I am trying to establish which is correct:

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm (a / the) covenant with the many for one week

וְהִגְבִּ֥יר בְּרִ֛ית לָרַבִּ֖ים שָׁב֣וּעַ אֶחָ֑ד

Some Bibles render it as "a covenant" and others as "the covenant". Which is correct and how is it possible to tell?

  • 1
    Definite article in Hebrew is hey (ה), not bet (ב). The word you bolded can be translated "covenant". There is no word for "a" in Hebrew. The "a" is implied. If you want to be really strict you can translate it "And he shall confirm covenant..." – Jack Mar 13 '19 at 14:08

There is no article at all in the MT text before ברית in Daniel 9:27. So you can translate it as any of

  1. Covenant
  2. The Covenant
  3. A covenant

To decide the best translation you need to consider the context.

Since this verse appears to describe a sequence in which the annointed king at first upholds the Covenant, then disolves the sacrificial cult, establishes foreign worship and finally brings physical destruction, it would appear that the covenant referred to in this verse is specifically the torah of Moses. So either 1) "Covenant" or 2) "the Covenant" fits the context better than 3) "a covenant". The first option is closer to the Hebrew expression. The second is clearer to the English speaking reader with no knowledge of Hebrew.

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