Prophecy Series-Message #7

by Gary "Gabe" Hulin

Daniel's Vision of the Seventy Weeks

chart depicting the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel

In the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel, God reveals to Daniel, through the angel Gabriel, a vision of "skill and understanding" (v.22) concerning the program God has preordained for Israel and the Holy City, Jerusalem. Daniel had been praying that God would forgive his nation Israel, bring them back to their land, and restore their kingdom, when the angel Gabriel approached him. This vision, in verses 24-27, reveals to us this period of national history prophesied to come upon the nation of Israel, and is important to understanding other prophesies, particularly the study of Revelation. Also, several key prophetic time elements are presented in these verses that help us understand events concerning Jerusalem from the time of Daniel, prior to 625 BC until the 2nd Coming of their Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. Now please read verse 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 the prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

The angel Gabriel reveals seventy weeks to come upon the nation of Israel. It is important here to realize that there are two major keys to understanding this prophecy which we must be concerned with. Notice particularly that the "seventy weeks" need not be consecutive. The other key to understanding this prophecy is to realize that the term "week" could refer to a "week of days" or a "week of years". The Jewish people awere accustomed to thinking of a "week" as both a "week of days" and as a "week of years". In Exodus 23:10-12 we find that the two commands were given Israel together. Read it carefully and learn of the week of years. From it you can see that Israel was accustomed to a week of years. Furthermore, according to Walvoord, the English word "weeks" is misleading as the Hebrew word for weeks is actually plural of the word for "seven", thus, the term "Seventy sevens" is more appropriate here. Finally, the New International Version of the Bible correctly uses the term "seventy sevens." We now know from history that Jewish "weeks" were "weeks of years". Now read verse 25:

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be rebuilt again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

This verse reveals a world of knowledge and wisdom. The commandment (decree) to rebuild and restore Jerusalem would begin a period of seven "sevens", threescore sevens, plus two sevens (69 sevens of "weeks of years" ,or, 69x7 = 483 years). We then must first determine when this decree was give to "restore and rebuild Jerusalem".

For this answer we will look into Nehemiah chapter two verses 1-8 where Nehemiah approaches King Artaxerxes in the 20th year of his reign. History reveals that Artaxerxes resided over Persia from 465-425 B.C.

"And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king that........(verse 1) And I said unto the king, if it please the king, and if thy servant hath found pleasure in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers sepulchers, that I MIGHT REBUILD IT." (verse 5)

"And a letter unto Asaph, the keeper of the King's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gate of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me." (verse 8)

These verses clearly reveal that Nehemiah petitioined the King for permission to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (verse 5) including the wall of the city (verse 8) and that this request was granted (verse 8) in the form of letters (verse 7) that gave Nehemiah the authority to pursue his goal of rebuilding Jerusalem.

Since the commandent was given to rebuild the Holy City in 445 B.C.(465-20 years) looking back at Daniel chapter 9:25 we now can determine that 445 B.C. plus 69 sevens , or 483 years, equals 38 A.D., when Christ rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and was shortly thereafter "cut off", or crucified (verse 26). The use of the Jewish calender for dating is confirmed by the 42 months of the great tribulation (Rev. 11:2; 13:5) being equated with 1260 days (Rev. 12:6; 11:3). Continuing, Christ was "cut off", or crucified, "not for himself", (verse 26) but for all the sins of man that we might be saved.

This prophecy has caused a lot of controversy; but, when seen in light of the other prophecies now being fulfilled or enlightened in these "latter days" it becomes very clear to anyone who retains an open mind and pursues prayerful study of God's word. Let's continue by reading verse 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." (verse 26)

This verse should read after "the" threescore and two weeks of years. Two separate periods were given in verse 25 totaling 69 weeks of years; thus, verse 26 refers to after the total 69 weeks of years or 483 years shall Christ be crucified. This should help clear up any confusion. The remainder of verse 26 states that "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary". This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. as Titus the Roman General led his army against Jerusalem The city was utterly destroyed and thousands of Jews were put to death. This massacre is a continuation of the "reconciliation for iniquity" (verse 24) which God has placed upon the Jews for rejecting Christ as their Savior and will continue until Chris returns again. In this purge, Titus also destroyed the temple which has never been rebuilt. The temple will be restored, however, along with the Jewish sacrifice and their Old Testament worship during the last week of years by the Antichrist. We must realize that Israel has not seen the last of her persecutions as again they will be punished and undergo another "week", or 7 years, of trouble under the Antichrist in the near future. More accurately, the nation of Israel will accept the antichrist as their Messiah and will experience his true nature three and one-half years after the tribulation begins (the midpoint).

Returning to verse 26 the prince that shall come refers to this coming Antichrist. This verse reveals that the Antichrist will come from the "people" of Titus or, in other words, from the Roman empire in it's revised form as we have studied (Please refer to Message #6 Danielís Vision of the Rise and Fall of the Great World Empires) . We know this as it continues in verse 27 to reveal that he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant (the mideast elusive peace treaty) with many (a remnant of Jews) for one week (the 70th week of Daniels vision, or, the seven years of tribulation). Here it is important of realize that since Christ was crucified: God's plan for Jerusalem and the nation of Israel was also "cut off" as it relates to the seventy weeks. He is not now counting time on the 70 weeks. That He promised the Jewish nation. One week of seven years remains to be fulfilled before Christ sets up His Kingdom and before all of the prophecies concerning Israel are fulfilled (verse 24). That final week will begin when the "covenant" (treaty of peace) is made between the Antichrist and many Jews as told in Dan. 9:27. At the end of this 70th week, this prince, the Antichrist, is to be destroyed and his Kingdom taken away by the return of Jesus in wrath at the battle of Armageddon. After the disposal of trhe antichrist and the false prophet Christ will then set up his Kingdom on earth. Now read verse 27 and learn about the final week of Antichrist. This final week is synonomous with the seven years of tribulation.

"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 unto the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (verse 27)

In the middle of this final week of years (3 1/2 years or 42 months) the Antichrist will break his covenant with the remnant and "cause the abomination of desolation" to cease. This "abomination of desolation" is explained fully in 2 Thess. 2:3-4):

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come , except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, shewing himself that he is God." ,(2 Thess. 2:3-4)

This is the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel. The Antichrist will stop the Jews worship in the rebuilt temple and command the Jews to stop their worship of God, and then command that they worship him as God. No wonder it is called the "abomination of desolation." This forced worship of the Antichrist begins the countdown of the last 1290 days of this age (see Dan.13:11).

At this point, please refer to the prophetic charts #1 and #2 that are provided for better understanding God's prophetic timetable; and, follow them as we proceed to read verses 24-27 while interjecting it's interpretation.

"Seventy weeks (of years = 490 years) are determined upon thy people (Israel) and upon thy Holy City (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression (Israel's rejection of Christ), and to make an end of sins (by Christ's 2nd Coming), and to make reconciliation for iniquity (judgement of Israel's national sin of rejecting Christ), and to bring in everlasting righteoueness (establish His Kingdom), and to seal up the vision and prophecy (end this vision of seventy weeks and, thus, the time of this age), and to anoint the most Holy (crown Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords). Know therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (decree) to restore and build Jerusalem (by Artaxerxes to Nehmiah in 445 B.C.) unto the Messiah the Prince (Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem) shall be seven weeks (49 years), and threescore and two weeks (434 more years for a total of 483 years. Note: remember the Jewish calender is based on 360 days to a year bringing this time of Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey to Circa 32-33 A.D.) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times (streets and walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt from desolation even in times of war and suppression). And after threescore and two weeks (the 434 years which follow ) shall Messiah be cut off (crucified), but not for Himself (for the sins of all mankind who accept Him): And the people (Romans under Titus) of the prince (the antichrist, a Roman citizen) that shall come (in the last week, the seven year tribulation) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary /(prophecy fulfilled A.D. 70); and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (Roman army headed by Antiochus Epithanes, a type of Antichrist, destroyed Jerusalem making it desolate killing 70,000 Jews). And he (the antichrist) shall confirm the covenent (the mideast peace treaty now being negotiated) with many (a remnant of Jews).

"And in the midst of the week (after 3 1/2 years) he/ (the antichrist) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation (the ancient form of Jewish worship which has been reestablished by the Antichrist as part of the "covenant" treaty) to cease, (Antichrist breaks the covenant) and for the overspreading of abomination (setting himself up as God in the temple of God) he (Antichrist) shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, (end) and this determined (by God's will and plan) shall be poured upon the desolate." (shall be made to come true during the tribulation) (Dan. 9:24-27)

This completes an overview of this amazing prophecy which is so very important to understanding so many other prophecies, particularly, those found in the book of Revelation. Again we must emphasize that interpretation of God's word is to be literal, requiring study to learn the meanings of symbols as He reveals them in His word. Time and history also aid in interpretation. Histroy does teach us wisdom when applied to God's word. Study and prayer are the tools to understanding God's plan for the ages. His plan is available for us to know and understand if we earnestly study and ask for His guidance in truth.

God's word is truth and with each passing day He reveals more knowledge that His Coming for His church is rapidly approaching.

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