Daniel 70 Week Prophecy
In Daniel 8 and 9, God gives Daniel a vision then sends the angel Gabriel to provide understanding for the vision that predicts 3 coming world kingdoms including the Messiah. Messiah is the Jewish word for Christ. The coming Christ would be a King that would be the King of all Kings and place all kingdoms under his feet. He would restore the relationship between God and man by bringing in everlasting righteousness. He would put an end to sin, and atoning for wickedness.
Artwork by Akiane Kramarik
What most people don’t understand is that Chapters 8 and 9 go together. The vision given to Daniel in chapter 8 is also talked about in chapter 9. Let’s take a look at it by starting in chapter 9 and then moving back to chapter 8.
Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over Babylonian kingdom – in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood from scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years.
So Daniel enters into prayer for the Jewish people interceding for their sins. Verses 4-19.In verse 20 the angel Gabriel shows up.
Daniel 9:20-27 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill – while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision;
Seventy sevens 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 the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes there will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two sevens the Anointed one will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations will be decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple, he will setup an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
Daniel describes him as, ” the man he had seen in the earlier vision”. Right there you have to ask yourself, what earlier vision is Daniel talking about? You can run through the whole book of Daniel and the only time Gabriel ever showed up to Daniel was in the Vision given to him in Chapter 8. Now the angel Gabriel says to Daniel, in verse 23, “Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision”. What vision is Gabriel talking about? Did Daniel receive a vision in chapter 9? No, he had just finished praying and the angel Gabriel has just shown up. The vision Gabriel is talking about is the one given in Chapter 8. Gabriel also showed up in chapter 8 to give understanding to the vision in chapter 8 but if you look at the end of the chapter, Daniel becomes exhausted and is no longer able to continue receiving the interpretation. Therefore Gabriel shows up again in chapter 9 to provide the rest of the interpretation that Daniel was unable to receive in Chapter 8. So to get a complete understanding from the vision given in Chapters 8 you must include chapter 9.
Daniel 9:24, Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and the holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
So Seventy Sevens are decreed. The Hebrew word used here for decreed is “chatak” pronounced as “Katuk” meaning to “cut out”. So how can seventy sevens be cut out of anything. It only makes sense when you combine it with the vision given in Chapter 8. Daniel was given a vision of the Ram, the Goat, and a Horn becoming world powers ruling planet Earth. The time table on this vision is found in verse 14. He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated”. If you study the Jewish temple and sanctuary, the time of consecration was a time of judgment. So when everything is all said and done, the Ram, Goat, and Horn will have 2,300 evening and mornings before God brings judgment. So the seventy-sevens are cut out of the 2,300 day prophecy specifically for the Jews.
So the question is; is this 490 days or 490 years as sometimes God uses a day like a prophetic year. The first thing to do is to look 490 days from the rebuilding of Jerusalem and look for the coming King. That did not happen, so it must be talking 490 years.
So if the 70 sevens work out in 490 years then the vision of the Ram, Goat and Horn is a 2,300 year long prophecy. The seventy sevens (or 490 years) are cut out of this time period specifically for the Jewish people to fulfill their role and for the coming King to make atonement for wickedness. The seventy sevens are using the same unit measurements as the 2,300 evenings and mornings, so if the 2,300 evenings and mornings are using years, the seventy sevens must also be using years. This would make the seventy sevens (70 x 7 = 490) 490 years. This is also true the other way, if you see that the 70 sevens works out perfectly in years that also means the 2,300 day prophecy is using years. Let’s take a look at the seventy sevens and see if it works out in years.
The key to this prophecy is to find out when it starts. We find that in the next verse.
Daniel 9:25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed One, the ruler, comes there will be 7 sevens and 62 sevens.
The timing for the prophecy starts from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. There were two main events that happened to restore Israel as a nation. First one happened when King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild the temple in 536BC and the second one is when King Artaxerxes sends Ezra with issued a decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 457BC, (Ezra chapter 7). The second one is the one we are looking for as Gabriel states the decree was for restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem. This starting date is the same starting date for both of the prophecies we have discussed so far;
Gabriel says, “there will be 7 sevens and 62 sevens…..after the 62 sevens the anointed one will be cut off and will have nothing.”
So there’s a total of 69 sevens before the anointed one will appear and after the 69 sevens the anointed one will be cut off. So 7 plus 62 is 69 sevens which is equal to (69 x 7 = 483 years). Doing the math, when we start in the year 457BC and add 483 years we go from before Christ (BC) to After Christ (AD) so the only tricky part is the fact that there was never a year 0. Our calendar went from 1 BC to 1 AD in one year. Normal math would take a -1 and have to plus 2 to get to 1 whereas our calendar skips 0 so moving from -1 to +1 is only 1 year. With all the accounted for we arrive at 27AD. (-457 + 483) -1 = 27. For those people who’s calculator does not handle negative numbers figure it this way. It will take 456 years to get from the year 457 to the year 1BC, it will take 1 year to get from 1BC to 1AD, it will take 26 years to get from 1AD to 27 AD; 456 + 1 + 26 = 483 years.
We are now at the year of 27AD and prophecy says that the Anointed One will appear. Jesus was 30 years old when he started his ministry and was born in the year of 2BC on our calendars. But the prophecy did not predict the year of his birth, the prophecy predicts when the Anointed One will appear. To be Anointed one must have the Holy Spirit. Jesus was born as a man just like you and I, so when did Jesus become anointed with the Holy Spirit? Was it not when he was baptized by John the Baptist, Scripture says that the Holy Spirit came upon him like a dove. So the prophecy is actually predicting the year that Jesus would start his Earthly ministry, which happens to be 27AD. God in his infinite wisdom predicts the very year Jesus starts his Earthly ministry.
The total length of the prophecy is 70 sevens not 69 sevens. As we can see it was 69 sevens before Jesus appears on the scene, but we still have 1 more seven to deal with. Gabriel expands on the last seven in verse 27, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering”. Jesus had a 3 ½ year ministry to confirm the new covenant before he died on the cross.
When Jesus died on the cross, he became the Passover lamb and in God’s view put an end to sacrifice and offerings. The Jewish people continued to make sacrifices and offerings but something very unexplainable happened. On the Day of Atonement when the High Priest would make preparations to go into the Holy of Holies, part of this practice included bringing a scarlet thread or ribbon with him. In Isaiah 1:18 Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Every year the scarlet ribbon or thread would turn white. The Jews reported that 40 years before the temple was destroyed (70AD) the scarlet ribbon mysteriously no longer turned white. 40 years before 70AD puts that at 30AD the very year that Jesus died. Do you think God was trying to tell them something? So Jesus did put an end to Sacrifice and Offering as he offered himself, and became the eternal sacrifice for all man’s sin. This perfectly matches the last seven as described by Gabriel. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.
There’s also another point to make for the last half of the 70th seven. Let’s go back to the beginning, the 70 sevens are cut out for the Jewish people and the holy city. After the resurrection the disciples remained in Jerusalem as instructed by Jesus, it was not until 3 ½ years later that the gospel of Christ was opened to the Gentile nations; This happened at the time of Stephen’s death that the church was scattered (Acts Chapter 8). There we have it 70 sevens have been cut out for the Jewish people to put an end to sin, atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness. It must be added that this righteousness is not automatically applied to anyone. One must chose to follow Christ for the blood to be applied to his life. There are only two items left remaining that need to be covered.
We’ll handle number 1) here is this article and cover 2) in the next article, Part 2.
Many Christians are using Daniel 9:27 to describe a future rule of the antichrist. Here’s the NIV version of this verse.
Daniel 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple, he will setup an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
There are a few major problems with using this verse for the Antichrist. The first problem is that you have to place a gap of 2,000 between the 69th seven and the 70th seven as they are predicting the antichrist is still coming in the future. You can’t have 69 weeks in a row then decide to skip 2,000 years and come to the 70th seven. As you have seen in the flow above this prophecy perfectly matches the first coming of Jesus Christ and that in the middle of the seven he was cut off to make atonement for man’s sins and he puts an end to sacrifice and offering because he became the eternal sacrifice. Hebrews covers that pretty well. So the He referred to in verse 27 is referring to Jesus not the Antichrist. The confusion is with the second half of this verse, to this we offer the King James version of the Bible.
Daniel 9:27 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 until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The first half of the verse is basically the same, but the second half I believe translates the meaning better as it states, “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate” in other words because of wide spread abominations God shall make the land desolate. The NIV translates Wing-spread as wing of the temple whereas wing-spread could mean wide spread. The net result is that after Jesus died and rose again, wide-spread wickedness did break out across the land and God did bring judgment on it.
This is re-enforced by the very verse Jesus referred to in Daniel 9:26 above: The people of the ruler who will come (Rome) will destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (it happened in 70AD). The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations will be decreed.
If you read the article on the 10-horned beast you can get an idea of how bad it really got during the fall of Rome (300AD - 476AD). Most of the people living during that time died in war.