The Prince of the Covenant
David Brandt Berg
Nearly all Bible prophecy teachers teach that the prince of the Covenant (referred to in Daniel 11:22) is the Antichrist, because that’s what the Bible as good as says. “The prince of the covenant”—it’s obvious. The term itself implies who he is: the prince of the Covenant. Who is this prince that has so much to do with the Covenant that he is called the prince of the Covenant? He can be none other than the Antichrist.
There’s only one other screwy interpretation I ever heard of, by the historicists, who say it was all fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Himself was the prince of the Covenant. How can He be, when this prince-of-the-covenant Antichrist is against the “Prince of princes,” or King of kings, Jesus, in Daniel 8:25?
The “historicists,” usually old-line denominations, are the ones who teach that all this Bible prophecy has already been fulfilled; it is all past history and we’re now living in the Millennium. If this is the Millennium, or Christ’s kingdom of heaven on earth, God help us! It’s closer to hell on earth. They teach that Jesus’ death, the beginning of the age of grace and the end of the Law, was also the beginning of the Millennium, and we’re now in it, and Jesus will come in the Rapture after it. That’s why they’re known as “postmillennialists,” because they believe Jesus’ Second Coming is after the Millennium.
The Covenant is spoken of many times: a seven-year covenant in Daniel 9:27 and many other passages. It’s like a promise of religious freedom or religious worship, enabling the Jews to reestablish the temple and sacrificial worship in Jerusalem.
The Covenant is made by the Antichrist himself. Therefore he is called “the prince of the Covenant.” He’s the one who makes this covenant to allow religious worship and freedom in Jerusalem. This has been the general interpretation. That’s my interpretation and that of most Bible prophecy students and teachers, even Scofield’s Bible.
The Antichrist, obviously from the 9th chapter of Daniel and many others, makes the Covenant and/or confirms it, and is therefore called “the prince of the covenant.” Then he breaks it in the middle of the seven years, at the end of three and a half years. It’s generally assumed or interpreted that since he is the one who has made the Covenant, he has the power to break it.
It’s conceded by nearly all interpreters of Bible prophecy that this mastermind, this superman, the Antichrist, is the guy who’s going to solve the problem of Jerusalem by making some kind of an agreement between the Muslims and the Jews, probably by making it an international city under the U.N.
That has long been the suggestion of the U.N. as an alternative to solve the problem, to internationalize Jerusalem. That’s the only thing that will ever halfway work. But then, as the Antichrist finds out, even that doesn’t work. That still doesn’t make the religions stop fighting and quarreling with each other. They will still be fighting and arguing over every square inch of Jerusalem—who gets this, and who gets that, and who gets to place their temple here, and who gets to place their altar there. So he finally just gets fed up and abolishes the whole works and sets up his own religion.
But first in Daniel 9:27, he confirms the Covenant or this religious peace pact to allow free religious worship in Jerusalem for all religions for seven years. When he does, that will begin the last seven years of history. We know this from Daniel 9:27.
Lots of modern politicians have suggested this: “Why don’t we declare Jerusalem an open city, an international city? The sacred city, the holy city, capital of the world’s three greatest religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Why not declare it an international city in no one country or people’s hands, but under the U.N. or the world government? When the Antichrist takes over as the world dictator of a one-world government, he will have the power to do that, to declare Jerusalem an international city that belongs to the world—not just to the Jews, not just to the Muslims, not just to the Christians, but to all—the whole world.
It would be a compromise, a covenant telling the whole world and the world’s three greatest religions it belongs to all of us. The world government takes it over and makes it an international city. In fact, according to the Bible, the world dictator of the world government—the Antichrist—then makes that city his capital too. His political capital of his world government will be Jerusalem, the capital of the whole world (Daniel 11:45). For a while, to get the sympathy of the people and the world and the cooperation of the world’s great religions, he allows them all religious freedom, not only all over the whole world, but within Jerusalem itself.
This then finally gives the Jews their golden opportunity to rebuild their temple and restore its sacrificial worship. They work out some kind of compromise with the other religions, and this is the only way it could ever be done, because the Muslims would never allow it otherwise. It has to be done by a fourth party, a world political government, to make a compromise which is generally accepted as the covenant spoken of in the Bible prophecies of Daniel.
The Bible says the Antichrist eventually stops the sacrifices. (See Daniel 8:11, 9:27, and 11:31). Well, he can’t stop them unless somebody has started them. It’s going to take some ticklish work to figure out some way for the Jews to rebuild the temple and reinstitute sacrificial worship on their altar with the Mosque of Omar standing right over it. The Dome of the Rock, the holiest of the Muslim holy places outside of Mecca, is now standing over what was once the Jewish temple sacrificial altar, where they sacrificed their sacrifices. So what they are going to do about that, we don’t know yet.
But we do know that finally the Antichrist is going to stop it. Maybe it’s just to settle their quarrels and fights over this very thing. Who knows? He is going to put an end to the Covenant right in the middle of it. He then later sets himself up as God and his image in this holy place, and says, “Now everybody worship me and my image. Forget all these other religions, and we’ll just have one big one-world religion of the one-world government of the one-world dictator, and I will be your god!”
The Antichrist, as a smart politician, realizes that in order to stop all this bickering and arguing and infighting among the world’s three great religions within his one-world government, he’s got to abolish all religions and insist that there must just be one religion—his religion—the worship of him and his image.
Obviously, the Covenant doesn’t work. He tries, but there’s probably still so much fighting between them that he cannot get the world really united as long as these religions are still fighting each other. So his idea, of course, with the seeming sensible reasoning of man and the Devil, is to abolish all other religions and unite the world in one religion, the worship of himself, the Antichrist, which means the worship of the Devil, for he is the Devil in the flesh.
Finally the Devil has what he always wanted: the worship of the whole world with him as its god—“the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Then comes the attempted abolition of the worship of the one true God and of Jesus Christ His Son and all other religions.
It says, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” (seven years). First of all, it says in Daniel 9:26 that “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (Jerusalem and the temple), and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
The literal fulfillment of this particular prophecy is usually considered the desolation of Jerusalem under the Romans in 70 A.D., because it was “after Messiah was cut off” (Daniel 9:26), after Jesus was crucified, that the city was destroyed and made desolate.
But maybe it also applies to the future destruction under the Antichrist, because obviously he is also going to invade and take over Jerusalem. It could apply to both—one a foreshadowing and the other a final fulfillment. Many Bible prophecies are like that. It says in verse 27—and this obviously can refer only to the Antichrist, because it has to do with the Covenant:
“And he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week”—or seven years. This prince that shall come shall confirm the Covenant. This is why he is called the prince of the Covenant, the Antichrist, as it is he who confirms the Covenant. He makes a seven-year covenant for the reinstitution of sacrificial worship and freedom of religion in Jerusalem, or an ingenious compromise between the Jews and Muslims.
But then he breaks it. “In the midst of the week” or the seven years, or therefore at the end of three and a half years, “he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” There is reference after reference about this event: Daniel 7:25; 8:9–14; 9:27; 11:31; 12:7–11; Matthew 24:15 and 21; Luke 21:20–24; Revelation 11:2–3, and many others.
“He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease (break the Covenant), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate (the abomination of desolation), even unto the consummation (the end), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
All through the book of Daniel it speaks about the prince of the Covenant, the Antichrist, who turns around and breaks it in the middle, at the end of only three and a half years. He is talked about in Matthew 24:15 by Jesus, and in Revelation 11 and 13 by John. He finally turns against the Jews and the daily temple sacrifices of the Jews, and stops them, and sets up the “transgression of desolation,” his own image (Revelation 13:14–15), the “abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet,” quoted by Jesus in Matthew 24:15–21:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation (the image) spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place … then shall be (the) great tribulation.” What worse abomination could stand in the holy place of the world’s three greatest religions than the Image of the Beast, the image of the Antichrist? He finally sets up his own image in the holy place, a talking, seemingly living idol!
Scofield has Jesus coming before this and taking the church out at this time so they won’t have to go through the Tribulation. But you can’t find any foundation for that in fact or scripture anywhere in the Bible. The Bible plainly says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days … then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven” (Matthew 24:29–30).
So there is the order of events. Despite all these wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes and pestilences and famines for 2,000 years, from that time until the Antichrist, He says, “But the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).
“But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand(ing) in the holy place, then” shall the end be near, for, “then shall be (the) great tribulation” which is ended by His Coming, as He says then in verses 29 and 30: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven” and He will come to rescue His own in the Rapture (verse 31; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 14).
In many passages it tells us exactly how long the Tribulation’s going to be—three and a half years. All of these passages throughout the Bible teach the same thing, and give the length of the Tribulation in many ways: It will begin in the middle of the seven-year Covenant (Daniel 9:27), which leaves three and a half years.—Or a time (one year) and times (two years) and half a time (half a year) (Daniel 7:25 and 12:7)—or three and a half years. Or it says 42 months (Revelation 13:5), which is three and a half years. Or it says 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6), which is three and a half years. All say the same.
The Great Tribulation or persecution of the religions by the Antichrist shall last three and a half years exactly—the last half of the broken Covenant. God made it so specific and counted it in so many different ways that nobody could possibly misinterpret it, misunderstand it, or misfigure it like some Bible interpreters try to.
Then comes the 11th chapter of Daniel, that very mysterious chapter in which so many Bible students and teachers go astray. Trying to interpret it all and identify everybody here, you’re going to get in trouble. However, it comes to a point around the 21st verse when it begins to speak very clearly and obviously of a certain person who continues to dominate the world scene right on through the rest of the passage.
From Daniel 11:21 on, nearly all Bible students and teachers agree, is a description of the Antichrist, after many other descriptions in Daniel previous to this (Daniel 7:8, 20–25; 8:9–12, 23–25; 9:26–27, etc.). So this detailed description of the Antichrist begins here in the 21st verse: “A vile (evil) person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”
The antichrist system conquers countries and their people by propaganda, “peaceably,” “by flatteries,” powerful “peace” propaganda.
It then says in verse 22: “And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.” “Yea, also the prince of the covenant.” Don’t stop here and don’t link it too closely with what has just been read, because originally the Bible was not divided into chapters and verses, neither was it punctuated.
The Old Testament in the Hebrew doesn’t have any punctuation, so you can make a mistake and divide things where they shouldn’t be divided, and run them together where they shouldn’t be run together. There is kind of a pause here, and it looks almost like the translator has linked it together: “Yea, also the prince of the covenant.” If you interpret it as some people have, and you punctuate it and run it together the way the translator did who put these verses together, it sounds like, “The prince of the Covenant got run over too! He too got broken, right?”
But what it is saying here is, “Yea, (he’s) also the prince of the covenant.” This is literally what this passage means. It does not mean, “Yea, also the prince of the covenant” is broken. I’ll grant you, that’s what it might look like and sound like, if you don’t really know your Bible and all the rest of the passages.
If you find a whole bunch of scriptures that say one thing, but then you find one little passage that seems to say the opposite, then what are you going to accept? The preponderance of the scriptures. Otherwise you’d have to say, “Because this one passage says so-and-so, all the rest of the scriptures are wrong!” But we’ve already seen how all through God’s Word, especially Daniel, 2 Thessalonians, Revelation, Matthew, and all the other prophetic passages, it speaks of this Antichrist, this prince as the prince of the Covenant, the one who makes it and breaks it. It speaks of him time and time again.
The Antichrist is really the prince of the Covenant, this vile person who becomes the Antichrist, according to the passage here. “To whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom, but he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” He talks them out of it. He’s a usurper! “And with the arms of a flood (of atom bombs?) shall they be overflown from before him and shall be broken.
“Yea, (he’s) also the prince of the covenant.” What the writer here is trying to bring out is that he is not only doing all these things, but this is also the guy we have been talking about in all these other scriptures.
As the prince of the Covenant, the Antichrist is the one who makes the Covenant, and therefore he has the authority to break it. He makes the promise, but he also breaks the promise. He’s the one who gives these nations and religions their freedom and authority to practice and worship in Jerusalem and set up their official temples there, and tries to bring about a compromise between them.
After trying with the seven-year Covenant to get the religions to compromise and work and worship together and leave Jerusalem an open, internationalized city with freedom of worship for all, which doesn’t work, this prince of the Covenant apparently gets fed up and stops the whole works, breaks the Covenant, stops the worship, and places the image of himself, the Beast, right in the holy place, at the temple.
Facts about the Antichrist
1) Power by the Devil: Revelation 13:2, 4; Daniel 8:24.
2) Deadly wound healed: Revelation 13:3, 12, 14.
3) Big mouth: Revelation 13:5–6; Daniel 7:8, 20.
4) War against saints: Revelation 13:7; Daniel 7:21.
5) Power over all nations: Revelation 13:2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14, 15.
6) One-man world government: Revelation 13:3, 8.
7) Blaspheme temple: Revelation 13:6; Daniel 8:11; 11:31; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
8) 42 Months: Revelation 13:5; 11:2–3; 12:6, 14; Daniel 7:25; 9:27; 12:7.
Copyright © May 1979 by The Family International