Daniel 9 "The 70 Weeks"

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There is certain background in Daniel chapter nine that is essential to understand the events that will unfold in the following chapters of Revelation. The angel Gabriel gave Daniel a prophecy involving seventy weeks. Sixty-nine of these weeks are history but they constitute the most astonishing passage in the entire Bible!
Jesus’ Confidential Briefing Four disciples, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked about His Return. Jesus’response is recorded in three Gospels (Matt 24, 25; Mark 13; Luke 21). His response also points them to Daniel 9 as the key to end-time prophecy.
Matthew 24:3–8 “3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”
The disciples ask “when,” “what will be the signs,” and “when is the end of the world?” The Greek word for “sorrows” can also be translated “birthpains” as these events will start slowly and then increase in frequency and intensity. All of these are non-signs, because Jesus says, “but the end is not yet.
The Key Event - Matthew 24:15–16 “15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
The Abomination of Desolation is a technical term and has happened once before in history (167 BC). But it is describing the placing of an idol in the Holy of Holies. The passage also says, “When ye therefore shall see.” Only the high priest is allowed to go into the Holy of Holies (once a year and only after great ceremonial preparation on Yom Kippur). How will we see? (Cable news possibly?) This will be a major political event that will happen inside the Holy of Holies, inside the Holy place, and inside the temple.
Matthew 24:21–22 “21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
Daniel Chapter 9 Outline • Daniel’s Prayer ver 1-19 • Gabriel’s Visit ver 20-23 • The Seventy Weeks ver 24-27
Daniel’s Prayer
Daniel 9:1–2 “1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.”
Daniel is reading his Bible and he is reading Jeremiah’s prophecy. Daniel took the scriptures literally.
Jeremiah 25:11–12 “11 This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste.”
Jeremiah 29:10 “10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.”
Sixty-seven of seventy years had passed but notice Daniel’s response: he goes to prayer. Why would we pray for that which was certain? Daniel is our example. He is “in the Word” and in Prayer (Prayers: Ezra 9; Neh 9; see “Thy Kingdom Come”). Prayer is God’s way of enlisting you in what He is doing.
Daniel 9:3 “3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.”
Gabriel's Visit
Daniel 9:20–23 “20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God, 21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.”
Gabriel announces Daniel as “greatly beloved.” It is interesting to note, Abraham and the disciples were called “friends” of God and were given prophetic insights on what was to come. Daniel (Old Testament) and John (New Testament) were called His “Beloved” and they were given the apocalyptic details (written in Daniel and Revelation). It is important to notice the consistency between the Old and New Testament!
The Scope 9:24
The 69 Weeks 9:25
(The Interval) 9:26
The 70th Week 9:27
The Scope
Daniel 9:24 “24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.”
In the seventy “sevens” there will be the consummation of six things: • to finish the transgression • to make an end of sins • to make reconciliation for iniquity • to bring in everlasting righteousness • to seal up (or conclude) the vision and prophecy • to anoint the most Holy Place (the Holy of Holies) A key to understanding this passage is to realize that the seventy (70) “weeks” are not all contiguous.
The focus of the passage is on Israel, not the Church or the Gentile world (Dan 9:24). Seventy “Sevens” imply weeks of years (Gen 29:27, et al.). The term shabu’im means sevens, or “weeks” (Gen 29:26-28; Lev 25-26). In this passage it means a week of years. Keeping the Sabbath was ordained for the land, but the Israelites failed to keep the Sabbath year for 490 years. They did not honor the year off for the land and this was the very basis for the seventy years captivity (2 Chron 36:19-21).
The 69 Weeks
Daniel 9:25 “25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.”
Notice the angel Gabriel tells us the 69 weeks (of years) are 7 plus 62. He is also stating from one event to another will be a specific amount of time. At the time Daniel is reading this the city of Jerusalem was in rubble.
The trigger or beginning of this prophecy begins with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. We find this decree in Nehemiah 2:5–8 “5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 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 fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.”
The decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus to rebuild the city was on March 14, 445 BC. The 69 weeks begin with the commandment to restore Jerusalem and the Decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 BC unto the Messiah the King. 69 x 7 x 360 =173,880 days
When was Jesus presented as King?
Zechariah 9:9 “9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The triumphal entry is described in all four Gospels: Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-39; and John 12:12-16. Jesus deliberately arranges to fulfill Zechariah 9:9. This is the only day He allows them to proclaim Him King.
Luke 19:37–40 “37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Why were the Pharisees so upset? The Pharisees knew the significance of singing Psalm 118 under these circumstances was declaring Him the Messiah! Jesus held them accountable to recognize this very day (Luke 19:41- 44). This was Nisan 10, prior to the Passover on the Nisan 14, AD 32.
Chronology of His Ministry Christ’s ministry began in fall of AD 28. • Tiberius was appointed in AD 14 • Augustus died on August 19, AD 14 • We know Christ’s ministry began within the fifteenth year of Tiberius from Luke 3:1 The fourth Passover was on April 6, AD 32 The 69 weeks begin with the commandment to restore Jerusalem and the Decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 BC unto the Messiah the King, The Triumphal Entry on April 6, 32 AD.
69 x 7 x 360 =173,880 days
445 BC - 32 AD: 173,740 + March 14 - April 6: 24 + Leap Years: 116 = 173,880
There is no margin of error in the angel Gabriel’s prophesy! He was precise to the exact day.
The Interval
Daniel 9:26 “26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.”
When we examine verse 26, it deals with events described after the 69th and prior to the 70th week. The “threescore and two weeks” is referring to the 69th week (7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks). But notice it says “after” threescore and two weeks. An interval, or gap, is clearly required by verse 26.
There are numerous verses throughout the Old and New Testament where God confirms His commitment to Israel. The “70 Weeks” deal specifically with Israel. Also, in the New Testament (the church period), Paul deals with three categories: Jews, Gentiles, and the Church (1 Cor 10:32). Between Acts 2 (birth of the church) and the Rapture (church regathering, Rev 4) the focus of Gods program is on the church (which is neither Jew nor Gentile). But notice after the church is Raptured, God deals with the world through Israel (Rev 5 - 22) and the text changes. You notice its Jewishness as the focus is back on Israel. God is once again going to deal with the planet earth (Jew and Gentile) through Israel. The way He used to.
Blindness Declared
Luke 19:42 “42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
For How Long?
Romans 11:25 “25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
Interval defined: Luke 19:42 until Romans 11:25
This Interval is the period of the Church, an era kept secret in Old Testament (Matt 13:34-35; Eph 3:5,9). It was Paul’s privilege to reveal it in the New Testament. The Interval is implied in twenty-four references. “Israel” is never used of the Church in the seventy-three times the body of believers is mentioned.
The 70th Week
Daniel 9:27 “27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.””
This is a period of time where the covenant is enforced with “the many.” “The many” is an idiom for Israel. This is the “Covenant with Hell” (Isa 28:15; Zech 11:15-17 etc).
The phrase “midst of the week” or “half of the week” is the most documented period of time in the Bible (Daniel’s 70th week). Both Old and New Testament document this seven year period. The last half of this period is the Great Tribulation.
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