Daniel’s Prophecy Of 70 Weeks.

I. Video. What happens during the 7 year tribulation or the 70th week of Daniel?

II. Video Data. The Tribulation or 70 week period of Daniel 9. Dr. Renald Showers, Th. M., Th., D. 1935-2019.

III. Introduction. The Book of Daniel is one of the most important books of the Bible. From Daniel’s ninth chapter prophecy in the Old Testament, you will find prophetic relevance to the following New Testament books and Chapters: Matt 5, 24; Mark 9, 13; Luke 1, 19, 21, 24; Acts 1; Revelation 19. You will find literal prophetic connection from Daniel’s Old Testament to its New Testament fulfillment. It is important for everyone to have a good understanding of the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks. By having such knowledge it will help us to provide Biblical answers to those who want to put the church in the Tribulation, which distorts scripture and frightens many people.

IV About my sources of information. Please note that my sources draw conclusions; I do not draw a conclusion, except to restate such a conclusion that has already been made by one of my references. 

V. Explanation of Daniel 9:1-2.

A. The Seventy Years of the Desolations of Jerusalem

9:1-2 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

1. According to the opening verse of chapter 9, the third vision of Daniel occurred “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes.” In other words, the events of Belshazzar’s feast in chapter 5 occurred between the visions of chapters 8 and 9. It is not clear where chapter 6 fits into this order of events, but it also may well have occurred in the first year of the reign of Darius, either immediately before or immediately after the events of chapter 9. If Daniel’s experience at Belshazzar’s feast as well as his deliverance from the lions had already been experienced, these significant evidences of the sovereignty and power of God may well have constituted a divine preparation for the tremendous revelation now about to unfold.

2. The immediate occasion of this chapter, however, was the discovery by Daniel in the prophecy of Jeremiah that the desolations of Jerusalem would be fulfilled in seventy years. The expression by books may be understood to mean “in books.” Jeremiah the prophet, in addition to his oral prophetic announcements, had written his prophecies in the closing days of Jerusalem before its destruction at the hand of the Babylonians. Although the first record of Jeremiah had been destroyed (Jer 36:23), Jeremiah rewrote it, acting on instructions from the Lord (Jer 36:28) Jeremiah himself had been taken captive by Jews rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar and had been carried off to Egypt against his will to be buried in a strange land in a nameless grave, but the timeless Scriptures which he wrote found their way across desert and mountain to far away Babylon and fell into the hands of Daniel. How long Daniel had been in possession of these prophecies is not known, but the implication is that Daniel had now come into the full comprehension of Jeremiah’s prediction and realized that the seventy years prophesied had about run their course. The time of the vision recorded in Daniel 9 was 538 B.C., about 67 years after Jerusalem had first been captured and Daniel carried off to Babylon (605 B.C.).

3, Jeremiah had prophesied, “This whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations” (Jer 25:11-12). Later, Jeremiah added to this prophecy, “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. 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. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 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”{Jer 29:10-14).

4. On the basis of these remarkable prophecies, Daniel was encouraged to pray for the restoration of Jerusalem and the regathering of the people of Israel. Daniel, although too old and probably too infirm to return to Jerusalem himself, lived long enough to see the first expedition of pilgrims return. This occurred in “the first year of Cyrus king of Persia”(Ezra 1:1), and Daniel lived at least until “the third year of Cyrus king of Persia”(Daniel 10:1) and probably some years longer.

5. As brought out in the earlier discussion of chapter 6 relative to Darius the Mede, Darius had been appointed by Cyrus as king of Babylon. The assertion of Daniel 9:1, that Darius “was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans,” indicates that he was invested with the kingship by some higher authority. This well agrees with the supposition that he Was installed as viceroy in Babylonia by Cyrus the Great. This appointment is confirmed by the verb “was made king” (Hebrew homlak) which does not seem a proper reference to Cyrus himself. In this connection, it is of interest that in the Behistun Inscription, Darius I refers to his father, Hystaspes, as having been made king in a similar way.

6. In studying Daniel 9:2 with its reference to “the desolations of Jerusalem,” Sir Robert Anderson distinguishes the duration of the captivity from the duration of the desolations of Jerusalem. Anderson states, “The failure to distinguish between the several judgments of the Servitude, the Captivity and the Desolations, is a fruitful source of error in the study of Daniel and the historical books of Scripture.”

7. Anderson goes on to explain that Israel’s servitude and captivity began much earlier than the destruction of the temple. Although Anderson’s dates are not according to current archeological findings (606 b.c. instead of 605 for the captivity, 589 b.c. instead of 586 for the desolation of the temple, and his date for the decree of Cyrus 536 B.C. instead of 538), in general, his approach to the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy is worthy of consideration. As previously discussed in the exposition of chapter 1, the captivity probably began in the fall of 605 B.C. at which time a few, such as Daniel and his companions and other of the royal children, were carried off to Babylon as hostages. The major deportation did not take place until about seven years later. According to Donald J. Wiseman, the exact date of the first major deportation was March 16, 597 b.c, after the fall of Jerusalem following a brief revolt against Babylonian rule. About 60,000 were carried away at that time.

8. Jerusalem itself was finally destroyed in 586 b.c, and this, according to Anderson, began the desolations of Jerusalem, the specific prophecy of Jeremiah 25:11, also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:21 and in Daniel 9:2.

9. The precise prophecy of Jeremiah 25:11-12 predicts that the king of Babylon would be punished at the end of seventy years. Jeremiah 29:10 predicted the return to the land after seventy years. For these reasons, it is doubtful whether Anderson’s evaluation of Daniel 9:2 as referring to the destruction of the temple itself is valid. The judgment on Babylon and the return to the land of course took place about twenty years before the temple itself was rebuilt and was approximately seventy years after captivity beginning in 605 b.c. Probably the best interpretation, accordingly, is to consider the expression the desolations of Jerusalem, in Daniel 9:2 , as referring to the period 605 B.C. to 539 B.C. for the judgment on Babylon, and the date of 538 b.c for the return to the land.

10. This definition of the expression the desolations of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:2) is supported by the word for “desolations” ( h£orbo‚t)which is a plural apparently including the environs of Jerusalem. The same expression is translated “all her waste places” in Isaiah 5:1-3(cf. 52:9). Actually the destruction of territory formerly under Jerusalem control even predated the 605 date for Jerusalem’s fall.

11. Although it is preferred to consider Daniel 9:2 as the period 605 b.c.-539 b.c, Anderson may be right in distinguishing as he does the period of Israel’s captivity from the period of Jerusalem’s destruction. Zechariah 1:12, referring to God’s destruction of the cities of Judah for three score years and ten, may extend to the time when the temple was rebuilt. This is brought out in Zechariah 1:16 where it is stated, “Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.” It is most significant that the return took place approximately seventy years after the capture of Jerusalem in 605 b.c, and the restoration of the temple (515 b.c) took place approximately seventy years after the destruction of the temple (586 b.c), the latter period being about twenty years later than the former. In both cases, however, the fulfillment does not have the meticulous accuracy of falling on the very day, as Anderson attempts to prove. It seems to be an approximate number as one would expect by a round number of seventy. Hence, the period between 605 b.c and 538 b.c would be approximately sixty-seven years; and the rededication of the temple in March of 515 b.c, would be less than seventy-one years from the destruction of the temple in August of 586 b.c

12. What is intended, accordingly, in the statement in Daniel 9:2is that Daniel realized that the time was approaching when the children of Israel could return. The seventy years of the captivity were about ended. Once the children of Israel were back in the land, they were providentially hindered in fulfilling the rebuilding of the temple until seventy years after the destruction of the temple had also elapsed.

13. Several principles emerge from Daniel’s reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy. First, Daniel took the seventy years literally and believed that there would be literal fulfillment. Even though Daniel was fully acquainted with the symbolic form of revelation which God sometimes used to portray panoramic prophetic events, his interpretation of Jeremiah was literal and he expected God to fulfill His word.

14. Second, Daniel realized that the Word of God would be fulfilled only on the basis of prayer, and this occasioned his fervent plea as recorded in this chapter. On the one hand, Daniel recognized the certainty of divine purposes and the sovereignty of God which will surely fulfill the prophetic word. On the other hand, he recognized human agency, the necessity of faith and prayer, and the urgency to respond to human responsibility as it relates to the divine program. His custom of praying three times a day with his windows open to Jerusalem still in desolation revealed his own heart for the things of God and his concern for the city of Jerusalem.

15. Third, he recognized the need for confession of sin as a prelude to restoration. With this rich background of the prophetic program revealed through Jeremiah, Daniel’s own prayer life, and his concern for the city of Jerusalem as the religious center of the nation of Israel, Daniel approaches the task of expressing his confession and intercession to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

16. Because Daniel, for the first time, used the word Lord or Jehovah in Daniel 9:2, repeating the expression in verses 4, 10, 13, 14, and 20, critics have used this as an argument against the authenticity of this passage and the prayer which follows.

B. Notes come from Bible.Org., Dr. John F. Walvoord (A.B., M.A., Th. B., Th.M., Th.D., D.D., Litt. D.. 1910-2002). John was a member of the Dallas Theological Seminary faculty for 50 years, from 1936 to 1986. He served as president of Dallas Seminary from 1952 to 1986, and as chancellor until 2001. He continued to teach and preach until a few weeks before his death at the age of 92.

VI. Summary. 

A. Introduction.  The “seventy weeks” prophecy is one of the most significant and detailed Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. It is found in Daniel 9. 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.

1. The Divisions of the 70 Weeks.

a. 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.

b. The prophecy goes on to divide 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:

c. 49 years + 434 years = 483 years

2. The Purpose of the 70 Weeks

a. 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.”

b. 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 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 3:25Hebrews 2:17).

3. The Fulfillment of the 70 Weeks

a. 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. 444 B.C. (see Nehemiah 2:1-8).

b. 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.

c. Converting the 360-day year used by the ancient Jews, 483 years becomes 476 years on our solar calendar. Adjusting for the switch from B.C. to A.D., 476 years after 444 B.C. places us at A.D. 33, 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.

d. 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.

4. The Final Week of the 70 Weeks

a. 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.

b. Daniel’s prophecy reveals some of the 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, NKJV).

c. 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.

5. Conclusion

The prophecy of the 70 weeks is complex and amazingly detailed, and much has been written about it. Of course, there are various interpretations, but what we have presented here is the dispensational, premillennial view. One thing is certain: God has a time table, and He is keeping things on schedule. He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and we should always be looking for the triumphant return of our Lord (Revelation 22:7).

B. Author identity.

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Author: Equipping

The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible.

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