The Bible’s “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks’ Prophecy” is one of the most significant and detailed Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. Starting around 538 B.C., it presents a prophetic path of earth’s history as it concerns God’s Plan of Perfection for humankind and the cosmos, to its fiery conclusion. This amazing prophecy is found in the Bible’s Old Testament book of Daniel, chapter nine.
The chapter 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.” Almost all commentators agree that the seventy “sevens” should be understood as seventy “weeks” of years, in other words, a period of 490 years. These verses provide a sort of “clock” that gives an idea of when the Messiah would come and some of the events that would accompany His appearance.
The prophecy goes into such detail as to divide the 490 years into three smaller units:
- one of 49 years,
- one of 434 years, and
- one of 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 (445 BC)
- until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, (30 A.D.)
- there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and
- sixty-two ‘sevens.’”
- Seven “sevens” is 49 years, and
- sixty-two “sevens” is another 434 years:
- When did Daniel have his vision about the End of Days?
- What is Daniel’s Seventy Weeks?
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,”
2) “to put an end to sin,”
3) “to atone for wickedness,”
4) “to bring in everlasting righteousness,”
5) “to seal up vision and prophecy,” and
6) “to anoint the most holy.”
Notice that these results concern the total eradication of sin and the establishing of righteousness. The prophecy of the 70 weeks summarizes what happens before the End of the Age, and when Jesus sets up His millennial kingdom. (From Gotquestions.org, seventy weeks)
- When did the 70 Weeks (490 years) begin?
Gabriel said the prophetic clock would start at the time that a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem. From the date of that decree, 445 BC, to the time of the Messiah (30 AD) 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” (see 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 (see 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. (From Gotquestions.org, seventy weeks)
- When does the final week, the 70th Week of Daniel, begin?
Read again, in Daniel 9:26, the 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.
This issue has been hotly debated for centuries. Scriptures have been clear. A simple face-value reading of scriptures leads to the conclusion that the final 7 Weeks, the ‘times of distress’ also known as a period of tribulation (not to be confused with the Great Tribulation Period or the “Wrath of the Lamb”), will begin with the breaking of the breaking of the 6th Seal of
After that, the Mid-Point of the Great Tribulation, (after 3 1/2 years) begins with the blowing of the 6th Tribulation Trumpet and will conclude after the pouring out of the 6th Tribulation Bowl Judgment.
- What will happen to the people on earth?
All of those who, by faith, have repented of their sins, and who have confessed Jesus as savior and followed Him in obedience, will be saved. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Verse 17. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
- Is there anything I need to do to get ready for these events?
Yes. Romans10:9, says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; verse 10. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Matthew24:42 also tells us, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Verse 43. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Verse 44. “For this reason, you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Verse 45. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Verse 46. “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”
“Giving hem their food at the proper time” means you are to be teaching them about Jesus, His Gospel Message, and making them disciples of Jesus and teaching them to go and make other disciples. (Click the link here for a timeline comparison chart: Daniel’s 70 Weeks – A comparison of a World History Timeline, Daniel’s 70 Weeks Timeline, and A Biblical Timeline.
NEXT: Part 3 – Where are we on The End Times Clock?
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