I am reading from the Book of Daniel Chapter 9:26 (NIV) concerning an end-time prophecy, where it is written,

26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

When i look in the King James Bible at the same chapter and verse it is worded differently,

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Because of the different wording in these two bibles what is the most reliable interpretation that most readers favour,and how is the reader meant to understand the below quote.

The end will come like a flood (NIV)


The end thereof shall be with a flood. (King James)

Is the verses speaking about a flood of water ? or a flood of people ? or what ?

  • 1
    You're at the point in Daniel of Pseudo-prophecy, and history, then it goes into pseudo-history and prophecy. I find Daniel to be a very fascinating book. I'll try to comment on this, this weekend.
    – seedy3
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:25
  • 3
    The most reliable is to depend on the original Hebrew of the Bible. Or in the case of the 1st half of Daniel, Aramaic.
    – Cynthia
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 12:25
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    @Bagpipes Why I like King James and don't care for NIV.
    – Tau
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 5:52
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    The LXX translation in the APB reads in part, ". . . and they shall be cut off as in a flood." For many questions, the LXX provides insight in how Jewish scholars interpreted this verse before the birth of Yeshua and certainly before 70 A.D. when it actually happened as prophesied, and interestingly 40 years after the Messiah was cut off and resurrected!
    – Dieter
    Commented Mar 21 at 23:40

4 Answers 4


When compared to the NT, it appears the allusion to the flood is a reference to the suddenness and completeness of the judgment, like a thief in the night. So either wording probably represents the same thing equally well.

2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. Luk 17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

  • 2
    Essentially...yes. בַשֶּׁ֔טֶף (flood/judgment) is different from another verse with the same context-Isa. 59:19, ** כַנָּהָר֙** (stream/river) ,"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.""Nahar" is associated with river or stream(BDB)-which lends credence to the OP's concern, yet the meanings are the same. I don't know the etymologies, but both words could give the same meaning in context, though they are different words.
    – Tau
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 5:45

Daniel 9:26 read;

26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. (NIV)

"Flood" refers to "destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary".

Although "flood" has a sense of "sudden", but the use in this context is more likely referring to "its power and the consequence of its total destruction".

The siege of Jerusalem in 70AD started in April until August. Jerusalem was a stronghold with three walls. According to Josephus, there were

  1. the 3rd North Wall surrounding the New City
  2. the 2nd North Wall from Antonia's Fortress to the Upper City
  3. the Inner Wall, which was the thickness, surrounding the Upper City and the Lower City.

Titus led his army attacked from the direction of Mount Scopus north of Jerusalem, as the 3rd wall was considered Jerusalem's weak point. Within three weeks, the Roman army broke the first two walls of the city. But the success was taken with heavy cost, for the Jews defenders did a fierce fight that caused great casualties on both sides. Casualties of civilians was even greater, for the siege started three days before Passover, many pilgrims got trapped.

Therefore, either translation "come like a flood" or "be with a flood", it still brings us the final scene of life lost and total destruction, as if a flood crossed the city.


That is not the end time. That is the destruction of the second temple. That is what the calculation in Daniel 9 perfectly prophecised, the destruction of the second temple. And the high priest and priesthood were cut off as no temple for them to do their thing.

It says messiah as that means anointed (as in the priest of the 2nd temple). Not messiah whose first and only coming we all eagerly await. All 39 times the word messiah is used it is not referring to the end time messiah we by convention mean today when we say messiah. Always someone anointed and or in a position of power who holds office. Such as priests and kings and even said of King David's sons due to their position and a title given to Cyrus as he was a king and allowed the temple to rebuilt.

  • 1
    So the end time Messiah is not Jesus who came? Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 19:15

Context is Important The statement before and after refer to destruction by armies, and war. So this gives a clue as to the meaning of "Flood". In the O.T. a "flood" was a metaphor for an advancing army. It meant a tsunami of soldiers spreading over the land with devastating force! (See Isaiah 8:6-8 as an example; Isaiah 59:19, When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will put him to flight.)

Three Years! Remember that the Destruction of Israel lasted for three and a half years (1335 days) from 67 to 70 A.D. The Roman Legions swarmed all over the land of Israel, destroying village after village in Samaria, Galilee, Perea, and Judea proper. The tsunami of soldiers finally besieged Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by surrounding it with the 12th and 15th Legions under Titus in the north...5th Legion from Emmaus...10th Legion from Jericho. This tidal wave overflooded the three walls, the doomed Temple, and finally the Upper City after 1335 days of warfare.

Like a Flood The end of the Jewish Temple, City and Nation was entirely devastated by the Romans who swept over the land like a flood.

Word of Caution The end-time prophecy wording in the question follow-up must be understood as "THE END OF ISRAEL" in the first century. The whole context of Daniel 9 centers around Jesus (Messiah) and the Final days of the Old Temple era. It does not speak of a future "end-time" at the End of the World. That would be a ripping out of these verses to fit a modern prophetic theory which is not good exegesis.

The prophecy of Daniel had a limiting time designation: 70 heptads (weeks of years = 7X70 years). This brought the fulfilment to the first century when the Jewish nation was destroyed because of filling up the sin of Israel, culminating by the crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah. Indeed, the Roman army came rushing in like a flood and destroyed them as in a flood.

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