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DANIEL 9 – The 70 Weeks
The “seventy weeks” prophecy, found in Daniel 9 begins with Daniel praying for Israel, acknowledging the nation’s sins against God and asking for God’s mercy. As Daniel prayed, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and gave him a vision of Israel’s future. In verse 24, Gabriel says, “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city.” The seventy “sevens” should be understood as seventy “weeks” of years, in other words, a period of 490 years. These verses provide a “timeline” that gives us an idea of when the Messiah would come and some of the events that would accompany His appearance.
IF YOU UNDERSTAND “DANIEL’S SEVENTY WEEKS”, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE IN THE FINAL DAYS OF THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE JESUS RETURNS, USHERING IN THE “GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD”.
WE MUST BE READY The prophecy divides the 490 years into three smaller units:
- one of 49 years,
- one of 434 years, and
- one 7 years.
- The final “week” of 7 years is further divided in half.
Verse 25 says, “From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be
- seven ‘sevens,’ and
- sixty-two ‘sevens.’ ”
- (Seven “sevens” is 49 years, and sixty-two “sevens” is another 434 years: 49 years + 434 years = 483 years
The Purpose of the 70 Weeks (i.e., the 490 years) The prophecy contains a statement concerning God’s six-fold purpose in bringing these events to pass: Verse 24 says this purpose is: 1) “to finish transgression,” (that is, to end man’s rebellion toward God) 2) “to put an end to sin,” (that is, to bring an end to sin) 3) “to atone for wickedness,” (that is, to make amends or reparation for wickedness) 4) “to bring in everlasting righteousness,” (that is, the quality of being morally right or justifiable) 5) “to seal up vision and prophecy,” and (that is, to confirm these prophetic visions) 6) “to anoint the most holy.” (that is, to anoint, or to confer divine or holy office upon; in this case the Holy One, Jesus.) Notice that the results of this six-fold purpose concerns the total eradication of sin and the establishing of righteousness. The prophecy of the 70 weeks summarizes what happens before Jesus sets up His millennial kingdom. *Of special note is the third in the list of results: “to atone for wickedness.” Jesus accomplished the atonement for sin by His death on the cross (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17). The Fulfillment of the 70 Weeks *Gabriel said the prophetic clock would start at the time that a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem. From the date of that decree to the time of the Messiah would be 483 years.
- We know from history that the command to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem” was given by King Artaxerxes of Persia c. 445 B.C. (see Nehemiah 2:1-8).
- The first unit of 49 years (seven “sevens”) covers the time that it took to rebuild Jerusalem, “with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble” (Daniel 9:25). This rebuilding is chronicled in the book of Nehemiah.
- Using the Jewish custom of a 360-day year, 483 years after 445 B.C. places us at A.D. 30, which would coincide with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9). The prophecy in Daniel 9 specifies that after the completion of the 483 years, “the Anointed One will be cut off” (verse 26). This was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified.
- Daniel 9:26 continues with a prediction that, after the Messiah is killed, “the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” This was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The “ruler who will come” is a reference to the Antichrist, who, it seems, will have some connection with Rome, since it was the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem.
The Final Week of the 70 Weeks
- Of the 70 “sevens,” 69 have been fulfilled in history. This leaves one more “seven” yet to be fulfilled.
- Most scholars believe that we are now living in a huge gap between the 69th week and the 70th week. The prophetic clock has been paused, as it were. The final “seven” of Daniel is what we usually call the tribulation period.
- Daniel’s prophecy reveals some actions of the Antichrist, the “ruler who will come.” Verse 27 says, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’” However, “in the middle of the ‘seven,’ he will set up an abomination that causes desolation” in the temple. Jesus warned of this event in Matthew 24:15. After the Antichrist breaks the covenant with Israel, a time of “great tribulation” begins (Matthew 24:21, New King James Version).
- Daniel also predicts that the Antichrist will face judgment. He only rules “until the end that is decreed is poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27). God will only allow evil to go so far, and the judgment the Antichrist will face has already been planned out.
The prophecy of the 70 weeks is complex and detailed There are various interpretations, and most interpretations are unnecessarily convoluted to fit a particular denominational view. However, if you will put biased ‘denominationalism’ aside, and read the prophetic scriptures, first for their plain face-value, then secondly, read them in the context of the entire Bible, an amazingly clear picture emerges. You will find a Pre-Wrath, pre-millennial view. One thing is certain: God has a timetable, and He is keeping things on schedule. God tells us what He has planned from the beginning though the end (Isaiah 46:10), and we should always be looking for the triumphant return of our Lord (Revelation 22:7).
The “Final Week” (Daniel’s Seventieth Week) of the 70 Weeks found in Daniel 9:25, tells us, “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Remember, the “times of distress” is another name for the breaking of the 1st through the 5th Tribulation Seals, which began in AD 1. The “final week” of Daniel’s 70 week, is the 7 years of The Great Tribulation, which will commence with the breaking of the 6th Seal of The Tribulation.
The middle of this final week, (which is 3 1/2 years after the breaking of the 6th Seal), is the Mid-Tribulation point and is found at the blowing of the 7th Trumpet of God’s Wrath.
The flood, found in Daniel 9, verse 26, this time refers to “a flood of people”, that is to say that Jerusalem and her temple would be destroyed again by an overwhelming army. (This occurred in AD 70 with the destruction of the 2nd Temple). This was foreshadowed by the Great Flood in Genesis “A flood” was repeated in the Heavens by the old Dragon and manifest on the earth in the crucifixion of Christ.
NOTE: Verse 26 says, “And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.” Each of the instances of “A Flood”, thereafter, came devastation. Each time God used “a flood” for the purpose described in Daniel 12:10, “Many will be purged, purified and refined” and made ready for the Kingdom of God.”
CONCLUSION: The word “flood” is used about 28 times in the Bible. It is used eleven times in the Book of Genesis and refers to God’s Judgment on the world for sin by the Great Flood.
The word “flood” is used twice in the book of Job, either in general terms or symbolically; then, five times in Psalms, once in Proverbs, Isaiah and Nahum, once in Luke. It is used in reference to God’s Judgments, once in Daniel, twice in Matthew, once in Luke once in 2 Peter and once in Revelation. All of these references are related to the End of Days in some way, except for 2 Peter.
But, I want us to focus on the mention of a flood in conjunction with God’s Judgment and the “End of Days” as mentioned, in Daniel 9, Matthew 24 and Revelation 12. This will tell us about God’s plan and your purpose and need for preparation to take part in His Plan,
Your Brother and Friend,
Also see: Noah’s Flood
Also see: The Flood in Matthew 24