Daniel's 70 Weeks

 

The prophet Daniel was a captive in Babylon after the Kingdom of Judah was invaded by Nebuchadnezzar.  One evening, while he was praying for an end to the Jewish dispersion and for the rebuilding of YHVH's temple, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and said: 

Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the VISION.

Daniel 9:24 SEVENTY sevens have been decreed for YOUR PEOPLE and your HOLY CITY to  1) finish the transgression, 2)make an end of sin 3)make atonement for iniquity, 4)bring in everlasting righteousness, 5)seal up vision and prophecy and, 6)to anoint the most holy.

Daniel 9:25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree  7)to restore and rebuild JERUSALEM until Messiah the Prince there will be seven sevens [seven weeks] and sixty-two sevens [a total of 69 weeks];  8)the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Daniel 9:26 Then AFTER the sixty-two weeks  9)the Messiah will be CUT OFF, but not of himself, and the people of the prince who is to come will 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. 

It is important to notice that this prophecy of 70 weeks was determined for the JEWISH PEOPLE and for JERUSALEM.  The fulfillment of the seventy weeks occurred at the time of Jesus our Messiah.  It was fulfilled in the person of Jesus and upon the holy city Jerusalem. 

It is a well known fact of history that Jerusalem was going to incur in desolations till the time of the end.

Jerusalem " is a city that has been besieged about forty different times and destroyed (at least partially) on thirty-two different occasions...'The City of Peace' has known wars and destruction since it existence was first known to us from the Biblical record."

Daniel 9:27 And he 10)shall confirm a covenant with the many [on] week one, and in the half of the week [week one] he shall 11)make cease sacrifice and offering; and upon a wing as abominations 12)a desolator even until [the] end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator.

Bible students recognize that these "seventy weeks" that had been decreed are symbolic of years --each day representing a year, for a total of 490 years.

It was this same year-for-a-day principle that was used in Numbers 14:34.  Because of unbelief, the Israelites were to wander for 40 years in the wilderness, a year for each day that the spies were searching out the land. 

This same scale of a year for a day was used in Ezekiel 4:4-6 I have appointed thee a day for a year, a day for a year.

Furthermore, the angel Gabriel states 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 --a total of 69 prophetic weeks or 483 years.  The Messiah, therefore, had to appear at this exact time in history, and He did, fulfilling the prophecy.

We will explain the topics stated by the angel Gabriel in the verses just quoted above from Daniel 9: 23-27.

1.  TO FINISH TRANSGRESSION.  

Yeshua finished transgression with His sacrifice.  

Isaiah 53:5 He was wounded for our transgressions.

As He was dying, He cried: 

John 19:30 "It is FINISHED."

2.  TO MAKE AN END OF SINS. 

Our redeemer was called Yeshua, which in Hebrew means Savior, because as prophesied:

Matthew 1:21 "He will save His people from their sins"

The old system of sacrifices could never make an end of sins. 

Hebrews 10:4-14  It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins... But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever... has perfected forever those that are being made holy.

Christ -- by the sacrifice of himself -- did make an end of sins.

Hebrews 9:26 He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 10:17
their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.

John the Baptist announced Him as "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). 

The apostle John said:

1 John 3:5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

The apostle Paul stated:

1 Corinthians 15:3  Christ died for our sins. 

The apostle Peter said: 

l Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 

Yeshua made the eternal sacrifice for sin, so that all who accept Him as savior can be forgiven of their sins.  Our Lord's death almost 2,000 years ago made an "end of sin."

3.  TO MAKE ATONEMENT/RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY. 

Jesus, our "merciful and faithful high priest in service to God" made "ATONEMENT for the sins of the people" (Hebrew 2:17).  

The apostle Paul says: 

Col. 1:20 to RECONCILE all things unto himself... by making peace through His blood shed on the cross. 

2 Corinthians 5:19 God was in Christ, RECONCILING the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the message of RECONCILIATION. 

Plainly, reconciliation for sins was accomplished by Jesus.  He is our Savior.

Isaiah 53:6 the Lord has laid on Him the INIQUITY of us all.

Titus 2:14 gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all INIQUITY. 

4.  TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS. 

The prophet Isaiah prophesied about our Lord Yeshua:

Isaiah 53: 11 My righteous servant shall make many RIGHTEOUS, and He shall bear their iniquities. 

Paul said it with these words:

Romans 5:18-20 By the righteousness of one...shall many be made RIGHTEOUS

Romans 3:21-25 This RIGHTEOUSNESS of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe... and are justified freely through the redemption that is by Christ Jesus,  whom God has set forth as a sacrifice of atonement ...

1 Corinthians 1:30  was made unto us wisdom, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and holiness, and redemption.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Him

When Christ came as "the son of man," He brought in EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS by paying for our sins with His death.  This sacrifice is everlasting because now people can obtain redemption for their sins by accepting Yeshua and honoring His commandments.

This eternal or everlasting righteousness is contrasted to the sacrifices under the law which were only of a temporary nature.

Hebrews 9:12 By his own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 

After His sacrifice, no more sacrifices need to be made.  Yeshua came "to fulfill all righteousness'' (Mat. 3:15).

5.  TO SEAL UP VISION AND PROPHECY.  

In the past, when a document was finished, it was sealed.  

Revelation 5:1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.

Christ "sealed"  Old Testament prophecy by fulfilling what was written of Him, so that the word of God would be true:

Matthew 11:13 for all the prophets and the law prophesied till John.

Acts 3:18 Those things which God had announced beforehand by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, He has so fulfilled.

When the 69 prophetic weeks of Daniel were fulfilled, those who knew the prophecy were expecting the appearance of the Messiah.  At that time, John the Baptist started his missionary work. 

Luke 3:15 the people were in expectation, and all were reasoning in their hearts about  John, whether he were the Christ or not

John plainly told them that he was not the Christ; he was only preparing the way for the Messiah.

The time was ready for Jesus to be "made manifest to Israel" (John 1:29-31).  He appeared to Israel right on time.  Jesus, referring to the prophecy of Daniel, said:

Mark 1:15 "The TIME is fulfilled"

Yeshua/Jesus was the one that was to come; He is the fulfillment of  vision and prophecy as written in the Tanach (the law and the prophets).  

Matthew 5:17-18 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

6. THE MOST HOLY WAS TO BE ANOINTED. 

This statement refers to Jesus, the Messiah. 

David spoke concerning Christ: 

Acts 2:27 neither will you suffer your HOLY one to see corruption. 

The angel Gabriel announced to Mary:  

Luke 1:35 "what is born [of you] shall be called HOLY, the Son of God"

Demons recognized Him as

Mark 1:24 "The HOLY one of God"  

Peter referred to Him as

Acts 3:14 "the HOLY and righteous one"  

The apostle John referred to Him as

1 John 2:20 "the HOLY one"  

Revelation 3:7 says of Yeshua: "These are the things He says who is HOLY, who is true..."   

The living creatures say of Him:

Revelation 4:8 "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY" before this one "which was, and is, and is to come"

The word "Christ" in Greek means the same as the word "Messiah" in Hebrew.  Both words mean "the anointed one."

The angel Gabriel told Daniel that the time period unto the Messiah would be 69 weeks (483 years). This measured up to the time when Jesus was baptized and anointed to begin his ministry as the Messiah, the Christ, the "Anointed One."

When Jesus entered on the Sabbath day into the synagogue in Nazareth, He read from the prophet Isaiah: 
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor," and then, closing the book and having sat down, with the eyes of all being fastened intently upon Him, He said:

Luke 4 :16-21 "THIS DAY is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears"  

Luke 4:18-22 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has ANOINTED me"  

At that time, the Lord declared Himself to be the "Anointed One," fulfilling the prophecy.

In the book of Acts  Peter mentions:

Acts 10:38 God ANOINTED Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit... who went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.

The date of Yeshua's baptism is given in the bible very precisely as "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,"  in order for us to be able to understand the fulfillment of the prophecy.

7.  JERUSALEM WAS TO BE REBUILT. 

  • a) First Decree (King Cyrus to Zerubbabel)

The first decree to rebuilt YHVH's temple was issued by King Cyrus of Persia in the year 538 BC.  Zerubbabel led this FIRST return of the Jews from Babylon to their homeland.  
See:
http://www.tftw.org/Courses/bcc_ots_l8.html

Ezra 6:3 "In the first year of King Cyrus, Cyrus the king issued a decree: 'Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the temple, the place where sacrifices are offered, be rebuilt and let its foundations be retained, its height being 60 cubits and its width 60 cubits;

The decree issued  by King Cyrus in 538 BC was to rebuild the TEMPLE, not the city.

  • b) Second Decree (King Artaxerxes to Ezra)

A later decree was issued by Artaxerxes to Ezra in 458 BC.

Ezra 7:21 "I, even I, King Artaxerxes, ISSUE A DECREE to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done diligently.

See: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/5951/Dan70Wks.html 

  • c) Third Decree (King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah)

The WALL of Jerusalem was not rebuilt until 444 BC, when a decree was issued by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah.

Ezra 9:9 "For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a WALL in Judah and Jerusalem.

8.  THE STREET AND WALL WERE TO BE REBUILT.

The Artaxerxes decree was given to Nehemiah in 444 BC.  This refers to the prophesied restoration of the CITY and its WALLS.

Nehemiah 2:2 The king [Artaxerxes] said to me, Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid. 

Nehemiah 2:3 I said to the king, Let the king live forever: why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies waste, and the gates of it are consumed with fire? 

Nehemiah 2:4 Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 

Nehemiah 2:5 I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant have found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may build it. 

Nehemiah 2:8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertains to the house, and for the WALL of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me. 

9.  MESSIAH WAS TO BE CUT OFF. 

The 69 weeks (7 plus 62) were to measure up unto Messiah and "AFTER the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be CUT OFF, but not of himself."  The expression "after" means Messiah would be cut off in the 70th week.

Also, Messiah would be cut off "in the middle of the week"  The middle of the week is Wednesday.
See Did Christ Die On a Friday?

The term "cut off" implies that Christ would not die a natural death; He would be murdered. The prophet Isaiah used the same expression when he prophesied about our Lord Yeshua:

Isaiah 53:8 He was cut off out of the land of the living.

Messiah was murdered on a Wednesday (the middle of the week), and also in the middle of the 70th prophetic week of Daniel, after 3 1/2 years of missionary work. 

10.  HE SHALL CONFIRM THE COVENANT. 

When Jesus celebrated the Last Passover seder with His disciples, He said:

Matthew 26:28 "This is my blood of the COVENANT, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." 

The symbols of the Passover lamb and the blood of the lamb were now fulfilled in the "lamb of god" and His shed blood on the cross. 

Yeshua is "...the mediator of a better COVENANT, which has been enacted on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6).

Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new COVENANT, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first COVENANT, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new COVENANT, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than [that of] Abel.

The angel Gabriel also stated "And he will make a firm covenant with the many week one."  Yeshua made that covenant in the middle of "week one" of His ministry (3 1/2 years after He began His ministry as Messiah). 

We must observe though, that Yeshua's missionary work was only directed to Israel and not to the rest of the world.   

Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, "I was sent ONLY  to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

If He was cut off in the middle of this "week one" of His ministry, then someone else had to continue the covenant WITH ISRAEL for the rest of the three and a half days of the prophetic week.

Do we have evidence that it became so?

Yes, for a time after the death of Jesus, the apostles kept Yeshua's instructions of only going to the house of Israel. 

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans;

Matthew 10:6 "but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

It was only after Peter had a vision from YHVH that he understood that now (after the last 3 1/2 years were completed) the message of salvation could go to the gentiles.  Peter then went to Joppa and preached Yeshua to Cornelius.

Acts 10:28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with, or to come to, one of another race; but to me God did show to call no man common or unclean."

As prophesied, God's plan of salvation went first to the Jews, and later on to the gentiles.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the JEW FIRST and also to the Greek.

11.  HE SHALL CAUSE THE SACRIFICE AND THE OBLATION TO CEASE. 

In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made on a daily basis. These sacrifices were a shadow of the real fulfillment, looking forward to the time when the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God, would be offered.  See Meaning of the Holy Days.  Once this was accomplished, there was no need anymore for animal sacrifices. 

Hebrews 10: 18, 26 There remains no more sacrifice for sins.

Finally, with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, no more sacrifices would be performed, fulfilling the part of the prophecy about the end of sacrifices and about the desolation of Jerusalem.

12. ONE WHO MAKES DESOLATE. 

The prophecy goes beyond the fulfillment of the 70 weeks, predicting Jerusalem's destruction.  This was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the armies of Titus completely devastated Jerusalem and the temple.  See Tribulation.

As stated previously, Jerusalem has seen desolations up to our present time. Reading again Daniel 9:27, the transliteration from the original Hebrew is:

Daniel 9:27 And he 10)shall confirm a covenant with the many [on] week one, and in the half of the week [week one] he shall 11)make cease sacrifice and offering; and upon a wing as abominations 12)a desolator even until [the] end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator.

Wing means:

A structure attached to and connected internally with the side of a main building.

The angel is telling Daniel that the sacrifices would come to a halt.  This happened in the year AD 70, when the Romans destroyed the temple.  The angel continues explaining that, upon a wing of the temple site, there would be a desolator even until the time of the end.  In 638 AD Moslems conquered Jerusalem, and in 688 AD they built the Dome of the Rock, and in 705 AD the Al-Aksa Mosque over the temple grounds.

The abominations are located not on top of YHVH's holy temple site, but close by (on a wing).  And these desolations of God's temple site have continued up to the present time, as prophesied.

The last part of the prophecy (the judgment decreed on the ones destroying God's holy site in Jerusalem) will be fulfilled in this generation.  Pray for the soon return of Yeshua Ha Mashiah. 

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