The “troublous times” Gabriel tells Daniel would befall Jerusalem (v. 25) came when the Jews tried to obey the command to restore Jerusalem (Neh. 2:1-6; 4:1-3, 10; 6:1-3). Gabriel also told Daniel it would take 7 weeks of years to restore it, then 62 more weeks of years until his Messiah came. After that, Messiah would be “cut off” (v. 26) or killed (cf. Isa. 53:8), 5 days after, to be precise (Mt. 26:2 cf. Jo. 12:1, 12, 13).
But Gabriel added that He wouldn’t be killed “for Himself,” i.e., because of any wrong He’d done. He was cut off for the sins of Isaiah’s people (Isa. 53:8). We now know He was also cut off for us Gentiles. But that’s not something Isaiah knew, or Daniel, or even the Lord Himself (Mt. 20:28) because it wasn’t testified until Paul (I Tim. 2:5, 6).
Then Antichrist’s “people” were supposed to destroy the city and temple (26), and would have if the mystery hadn’t interrupted this prophecy. His people would have been the Assyrians, since he’ll be born in an Assyrian city (Neh. 1:11). But if other nations rush to help Jerusalem, as they would to-day, he’ll need help. And he’ll have it—those 10 kings who will side with him (Rev. 17:12). Their kingdoms are the Gentiles the Lord said would destroy it (Lu. 21:24 cf. Rev. 11:2).
Unto the end of that war “desolations are determined.” The word desolate means empty (cf. Isa. 5:9). Antichrist will empty Jerusalem of the Jews who are supposed to live there.
But Gabriel wants Tribulation Jews who’ll be reading this to know that Antichrist will start out by looking like a friend to Israel (Dan. 9:27). “The covenant” he’ll confirm with Israel will be the one where God vows to curse those who curse Israel (Gen. 12:1-3). It will be known that he’ll have the military might to enforce this, so this covenant will bring peace to Israel, though it is not a “peace treaty,” as many teach.
Isaiah predicts that Tribulation Jews will be saying that this covenant with death and hell (Isa. 28:15-18), i.e., with the Antichrist (Rev. 6:8), will protect them from a coming scourge. And the scourge they’ll be thinking of is the Antichrist. You see, they’ll think he’s their Christ, the Christ who will protect them from the Antichrist. They’ll fall for it because they expect their Christ will confirm the covenant (Isa. 42:1-6; 49:8).
But Isaiah says Antichrist will “disannul” the covenant, and Daniel 9:27 adds it will be in the midst of the 70th week, the final 7 years before the kingdom (v. 24). Notice the 70th week doesn’t begin until “after” some things happen between the 69th and 70th week. Why would God put a gap in the 70 week prophecy? Two reasons. First, to help Israel.
After they crucified the Lord, God wanted to cut Israel down, but He talked Him into giving them one more year (after His three-year ministry) to change their minds and receive Him (Lu. 13:6-9). He made that request when He prayed, “Father, forgive them.” The Father did, but the year ended when they stoned Stephen. But Daniel’s timetable of 69 weeks worked out to the very day He rode into Jerusalem on the donkey. In a timetable that precise, there was no room for another year in there if God hadn’t put a gap in the prophecy!
But with that gap, God could put all the years He wanted in there! And He put 2,000 years in the gap to help us Gentiles with the dispensation of grace! This age is a mystery (Eph. 3:2, 3), an unprophesied gap in the midst of the prophesied gap. We know that up to a generation may pass after the Rapture before the 70th week begins because the Lord told His generation they’d live to see it (Mt. 24:15-34), and only one year of that generation passed so far.
Why would Antichrist cause the sacrifices that he started up to “cease”? After he declares himself God (II Thes. 2:3, 4), he’ll set up an idolatrous new system of worship of himself instead of Judaism (Rev. 13:14). The overspreading of abominations refers to the cherubim that “spread” their wings “over” the mercy seat (Ex. 37:1-9). How will Antichrist make them an abomination? God is supposed to sit there (Ps. 99:1). If someone who is not God sits there, that makes it desolate (empty) of the One who’s supposed to sit there, and when that someone is Antichrist, it’s an abomination. But the desolation God has determined will fall on him.