Book Daniel's 70 weeks

Chapter 2: The 70 Weeks

Chapter 2: The 70 Weeks - an Exposition

In Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks, God gives a timetable for Israel’s full Salvation and Restoration (in the Messianic Kingdom). This is a difficult yet vital foundational Prophecy, that Jesus refers to and expounds in His End-Time Prophecy (Matthew 24:15). Israel is given 70 Sevens (or ‘Weeks’) of Years (490 Years), after which all things would be fulfilled in answer to Daniel’s prayers:

Daniel 9:24: "70 Weeks (‘Sevens’ of years) are determined (by God) for your People (Israel) and for your holy City (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”

Israel was in dispersion in Babylon and Daniel was praying for the Restoration of Israel: her People from sin and her City (Jerusalem) from desolation (Daniel 9). God’s answer is in the form of a Prophecy giving the timing of her full Restoration in terms of 70 ‘Sevens’.

God's answer to Daniel comes in v24a: "70 Weeks (‘Sevens’) are determined (divided, marked and cut off) for your People (Israel), and for your holy City (Jerusalem).”

Notice that the focus of the Prophecy is ISRAEL and JERUSALEM, giving a Timetable for their spiritual Salvation and natural Restoration in response to Daniel’s prayers. It soon becomes clear that this is the promised full Salvation and Restoration, that can only be accomplished by the Messiah.

Therefore it is also a Timetable for the Coming of the Messiah, and it is this fact that gives this Prophecy its great importance. If we can show that Jesus came and fulfilled this Prophecy at the exact time predicted, this will furnish a strong proof of His Messianic claims.

We shall see in v25,26 that Messiah will come to Israel, but be cut off (killed by Capital Punishment) to provide Atonement for our sins (see v24). Then after that Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed. Now since this destruction came to pass in AD 70, it follows that the Messiah had to come to Israel before AD 70. This alone provides strong confirmation of the Messiahship of Jesus. We will also show that the 70 Weeks Prophecy was fulfilled to the day by the Death and Resurrection of Christ providing absolute proof of His Messiahship.

“70 Weeks are determined” (v24). The first issue is the meaning of this term: ‘Weeks’. It’s generally agreed that this Hebrew phrase should be rendered as ‘70 Sevens.’ Literally, ‘70 Weeks’ are ‘70 Sevens’ i.e. 70x7 = 490. The ‘70 sevens’ must refer to years for the Prophecy to make sense. Moreover, we have seen that Daniel was thinking in years in v2. Thus these are 70 sevens of years (490 years).

The word translated ‘determined’ or ‘decreed’ means ‘cut off’, as you would measure, divide and cut-off an exact length of wood. This word emphasises that God was carefully determining the length of Israel’s history until the Messiah accomplishes His work. It points to a fixed, limited period of definite duration, forming part of a longer period of time. God has sovereignly marked out and cut off these 490 years from the rest of history, through which He would accomplish His Messianic Purposes, especially for Israel.

The Unity of the ‘490 Years’. The whole 70 Weeks are ‘cut off’ as a single piece of time. Thus, this Period of 70 Weeks constitutes a SINGLE exact predetermined Time-Period of 490 years that is determined upon Daniel’s people - Israel. It only speaks of the ‘70 Weeks’ being cut out by God (not its various sub-divisions). Although it goes on to describe different parts of these 70 Weeks, it never says (for example) that the 69 Weeks (483 years) and the 70th Week (of 7 Years) are separately ‘cut out.’ Any valid interpretation must fundamentally treat the ‘70 Weeks’ as a single piece of time. Thus these 70 Weeks must run consecutively. This is the main weakness of the standard dispensational interpretation which ignores this requirement, breaking the ‘70 Weeks’ (in their essential nature) into two parts (separating the 69th and 70th Week). I will develop a literal and dispensational interpretation that will also satisfy this vital requirement of the Unity of the 70 Weeks (490 years).

This time-period is measured out: “for your People (Israel) and for your holy City.” The 70 Weeks of years are specifically measured out and decreed for Israel and Jerusalem (not the Church).

A Week of days or Years? A ‘Week’ means a ‘Seven’. Thus it can either mean a ‘week of days’ or ‘a week of years.’ From the context, it is generally accepted that Daniel’s 70 Weeks must be Weeks of Years, and so refer to 70 ‘Sevens’ of years or 490 years.

It is generally agreed that YEARS are intended - the evidence is clear:

(1) It could not and did not happen in 490 days.

(2) If ‘weeks (sevens) of days’ would have been intended, then
it would have been expressed in this way, as it was later on in Daniel 10:3, where: “till 3 whole ‘weeks’ were fulfilled”
is literally: “till 3 ‘sevens of days’ were fulfilled.”

(3) Moreover YEARS (the 70 Years of Captivity in Babylon) had been the subject of Daniel’s prayer (Daniel 9:2) which precipitated the revelation. Daniel had been praying about the end of this period of 70 YEARS (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10-14) and in response to this prayer, he was given revelation about a further 7x70 Years to come.

(4) The last (70th) Week is divided into 2 halves of 3.5 years (1260 days) each. When Daniel 9:25-27 divides up the 70 Weeks, the last (70th Week) in v27 (describing the time of the antichrist) is clearly not a ‘week of days.’ In fact, it is clearly a ‘week (seven) of years’, being divided into two 3.5 YEAR periods of 42 months or 1260 days (Daniel 7:25, 12:7; Revelation 11:2,3, 12:6,14; 13:5).

(5) Moreover, the 70-year Captivity in Babylon (which is the context for Daniel’s 70-Weeks) was due to Israel violating 70 Sabbatical YEARS, and therefore sinning over a 490-YEAR period. Israel had broken the Sabbath Law in Leviticus 25. According to 2Chronicles 36:20,21, they were punished by this Exile to Babylon, so that their Land might enjoy the 70 sabbath rests, which had not been observed for 490 years (see also Leviticus 26:33-35,43; Jeremiah 34:12-22).

Daniel would have known that the 70 years of Exile represented 70 ‘sevens’ of years in which the Sabbath Year had been broken. So, when Daniel was told that another 70 ‘Sevens’ were decreed into Israel’s future, he knew that this must refer to another 490 YEARS. Since Daniel was thinking in terms of the 70-YEAR Captivity, based on the 490 YEARS of sabbatical disobedience, he would have naturally understood the 70 ‘Sevens’ to refer to ‘70 Sevens of Years’. Thus the 70 ‘Sevens’ of Daniel 9:24 are connected to the 70 Sevens of Years, during which Israel violated the keeping of sabbatical years. This confirms they must be ‘Sevens of Years’, and also that the kind of Years referred to in the 70 Weeks must be the same kind of Years that Israel had previously been using.

 

 

*Thus the whole period is 490 YEARS – One Great Jubilee Cycle.

*It is Daniel 9:24 that reveals on the surface of Scripture the Principle that God measures Israel’s time in Great Jubilee Cycles of 490 years.

*Daniel’s 70 Weeks (490 years) are connected to the JUBILEE that came every 49 years, for 490 years are 10 Jubilees. The Jubilee was a revelation of God’s forgiveness and grace. The Jubilee Year started on the Day of Atonement with God’s acceptance of the great Sin-Offering, which then provided forgiveness, release and blessing for all of Israel. Thus the blessings of Jubilee are based on Atonement. So we should expect the Great Jubilee Cycle of Daniel’s 70 Weeks to end in the final Atonement of the Messiah, releasing forgiveness and blessing to Israel, resulting in the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. This is confirmed by what we read in the rest of v24.

We shall show these 490 years indeed came to their climactic end in the supreme Jubilee event, the fulfilment of all Jubilees, in the Atoning Death and Resurrection of the Messiah Jesus, which released forgiveness and grace to all, and laid the foundation for His Kingdom! The most outstanding and impressive aspect of this Prophecy is its use of NUMBERS measuring exact periods of time in which God would accomplish different things. These numbers should be taken LITERALLY. We have seen the Chapter opens with Daniel realising from Jeremiah’s writings that Israel’s Captivity would last 70 years.

These were literal years. Since the Prophecy delivered by Gabriel to Daniel in 9:24-27 is related to the 70-year Captivity, it follows that the 70 Weeks (‘Sevens’) of years are equally literal. Also, as definite numbers are used in the Prophecy (7, 62, and 1 ‘sevens’), it would be strange if these specific numbers did not have literal meaning. Why should definite numbers be applied to periods of indefinite lengths?

Understanding verse 24 is foundational to the Prophecy, for it is the overall summary statement of what would be accomplished by the end of these 490 years allotted to Israel, whereas the other 3 verses give a more detailed explanation of the development of these 490 years. Thus, they help us understand the main statement of verse 24.

Next, in Daniel 9:24, God gives the 6 things (goals) that will be accomplished by the end of this Time-Period of 490 Years:

The first 3 Messianic Accomplishments (Salvation from Sin):
(1) to finish the transgression,
(2) to make an end of sins,
(3) to make reconciliation for iniquity,
The final 3 Messianic Accomplishments (establishing His Kingdom):
(4) to bring in Everlasting Righteousness (or ‘Age of Righteousness’)
(5) to seal up Vision and Prophecy, and
(6) to anoint the Most Holy (Place).”

These 6 items are arranged into 2 groups of 3. The first group has to do with SIN (using the very words Daniel used in his prayer in 9:5). These answer Daniel’s prayer by revealing God’s solution to the problem of sin. The second group of 3 goals for the end of the 490 year period has to do with establishing God’s Kingdom of RIGHTEOUSNESS (see 9:7). The first 3 are negative, speaking of the removal of undesirable things; and the last 3 are the bringing in of the positive. The first 3 have to do with Salvation (from sin), and the second 3 with the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. Before the Kingdom can be established on earth, the issue of Salvation from sin had to be dealt with and full provision for man’s righteousness had to be made through the Atonement of the Messiah (Isaiah 53).

Part 2

 

This division into 2 groups of 3 is supported by the Hebrew text. The first 3 are all made up of 2-word units in Hebrew, whereas the 2nd 3 all use 3-word phrases.

Let’s look at each phrase in turn: The first 3 describe God’s answer to sin, using the 3 words that cover all 3 dimensions of the problem of sin: (1) Adam’s Original Sin, causing us all to be in a State of Sin, by virtue of being in Adam, (2) our personal sins, (3) our sin-nature in the flesh inherited from Adam (we were all born ‘in sin’ making us sinners by nature).

(1) ‘To Finish THE Transgression.’ The word means to bring something to its culmination or end. ‘Transgression’ is derived from a Hebrew root with the basic meaning of ‘rebel, revolt, transgress.’ It emphasises man’s rebellion against God and disobedience to His will.
‘The Transgression’ is not just sin in general, but a specific outstanding sin, since the definite article is attached to this word. This can only be Adam’s original sin. This is the root of the whole problem of sin facing mankind and so must be dealt with first. In Christ’s Death, He brought this Adamic sin to its end, so that rather than being sinners IN ADAM, we might be righteous IN CHRIST.

(2) ‘To Make an End of Sins.’ The word for ‘sins’ is the most commonly used word for personal sin, meaning: ‘to miss the mark.’ It is used in Daniel 9:20: “my sin and the sin of my people.” Since it does not have the definite article, and since it is plural, it refers to people’s personal sins. The word: ‘to make an end of’ means to bring a matter to a conclusion. It was used to indicate the closing of an official document. When the scribe had finished his work, the king placed his royal seal upon it, showing that it was brought to a close. Jesus Christ accomplished this on the Cross, when He bore all the sins of the whole world upon Himself, thus dealing with them once and for all. Jesus paid the price in full for ALL our personal Sins!

(3) ‘To Make Atonement for Iniquity.’ The word ‘iniquity’ has the core idea of twisting or defacing something beyond its intended

purpose. This word looks beyond the act of sin to its cause. The reason we commit sin is due to the perverted sinful nature (‘iniquity’) we inherited from Adam’s fall. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘iniquity’ means the quality of being unrighteous as well
as unrighteous conduct. Its core meaning is ‘unequal, wrong, wicked.’

God’s answer to SIN (the sinful nature of man) is to provide an ATONEMENT for it. Jesus bore our SIN (Sin-Nature) on the Cross, not just our SINS (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 8:4). No animal could possibly provide such an all-encompassing Atonement for SIN. Only the Blood of the God-man Messiah could suffice, as Isaiah 53 confirms.

Although the Messiah is not mentioned in v24, it is clear that only He could accomplish all the 6 Purposes listed there, which is why v25,26 describes the Coming of the Messiah. The Biblical revelation makes it clear that sin can only be put away by a sacrificial death (blood). Therefore, the first 3 Purposes, which involve the putting away of sin can only be fulfilled by the Sacrificial Death of the Messiah, before the end of the 70 Weeks.

This is confirmed by v26, which indicates He would be the One making this Atonement: “(sometime) after the 62 Weeks, Messiah shall be cut off (capital punishment), but not for Himself (He will not die for His own sins, but rather to atone for our sins).”


It is clear that the reference in these first 3 items is to Christ's 1st Coming, when all sin was brought to an end and paid for at the Cross.

Daniel 9:24b perfectly describes Christ’s completed work of Salvation:
“(1) To finish the Transgression

(2) To make an End of Sins

(3) To make Reconciliation (Atonement) for Iniquity.”

These first 3 Purposes were all fulfilled by Jesus Christ when He died on the Cross, bearing the Judgement for all our sins, laying the basis for us to be part of His Kingdom. As Christ declared: “It is finished - the Price is paid in full.” He was claiming the fulfilment of this first Stage towards the establishing of His Kingdom.

Daniel 9:24c then describes the next 3 Purposes, which have not yet been fulfilled. They involve the Messianic Kingdom being established on the basis of Christ’s Death, to be fulfilled at Christ’s 2nd Coming.

“(4) To bring in Everlasting Righteousness
(or literally: ‘the Age of Righteousness’).

(5) To seal up Vision and Prophecy (to bring all Old Testament Prophecy to fulfilment. This will only be true in the Millennium).

(6) To anoint the Most Holy (the establishing and anointing of the Millennial Temple for the Messianic Kingdom - see Ezekiel 41-46).”

*Let us now examine each of these in turn:

(4) ‘To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness.’ This has the sense that: ‘everlasting righteousness’ will be caused to come in, and be established upon the earth. ‘Everlasting’ indicates ‘long duration.’ A literal translation is: ‘the Age of Righteousness.’ Therefore, when the 490 years on Israel’s Clock are completed the Almighty will bring in His great Governmental Regime of Righteousness. This is a Prophecy of the future Messianic Kingdom, the Millennial Reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-9). This means that it is still future to our own day.

(5) ‘To Seal up Vision and Prophecy.’ These speak of everything prophesied in the Old Testament, some of which has already been fulfilled by Messiah’s First Coming, but the remainder will only be fulfilled at His Second Coming when He establishes His Kingdom. The Hebrew word ‘to seal up’ means completion. The last thing done by a writer as he completes a document is to seal it up. This speaks of the future complete fulfilment of all Old Testament Prophecy, especially in regard to Israel. When fulfilled, Prophecy is sealed up.

(6) ‘To Anoint the most Holy.’ The Hebrew verb translated ‘anoint’ means to pour oil on something or someone to consecrate it for God’s service. This phrase ‘most holy’ is ‘a most holy place.’ The exact same phrase is used in Ezekiel 45:3 of the future Millennial Temple. Thus this refers to the anointing of a new Sanctuary, Temple, or Holy Place. The phrase: “holy of holies” (qodesh qadashîm) occurs, with or without the article, 39 times, always in reference to

the Tabernacle or Temple, or to the holy articles used in them. It is never used of a person. When referring to the most Holy Place, where the Ark was kept, the article is used, but it is not when referring to the holy articles or the whole Temple complex. Therefore in Daniel 9:24, the phrase must also refer to a future Temple that the Messiah will anoint (as the Centre of Millennial Worship); and, since the phrase is used without the article, it must refer to the whole Temple Complex, rather than just to its Most Holy Place (Holy-of-Holies).

These final three things will only be fulfilled by Christ when He comes again and establishes the Kingdom on earth. Together the six describe God’s whole Program to bring Israel into all the blessings promised in the Covenants. This includes personal Salvation through the New-Covenant and the establishment of the Kingdom on earth
under the personal rule of the Son of David from Jerusalem. When Israel accepts the Work of Christ in fulfilling the first three, Christ can complete God's Plan to restore Israel by fulfilling the next three.

This division of Christ’s Work into 2 Stages is a classic prophetic division which often appears in Messianic Prophecy. It corresponds to the Messiah coming first as the Suffering Lamb of God, and then as the Kingly conquering Lion; first the Suffering and then the Glory. Many prophecies show Him as both the Suffering Saviour and as the conquering King, but they are not clear about the time in-between (1Peter 1:10,11). However, as Jesus Himself pointed out, Messiah’s Sacrificial Sufferings had to come before His Kingly Glory: “Foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have SUFFERED these things and (then) to enter into His GLORY?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

By the nature of things, He first had to shed His Blood for our Salvation, establishing the New Covenant, thus providing a spiritual basis for His Kingdom.

Although the first 3 Purposes have been fulfilled in the Atonement of Christ, the 2nd 3 Purposes are a forecast of the future establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth in all its glory. This means the final (70th) Week must still be future, since all of these Purposes must be brought to completion by the end of the prescribed time period. Clearly certain aspects of this Prophecy can and will only be fulfilled by Christ’s 2nd Coming. These include the full restoration of the physical City of Jerusalem and its Temple, which will then be delivered by Christ from the destructive oppression of the Antichrist.

Thus this amazing Prophecy says that God has set aside 490 years for Israel to be fully restored: for her Salvation to be procured through the ultimate Sacrifice, and for the prophesied Messianic Kingdom of God to be established on earth. It predicts that the Messiah would come and accomplish man’s Salvation and also establish His Kingdom at the end of a period of time measured as 70 ‘Sevens’ or 490 years. This meant that from the initial point, there were only 490 years left ‘on Israel’s clock’ for the great Atonement to be made and for Israel to possess the Kingdom. At first glance, it would seem that the 490 years have come and gone, and although Atonement for sin has been made by Christ, the Kingdom aspect of the Prophecy has not been fulfilled. However, before we jump to conclusions we need to study the rest of the Prophecy. The next verse (v25) gives the starting point, and a breakdown of the first 69 Weeks (483 years):

Daniel 9:25: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the Command (Decree, Hebrew: ‘dabar’) to restore and build Jerusalem UNTIL (the time of) Messiah the Prince (Jesus), there shall be 7 Weeks (49 years) and 62 Weeks (434 Years). The Street shall be built again, and the Wall (fulfilled in the rebuilding of Jerusalem recorded in Ezra-Nehemiah), even in troublesome (literally: ‘narrow’) times (in the first 49 years).”

Daniel 9:25a: "Know therefore and understand that...”
This is a hard Prophecy that demands an effort on our part to study and understand it, as Jesus confirmed in Matthew 24:15, when He was talking about it, saying: “whoever reads, let him understand.”

This verse gives: (1) the starting point of the 70 Weeks, followed by (2) a short-term fulfilment of what would be accomplished by the end of the first 7 Weeks (at the end of a 49 year Jubilee Cycle), and then (3) a prediction that the Presentation of ‘Messiah the Prince’ to Israel would take place at the end of 69 (7+62) Weeks (that is: 483 years).

Daniel 9:25b gives the Starting Point for the Countdown: “Know therefore and understand that FROM the going forth of the Commandment (Decree) to restore and to build Jerusalem …”

In the next Chapter, I give the evidence that this official Starting Point for the 70 Weeks must be the Decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 458 BC (recorded with great emphasis and accuracy in Ezra 7).

Daniel 9:25 is clear that the countdown will start with a “Decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” The Hebrew word for Decree is ‘dâbâr’, which means a spoken word or instruction. In this context, it is an urgent and authoritative Decree, made by the ruling king, yet ultimately having a Divine Origin (as a ‘dabar’ often has in Scripture).

Daniel 9:25c tells us what will happen near the end of the 70 Weeks:
“...UNTIL MESSIAH THE PRINCE."

*The 490 years close with the time of: ‘Messiah the Prince.’


Notice that He is not described as ‘Messiah the King’ at this stage, but ‘Messiah the Prince’ (the King in waiting), for His Ministry

first of all must be to do what is necessary for His Kingdom to be established on earth. In particular He must achieve the spiritual restoration of Israel (for the Messianic Kingdom must be centred upon Israel). Then He can reign as Messiah the King.

v25 reveals that the full Restoration described in v24 will be fulfilled by the MESSIAH, for it is He who must establish the Kingdom. He will come first to Israel as their Prince, and when they receive Him, He will become their King and He will establish His Kingdom on earth, centred on Israel in fulfilment of the covenants, promises and prophecies (Acts 1:6). He will reign from Jerusalem.

The end-point of the Prophecy (490 years from 458 BC) is therefore AD 33 - the very year of the Cross and Resurrection (see Chapter 4, and Appendices 4 and 5)! This implies that Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies of making the final Atonement for sin, and was also ready to establish the Messianic Kingdom that same year.

The Charts opposite give an overview of how God was faithful to perfectly fulfil the 70 Weeks at Christ’s First Coming, with the lower Chart giving a close-up look at the 70th Week. God was faithful to fully do His part to fulfil the 70 Weeks on time, so that if Israel had done their part and received Christ, the Prophecy would have been fulfilled in AD 33. However, since Israel rejected Him, He cancelled the last 7 years, rewinding her Clock by 7 years, in order to rerun the 70th Week again as the future Tribulation, giving Israel a 2nd chance.

Click here for "Daniel's 70 Weeks" chart

*Next Daniel gives us a breakdown of the 490 years from 458 BC:

“Know therefore and understand that FROM the going forth
of the Commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (458 BC)
UNTIL (the Time of) MESSIAH THE PRINCE, there shall be:

7 Weeks (7 Sevens = 49 years, from 458 - 409 BC),
and 62 Weeks (62 x 7 = 434 years, from 409 BC to AD 26).

The Street shall be rebuilt again and the Wall even in troublesome times (or 'the narrow time').” This was fulfilled in the first 49 years (see the fulfilment in the Book of Ezra-Nehemiah).

The 490 Years (Seventy Sevens), are divided up into 3 Parts:
(1) 7 Weeks (49 years).
(2) 62 Weeks (434 years). These add up to 69 Weeks (483 years) leaving just 1 Week to complete the 70 Weeks (490 years). Thus, the Time of Messiah begins 7 years before the end of the 490 years.
(3) 1 Week (7 years) - the 70th Week.

The Time of Messiah covers the last (70th) Week (from AD 26-33). The phrase: “UNTIL Messiah the Prince” refers to the start of something. If I say: “There is one hour UNTIL the film”, I mean that there is an hour until the start of the film, not the middle and not the end of it. Thus: “UNTIL Messiah the Prince” refers to the time when the Messiah is first announced to the Nation as being at hand. This was done by His forerunner, John the Baptist. Therefore the Time of Messiah’s Presentation to Israel should have started after the 49 + 434 =483 years from 458 BC. This is in AD 26. Therefore the end of the first 483 years (AD 26) marks the start of the time of Messiah’s Presentation to Israel. This means that the 70th Week, the Time of Messiah’s Presentation to Israel, was prophesied to be from AD 26-33.

Thus Daniel’s 70 Weeks predicts that 7 years before the Kingdom was established there would be a 7-year preparatory Time of Messiah. This was fulfilled in the Ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. This leaves the MESSIAH just 7 years to fulfil the Prophecy, which predicts that after 490 years have been fulfilled, the Kingdom Age should be established, which will be the time of ‘Messiah the King.’

These 7 final years of Daniel’s Prophecy, the time of Messiah the Prince and His Ministry to Israel, should begin in AD 26 and end in AD 33 (according to Daniel’s 70 Weeks). The New Testament consistently regards John’s Ministry to Israel as the start of the Time of Messiah. John was the official herald of the Messiah. Thus, the Gospels all start the story of Christ’s Presentation to Israel with the Ministry of John the Baptist, and not with the Ministry of Jesus.

Mark 1:1-4: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your Face, who will prepare Your way before You. The voice of one (John) crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the Way of the Lord; make His paths straight.” John

came baptising in the wilderness, preaching a Baptism of repentance...” (See also Matthew 3:1-12, John 1:19, Luke 3:1-20).

Jesus Himself confirmed that John brought in the Time of the Messiah in Matthew 11:9-13: “What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’ Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women (before the New Covenant) there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.”

Notice: "all the prophets prophesied UNTIL John." John’s Ministry signalled the start of the fulfilment of Messianic Prophecy, the Appearance of the Messiah (Isaiah 40:3-5, Matthew 3:3). It was starting with his Ministry that: “the Kingdom of God was at hand” (Matthew 3:2). John’s Role and Ministry is not to be underestimated!

Moreover, Acts 1:21,22 defines the time of Messiah as: “the Time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us’, as: ‘beginning from the Baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us (the Ascension).” The ‘Baptism of John’ refers to his whole Ministry (Matthew 21:25). Thus the fulfilment of Daniel’s Prophecy requires the start of John the Baptist’s Ministry to be in AD 26. This significant date is confirmed by the New Testament record. In fact the start of John’s Ministry is the most strongly emphasised date of the New Testament:

Luke 3:1,2: “Now in the 15th year of the reign (‘hegemonia’) of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea (AD 26-36), Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the Word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.”

This is the key date, marking a new Phase in God’s Plan. Bible Chronology hinges on this date because it marks the close of Daniel’s 69th Week and the opening of the Ministry of Messiah when the Kingdom of God was declared to be ‘at hand’.

Now Tiberius Caesar began ruling as co-emperor with Augustus in AD 12 and ruled alone from AD 14-37. Now the word used for his ‘reign’ is ‘hegemonia’ (‘rulership’ or ‘leadership’), not ‘basileia’ (the word that is usually used for a king’s ‘reign’, which certainly would have been used to describe his sole-reign from AD 14). Thus his ‘hegemonia’ began in AD 12, and his 15th year was AD 26. So, John the Baptist started announcing the Messiah at the very time the 70 Weeks had predicted for the start of Messiah’s Presentation to Israel!

Often people assume Luke 3:1,2 also gives the year of Jesus’ Baptism, as if John’s Ministry was merely a matter of months before Jesus came to Him for Baptism. This is not realistic, as it would have required a few years (especially then) for John to become a nationally known prophet and centre of controversy - with all of Israel coming out to see and hear him. In fact, 3.5 years is a far more realistic time frame for John to be able to build a sufficient national platform to adequately prepare the way for Messiah. This is confirmed by Elijah’s 3.5 year Ministry (1Kings 18:1, Luke 4:25, James 5:17), since the prophet to whom John the Baptist is compared is always Elijah (Luke 1:17, Malachi 4:5,6; Matthew 17:10-13, 11:9-14, Mark 9:11-13).

John (who came in the spirit, power and place of Elijah) ministered for 3.5 years before Jesus’ Baptism, typified by Elijah’s Ministry of 3.5 years (Luke 4:25, James 5:17). There is more confirmation in the 3.5 year Tribulation Ministry of the 2 Witnesses (Revelation 11:3), one of whom is Elijah (fulfilling Malachi 4:5,6), for as we will see, the 7 year Tribulation is a re-run of the 70th Week, with Elijah’s Ministry during the first 3.5 years of the re-run corresponding to John’s Ministry (the first 3.5 years of the initial 70th Week).

Thus, Daniel predicted that the time of ‘Messiah the Prince’ starts after 483 years (fulfilled in the Ministry of John starting in AD 26) and ends after 490 years (fulfilled in the death of the Messiah Jesus in AD 33). Since we know (from the Feasts and Seasons described in John’s Gospel and from Luke 13:7) that Jesus’ Ministry lasted 3.5 years (AD 29-33), we can conclude that John’s Ministry was also 3.5 years (AD 26-29). This is also confirmed by the 7 years of the Tribulation (likewise divided in 2 halves) which as we will see, is a re-run of these 7 years. (This pattern of the 70th Week being divided into two halves is confirmed when we see it repeated in the future 7-year Tribulation, when the 70th Week will be re-run).

The Death of Christ in AD 33 is widely accepted, and is also confirmed by secular historical writings that describe the supernatural darkness that covered the world at that time. Moreover, only AD 30 and 33 satisfy the criterion of a Friday full moon as required for the Passover in the Year of the Cross. However, some prefer AD 30 because it has been popular to believe that Christ was born in 4 BC, because it was thought that Josephus gave this date for Herod’s death.

Since Jesus was about 30 when He started His Ministry of 3.5 years, this would give AD 30 as the year of the Cross. However recent scholarship has shown that Josephus has been misinterpreted, and that Herod’s death was in 1 BC, and Christ’s birth was in 2 BC (which confirms 33 AD for the Cross, since there is no year 0). This agrees with the consistent witness of the Church Fathers who had access to better information. This is all well documented in the revised edition of Finegan’s ‘Handbook of Biblical Chronology.’ For more information on the Birth and Life of Christ see Appendix 8).

In conclusion, we have good evidence that John the Baptist’s Ministry began in AD 26, and that the Cross was in AD 33. This means that the 7 years predicted by Daniel as the time of ‘Messiah the Prince’ (AD 26-33) were fulfilled in the 7 Years of the Messianic Ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.

Daniel’s Prophecy does not just predict the final year of Messiah’s Ministry (AD 33), but the very day! The starting point was the Decree on Nisan 1 (April 3rd) 458 BC (Ezra 7:9). So, 490 years from then ends on April 3rd, 33 AD, the day of Christ’s Resurrection!

Thus v25 accounts for a total of 69 Weeks (483 Years) which came to an end in April AD 26. Then the last Week (7 years) ran until April 33 AD. This final Week (7 years) is the time of the Messiah Who would bring all things to pass. The Week of Messiah was indeed AD 26-33! John the Baptist ministered for the first half (3.5 years) and then Jesus ministered for the 2nd half of 3.5 years. However, the Prophecy is strangely silent about these 7 years (of the 70th Week), simply predicting Messiah’s Sacrificial Death in the 70th Week:

Daniel 9:26a: “And (sometime) AFTER the 62 Weeks, Messiah shall be cut off (by capital punishment), but not for Himself.”

Even then, it dates this climactic event without reference to the 70th Week, but simply as being sometime after the end of the 69th Week. Clearly there is something unusual going on with the 70th Week. Later, I explain the mystery of why v26 seems to pass over it.

So v26 tells us that sometime after the 69th Week (483 years) is over, after the start of Messiah’s Presentation, He is to be killed for us. We saw that at the end of the 62 Weeks, the Messianic Ministry would begin. Now we are told that sometime later, at the end of this Time of Ministry, the Messiah would be killed, not for His own sins, but for ours. Although v26 does not tell us how long after the end of the 69th Week Messiah would be killed, the implication of v24 is that His death would be 7 years afterwards, at the end of the 70th Week.

According to v24, by the end of the 70th Week, Messiah would purchase our Salvation by His Atoning Death and so: “finish the transgression, make an end of sins, and make reconciliation for iniquity.” History confirms He indeed died for our sins in AD 33 at the end of the 70 Weeks, 7 years after the 69th Week ended in AD 26.

Thus at the end of the 70th Week, as predicted in v24, the Messiah purchased our Salvation by His atoning Death. He fulfilled the first 3 things named in v24 to be accomplished at this time: “to (1) finish the transgression, (2) to make an end of sins, (3) to make reconciliation for iniquity.” But the other 3 things in v24, describing the establishment of His Kingdom were not fulfilled at that time: “to (4) bring in Everlasting (the Age of) Righteousness, (5) to seal up Vision and Prophecy and (6) to anoint the Most Holy (Temple).”

So there is a problem. According to v24, by the end of the 70th Week (AD 33), the Messiah should have died as the ultimate sacrifice to atone for our sins, and have established the Messianic Kingdom. Although He did die, establishing the New Covenant in His Blood, the Messianic Kingdom was not established at that time, but instead the Mystery Kingdom (Church-Age) came in. Thus it would seem that the Prophecy of the 490 Years (in v24) was not completely fulfilled.

However even this (complicating) development was anticipated by the Prophecy in v26. First of all: “Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself” (KJV) could also be translated: “the Anointed One will be cut off, and shall have nothing” (NIV). This prophesies the Messiah will come to establish and possess His Messianic Kingdom, but He will not receive it at that time. (Indeed, it will come, but not at the time in which He was cut off). As the Living Bible puts it: “the Anointed One will be killed, His Kingdom still unrealised” (v26a). So, for some reason, the Prophecy itself indicates that the Kingdom does not come after the 490 years, in apparent contradiction to v24!

It is because of Israel’s rejection of Jesus as their Messiah that the Kingdom could not be brought in at that time. When His own people rejected Him (John 1:11), He did not receive what rightly belonged to Him. The Coming of the Kingdom requires Israel’s acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah-King, in order for it to be established. The Messianic Kingdom must come at the completion of the final (70th) Week (v24). But it has not yet arrived, which means that Daniel’s 70th Week must still be in the future, as v27 confirms. In this way, God has set up a PROPHETIC PARADOX. On the one hand, the 70 Weeks, as a single Unit of time, have run their course, ending in AD 33. Yet on the other hand, the 70th Week has yet to run in the future. We will discover the amazing resolution of this Paradox in due course.

Then, as the Prophecy in v26 continues, there is another strange development. Instead of Messiah establishing the Kingdom through Israel in AD 33, we find that a worse Judgement will fall upon Israel:

Daniel 9:26b: “and the people of the prince who is to come
(the Romans) shall destroy the City (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (the Temple, fulfilled in AD 70). The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war, desolations are determined.”

This was fulfilled in the Jewish War of AD 66-73, when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and scattered Israel to the nations for 2000 years. Notice the order of events: (1) the Messiah would come to Israel, then (2) be cut off (executed by capital punishment), and then (3) Israel, including Jerusalem and the Temple, would be destroyed by invading armies (since they rejected the King and His Kingdom).

This all came to pass with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in AD 70, which is an amazing fulfilment of Prophecy!
Therefore, the Messiah must have come to Israel and been ‘cut off’ (by Capital Punishment) BEFORE AD 70. Therefore, according to Daniel’s 70 Weeks, the only viable candidate for the promised Messiah is Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth! It is now impossible (too late) for anyone else to make a rightful claim to be the Messiah, because the Temple has already been destroyed!

In v26, the Prophecy has taken a surprising turn. It started full of promise with the Coming of the Messiah, but ends with Judgement! Something has gone terribly wrong! Such devastating destruction must be a Divine Judgement on Israel, and the only sufficient reason is that she will reject her Messiah! (This could not have been said explicitly otherwise it would have spoilt her freedom of choice).

In v25, the Messiah is presented to Israel, but then in v26 instead of His Kingdom being established, Israel comes under Judgement. The implication is clear - Israel rejects the Kingdom, and as a result, the Kingdom could not be established at the end of the 490 years!

What is going on? Jesus had come to bring Salvation through His Death, and to establish His Kingdom upon His Resurrection. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus Christ came to Israel proclaiming that the (Messianic) Kingdom was at hand, He was clearly ready to establish the Kingdom as promised at the end of the 70th Week.

Through His Death, He accomplished that aspect that depended on Him alone, and He did it right on time (purchasing our Salvation). Moreover, the New-Covenant in His Blood provided the spiritual basis for the Kingdom. However, the Establishment of the Kingdom also depended on Israel receiving the King and the Kingdom, for according to the promises and covenants it had to be established through Israel. For Israel to qualify to receive the Kingdom, she must receive the Messiah and the Salvation He offered through the New Covenant. But Israel rejected Him as her King and so rejected the Kingdom, so He could not establish the Kingdom at that time.

 

Part 3

 

At the end of the final Great Jubilee Cycle for Israel (458 BC-AD 33), God indeed provided the Great Atoning Sacrifice of the Messiah, releasing God’s favour and forgiveness upon His people, and He was also ready to fulfil the 70 Weeks Prophecy and establish the Kingdom that year, but something happened to delay this.

The Prophecy itself anticipates this in v26, indicating that the Messianic Kingdom could not be established then, because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah and His Kingdom that He offered her. As a result of this, Israel came under Divine Judgement. Now, God was not taken by surprise by this development, for He even prophesied in v26 that the Kingdom would not be established at the end of 490 years (as v24 seemed to indicate). And yet v24 still stands! God is still declaring that He will establish the Kingdom at the end of
the 70th Week! So, how could God still fulfil the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks and establish the Kingdom at the end of the 70th Week, even after Israel had rejected the Kingdom, causing its Postponement?

*How will God fulfil the Prophecy of 490 years, as He must?

The answer is amazing and provides a major key to understanding End-Time Prophecy, especially to understanding the End of the Age Tribulation of 7 years, which will run after the Church-Age. Praise God Who: "changes the times and the seasons" (Daniel 2:20-22). God did something special with the last 7 years on Israel's Timetable, about which, so far, the Prophecy has been silent:

Because Israel (as a nation) rejected their King and Kingdom, He officially cut them off (Luke 13:4-8, Acts 7), stopped their Clock and cancelled their last 7 years (AD 26-33, the 70th Week, the Time of Messiah’s Presentation). This is why the 7 years, AD 26-33 are blotted out of verse 26. He will give them a second chance to receive Him and and His Kingdom by letting these 7 years (of Daniel’s 70th Week) run again for Israel at the End of the Age, after which Christ will return to establish His Kingdom, having been received by a believing Israel. The difference is that these are 7 years of Tribulation under the antichrist, rather than 7 years of Grace under the Christ.

In the first 7 years, Christ presented Himself to Israel as King, but in the last 7 years, the antichrist will present himself as king. Both 7-year periods divide into two halves, where things that begin in the first half (of 3.5 years) come to their full climax in the 2nd half.

Thus v24 will still be literally fulfilled, because the Kingdom will be established after 490 years on Israel’s Clock. However, before the final 7 years on Israel’s Clock run, the 2,000 years or so of the Church-Age are inserted which postpone the Coming of the Kingdom. So there is a GAP between the two sets of 7 years that is filled by the Church-Age (which is not mentioned directly, since it is a Mystery).

The precedent and type for this is the dreams of Pharaoh in the time of JOSEPH (see Genesis 41), where the 7 lean cows eat the 7 fat ones and the 7 thin, blighted heads of grain eat up the 7 good heads. This referred to 7 prosperous years being EATEN UP by 7 years of famine and affliction which came after.

Likewise, the 7 blessed years of John and Christ were 'eaten up' (blotted out) on Israel's Calendar and replaced by 7 years of Tribulation, by the end of which the Kingdom must be established. Joseph is a Type of Christ, and his brothers represent Israel. They rejected Joseph as their leader and 'killed' him. They did not come to him in the first 7 years, but in the years of Tribulation (‘the Time of Jacob's Trouble' - Jeremiah 30:7); they realised their troubles were due to their sin against Joseph and were repentant. After testing them, Joseph revealed himself to them in the 7 years of Trouble (Tribulation) and they were reconciled. Likewise, Jesus will reveal Himself to His brethren (Israel), and they will be reconciled and receive Him as their King! When they call on Him as Messiah, He will return to save them.

v26,27 describe two consequences of Israel’s rejection of her Prince:

*(1) The First Judgement that came soon after is in Daniel 9:26:
"the people of the prince who is to come (the Romans) shall destroy the City (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (the Temple). The end of it shall be with a flood (an overwhelming invasion) and until the end of the war, desolations are determined.”

This took place over a 7-year period from Spring AD 66 - Spring AD 73, the Jewish War against the Romans, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple and great desolation to Israel, causing her to be scattered to the nations. In AD 73, at the end of this Jewish War against Rome, the last Jewish resistance was destroyed at the mountain-fortress of Masada. They consisted of about 1,000 people, who took a last stand. The Romans built a massive ramp up the side of the mountain, on which their siege towers could attack the walls on top of Masada. Once defeat was inevitable, the Jews committed mass suicide rather than lose their freedom and become slaves. Masada fell at Passover AD 73, exactly 40 years after the Passover of AD 33, when the Messiah, Jesus was crucified! This was no coincidence. Since Israel, at that time, had rejected Jesus as their Messiah, Jesus Himself warned them that as a result of this, the Romans would bring great destruction on Jerusalem and the nation, and they would be scattered to the nations until the end of the Age.


Jesus warned of this coming Roman Invasion in Luke 21:20-24: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the Days of Vengeance (Judgement), that all things which are written (for example, in Daniel 9:26) may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be Great Distress in the Land and Wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Jesus also warned Israel of this coming Roman Judgement in Luke 23:26-31: “As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the Cross that he might bear it after Jesus. And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, `Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us! For if they do these things in the green wood (in a time of Grace), what will be done in the dry (in a time of Judgement)?"

Daniel 9:26: "the people of the prince who is to come (the Romans) shall destroy the City (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (the Temple). The end of it shall be with a flood, and until the end of the war, desolations are determined.” The first part, up to: “...its end will come with a Flood” refers back to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. A Flood is often used of an overwhelming invading and destroying army. The final phrase (as translated above) could also refer to the Jewish War of AD 66-73. However, it could also be translated: “even to the end (of the age) there will be war; desolations are determined”, in which case it is being fulfilled throughout the entire period of the Church-Age (almost 2,000 years thus far). For example, the NIV translates it: “The people of the ruler who will come (the Romans) will destroy the City and the Sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”

This language parallels that of Luke 21:24: “they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until...” Thus the final words of v26 sum up the history of Israel since AD 70: “desolations are determined.” Thus Daniel predicts that that terrible invasion of AD 70 would not end the nation’s sufferings, for they would continue until the end, until the prophecies of the 70 Weeks are completely fulfilled by Messiah’s Return to save Israel.

*(2) The Second Judgement is described in Daniel 9:27 (NIV):
"Then, he (‘the prince to come’, see v26) shall confirm a covenant with the many for ONE WEEK (7 years). But in the middle of the Week (after 3.5 years) he will bring an end to Sacrifice and Offering. And one who causes Desolation (the antichrist) will place Abominations on a Wing of the Temple, (continuing) until the end (of the 70th Week), the time God has set, to pour out Judgement on this evil desolator (at the 2nd Coming).”

This describes the coming of a future prince: ‘the prince to come’ of v26, who will arise out of a (Revived) Roman Empire, for v26 says his people are the ones who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple (the Romans). Thus this prince is a future (end-time) Roman leader.

His destructive activities against Jerusalem and the Temple also take place over a 7-year period (Daniel’s 70th Week, the Tribulation).
They are described in v27 and they identify him as the antichrist. This shows the antichrist will be the head of a Revived Roman Empire. There is a contrast between 2 princes (who both aspire to be world-rulers). There is the Jewish ‘Messiah the Prince’ (the Christ) and the Roman ‘prince to come’ (the antichrist). Since Israel rejected her true Messiah-Prince after 7-years of grace, she must endure life under the false Messiah-Prince during the 7-year Tribulation. Thus the cause (origin) of the Tribulation is Israel’s rejection of her Messiah, and the consequent re-running of Daniel’s 70th Week.

So after v26 describes the 7 years of AD 66-73, the Prophecy jumps forward to these final 7 years for Israel at the End of the Age (in v27). Although they are separated by many hundreds of years, both sets of 7 years are connected. They are both times of Judgement and Trouble for Israel, resulting from her rejection of the Messiah.

They are also connected by the fact that in both cases the instrument of this trouble is Rome. It is this that provides the grammatical link between v26 and v27. Whereas v26 refers to: ‘the people of the prince to come’ (the Romans), v27 focuses in on this coming prince himself (‘he’), implying that all Roman power will ultimately be centred upon himself. By defining the Romans of the first century in terms of the final Roman Leader, the main emphasis is put upon him. Thus, v26b and v27 describe the initial and final outworking of the consequences of Israel’s response to the Messiah in His First Coming (see v25,26a), with the initial (1st century) fulfilment being a forerunner of the final climactic end-time fulfilment through the Roman antichrist dictator.

Thus there are two 7-year Judgements upon Israel for her 7-year Rejection of Christ (AD 26-33). The first (v26) was fulfilled in AD 66-73, exactly 40 years later. This was a forerunner of the 2nd (v27) - the future Tribulation. They have interesting parallels: Both increase in severity with time. Both see a Roman invasion of Jerusalem half-way through the 7-years followed by a Desecration or

Destruction of the Temple. In both, the 2nd-half is a time of Great Tribulation, but because of Jesus’ warnings to flee when they see the relevant Sign, based in each case on something the Roman invaders do (Luke 21:20-24 in the first case, and Matthew 24:15-22 in the second case), the believers escape to safety before the time of Great Tribulation begins.

In the Olivet Discourse (recorded in Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21), Jesus basically expounds and expands upon this Prophecy of Daniel. In so doing, He predicts the invasion of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Luke 21:20-24, c.f. Daniel 9:26), and the future parallel invasion in the Tribulation (Matthew 24:15-22, c.f. Daniel 9:27). In so doing, He brings out this other similarity: that in both cases a way of escape will be made for believers just before the main destruction hits. Because of these similarities many think these are identical events, but there are also significant differences between the two accounts.

The invasion in Luke results in desolation and captivity in the nations for a long period of time (v24). Thus Jesus predicts that there will be an invasion well before the End of the Age in line with Daniel 9:26. On the other hand, the invasion in Matthew results in the desecration (rather than the total destruction) of the Temple and it happens just before Christ’s Return (v22-31). Thus, Jesus also predicted a 2nd Invasion very near the end, in line with Daniel 9:27.


*Let us now turn our attention more closely to Daniel 9:27:
After introducing the Roman prince (antichrist) in v26 as an important figure yet to come, v27 tells us more about him:

Daniel 9:27a: "Then (after some period of time), he (this must be the last person mentioned, namely: 'the prince who is to come', the antichrist) shall confirm a covenant (peace-treaty) with the many (the majority in Israel) for ONE WEEK (7 years!)." The final (70th) Week of 7 years has not been directly mentioned until now.

*Who is the man (‘the prince to come’) of v27? The first question that arises in v27 is to whom does the indefinite pronoun ‘he’ refer to? It must refer to ‘the prince who is to come’ in v26.

Verse 26 had said: “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the City (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (Temple).” Now it is the people of ‘the prince to come’ who destroy Jerusalem. We can now identify these people from history as the Romans under Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem. Therefore the future prince who is to come (in v27), must be the head of a future Revived Roman Empire. He is the coming antichrist, the final head of the End-Time Roman Empire, already mentioned previously in Daniel 7 and 8 (which is why he is referenced as: ‘the prince who is to come’, as if we already know something about him).

Thus the leading actor of this verse 27 is the antichrist, the great evil man of the End Time. To make it refer to Jesus, who: ‘will make a firm covenant with the many,’ rather than antichrist, violates the rules of Hebrew grammar. In the Hebrew, there is no pronoun; only the 3rd masculine singular form of the verb, indicating that an antecedent must be sought in the preceding context. This ‘he’ must

refer to the last noun agreeing with “he” in gender, number and sense, namely: “the prince to come” of v26. This is ‘the coming prince’ of v26, described this way since the reader would already know him as a prince to come, being the ‘little horn’ on the 4th beast of Daniel 7. Moreover the way this prince is introduced in v26 calls for just such a further reference as in v27. There is no reason for his mention unless there is more to be said about him, for he plays no part in the activities of v26.

Moreover, the description and timing of his activities do not fit Christ. He “makes a firm covenant with the many for one Week,” that is 7 years. Some attempt to make this a reference to Christ’s covenant to save His people. But there was no 7-year covenant made by Christ with Israel at the time of His first Coming, rather it is an eternal covenant. There is no hint in the Gospels of a covenant that Christ made with the majority of the Jewish people for 7 years! Also the word for covenant does not carry the article (contrary to KJV), it is ‘a covenant’ probably assuring Israel
protection against her enemies. The Daniel 9:27 covenant is to be made with “the many.” This term always refers in some way to Israel in Daniel (11:33, 39; 12:3). Thus it is a narrow term, used in a specific context, not the language of global salvation. Since such a covenant as described in v27 has not yet taken place in relation to Israel, it must be a yet future event.

Moreover, v27 says that in the middle of the 7-year period: “he will put a stop to Sacrifice and Offering”, but Christ did not cause Temple Sacrifices to cease when He died, for the Temple-Services carried on for about another 40 years. This is the language of something that is to actually take place, not of something that someone is proposing to do later. How is this just a proposal of what has been determined, when the passage clearly says that this will take place within the time-frame? Furthermore, the covenant (in v27) comes after the cutting off of Messiah and the destruction of the Jerusalem in v26.

This is conclusively confirmed by the way Jesus Himself, just days before the Cross, interprets the events of v27 as happening well into the future, in fact, just before His 2nd Coming (see Matthew 24:15-22). Moreover, He clearly applies the main action of v27 to the antichrist, not to Himself!

v27 says the Abomination of Desolation would be set up in the middle of the Week. This was NOT set up by Christ. In Matthew 24:15, we have His interpretation of Daniel 9:27, in which this event is clearly future to the time of Christ. Moreover, nothing like it corresponds to anything within 7 years of His prediction. Therefore, we have to see this as a yet future event.

Matthew 24:15,16: “Therefore when you see the Abomination of Desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the Prophet (in 9:27) standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...v21: “For then there will be Great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Here we have a clear reference to the antichrist who will desecrate the Temple. This did not happen near the time of Christ’s First Coming, nor in AD 70.

Moreover, placing the complete fulfilment of the 70th Week at AD 70 or before severs the obvious connection between Daniel 9, Matthew 24 and Revelation. (Compare “in the middle of the Week” (Daniel 9:27), 42 months and 1,260 days (Revelation 11:2, 12:6, 13:5), and Time, Times, and half a Time (Daniel 12:7, 7:25; Revelation 12:14).

In the Middle of the Week. The final Week of 7 years is detailed in v27:
“But in the Middle of the Week, he will put a stop to Sacrifice and Grain Offering; and on the wing of Abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

This verse tells us what will happen during the final Week, which I believe to be a yet future 7 year period often called the Tribulation.

Since the Week is a 7-year period, its middle is 3.5 years into the 7 years. Interestingly, Daniel 7:25 and 12:7 both refer to a 3.5 year period (‘Time, Times and half a Time’). The context of both passages speak of the future time of the antichrist or beast. This supports the futurist understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel 9:27.

Daniel 7:25: “he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a Time, Times, and half a Time.” The chronology of Daniel 7:25 fits perfectly with the 70 Weeks of Daniel 9. Daniel 9:27 clearly refers to the same time periods that were previously described in the end-time activities of the antichrist (“little horn”) of Daniel 7. The clarification provided in Daniel 9, is that the 3.5 year period begins with the antichrist: “causing a covenant [with the many] to be made strong” (literal translation). Then, “in the middle” of this final 7-year period: “he will put a stop to sacrifice (literally: blood sacrifices), and grain offering [non-bloody sacrifices].”

Daniel 12:7: “I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a Time, Times, and
half a Time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”

Both Daniel 9:27 and 12:7 speak of the antichrist’s rule coming to an end at the conclusion of the same 3.5 year period. This supports the notion that they both refer to a yet future time that we often call the Great Tribulation. Thus ‘the prince to come’ (in Daniel 9:27) refers to the future antichrist, not to the Christ (Messiah).

A Complete Destruction. The last part of v27 says: “even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” No such thing happened in connection with Christ’s First Coming. This is a yet future event when the antichrist will be totally destroyed at the 2nd Coming of Christ, which will bring to an end the 70th Week of years. An AD 70 fulfilment does not fit into anyone’s scheme of the 70 Weeks, for the Romans were not destroyed soon after (the fall of the Empire itself was still several hundred years away). Moreover, no known Roman leader ever “made a covenant” with the Jewish leaders for 7 years, and so this awaits future fulfilment when the 70th Week starts.

Thus this ‘coming prince’, whose activities are described in v27, cannot be the Messiah, who was already cut off in v26. This prince must come after Christ. It must either refer to Titus, the Roman prince who destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, or to the future antichrist. But the history of Titus does not agree with v27. Moreover, v26 emphasises ‘the people’, rather than ‘the prince’ destroying Jerusalem. He is not described as ‘the prince coming with the people’, but instead a detached and distant description, as one who is coming, suggesting that the people and the prince will not
arrive in history together. The Prophecy is stated this way, to link the Roman destruction of AD 66-73 by ‘the people’ (v26), with the Roman ‘prince’ (antichrist)
of the final Week of years (v27). v27 makes clear that this ‘prince’ (ruler) will be the future persecutor of Israel during the 70th Seven (Week).

*All of this establishes the futurist interpretation of v27.
That is, the 70th Week described in v27 is a future 7 year-period (also called the Tribulation) which Israel has yet to endure under antichrist. Taking v27 literally requires this 70th Week to be in the future. When we take this approach, we find it harmonises all the other verses that speak of the future Tribulation leading up to Christ’s 2nd Coming.

In Summary, v26 refers to ‘the people of the prince to come’ destroying Jerusalem, which was clearly fulfilled in AD 70 by the Romans. This phrase: ‘the people of the prince to come’ implies that as well as facing this initial Roman invasion, Israel will also, at a later stage, have to face a future Roman prince, of even greater importance and power. This is confirmed by v27, which starts by saying: “Then he....” By the rules of grammar, the pronoun ‘he’ must refer to the last person mentioned, namely the Roman ‘prince to come’ of v26. This shows he is head of a future Revived Roman Empire. It then describes the activities of the future Roman antichrist, which are consistent with the other prophecies of the antichrist (beast) in Daniel and elsewhere (especially in Matthew 24 and Revelation).

Thus the Prophecy jumps across time from the Roman Army in
v26 to their future coming prince in v27, who will be the final head and dictator of the (Revived) Roman Empire. This jump is confirmed by the fact that although v26 has already been clearly fulfilled literally, v27 can’t be said to have taken place yet, in any literal sense. Between v26 and v27, Daniel’s Prophecy jumps 2000 years or so.

It is a good example of a Prophetic Gap. The connecting link is
Rome and the Roman Prince, identified by the phrase: ‘the people of the prince to come.’ At the end of the first run of Daniel’s 70th Week, Israel rejected Christ as their ruler, saying that "Caesar is our King" and the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem soon after (v26).

Appropriately, the last 7 years open with Israel receiving the antichrist as her protector-ruler. v27 describes the judgement and destruction that will come on Israel through Rome for rejecting Christ and accepting the wrong ruler (the antichrist), but by the end of the 70th Week, Israel will be ready to accept Jesus, the true Christ (v24).

Daniel 9:27a: "Then, he ('the prince who is to come', or antichrist) shall confirm a covenant (peace-treaty) with the many (the majority in Israel) for ONE WEEK (the 70th Week of 7 years)."

Here we see Daniel’s 70th Week (the last 7-years before the Kingdom comes) clearly identified for us. It is marked by the activity of the antichrist. The starting point for these 7 years of Tribulation is a peace treaty he makes with Israel as part of his rise to world-power.

This agreement will bring Israel under the influence, authority and power of the antichrist for 7 years. In return, he will promise Israel protection, and allow them to worship in their rebuilt Temple. (It will seem he will have solved the Middle East problem). Thus, the final 70th Week, is marked by Israel being back in the Land, yet submitting to the antichrist and suffering terribly under his dominion.

Daniel 9:27b: "But in the middle of the Week (after 3.5 years, at Mid-Tribulation) he will bring an end to Sacrifice and Offering.”

At Mid-Tribulation, the antichrist breaks this covenant, invades

Jerusalem, kills the 2 Witnesses, and stops Israel’s Temple Worship,
in order to sit in the Temple and declare himself to be the only god to be worshipped, setting up an idolatrous Image of himself in the Temple (the ‘Abomination of Desolation’) and make his claim to be world dictator, backed by satan, and enforced by the Mark of the Beast, initiating the Great Tribulation which will last 3.5 years until it is ended by the Return of Christ (see also Daniel 7:23-27, 11:41-12:1; 2Thessalonians 2:3,4, Revelation 11:1-12, 12:6-17, 13:1-18, 17:7-17).

Daniel 9:27c: “And one (the antichrist) who causes Desolation will place Abominations on a Wing of the Temple...” Antichrist will utterly defile the Temple of God by putting an Image of himself on the Pinnacle and in the Holy Place of the rebuilt Jewish Temple and demand everyone worship him. This Idol Abomination (the
Image of the Beast) that he sets up in God’s Temple will bring down
Desolation (Desolating Judgements) from God in the Great Tribulation (the 7th Trumpet sounds immediately in response to the Abomination, releasing the Judgements of the Great Tribulation).

This is the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ that Jesus refers to in Matthew 24:15-22: “Therefore when you see the ‘Abomination of
Desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet (in Daniel 9:27), standing in the Holy Place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...For then


there will be Great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And
unless those days were shortened (by the Return of Christ, bringing antichrist’s reign of terror to an end), no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (by the end of the 70th Week the elect nation of Israel will be at the point of extinction).”

The erection of this ‘Abomination’ will be a sign for the believers in Israel to escape at once to a place of safety in the mountainous wilderness of Jordan (Bozrah, possibly Petra). There, she (the Remnant of Israel) will be kept by God for the remaining 3.5 years (the Great Tribulation). This is the Woman of Revelation 12 fleeing into the wilderness for 3.5 years (1260 days). This escape will be necessary, because at this time, the antichrist (inspired and possessed by the devil) will be committed to totally destroy Israel, as
well as all believers, in order to foil God’s Promises and Purposes.

Daniel 9:27c: “And one (the antichrist) who causes Desolation will place Abominations on a Wing of the Temple (continuing) until the end (of the 70th Week) - the time God has set, to pour out
Judgement on this evil desolator (at the 2nd Coming of Christ).” (I am using the NIV translation here because it is by far the clearest).

Therefore the Antichrist and his Abomination bringing Desolations will continue for the remaining 3.5 years of the 70th

Week, and then both will be destroyed by the Christ on the last day of the 70 Weeks, when He returns to set up His Kingdom. Thus, this time of antichrist’s world-dictatorship is limited to 3.5 years, after
which he and his kingdom will be judged and destroyed. This can only be accomplished by the Return of the Messiah-King, Jesus at the end of the 7 years to deliver His People, and to establish His Kingdom, thus fulfilling the 490-year Prophecy (see also Daniel 2,7, and Revelation 19). Notice that both Antichrist and his Abomination are destroyed on the same day, the last day of the 70th Week, the Great and Terrible (Manifest) Day of the Lord’s glorious Return.

Postponement? Since there is still a future 70th Week to run at the End of the Age, it follows there must be a GAP of time in the outworking of the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks. The running of the final 70th Week must have been POSTPONED. God must have stopped Israel’s Clock, so that this 70th Week (of v27) has yet to run.

A gap is needed to make this Prophecy work out in history with the exact precision intended by God. No other approach works. The events of v26 (the Jewish War, destruction of Jerusalem and Temple in AD 70) cannot be made to belong to the Weeks in v25,26 or to the 70th Week of v27. They must belong to a time before this 70th Week.

Thus Daniel’s 70 Weeks require a chronological Postponement, so that the Prophecy jumps over a time-gap. This is not unusual, but

is just like many other Messianic Prophecies of Christ’s 2 Comings, which jump over the gap (of about 2000 years) between them as if it was not there. These Prophecies of the Coming Messiah combined their descriptions of both phases of Christ into a single passage, without distinguishing between them. They spoke of a single Messiah (Jesus) who would come twice, once to suffer, and then again in glory.
Therefore it is not unreasonable to expect in a Messianic passage the necessity of a time-gap, between the fulfilment of all the events prophesied. This supports our literal interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27.

Rerun? Although there is a future 70th Week, this does not mean that all 70 Weeks (490 years) have not already run. The unique thing about this Prophecy is that it is specifically designed to be an exact measuring time-frame for the Time of Messiah. If we allow gaps between the Sections (of 7 Weeks, 62 Weeks and 1 Week) then this would contradict the Unity of the 70 Weeks in v24 and undermine the value of the Prophecy as an exact time-measurement. An elastic yardstick is a worthless measure. Therefore the 70 Weeks
must be allowed to run from their starting point as a Unit. We shall show that when this is done, they were fulfilled to the very day in the Death and Resurrection of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Therefore, the 70th Week has already run and it will also run again! What are we to make of this? There is only one possibility.


Due to the rejection of Christ, God could not establish His Kingdom at the end of the 70 Weeks, so He cancelled the 70 Weeks, rewound Israel’s Clock by 7 years, so that He can run them again at the End of the Church-Age, giving Israel a second chance to repent and receive the Messiah and His Kingdom. Thus the 70th Week will run again for Israel as the Tribulation, after which she will receive her Messiah. Israel has now been re-established as a nation since 1948, over 60 years ago, suggesting the 70th Week (‘Seven’) may begin very soon !

Daniel’s 70 Weeks is a major key to Bible Prophecy. It gives the Countdown to the Messiah and His Kingdom, predicting the exact timing of His First Coming, and (for those in the Tribulation) His 2nd Coming as well! The End-Time Prophecy of Jesus (the Olivet Discourse) depends and builds upon it. It is a Masterpiece, and the lynchpin connecting Old and New Testament Prophecy, preparing us for the new developments. It establishes the Postponement of the Kingdom (crucial to relating Old Testament Prophecy and the Church Age). It also proves that despite the delay, the Kingdom will be finally established and Israel will be fully restored.

It also provides the fundamental truth about the Tribulation, revealing its cause, origin and nature: that it is the Rerun 70th Week of Daniel, the final 7 years of this Age, made necessary by Israel’s rejection of Christ in AD 33, and designed to bring Israel to


repentance and faith in Christ, and thus prepare the way for the Messianic Kingdom to be established at the 2nd Coming of Christ. Thus Daniel’s 70 Weeks is the foundational Prophecy for the Tribulation, and Daniel 9:27 in particular is its foundational verse:

Daniel 9:27 (NIV): “Then he (the Roman prince to come, the antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (the majority of Israel) for one Week (7 Years, the rerun 70th Week of Daniel), but in the Middle of the Week (Mid-Tribulation) he shall bring an end to Sacrifice and Offering (in the rebuilt Temple). And on a wing of the Temple, he will set up an Abomination that causes Desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (the antichrist is destroyed by Christ at His 2nd Coming, at the end of the 7 years)."

Therefore the key truth about the Tribulation is that it is the re-run of the cancelled 70th Week of Daniel, which is why it is exactly 7 years long. In fact, we will show from Daniel and Revelation that the Tribulation is exactly the same number of days as the 7 years of Messiah’s Presentation to Israel from the start of John the Baptist’s Ministry (Nisan 1st, AD 26) to the day of Christ’s Resurrection on April 3rd, AD 33. This is because it is an exact chronological rerun!
We will show how the ‘70 Weeks’ has been fulfilled to the very day, and how it will be fulfilled to the day in the Tribulation!

 

 

Home

Books

About Us

Events

Teachings

Bible Commentary

Media

Shop

Donate

Contact

Print

OBC Office

363 Banbury Road
Oxford - England - UK
OX2 7PL
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 515086
Fax: +44 (0) 8721 107068
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Print

Sunday Services

Sundays at 11am and 6pm
Cheney School Hall
Cheney Lane - Headington
Oxford - England - UK
OX3 7QH