Feature Article: The “Anointed One” Will Be “Cut-Off”: A Response to Ken Temple and The Christian Abuse of Daniel 9:26

The “Anointed One” Will Be “Cut-Off”: A Response to Ken Temple and the Christian Abuse of Daniel 9:26

Originally Posted on the Quran and Bible Blog

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم

“After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.”

– Daniel 9:26

            This article is a brief response to the Christian apologist Ken Temple’s appeal to the text of Daniel 9:26 as a “prophecy” about the alleged death of Jesus (peace be upon him).[1] Specifically, Temple appealed to the Hebrew word כָּרַת (karath) as being a direct reference to the death of the son of Mary as part of a “covenant”. Here is what Temple claimed (quoting a certain Pastor Kim Riddlebager):

“We also should take note of the fact that the verb used here, “cut off” is kârat, which is used in Genesis 15:10, 18 in regard to the covenant ratification ceremony when the animals were cut in two in Abram’s dream. The animals were “cut off” (i.e., killed). A similar verb is used by Isaiah to refer to the suffering messianic servant yet to come (Isaiah 53:8). “By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?” In light of the larger purpose of the seventy weeks prophecy, there can be little doubt that it is Jesus who was “cut off” as a means, in part, of accomplishing the six things which bring seventy weeks to their fulfillment.”

On the surface, this appears to be an impressive argument. But is it really? What follows will be an analysis of this claim. As a result of this analysis, we will see that this argument is just another example of how Christian apologists cherry-pick isolated verses from the Tanakh and subjectively apply them anachronistically to the New Testament.

Karath in Daniel 9:26 – Much Ado About Nothing

            Let us analyze the claim above piece by piece. First, the appeal was made to Genesis 15:10 and 15:18:

“Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.”

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates…”

            As for Genesis 15:10, the Christian apologists are just plain wrong. The root word karath is not used in this verse at all! Here is a screenshot of the Hebrew root words taken from blueletterbible.org:

Blue Letter Bible - Genesis 15-10 word for word

As can be seen, karath is not listed in the text. Rather, the word is בָּתַר (bathar), which means to “cut up” or “divide”.[2]

            As for Genesis 15:18, it is true that the word karath is used:

Blue Letter Bible - Genesis 15-18 word for word

So this verse does use the same word as found in Daniel 9:26:

Blue Letter Bible - Daniel 9-26 word for word

According to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, karath means “to cut” or “to cut off”, and can have various other meanings depending on the context (as in “to make a covenant”; sort of like saying “to cut a deal” in English).[3] But does the use of the same word in Genesis 15:18 and Daniel 9:26 somehow prove that the “Anointed One’s” death in the latter was supposed to represent a new “covenant”, as Christians believe? There is actually no reason to accept this proposition. As stated, karath can be used in reference to making a “covenant”. But this is true only when it is used together with another word:  בְּרִית (bĕriyth; literally, “covenant”).[4] This is clearly stated in Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon:

gesenius lexicon - karath

Obviously then, since Daniel 9:26 does not include the word bĕriyth, it cannot be implying any sort of “covenant” in the form of the “Anointed One’s” death.[5]

            The other verse the Christian apologists appealed to was Isaiah 53:8, which is part of the larger narrative about the “suffering servant”. Christians insist that this “servant” is the Messiah, but the context suggests that it is the nation of Israel as a whole. But even if we accept the Christian claim, it makes little difference with regard to the alleged link to Daniel 9:26. The reason once again is, as with Genesis 15:10, that the word karath is not used in Isaiah 53:8! One would think the apologists would have done their homework before making such silly claims. It appears that they were just relying on the translations, instead of analyzing the Hebrew text.

Blue Letter Bible - Isaiah 53-8 word for word

As can be seen, the root word translated as “cut off” is גָּזַר (gazar), not karath. The specific word used in the text is ni-zar.[6] Moreover, in the context of Isaiah 53:8, gazar does not imply “killing” as is implied with the word karath in Daniel 9:26. Rather, it literally means “to be separated” or “excluded”, as stated in Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon:

gesenius lexicon - gazar

Based on this evidence, we can easily dismiss the following claim of the apologists:

“[i]n light of the larger purpose of the seventy weeks prophecy, there can be little doubt that it is Jesus who was “cut off” as a means, in part, of accomplishing the six things which bring seventy weeks to their fulfillment.”

There is actually “little doubt” that these apologists twist their own scripture to anachronistically force their Christian interpretations into it.

            Though it has been sufficiently demonstrated that Temple’s attempts to force a link between Daniel 9:26 and other supposedly “Messianic” verses are delusional and deceptive, we can add more weight of evidence by looking at other uses of the word karath in the Bible. This will further prove that it has nothing to do with a dying Messiah at all, at least with regards to Daniel 9:26.

            To use Temple’s logic (quoting Kim Riddlebager), since the word karath was allegedly used “in regard to the covenant ratification ceremony” in Genesis 15:10 and 15:18 and could be applied to the “Messiah” in Isaiah 53:8 (both claims which were clarified and debunked), and was also used in Daniel 9:26 to refer to the “Anointed One’s” death (being “cut off”), it somehow proves that the one who was “cut off” was Jesus (peace be upon him). Let us put that “logic” to the test.

            Would Temple and his ilk also claim that Asherah, the pagan goddess of Canaanite mythology, was also the “Anointed One” of Daniel 9:26? We read in Judges 6:25 that God commanded Gideon to “cut down” (ti-rōṯ, from the root word karath) the “Asherah pole” that the Israelites had set-up during one of their many entanglements with paganism throughout their history:

“That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down (ti-rōṯ) the Asherah pole beside it.”[7]

Would it not be just as likely that the Asherah pole was representative of the Messiah since both were “cut off” or “cut down”? Of course, to insinuate this simply because the same root word was used to refer to both would be foolish and downright stupid. But then why are apologists like Temple so quick to use such an argument when it suits their purpose?

            Finally, just in case the apologists respond by misusing the actual word (yik-kā-rê) in Daniel 9:26 that is derived from the root word karath, let us also analyze the usage of this word in the Bible. The same word is used in Joshua 9:23, where Joshua sentenced the Gibeonites to slavery for their “deception” to save themselves from being exterminated:

“You are now under a curse: You will never be released (yik-kā-rê) from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”[8]

Another place this word is used is Leviticus 17:14:

“…because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off (yik-kā-rê).”[9]

Since the same word is used in Daniel 9:26, Joshua 9:23, and Leviticus 17:14, then the Gibeonites and any Israelite who ate forbidden food must have been representatives of the Messiah! Or so the “logic” of the Christian apologists would lead us to believe. Of course, such arguments belong in the dustbin.

            Hopefully, Temple has learned his lesson and will do his homework and avoid such silly arguments in the future, inshaAllah.

            And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!

[1] https://bloggingtheology2.com/2019/05/28/the-achilles-heel-of-the-new-testament/comment-page-1/#comment-7294

[2] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1334&t=NIV

[3] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3772&t=NIV

[4] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1285&t=NIV

[5] As it turns out, the verse next verse (9:27) uses the word “bĕriyth” to refer to the “covenant” made by the “ruler” with the Jews. Many Christians believe this is referring to the 7 year “covenant” that the “Anti-Christ” will make in the future. But the historical context shows that this “ruler” was none other than Antiochus IV, the Seleucid king who persecuted the Jews in the 2nd century BCE. See our article on the book of Daniel for more on this: https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/the-book-of-daniel/.

[6] https://biblehub.com/text/isaiah/53-8.htm

[7] https://biblehub.com/text/judges/6-25.htm; https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/jdg/6/28/t_conc_217025

[8] https://biblehub.com/text/joshua/9-23.htm

[9] https://biblehub.com/text/leviticus/17-14.htm


Categories: Bible, Biblical Hebrew, Christianity, Christology, Feature Article, Jesus, Judaism

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11 replies

  1. I was familiar with the differences of the Hebrew words, for your information.

    “similar verb” (Riddlebarger) or “similar concept” (me) does not mean “exact same word”. (for connection of Isaiah 53:8 with Daniel 9:26.

    I never said and neither did Riddlebarger that the exact word was used between those 2 verses. (Isaiah 53:8 and Daniel 9:26)

    As for the Genesis 15 passages, you misunderstand the connection between “cutting a covenant” with the cutting of the animals. You have to see the whole Abrahamic covenant in the context of Genesis 15 and that there was blood atonement for the “cutting of the covenant”.

    I wish I had time for more. Getting late here.

    • Wow, your deception knows no bounds. You claimed that Genesis 15:10 used the word karath, which it didn’t. That was just plain wrong and instead of admitting it, you try to save face like a typical liar.

      Both you and your so-called pastor emphasized the word karath. You didn’t mention any other word. Therefore, if you knew that they were different words (not even remotely “similar” as you claimed), then you were once again caught in your lies. If you had been honest, you would clarified that they were different words, with completely different meanings. But instead, you tried to be deceptive and only gave half-truths. You truly are a demonic liar, trying to deceive people into your pagan heresy and then whining when you were caught red-handed.

      • No, since Pastor Kim Riddlebarger did also refer to Genesis 15:18 (as you also admitted that it is the same word there), where the word is used. I admit that his way of expressing it in the sentences is not completely precise. He was pointing to the whole paragraph and section of the cutting of the covenant with Abraham. O well.

        “We also should take note of the fact that the verb used here, “cut off” is kârat, which is used in Genesis 15:10, 18 in regard to the covenant ratification ceremony when the animals were cut in two in Abram’s dream.

        no more time. Good night.

      • Again, you are lying. Have you no shame? You clearly copied, uncritically, what your pastor said. What he said was wrong, plain and simple. Instead of owning up to it, you keep trying to save face. You are a list, just like your sinful savior. The fruits of Christianity…oh well.

      • *Correction: You are a liar.

      • No; since I already said that Pastor Riddlebarger was not precise, but he was pointing to Genesis 15:18 as the same word used = כָּרַת
        (Karath) with “covenant” = בְּרִית (Beri’th)

        The mistake was making it clear that verse 10 had a different word to “cut” – to divide. בָּתַר

        Your jumping to the cutting down of the Asheroth pole was stupid – since that has nothing to do with the Messiah or Suffering Servant.

        But the passage in Daniel 9:24-26 is all about a Messiah and being cut off, and even though Isaiah 53:8 uses a different word for “cut off” – because it says “cut off from the land of the living” ( hello ! land of the living) – it obviously means he died, he was killed; and because the entire section from 52:13-15 to 53:1-12 is all about how this individual person (singular = He) is about His substitutionary atonement and being treated like a lamb sacrifice and offering himself up like a guilt and paying for the sins of the people, etc. – the connection to Daniel 9:24-26 is obvious.
        Especially since Jesus Himself says He is that suffering servant – Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28. Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34

      • Sorry, typo:

        The mistake was NOT making it clear that verse 10 had a different word, to “cut” – to divide. בָּתַר

      • Lol, still unable to admit that you are a fool who uncritically spreads false information and then pretends like it’s no big deal.

        And I already know that the Asherah verse has nothing to do with the Messiah. I mentioned it demonstrate how stupid it is for Christians to appeal to random words in a vain effort to justify their paganism. Daniel 9:26 has nothing to do the covenant ritual mentioned in Genesis 15:18. That is just a fantasy that you liars have invented.

      • Isaiah 53:8 has a completely different meaning from Daniel 9:26. The latter refers to actual killing, whereas the former refers to being separated. Being “separated from the land of the living” is just a metaphor, nothing more.

        The word is “niḡ-zar” and is used only in only two other places in the Bible: 2 Chronicles:26:21 and Esther 2:1. In neither case is killing suggested:

        2 Chronicles 26:21 – “King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house—leprous, and banned (niḡ-zar) from the temple of the Lord.”

        Esther 2:1 – “Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed (niḡ-zar) about her.”

        Even if you want to insist that Isaish 53:8 somehow implies killing, it stil would not apply to the Messiah. First of all, the Hebrew text includes the word “mê-‘ō-ṣer”, which in context, means “prison”. In that context, it is simply referring to the nation of Israel. See Ibn Ezra’s commentary for an explanation: https://www.sefaria.org/Ibn_Ezra_on_Isaiah.53.8?lang=bi

        Many Christian commentaries also state this and admit that it creates a problem for the Christian narrative, but then they just dismiss the problem and settle for their own biased view. For example, Benson’s Commentary states:

        “He was taken from prison and from judgment — As we do not find that imprisonment was any part of Christ’s sufferings, the marginal reading seems to be preferable here. He was taken away by distress and judgment; that is, he was taken out of this life by oppression, violence, and a pretence of justice”.

        So he admits that the actual reading doesn’t fit with his Christian assumptions, so he chooses the “marginal reading” instead!

        The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges also makes the same biased claim:

        “The rendering “imprisonment” instead of “oppression” could be justified from the usage of the verb (2 Kings 17:4 &c.), although not of the noun itself; only in this case we must not read, “From imprisonment … he was led away (to execution),” for that is an idea which could hardly have suggested itself apart from the fulfilment of the prophecy in the crucifixion of Christ.”

        But again, let’s give the whiny Christians the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say that “oppression” is the correct reading. It still does not mean the Messiah was supposed to be killed.

        In Psalm 88:5, a similar concept is presented. In the Psalm, the one making the prayer says:

        “I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off (niḡ-zā-rū) from your care.”

        Notice how it says that he is “set apart with the dead” (i.e. separated from the living), and “cut off” from God’s care. It is very similar to Isaiah 53:8. But is the person making the prayer literally lying in the “pit” or is this just a metaphor? Of course, it’s the latter.

  2. By the way, you do a lot of “word study fallacy” in this article.

    • Lol! Oh the irony! You were the one tried to use similarities in words to try to force your interpretation into the text!

      I merely debunked your silly and biased approach. Just because you have been deceived by the lies of your “pastors” and surrendered your reason to them, doesn’t mean the rest of will do the same.

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