The 70 Week Prophecy in the Book of Daniel is One of the Most Significant Prophecies in the Bible. Let’s see why.
For 70 years (weeks of years – 490 years) Israel was held captive in Babylon because they did not observe Gods commandment to let the land rest every 49 years. In reading the book of Jeremiah, Daniel understood that Jeremiah foretold of a 70-year period of Babylonian captivity before the restoration of Israel would come to pass (Jeremiah 29:10).
So Daniel prayed, and God heard his prayer. As he prayed, the angel Gabriel came to him, telling him of an additional time period, a time of shevuim shevim (seventy sevens) or 490 years. This was the time that would elapse before sin would end and everlasting righteousness on earth would be established:
What Are The Seventy Years (seventy Sevens):
“Seventy ‘sevens’ (Shevuim) are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.” (Daniel 9:24).
Shevuim (sevens) is similar to the concept of a decade (10 years), but refers to a seven-year period. Seventy sevens (70 X 7), therefore, represents a period of 490 years before the prophecy would be fulfilled.
Of these 490 years, 483 have been fulfilled with remarkable precision; they represent the time between the decree by the Persian king Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8) and the cutting off of Jesus the Messiah. From the ruler of Persia’s (Artaxerxes Longimanus) decree to rebuild the temple exactly 483 years later (483 out of 490), from that exact time which was 173,880 days forward, Jesus marched into Jerusalem and for the first time allowed himself to be called the Messiah; the son of David. Because Jesus knew that this was the appointed time for the true Messiah to announce himself to the Jews and to the world!
There is no real debate among conservative interpreters as to who is spoken of by the phrase “the Messiah will be cut off” (Dan. 9:26), as a revelation of the crucifixion of Christ, which occurred four days after Jesus entrance into Jerusalem. Thus, it means that Jesus would be crucified after completion of the seven and 62nd week (the 63rd week).
Isn’t it amazing that from the day Jesus was announced as Messiah till the day of his Resurrection was Seven days! I believe God confirms fulfillment’s in Sevens!
In Dan 9:26 we read what would also happen before the 70th week “….And the people of the prince who is to come (Roman Empire), Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”. Daniel prophecies Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD!
Jesus confirms Daniel’s prophecy again in Mathew 23:37-39, when he states that Jerusalem would be destroyed because the Jews had rejected their Messiah. Jerusalem was totally destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews were subsequently dispersed throughout the world!
Then almost 2 millenniums later, the final 7 years of allotted time will be the final 7 years of the 490 years on earth (tribulation) where the 144,000 (12,000 of each tribe of Israel) will be sealed.
Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948, and she regained her capital Jerusalem in 1967, so that everything is now perfectly in place for this last 7 years to (the Tribulation period) take place.
Now we wait for God to decide the precise moment to restart the countdown to the final return of the Messiah (assuming it has not already started).
All prophecy is a testament as to the validity of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and how ONLY he, the one and ONLY God of the universe knows exactly, to the day, all of the events of the future! Revelation 19:10 “…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy”
Explanation of the Last Week of the Prophecy:
Daniel 9:27: “He [the ruler at that time - the Anti-Christ] will confirm a covenant [peace treaty] with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ (3 and 1/2 years) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation.” He will defile the temple by taking it over and claiming that he is God and that all must worship him instead of God! This is exactly what Lucifer attempted to do before he was cast out of heaven and became Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15).
At the halfway point in the seven-year covenant, the Anti-Christ will set up an abomination in the Temple, perhaps an image of himself to be worshiped. (We also read about this time frame in Revelation 11:2-3; 12:6; and 13:5.)
By desecrating the temple at the mid-point of the tribulation period, Satan is trying to imitate (the only thing he can do) the first coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah, so that he can fool the majority of the inhabitants of the world in the last days. Unfortunately for them, many will believe Satan and worship him & will take the mark of the beast (symbolized as 666)! This is because of their lack of knowledge of the word!
The mid-point of the Tribulation starts after the abomination of desolation happens. The last 3 1/2 years or 1260 days will be the Great Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). It will end when the Lord Jesus returns (Daniels’ last 7 years or 70th week) just before it can be totally destroyed by a demon possessed world (Mathew 24:22).
When Jesus was asked about His 2nd coming and the end of the age (Matthew 24:3-15), He referred to Daniel 9:27, again confirming the accuracy of the book of Daniel.
Recent escalated attempts at peace in the Middle East (regrettably by trying to divide up Israel again) may just be a precursor for the fulfillment of Daniel’s final seven-year period. This false peace covenant will begin the 70th week in Daniel’s prophecy, the final seven-year stretch before the return of the Lord. “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
The Bible clearly warns against dividing up Israel and that the Lord will judge the nations for doing so. “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.” (Joel 3:2).
Mankind continues to turn a death ear to the precepts and the warnings of God and the prophets, until God acts – and that will happen soon!
Why this huge gap in time?
I believe it is to allow time for God’s Christian church to evolve and grow to its size of today. Even more important – for the salvation of many souls during the past 2000 years, and to allow time for the Jews to repent and acknowledge that Jesus Christ indeed was and is the true Messiah that they have been anxiously awaiting, all of this time.
As noted earlier, Jesus would be crucified after completion of the seven and 62nd week, and before the beginning of the 70th week mentioned. There is then this gap.
The Reason why Dan 9:27 supports a gap between the 69th week and 70th week is that none of the events specifically said to occur during the 70th week (Dan. 9:27) have taken place yet. Cunning as he is, Satan will take advantage of this gap in time to make a seven year covenant between the Antichrist and the nation of Israel, who after a couple thousand years will feel abandoned by God, and hated by all nations.
Of course since Satan is the father of lies, he will break the covenant that he never planned to keep in the first place.
Since the week of years is a seven-year period, the middle of a week of years would be three and a half years into the seven-year period. Interestingly, Daniel 7:25 and 12:7 both refer to a three and a half year period (time, times, and half a time). The context of both Daniel passages speak of the future time of the beast or the Antichrist. This would support a futurist understanding of the seventieth week.
Daniel 7:25 says, “And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” While this passage was given to Daniel before he received the revelation of chapter nine, it seems clear that the logic for the chronology of Daniel 7:25 is drawn from the seventy weeks prophecy of chapter nine. Daniel 12:7 reads as follows: “And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.” Both Daniel 9:27 and 12:7 speak of the Antichrist’s rule coming to an end at the conclusion of the same three and a half year period. This supports the notion that they both refer to a yet future time that we often call the Great Tribulation.
If this is confusing to you, you are not alone – the vast majority of the world, perhaps 99%, are clueless about what the prophecies mean! Just pray that God helps open your mind and spiritual eyes so that these prophecies are unsealed for you. The more you study the prophecies, the clearer this will all become.
Next week we will cover some more of Daniel’s Prophecies! I hope you are as excited as I am about exploring these end day prophecies!
Until then, God bless you!
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Recommended Reading and Sources:
The Secret of Daniel’s Prophecy coming alive Today – From The Messianic Prophecy – Bible Project – http://www.onegospelonetruth.com/index.html
The Three Kings Of Daniel 11- This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley – http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/the-thrkings-of-the-north-and-the-south/
Why a Gap in Daniel’s 70 Weeks - By Dr. Thomas Ice – Pre-Trib Research Center – www.bibleprophecyblog.com
The Sequel to the Rapture – By Randy Nettles – http://www.raptureready.com/soap/nettles1.html
Is Egypt’s president fulfilling biblical prophecy? – Joel Richardson – http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/is-egypts-president-fulfilling-biblical-prophecy/