UPDATED 10 APRIL, 2006
Do you believe that the antimessiah/antichrist makes or confirms the covenant with Israel?
In recent years there has been a substantial amount of discussion of the premise that the antimessiah “signs a treaty with Israel” initiating the Seventieth Week, in light of some of the events that we have seen throughout the history of the Middle East peace process. As these are things that have yet to occur, we would like to present several plausible interpretations of how the Seventieth Week will begin from Daniel 9:27.
In the KJV, Daniel 9:27a is translated as “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” Some have interpreted this as meaning that the antimessiah will not initiate a peace treaty or agreement, as is commonly interpreted, but rather give his assent to an already existing one. The interpretation of “confirm” is also resonated in the NIV translation of Daniel 9:27a: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’” The verb translated as either “forge a strong covenant” (ATS) or “make firm” (NASU) or “confirm” (KJV, NIV) in these passages is gavar, appearing in the Hifil stem (casual action, passive voice) meaning, “be strong, mighty,” which BDB indicates means “confirm a covenant” in this context.”
Considering the fact that we are dealing with future events in this text, we must consider several interpretational possibilities. It is clear that the Seventieth Week either begins when this leader makes an agreement with the government of Israel, or confirms and gives his support to an existing treaty and strengthens it. Either way, the overwhelming conclusion we must draw from this is that the Seventieth Week does not begin with the rapture as so many falsely believe.
 BDB, 149.