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom (the fourth kingdom, Rome). And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones …” The Scripture is clear that the rise of Antichrist is tied to the appearance of ten distinctive kingdoms coming to power in the revived Roman Empire. Until this happens he will not appear, and when this happens he will be ready to strengthen a covenant between Israel and many nations for seven prophetic years (7 x 360 = 2520 days). This completes the seventy weeks for the Jews and Jerusalem as set out in Daniel 9:24.        

Malcolm J