He [Antichrist] will confirm [gābar] a covenant with many for one week [i.e., seven years]. But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys. (Dan 9:27, cf. Dan 12:11).
It states he will confirm a covenant with many for “one week,” which in this Hebrew context “one week” denotes “seven years.” The New English Translation rendering “confirm” may not capture the force of the underlying Hebrew verb gābar. The English Standard Version renders, “make a strong covenant,” which is better (cf. Ps 12:4); but the sense behind the Hebrew may more likely indicate oppressiveness, forcing, or coercion, suggesting that the other party to the covenant does not have much say in the matter.[i] The covenant may be for protection or permission to reinstitute the sacrificial system in return for some other service or action. The “he” is an Antichrist figure. It is implied that he will break the covenant by stopping the sacrifices and offerings, which he will then cause abominations. This will occur at “the middle of that week” (i.e., the middle of the seven-year period). Accordingly, the “many” refers to Israel since the covenant relates to the stopping of the sacrifices and offerings associated with the Jewish temple. However, the “many” could suggest that most of Israel will support the covenant, but a remnant will dissent. Accordingly, at Matthew 24:15, when Jesus invokes the abomination of desolation “spoken of by the prophet Daniel,” it establishes a point of reference at the midpoint of the seven-year period.
[i] The verb gābar is in the Hebrew hiphil stem, which expresses causative action. Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, electronic ed., trans. and ed. M. E. J. Richardson (Leiden: Brill, 2000); cf. J. G. Baldwin, Daniel, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove: Intervarsity, 1978), 171.