posted on Jan, 3 2020 @ 05:02 PM
The full title of this theme ought to be “Things that won’t happen in the end-times”.
I’m referring to those anticipated events, featuring in speculations about the end-times, which are based on misinterpretations of what the Bible
In this case, I’m looking at “the peace treaty arranged by the antichrist”.
This expectation seems to be based on the prophecy that the prince who is to come “shall make a strong covenant with many for one week”, which
will be the last of the seventy “weeks of years”. (Daniel ch9 v27).
So any critique of the “peace treaty” theory needs to be based on a better understanding of what the verse means.
I will accept the tradition of identifying this prince with the domineering king at the end of ch11, and the dominating Beast of Revelation ch13.
“Antichrist” is a convenient label for this person, so I’m not going to quarrel with it.
The important point is that he achieves power in the world, which is then directed against God and his people.
Therefore the “week of years” should be understood as the lifespan of his power.
“Seven” is the symbolic number associated with God. The implication is that the prince rules only as long as God allows him to rule, so there is
no need for us to take the period as a literal “seven years”.
If this ruler maintains his power for “a week of years”, then ”he makes strong covenant with many for one week” is describing how he
maintains his power.
The effect of a covenant, in the culture of that period, was to establish a relationship between two parties. It might be setting up an agreement
between equals, as in the case of Abraham and Abimelech, or defining a subordinate relation, as in the covenants between God and his people.
So the significance of “making covenant with many” will be that the prince has achieved and secured his power by recruiting supporters, and
binding them to himself by many separate covenants.
In fact that’s how power always works, in practice. No one man can manage a large population single-handed. He needs henchmen to accept and transmit
The authority of a mediaeval monarch and the authority of a modern Mafia boss are both established on a network of subordinates, expressing their
allegiance in the manner appropriate to the respective cultures.
Now the original model for the last king in Daniel was the infamous Antiochus Epiphanes, whose power in Jerusalem was first based on a local faction
that was willing to support him.
So the quoted verse in Daniel, understood properly, reflects what he was doing to establish his authority.
In the same way, domination over a wider world would be achieved by working through subordinate rulers.
History shows how Hitler’s power in Europe was extended by his different relationships (“many covenants”) with men like Mussolini, Franco,
Pierre Laval in France, and Admiral Horthy in Hungary.
The same thing is happening in Revelation, when the “ten kings”, who govern the world in general, “give over their power and authority to the
Beast”. (Revelation ch17 v13) The autocracy established by this collaboration is able to rule the world “for one hour” (which is the equivalent
of Daniel’s “week”).
The statement in Daniel is the equivalent of the statement just quoted from Revelation.
It means that “the prince who is to come” has established, through “many covenants”, an elaborate network of clients and allies to underpin
With their assistance, he governs his world unchallenged as long as God allows him to govern.
But in the second part of the verse, the second half of the “week”, the second half of the “hour”, his over-confidence incites him to
challenge God himself, and the tribulation follows.
So where does the “peace treaty” theory come from?
The starting-point is that Daniel’s “covenant with many” is taken to mean a single agreement with multiple partners, in the style of modern
What would be the circumstances of such an agreement?
The preliminary assumption is that all these events must be focussed upon Jerusalem and upon “Israel”, in the geographical sense of the term.
There’s a further assumption that these events will be taking place in the near future, preferably in our own lifetime.
When these two rather questionable assumptions are combined, they seem to point us towards the current friction between the nation-state of Israel
and their neighbours.
That is what turns the agreement into a “peace treaty”.
The supposition is that the prince helps to broker a general settlement, or else makes a treaty of his own with Israel themselves.
Since the covenant is said to last for seven years, another supposition is that the seven-year time limit is built into it, as one of the clauses.
But the actual life-span of an agreement doesn’t have to depend on the intended life-span.
In fact that is rather unlikely, in the case of a peace treaty.
When peace agreements are made, the normal aspiration is that they should last indefinitely.
The only exception that comes to mind, offhand, is the Twelve Years’ Truce (1609-1621) in the war between Spain and the independent Netherlands.
As for the detail that the negotiators of the treaty break off at eleven-thirty every morning for a cup of tea, I think I may have made that one
The imaginative reconstruction of end-time history has not quite got that far.
The supposed peace treaty has been worked up by speculators who are eager to flesh out the scanty Biblical details about the events of the end-times,
and build them into a consecutive narrative.
It is necessary to construct a narrative about the course of political events in those days, because the Bible itself does not provide one.
When prophecy talks about the end-times (which is not very often), the message is focussed on three main points;
1 ) There will be a power which sets itself against God and his people.
2 ) God will deal with them, in his own time.
3 ) Our function in this crisis will be to remain trusting and faithful.
That Is really all we need to know.
Armed with that information, the man of faith should be ready for anything that gets thrown at him.
Only the weaker faith needs the re-assurance of an elaborate and comforting timetable.