Main article: Preliminary Events in Prophecy
Related: The Great Tribulation
The covenant. The leader of the revived Roman Empire, called "the prince that shall come", will be instrumental getting a treaty or “covenant” online between his people (Rome) and “the many”, which refers to the Jews.
“And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week;” Daniel 9:27
The terms of the covenant. This covenant will undoubtedly be a covenant of protection, referred to in Isaiah 28:15 as “a covenant with death, and with hell”. The expression “shadowing with wings” (Isa. 18:1) also indicates protection. The apostate nation of Israel will happily enter this covenant to protect them from “the overflowing scourge” (the King of the North) which they know will pass through.
“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” Isa. 28:15
The Personal Beast who takes control of the empire at the middle of the week is referred to as "the god of forces (fortresses)", possibly because he will have massive military power at his command. What will the Jews give Rome in exchange for military protection? We read in Isa. 5 that the returning Jews will bring much affluence and monetary wealth to the land. All available real estate will be bought up with their money; "them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place" (Isa. 5:8). But we have more than inference to go on. We read in Daniel that the apostate king of the Jews (Antichrist) will send money to the Beast! This is clear evidence of the other end of the covenant; “…a god [the Beast] whom his fathers knew not will he [Antichrist, king of the Jews] honor with gold and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things" (Dan. 11:38).
It would appear that the Jews will exchange money for military protection. In addition to military protection, one of the terms of the covenant will be an agreement to allow the Jewish sacrifices to be resumed in the Temple. This means that a temple will need to be built before the prophetic week begins, or shortly thereafter! Today, the temple mount is occupied by the Dome of the Rock. We know that the sacrifices will be resumed because Dan. 9:27 makes it clear that the Beast will "cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease" at the middle of the week, breaching the terms of the covenant; "he hath broken his covenant" (Psa. 55:20).
God's view of the covenant. This covenant will be in direct opposition to the Word of God. The Lord says, “Say ye not, A confederacy.” (Isa 8:12). The Lord will ask the Jews to trust in Him, and not lean on the strength of the flesh, and human confederacies. In opposition to this human covenant, "thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste" (Isa. 28:16). It is on account of this covenant ("for the overspreading of abominations" Dan. 9:27) that the Lord will send “a desolator” (the King of the North) to accomplish His judgments upon the apostate nation of Israel. Will the covenant protect them?
“And your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, ye shall be trodden down by it.” Isa. 28:18
The first event of the Prophetic Week. The signing of this covenant is the event that restarts the "prophetic clock" of Daniel's seventy weeks, not the Rapture, as many believe. The prophetic clock has been on "pause" for two-thousand years while the Father has been calling out the bride and co-heirs of His Son.