Q. Some Orthodox Jews claim that Daniel 9:24-27 was translated incorrectly by the Christian scholars. Hebrew “mashiach” has nothing to do with “the Messiah”. Is that correct?
A. Messiah is the English version of the Hebrew word Mashiach, so they are one and the same. What some Jews claim is that in the Hebrew understanding of the word, there’s no indication that it means Savior, one who would die for the sins of the people. And they’re correct, the word means anointed one, and in the Hebrew understanding normally applies to someone chosen to be King.
In fact, a major problem the Jews have with Jesus as the Messiah is the fact that He never fulfilled any of the prophecies related to being the King of Israel, what we would call 2nd Coming prophecies. Since Jews deny the concept of the Trinity, they believe the Messiah is an ordinary man whom God has anointed, so when Jesus died without fulfilling these prophecies it proved to them that He couldn’t have been their Messiah.
Here’s the part they hope you don’t know. The Messiah in Daniel 9:25 is called Messiah the Prince, meaning that He would not yet be a king but would eventually become one. He would be the Son of the King. Daniel 9:26 says that this prince would come on the scene 483 years after the Jews received permission to rebuild Jerusalem, and would be “cut-off” and have nothing. This means He would be executed before He could become their King. Then the Romans would destroy the city and the Temple.
Jesus came on the scene 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. This is confirmed by comparing Nehemiah 2:1 with Palm Sunday. He was not yet a King, but often referred to Himself as the King’s Son. He healed the sick, made the lame walk, and raised the dead, as their Scriptures said the Messiah-King would do. He was executed before He could become their King and 38 years later the Romans destroyed the city and burned the Temple. He’s the only one in History that you can say that about. No other person alive during that period of time could have qualified. If Jesus didn’t come to be their Messiah-King, then Daniel’s prophecy didn’t come true and God broke His word to them.
You should understand that the goal of these people, who are called anti-missionaries, it not to teach you the truth about God’s word. It’s to make you question your understanding of it and weaken your faith. They don’t have to prove that they’re right, they just have to make you wonder if you’re wrong.