By Charles R. Sabo The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 I am excited to write of this passage as it is truly one of the most important yet misunderstood passages in all of the Holy Bible. The prophecy of the seventy weeks of Daniel has been researched heavily and argued about even more and yet still is one of the most misunderstood passages in the word of God. I will present a clearer understanding of this prophecy through my past and present research as well as the help from the Holy Spirit of God. As Israel went into captivity at the hands of the Babylonians, they were taken into captivity in three separate groups between 605 B.C. and 586 B.C. In the first of the three waves of captivities, King Nebuchadnezzar took the young, scholarly children of the wealthier and royal families. Among that first wave of captives was the young prophet, Daniel. Daniel made an impact in Babylon with King Nebuchadnezzar as God used him to influence the King’s eventual conversion to a believer in the Most High God. As Daniel got older, He realized that the time of captivity was coming to its conclusion as he was aware of the prophecy of Jeremiah whom proclaimed from God that the captivity in Babylon would be for seventy years. Jeremiah 29:10-“For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” Daniel began to pray to God for His help and acknowledgment of the time that was near for Israel to be freed to go back and occupy the Promised Land once again. As Daniel prayed, the angel Gabriel appeared to him; Gabriel proclaimed that he was sent to him to give him more clarity of what was to happen. Gabriel then declared to Daniel about the seventy weeks as one can read starting in verse 24 of Daniel chapter 9. Daniel 9:24-“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” For someone to first read this verse without having never seen nor heard of it, would cause one to be confused and frustrated to understand the meaning. Fortunately, fifteen hundred years have passed and many have come to an agreement on the exact interpretation of the words here “seventy weeks”. “For those aquatinted with Hebrew, they will notice that the same word appears twice at the beginning of verse 24. That twice used word is “sâbu‘îm,” meaning “seventy sevens.” This Hebrew word appears first as a plural noun, followed by the participle form, functioning as an adjective. That this Hebrew phrase should be rendered as “seventy sevens,” is unanimously agreed upon by representatives of all interpretative schools. There is also great consensus that the “seventy sevens” refers to years, since this is what Daniel was contemplating in Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10-14, as evident in Daniel 9:2. Thus, our Lord has in mind seventy weeks of years, or 490 years.” The author of the above quotation, Thomas Ice, mentions later that the word “determined” in this context is used only once in all of the Old Testament. I checked this out and found that he was right. In the Strongs Concordance, determined, used by the King James Version, is H2852 as the word “chathak” which means to divide or determine. Ice continues to mention that Gabriel was careful to say this word as God was careful in His dividing of the time. It is important to realize that these seventy weeks are determined for Daniels’s people and the holy city and not as the “replacement theology” heretics like to do and exclude Israel out of the remaining Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. The reason that this, most of all, pertains to Israel only is that Israel was guilty of not keeping the seventh year of rest for their land as the Lord had commanded. Israel had failed to keep the Sabbath rest of the land seventy times, therefor they owed the land seventy years of rest and so the captivity lasted seventy years so that the land could rest. Also, the time frame of the prophecy equates to seventy Sabbath years times the seven years total elapsed between each Sabbath which equals the timeframe that they were guilty of not obeying God and His commandment. Leviticus 25:3-“Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.” The remainder of verse 24, points out the purpose of the 490 years as to what was to be accomplished. If one looks, one will see six items that will be accomplished. Usually when the word of God presents a list, it can be subdivided into smaller groups of categories. Many have divided these six items into three subgroups of two, but author Thomas Ice divides them into two subgroups of three. “I believe that these six items are arranged in two groups of three, instead of three groups of two. The first triad has to do with sin, and interestingly these are the exact words that Daniel used in his prayer in 9:5. God is speaking to Daniel’s prayer through the first three goals. The second set of three goals for the 490 year period have to do with God’s righteousness.” The first three items all pertain to sin. Israel was being used by God to bring into the world the Messiah. The Messiah was promised to mankind since the fall in the Garden of Eden. This Messiah was to atone for the sins of the world. The second three items pertain to God’s righteousness and how He would bring that to the world and bring to the world His kingdom whereby He would rule in righteousness. Daniel 9:25-“ Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” The most argued about and controversial part of the seventy weeks prophecy is “when was the ‘commandment’ given to restore and build the temple”? Some say that is was Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. as proclaimed in Nehemiah chapter one. But the most obvious one that makes the most sense is the one by Cyrus whom commanded the rebuilding of the temple only one year after Daniel received the prophecy. Isaiah had prophesized this in Isaiah 44:24 as well as Isaiah 45:1. Isaiah 44:28-“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” Isaiah 45:1-“Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;” The issue that gets Cyrus rejected is the fact it is 569 years from that commandment until the Messiah was to be cut-off (crucified). That is a difference of 79 years. Many can understand that the seventy years of rest that Israel had denied the land did not happen in consecutive years adding up to the full 490 years. So one should be able to understand that there may have been a gap between the first “seven” weeks and the other “sixty-two” weeks. It is obvious that God had meant for a gap as well between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week. This is very obvious since we live almost 2,000 years since the conclusion of the sixty-ninth week and we still have not seen the beginning of the seventieth week. “These ‘weeks’ (shevuim) were to be seven year cycles, each beginning with a year one and concluding with year seven as a Sabbatical Year—as was established in the Mosaic Law. In other words, the first year of the seventy could not begin in, say, the fourth or third or fifth year of a Jewish Sabbatical cycle, but in its first year. This is something that most scholars do not take into account when trying to calculate the time. Nor do they understand that there was a gap between the seventh and eighth ‘weeks’.” J.R. Church believes that Daniel addressed Cyrus in the last verse of Daniel chapter one because it was the year that Cyrus made the commandment. Isaiah 1:21-“And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.” It makes sense since the seventy years was expiring then and it would be another 91 years before 445 B.C. when Artaxerxes would make his commandment. If it was Artaxerxes, this would make God a liar since the captivity was to only be seventy years and they needed to be able to go back to rebuild right after the expiration of the seventy years. J.R. Church gives a detailed account of a seventy-seven year interim period between the seventh and eighth weeks of this prophecy. I cannot go into the details as he has, but will give important information that he mentions. “I see a gap of 77 years between the seventh and eighth weeks. The counting of the sixty-two weeks was resumed in 408/407 B.C., the 21st Jubilee Year. During the time of this gap, in 464 B.C., Artaxerxes (son of Xerxes) ascended the Persian throne. He sent Ezra with furnishings for the Temple in 457 B.C., sent Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and gates. Nehemiah built the walls of the fortified city in 53 days, amidst threats of war. I believe these were the ‘troublous times’ mentioned by Gabriel in Daniel 9:25.” So what J.R. Church has implied here is that the troublous times were during the seventy-seven year interim period and not during the sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy fulfilled. The beginning of the sixty-two years is key to the coming of messiah. J. R. Church gives his view which links it to start on a Jubilee year. “Near the end of the reign of the Persian king Ochus (Darius), Judah observed the Sabbatical Year of 409/408 B.C. This was the seventy-seventh year after the death of Ahasuerus, husband of the beloved and revered Queen Esther. This Sabbatical Year was followed by Judah’s twenty-first Jubilee Year in 408/407 B.C. I think Gabriel intended to resume the counting of the next sixty-two Sabbatical cycles with the onset of this Jubilee Year.” It seems that Nehemiah finished the wall in 444 B.C. Though there seems to be no specific event that happened to start this remaining sixty-two weeks of years, it does make sense that God is a God of order and precision. He would use the Sabbatical cycles for His prophecy and especially the Jubilee Year. This would be consistent with the judgment of the land Sabbaths missed by Israel as God determines the start and end years according to the Sabbatical cycles. This calculation brings the Messiah to be “cut-off” on the Sabbatical year of A.D. 26/27. The history of the transition between B.C. and A.D. is very ambiguous and I will not go into the accuracy of this date to what is believed in the church history books. Daniel 9:26-“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” “Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” in verse 26 should be looked at by looking to the past and seeing that the messiah was cut-off for He was crucified and He was crucified for His believers to atone for their sins. That has now been fulfilled as Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary. The next statement in verse 26 is one that declares the origin of the “antichrist” of seventieth week of this prophecy. The city and the sanctuary was to be destroyed by the same people that later will bring a descendent to be that antichrist. We know this to be that antichrist and he can be identified by verse 27 to be the one whom successfully negotiates a covenant between Israel and her enemies to start the last week or seven years of the seventy week prophecy. We know this prophecy of the destruction of the city and the sanctuary to have already been fulfilled. This happened in A.D. 70 after Jesus Christ had been crucified. Daniel 9: 26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” In Luke 21, Jesus was speaking to the Christians and warning them to flee when they see the city compassed with armies. Many Christians remembered what Jesus had said and did flee Jerusalem. Flavius Josephus was the famous Jewish historian whom wrote of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. He was very thorough in his observation of the events of that time. He makes no notes of any Christians having been killed in Jerusalem in his coverage of that event. This revelation by Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple confirmed the authenticity of the prophecy in Daniel 9:26. Luke 21:20-“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” If one checks back in history, one will find that Titus and the Roman army invaded and destroyed the temple in A.D. 70. The prophecies in Daniel 9:26, Luke 19, Luke 21, Mark 13:2 and Matthew 24:2 all came true. “the seditious lay still for a little while, and then attacked the Romans again, when those that guarded the holy house fought with those that quenched the fire that was burning the inner [court of the] temple; but these Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the holy house itself. At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward, the Jews made a great clamor, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered any thing to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing, for whose sake it was that they kept such a guard about it.” Knowing that it was Titus and the Roman army that destroyed the city and the sanctuary, one can then conclude that the antichrist will be of Rome as well. The last sentence after the semi-colon in Daniel 9:26… ;”and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”, has ambiguity to it. I have seen many scholars link this to being connected to the destruction of the city and sanctuary in A.D. 70, but I see no indication of a flood in Flavius Josephus’ writings. Some try to interpret this allegorically in this one place while the rest of the prophecy is literal. In a prophecy, one cannot sway back and forth between literal and allegorical meanings. In prophecy for the last days, one can find one potential flood which can be even connected specifically to a location. Ezekiel 29:9-“And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. 11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.” God has placed partial judgment on Egypt which fulfilled the first part of Ezekiel prophecy in verse 1-8, but starting in verse 9, this has not been fulfilled. Never has Egypt been left desolate and waste for forty years with no man or beast passing through it. During the time of Ezekiel, it is not known of a tower being located in Syene. Only in the last century has a tower of sort been built in Syene. The modern day tower in Syene is known as the Aswan Dam. This dam was built last century to block the flow of the Nile enough to provide Egyptians with more control over the land for construction. With the destruction of this dam, one could devastate a large area of Egypt. If one was to send a nuclear bomb to the Aswan Dam, the radioactive flood water would be devastating to all life. If one could speculate, it might take about forty years before any living thing could go through that land. The wars leading to the time of the seventieth week would be the Psalm 83 battle that may lead to the Ezekiel 29:9-11 devastation as well as the Isaiah 17:1 destruction of Damascus. This makes sense then to see the last statement “and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Daniel 9-27-“ And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Through Daniel 9:27, one can know the identity of the “antichrist” as someone who is the initiator or negotiator of that seven year covenant between Israel and her enemies. Some grammatically incompetent people will mistakenly connect the “he” in verse 27 to the Messiah in verse 26. If one knows how to use pronouns properly, one needs to connect the “he” in verse 27 to the most previously mentioned noun which was the “prince” of the people that destroyed the sanctuary. The antichrist can be identified, but he never really declares himself as god nor assumes totally control of the earth until the mid-point of the seven years. If one looks carefully at the Book of Revelation, one can see in chapter 12 that the “women” (Israel) is protected in the wilderness for three and a half years. This will happen after the abomination of desolations (Daniel 9:27) occurs as Jesus had commanded the remnant of Jews to do once the event had happened. Jesus is quoted in Matthew chapter 24. Matthew 24:15-“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” Looking to the middle of the seven years, one can view a prophecy of the “abomination of desolations” spoken of in Daniel 9:27 which was later confirmed by Jesus to still be yet in the future as Jesus spoke in Matthew 24. One can see the timing of this event in Daniel 9:27 because the word “midst” means “middle”. So to be precise, the middle of seven years is at the three and one half year point. God is precise as to measure the timing while He uses a 360 day year. Three times 360 days plus one half of 360 days equals 1,260 days. So the abomination of desolations will happen on either the 1260th or 1261st day after the signing of the covenant that started this seven year period. This antichrist causes the daily sacrifices at the Holy Temple to cease and then declares himself as God at the Holy Temple. This is what is known as the Abomination of Desolations which is described in verse 27 as “the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate”. One can see this more clearly explained in Daniel chapter 11. Daniel 11:36-“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” If one then looks in Chapter 13 of Revelation, one will see God is showing the rising to power of the antichrist that which those Jews whom were in Judea saw and fled from. At this point in Chapter 13, is the middle of the seven year, 70th week of Daniel. With it understood that these seven years consist of 360 days in a year, the mid-point would be equal to 3 ½ years or 42 months that have past. Notice in verse 5 of chapter 13, he was given power to reign forty and two months which is equal to three and a half years which can also be interpreted as “times, time and ½ of time”. In scripture, “time” equals to one year while “times” is equal to two years. Then it is easy to see that ½ of time is equal to a ½ year. As per verse 5 of Revelation 13, the antichrist will be given power for 42 months which is the 2nd half of the seven years. Revelation 13:4-“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Notice in verse 6 of Revelation chapter 13, the beast speaks blasphemies against God and against His tabernacle. Isn’t this the Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Daniel 9:27? In the final statement made in Daniel 9:27, God declares that antichrist will continue until the “consummation” which is the fulfillment of the seventy weeks prophecy as God’s wrath is poured out upon the wicked. “even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Bibliography Church, J.R. Daniel reveals the Bloodline of the Antichrist. Oklahoma City: Prophecy Publications, 2010. Farris, M. H. The formative interpretations of the seventy weeks of daniel. (Order No. NL57028, University of Toronto (Canada)). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 1990: 10-60. Ice, Thomas D. The Seventy Weeks of Daniel. Article Archives,digitalcommons.liberty.edu/pretrib_arch/109, 2009: Paper 109. Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Rome: William Whiston, Translator sacred-texts/jud/josephus/war-7.htm, 1st century. Milner, John. The Seventy Weeks of Daniel, and Persian Chronology. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 1877: 298-303. Strong, James. New Strongs Exhaustive Concordance. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.
Posted on: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:43:33 +0000
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