Daniel 9: 70 Weeks Determined for Israel and Jerusalem

Last Updated: 12/14/2023 23:57    | Print This Page | |

Visions of Daniel and John through time

I’ve excerpted Daniel 9 below without verses as it was originally. If you would like to read it with verse numbers and inline Hebrew definitions, read it at Blue Letter Bible.

Daniel 9
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. [Jeremiah 25:9-13] And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

[Acknowledgment of Sin]

And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

[Prayer for Forgiveness]

O LORD, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

[Prayer Answered]

And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

[Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy]

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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 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. 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.

I want to add a recent find of writings by Rick Lanser MDiv at the Associates for Biblical Research site where he has a collection of studies titled The Daniel 9:24-27 Project. These very thoughtful, researched, and detailed studies put my overview to shame and I was pleasently surprised to find validation in that research to match some of my conclusions. I won’t attempt to rewrite his detailed research here, but I will include some of his points.

I think it is important in studying this chapter to recognize throughout the focus on Israel and Jerusalem. These are Daniel’s people and the city recently destroyed by the Babylonians where the first temple was destroyed. Given the extended nature of the prophecy to the end times, it is sometimes easy to skip over the Jewish nature of this prophecy and indeed the whole prayer and supplication of Daniel.

Much focus is on the last four verses of this chapter as they are the actual prophecy. It is important to note that there is no other period of seven years defined in scripture to compare this prophecy to. For this reason the context of this prophecy is doubly important as there is no real cross reference for it and I believe it is central to the whole scenario of the completion of God’s plan for Israel and indeed the world. I believe that it is primarily to this prophecy that Yeshua points when speaking of the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet when He is asked, “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” So context from within scripture is critical to properly interpret what this prophecy means for the coming times.

Seventy Years Prophesied

The first two verses of this chapter setup the time frame of the revealing of the 70 weeks prophecy. There is debate on who exactly Darius the son of Ahasuerus is, but he is believed to be an unnamed ruler outside the Biblical record following Cyrus the Great’s conquering of Babylon following Belshazzar’s feast from Daniel 5 where the writing was on the wall. So this would be the first year following the conquering of Babylon by Cyrus and Darius the Mede “was made king” (posess, reign, consult, rule, govern H4427) over the realm of the Chaldeans. This is not placing him as king to the extent of Cyrus the Great or others major rulers, but more of a ruler or governor over the realm of the Chaldeans following Cyrus conquering Babylon.

In the context of the overall visions of Daniel and John, this was the transition from the third head of Babylon to the fourth head of Medo-Persia in Revelation 17 and from the head of gold to the breast and arms of silver in Daniel 2. It was at this time of transition of power of the Gentile kingdoms over Jerusalem that Daniel looked back to the prophecy from Jeremiah regarding the desolations of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 25:1-13
The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that [was] the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that [is] the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened. And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending [them]; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, [and] an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, [even] all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.
2 Chronicles 36:15-21
And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till [there was] no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: [for] as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

As seen throughout their history, Israel’s breaking of the covenant they agreed to with God at Mount Sinai led to the Gentile nations control over them and the land. In the case of the Babylonians, the complete destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple were decreed, yet for those carried away into Babylon, they were told specifically to settle into their captivity and live peaceable lives in Babylon with the promise to return

Jeremiah 29:1-11
Now these [are] the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell [in them]; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that [be] in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Seventy Years Fulfilled

Daniel took the Word of God seriously and recognized Jeremiah’s prophecy as reality to the year. Seventy years were to be accomplished in the desolations of Jerusalem and he knew that those full seventy years would be accomplished. In recognizing that the seventy years was almost up, and knowing the mercy of God and righteous judgment for the sins of Israel, Daniel comes before the Lord with a contrite heart confessing the sins of the people of Israel.

I think it’s an important example of how we can approach God in our lives as well, in humility and recognition of His Word and righteous judgements. As obedient Christians filled with His Spirit, we are to love God and other people, even those who would consider us enemies. When we fail in either of these we should come before God confessing and recognizing His loving kindness and mercy according to His Word, trusting His forgiveness and turning away from those sins while asking for His help and guidance to accomplish His will for our lives.

In the case of Daniel, he was centuries removed from the arrival of the Messiah and the fulfillment of God’s plan for mankind. In his mind, the focus was on Israel and Jerusalem and the last word given was not to listen to the prophets and diviners in Israel’s midst in captivity or to trust their dreams. Daniel desired to know God’s plan for His people Israel.

Daniel’s Prayer, Supplications, and Confession for Israel

I think it’s important for the sake of context to understand Daniel’s mindset in asking forgiveness. Daniel set his face to seek the Lord with prayer, supplications, fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. In this prayer Daniel recognizes the characteristics and actions of the Lord.

  • The Lord is the great and dreadful God - This same combination is referred to in Malachi 4:5 regarding the day of the Lord and Elijah’s arrival preceding it. There is nothing and nobody that can stand against God. Hebrews 10:30-31
  • The Lord keeps the covenant
  • The Lord shows mercy to them that love Him and keep His commandments
  • Righteousness belongs to the Lord
  • The Lord is merciful and forgives
  • The Lord has sent His prophets to give the law by which they should walk
  • The Lord keeps His oaths and promises

Daniel also recognizes the sins of his people and reminds God of His characteristics and asks forgiveness because the judgments for their sins were just. Daniel recognizes the sins of Israel.

  • Israel has sinned.
  • Israel has done wickedly.
  • Israel rebelled by departing from God’s precepts and judgments.
  • Israel did not listen to His servants the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord to Israel’s kings, princes, fathers and all the people of the land. Israel did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in His laws delivered by His servants the prophets.
  • To all Israel is confusion of faces, the men of Judah, inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel near or far through all the countries God has drivent them because of their trespass against Him.
  • All Israel has transgressed God’s law, therefore the curse is poured out on Israel, according to the oath written in the law of Moses, servant of God. His word has been confirmed by the great judgment that has been done to Jerusalem.
  • As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon Israel but they did not pray to the Lord that they might turn from our iniquities and understand God’s truth.

The Covenants and Commandments

Let’s not gloss over Daniel’s prayer to jump to the last four verses, because there are some very important points that may change how one reads them. God has made several covenants with the earth and Israel.

  • Adamic Covenant - (Genesis 1:26-30, Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:15) God made a conditional covenant to give man every herb, seed, fruit and dominion over the earth and every living thing in it with the exception of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, the day it is eaten he would die. Once Eve and Adam did eat of it, the serpent was cursed and emnity was between its seed and the seed of the woman. This was also a prophecy of the virgin birth (seed of the woman) and His conquering of the dragon. (Adam was 930 years old when he died, this was the very day according to God’s time that he ate of the forbidden fruit. Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8)
  • Noahic Covenant - (Genesis 9:8-17) God placed His bow in the clouds as a token of His unconditional covenant to never again destroy the earth by a flood.
  • Abrahamic Covenant - (Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 13:14-17, Genesis 15:1-21, Romans 4:9-22) God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham while he was in a deep sleep. God said Abraham’s seed would be given the land from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates.
  • Mosaic Covenant - (Exodus 24:1-12, Deuteronomy 11, Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Leviticus 26:14-46) God made a two-sided covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai through His servant Moses. “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.”
  • Land Covenant - (Deuteronomy 30:1-10) God made a conditional covenant that when Israel disobeys and are scattered among the nations, if they turn to God with all their soul, God will have compassion and return them to the land.
  • Davidic Covenant - (2 Samuel 7:8-16, Luke 1:31-35) God made a conditional covenant with David that his son would build a house to the Lord and God will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. If he commits iniquity he will be punished of men, but God’s mercy will not depart from him. This was a prophetic fulfillment in Christ, who took on the iniquity of the whole world and bore our stripes that we would be healed.
  • New Covenant - (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 26:28, Hebrews 9:15) God made a two-sided covenant with all those who believe in Yeshua and obey Him. Acts 5:29-32, John 15:12-15

Given these covenant, what is in Daniel’s mind while he is praying and repenting for Israel’s rebellion? The Adamic and Davidic covenants are not relevant in this case, the damage was done and prophecy given. The Noahic and Abrahamic covenants were unconditional. The New Covenant was not yet on the scene and so Daniel wouldn’t be referring to this. That leaves the land and Mosaic covenants as contenders to Daniel’s prayer.

These two covenants are somewhat tied together in terms of the Babylonian captivity, both promise captivity for rebellion and return for repentance. However, Daniel was very explicit in the recognition of Israel’s rebellion tied to turning from the law of Moses and the punishment that came in the judgement promised to Israel that she accepted in the wilderness.

The first point is that Israel turned from God and failed to live up to the covenant they made and agreed to at Mount Sinai, the Mosaic Covenant. God did not fail to live up to the covenant nor did He stop the judgments decreed as a result of Israel breaking the covenant. In fact, Daniel makes it clear these are tied together.

Daniel 9:4,11-12
And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; ... Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

Daniel asks according to God’s righteousness for Him to turn His anger away from Jerusalem, His holy mountain for his sake, not for Israel’s righteousness, but God’s great mercies. Interestingly, Gabriel also ties Jerusalem to God’s holy mountain in concert with Daniel, which is important in understanding the unfaithful woman who rides the beast from Revelation 17-18.

God, through His messenger Gabriel, answered Daniel’s prayer and revealed through this amazing prophecy covering only four verses of scripture, the future of Israel from the order to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Triumphal Entry (69 weeks of years), and a final week of years, the 70th week of Daniel.

This prophecy is studied in more detail in the 70 Weeks of Daniel prophecy as part of the HIStory, Our Future Bible studies, and the verse 24 regarding the event to occur within this 70 weeks is covered below.

Seventy Weeks: Seventy Sabbatical Year Cycles

The word translated as weeks is H7620, sabua, meaning a heptad or period of seven days or years. We see this first introduced in the context of Israel at Mount Sinai where God delivered the commandments for Israel to follow in addition to the 10 commandments.

Exodus 23:10-13
And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh [year] thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, [and] with thy oliveyard. Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed. And in all [things] that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

Notice that this period of seven is tied both to years and days. First in a sequential period of seven years for the land (six years and one year rest), and second a sequential period of seven days for man (six days work and one day rest). This is also tied to when they enter the Promised Land in Leviticus 25:1-7, which is explicitlly called the sabbath of the land.

Interestingly, failure to obey these commandments from God resulted in punishments as part of the Mosaic Covenant Israel made with God at Mount Sinai.

Leviticus 26:14-18, 32-35
But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, [but] that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. ... And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye [be] in your enemies’ land; [even] then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

It was this very reason that led to Daniel and all of Israel’s exile in Babylon and his prayer of repentance for his people and petition from God to understand what the future was for Israel and Jerusalem. Prior to the Babylonian captivity, Israel had failed to keep the land sabbath for 490 years, meaning 70 sabbath rests for the land had been missed and so the captivity was the promise kept to give the land the rest that it had missed because of their disobedience. 2 Chronicles 36:15-23 It follows then that since the 70 weeks prophecy is tied to the sabbatical years and obedience of God’s commands, that the 70 weeks would begin when both the command to restore and build Jerusalem and obedience to the statutes given are being followed.

It should be noted that in all the cases where weeks (sabua) is used in scripture, it is speaking of a period of contiguous time. It is sometimes multiple weeks, but the number of weeks defines a starting point to an ending point without any gaps. In Genesis 29:27 we have the story of Jacob’s work to wed Rachel. In this one verse we see the same word week tied to seven years that Jacob had to work to fulfill that week. This term is used similarly throughout the 20 times it is used in 17 verses.

The seventy weeks of Daniel is broken out into 3 sets of weeks and unless otherwise defined in the context of the scripture itself, they should be considered a contiguous counting of time from the start to the end. The first two periods of weeks appear to be connected to each other, seven weeks and 62 weeks. This period of 69 weeks total is the counting of weeks “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince.” There’s no clear reason why the 7 is mentioned separately from the 62 except perhaps to make the point that these weeks are sabbatical in nature.

Exodus 34:21-22
Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.

Leviticus 23:15-16
And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

Numbers 28:26
Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks [be out], ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:

Deuteronomy 16:9-12
Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from [such time as] thou beginnest [to put] the sickle to the corn. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give [unto the LORD thy God], according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that [is] within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that [are] among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.

The feast of weeks is what most Christians know as Pentecost. It is the end of a period of seven sabbath’s (49 days + 50th day holy covocation) counted from the feast of firstfruits. Interestingly, in 30 AD the feast of firstfruits fell on the Sunday of the resurrection of Yeshua, who is the firstfruits of them that slept. 1 Corinthians 15:20 And it was at the feast of weeks 50 days later that the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers in the upper room. For more on dating the crucifixion, I recommend reading the whole study on the spring feasts of Israel.

Similar to the weeks of days, there is also a weeks of years where the same pattern of 49 + 1 is applied to determine the year of jubilee.

Leviticus 25:8-13
And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of thy vine undressed. For it [is] the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.

So we see this pattern of sabbath days and years as an unbroken counting of time. In the case of the 70 weeks prophecy, Gabriel splits the 70 weeks into smaller parts, but those three periods should not be assumed to be split such that there are gaps between two parts of either the 7, 62, or 1 weeks of years.

“We begin by first affirming a key finding of this study, discussed in Part 1 of “The Going Forth of Artaxerxes’ Decree.” It presented the case that the “weeks” of Daniel 9:24–27 should be understood as sabbatical year cycles following a fixed schedule, not arbitrary periods of seven years. ...

“...While this study did not pay much attention to Daniel 9:24 because it does little more than introduce the passage, one overarching thing it says needs to be kept in mind as we read the rest of the prophecy: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city.” These seventy weeks thus have primary reference to God’s dealings with the Jews, not with the world or the Church, except insofar as Jewish affairs impact them. Saying this has nothing to do with any attempt to defend an overarching dispensationalist view, but only with faithful adherence to the text and context of Daniel 9:24–27.

“This self-declared restriction on the scope of the prophecy is another reason for regarding the “weeks” as Jew-specific sabbatical year cycles. The focus on the Jews seen in 9:24 provides a common framework for interpreting the following three verses. And their scope can be narrowed down still further, for their direct connection with Jerusalem means they apply particularly to times when the Jews fully controlled their holy city. This is further evidence we are dealing with sabbatical year cycles, which are inseparable from the combination of (1) self-government of the Jews, by the Jews, from Jerusalem; (2), a fully-functioning Temple-based sacrificial system; and (3), the pursuit of agriculture within the Holy Land that includes land-rests every seven years. These deductions follow from the fact that the reinstitution of sabbatical year counts after the exile did not begin with Zerubbabel’s limited return to the Land, but only after both the rebuilt Temple and Ezra’s resumption of Torah adherence were in place. For these reasons we cannot say the Jews’ limited return to the Land seen so far in our day has restarted sabbatical year counting, which was interrupted when the arrival of the Lamb of God set aside the sacrificial system centered on the Temple. It will not restart until the Third Temple is built and full Torah observance reinstituted. Until then, the sabbatical cycle clock has been paused. The Seventieth Week has not yet begun.

“...It must be said that Hasel’s grammatical analysis is solid and cogent. However, what kind of unity is intended is a separate issue. Must it consist in a consecutive chronological unity of the seven, 62 and one weeks as Hasel proposes, forcing us to start the 70th week as soon as the 69th week ends, or is it a unity of a different sort? If we remove the SDA doctrinal constraint which influences Hasel’s interpretation, another solution presents itself: the unity could consist in each “week” being a sabbatical year cycle. The use of the masculine plural form sabu’im in Daniel is, as many have noted, unique in the Old Testament. My suggestion is that it is unique to Daniel because it is one of the methods by which God “sealed” the book to make the prophecy difficult to decipher.

“...Since a sabbatical year cycle is a group of seven years, we can immediately see how the masculine plural ending could refer to them in Daniel 9. The unity Hasel calls for us to recognize, therefore, is probably not of chronologically consecutive periods of seven, 62 and one “weeks,” but of a plurality of sabbatical year cycles.” | Daniel 9:24-27: The Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks, Rick Lanser MDiv

Seventy Years Scope

Just what is the span of time for the prophecy given by God through Gabriel to Daniel? How do we know it’s not over already? I will attempt to answer those questions by showing the original Hebrew definitions for the words used, showing that not all the things listed as prerequisites to the ending of the 70 weeks are fulfilled as of yet. This eliminates the possibility that all prophecy is fulfilled and further places the final seven years in our future, or as I believe you will see, currently unfolding.

Daniel 9:24
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Israel] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression1, and to make an end of sins2, and to make reconciliation for iniquity3, and to bring in everlasting righteousness4, and to seal up the vision and prophecy5, and to anoint the most Holy6.

There are two parts to this passage. The first deals with the subject, Israel and Jerusalem, once again an important scope of this prophecy. The second deals with the events that must be fulfilled by the completion of the 70 weeks of years. These are AND conditions. As with Boolean expressions, each and every one must be fulfilled for the prophecy to be complete. That prophecy is encased in this 70 weeks timeframe.

to finish the transgression

  • to finish (H3607) כּלא kâlâ’ (kaw-law’)
    • A primitive root; to restrict, by act (hold back or in) or word (prohibit): - finish, forbid, keep (back), refrain, restrain, retain, shut up, be stayed, withhold.
    • Occurs 19 times. Restrained = 4, shut up = 4, stayed = 3, withhold = 2, keep back = 2, forbid = 1, refrain = 1, retain = 1, finish = 1
  • the transgression (H6588) פּשׁע pesha’ (peh’-shah)
    • From H6586; a revolt (national, moral or religious): - rebellion, sin, transgression, trespassive
    • Occurs 93 times used as transgressions, trespass, sin, rebellion against God, brothers

Taken in the generic context of transgression being finished, I’ve personally seen enough sin in my life to recognize that this isn’t fulfilled entirely yet. However, the specific context of this prophecy given to Daniel is determined upon Israel and Jerusalem. The rebellion and sin of Israel as a nation, which is their lack of acceptance and obedience to the promised Messiah they rejected, will be over after the remnant of Israel calls upon the name of the Lord, accepting Yeshua as their Messiah. Yeshua said that this would be when Israel would see Him again. Matthew 23:37-39

The end of the 69th week came at the beginning of Yeshua's ministry in 27 AD. 2½ years later Yeshua was crucified on Passover in 30 AD. Just before this, He declared Israel's blindness. Luke 19:41-44 | Romans 11:1-11 | 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 Some say that the 70th week was fulfilled at various historical times, whether the time of the Maccabees, 30 AD, or 70 AD, but the fact that Israel is still blinded and has not accepted Yeshua points to this 70th week being yet unfulfilled.

Moreover, it is only after the last 3½ years of the week when the wrath of God is poured out that Israel will be brought out of the wilderness of protection and dwell in Jerusalem with their Messiah, having called on Him after being wooed in the wilderness protected from the dragon for 3½ years. Revelation 12:14-17 | Hosea 2:14-23 | Isaiah 35:1-10 | Jeremiah 30:23-31:14

Another angle on this could be seen as the time of Jacob's trouble, that leads to the remnant of Israel being protected in the wilderness and triggers the whole tribulation that would cause them to turn back to the Lord. Taken in context of the same word used throughout the Old Testament, it should better read "to restrain and shut up the transgression/sin." It seems pretty generic to restrain sin, but what if this is another way fo saying that because Israel is blinded, their sin is not fully put on them? So when is the transgression no longer restrained? Perhaps when the restrainer is taken out of the way?

This calls to mind Michael the restrainer, who stands for the people of Israel, that is taken out of the way and triggering the abomination of desolation. We are told this is an unparalleled time in Judea related to Israel and that it’s the ultimate personification of transgression, the man of sin declaring himself god and the world worshipping him. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-14 It highlights the possibility that some such as Chris White have posited that the man of sin will present himself as the Jewish messiah, being the great deception, and literally coming in his own name and being accepted by Israel after rejecting the Messiah. John 5:43 If the 2/3 cut off in Zechariah 13:8-9 speaks more to those of Israel worshipping the false Messiah and thereby being the natural branches cut off from the root, Romans 11, then this could all be related. In addition to those refusing would be cut off in the killed sense while 1/3 of Israel would be protected in the wilderness.

to make an end of sins

  • to make an end (H2856) חתם châtham (khaw-tham’)
    • A primitive root; to close up; especially to seal: - make an end, mark, seal (up), stop.
    • Occurs 27 times meaning seal = 24 and also stop, mark. This sounds pretty much like is translated in this verse.
  • of sins (H2403) חטּאת חטּאה chaṭṭâ’âh chaṭṭâ’th (khat-taw-aw’, khat-tawth’)
    • From H2398; an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender: - punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin (-ner, offering).
    • Occurs 299 times and is self-explanatory, but is sometimes also many times referred to with the sin offering for atonement.

Obviously in terms of sins no longer happening it is not fulfilled, even in the millennium there will be sin against God. However, this prophecy is focused on Israel and Jerusalem. The end of Israel’s sins has not come to pass and God is not done with His chosen people. Jeremiah 31:31-40, Zechariah 13:8-9, Zechariah 12:10-14, Matthew 23:37-39.

I think this ties in pretty well with the idea that many Christians have against a rebuilt temple. They say, "that was done away with by Christ!" I agree, but we live in a temporal world stuck in space-time. Israel is not there yet. They still corporately reject their Messiah and look to the old ways that were always insufficient and a foreshadow of the fulfillment in the chief cornerstone that was rejected. Until they recognize Him, they are atoning for sin insufficiently. When they are taken to the wilderness and protected and the bride is caught up to meet the Messiah, the remnant that fled Judea will mourn for Him and be refined through the fire of God’s wrath. They will come to accept Him and when the 1,260 days of protection are fulfilled, they will enter into the promised land with their Messiah ruling and He will remember their sins no more.

to make reconciliation for iniquity

  • to make reconciliation (H3722) כּפר kâphar (kaw-far’)
    • A primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel: - appease, make (an) atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to pitch, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).
    • 103 times, make an atonement, much of the time in relation to the burnt offering, appease, pardon, pacify, sin purged
  • for iniquity (H5771) עוון עון ‛âvôn ‛âvôn (aw-vone’, aw-vone’)
    • From H5753; perversity, that is, (moral) evil: - fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin.
    • 232 times, iniquity, punishment, mischief, sin

I believe this was accomplished by Christ on the cross. He made reconciliation possible for us who live in iniquity. Looking at the context of other passages using these words, I would say this has a lot to do with the acceptance of the ultimate sacrifice foreshadowed in the daily sacrifices. Reconciliation for iniquity may have happened 2,000 years ago, but in the context of Israel, they are blinded to it until they seek His face. Hosea 5:15

to bring in everlasting righteousness

  • to bring in (H935) בּוא bô’ (bo)
    • A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications): - abide, apply, attain, X be, befall, + besiege, bring (forth, in, into, to pass), call, carry, X certainly, (cause, let, thing for) to come (against, in, out, upon, to pass), depart, X doubtless again, + eat, + employ, (cause to) enter (in, into, -tering, -trance, -try), be fallen, fetch, + follow, get, give, go (down, in, to war), grant, + have, X indeed, [in-]vade, lead, lift [up], mention, pull in, put, resort, run (down), send, set, X (well) stricken [in age], X surely, take (in), way.
    • Occurs 2,591 times, brought/bring, came/come, went/go, enter
  • everlasting (H5769) עלם עולם ‛ôlâm ‛ôlâm (o-lawm’, o-lawm’)
    • From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always: - always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Compare H5331, H5703.
    • Occurs 438 times, everlasting, forever, always, of old, perpetual, in the negative never
  • righteousness (H6664) צדק tsedeq (tseh’-dek)
    • From H6663; the right (natural, moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity: - X even, (X that which is altogether) just (-ice), ([un-]) right (-eous) (cause, -ly, -ness).
    • Occurs 119 times, righteousness, just, justice, even [balance]

This is specifically the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, which I believe was begun with Christ’s sacrifice. Not necessarily the fulfillment of nothing but righteousness. However, the fullness of this righteousness will be seen for eternity after the millennium. In the context of Israel and Jerusalem, it would seem this would be fulfilled when Israel has come out of the 70th week recognizing their Messiah and the eternal sacrifice that has redeemed them to Him.

to seal up the vision and prophecy

  • to seal up (H2856) חתם châtham (khaw-tham’)
    • A primitive root; to close up; especially to seal: - make an end, mark, seal (up), stop.
    • Occurs 27 times, same as "to make an end of sins" sealed, stopped, mark
  • the vision (H2377) חזון châzôn (khaw-zone’)
    • From H2372; a sight (mentally), that is, a dream, revelation, or oracle: - vision.
    • Occurs 35 times, vision in context of viewing and understanding what’s to come
  • and prophecy (H5030) נביא nâbîy’ (naw-bee’)
    • From H5012; a prophet or (generally) inspired man: - prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.
    • Occurs 317 times, prophet(s)

In context of Israel and Jerusalem, the end of the 70 weeks is the natural and wild branches eternally connected/grafted to the root which is Christ. The Old Testament prophets had visions related to Israel and her redemption such as this from Daniel and many times is clearly stated to be related to Israel. Once Israel has accepted Yeshua, there is no more dealing with Jew and Gentile in Christ apart from each other. Just dealing with the unbelieving world apart from God’s eternal family from all nations, tribes and tongues.

The very nature of a vision, dream, or revelation signifies that the thing being seen has not occurred yet, once it happens it is no longer prophetic but now history. The very nature of Bible prophecy is that which occurs in earth space-time. So to seal up or make an end to these things means that those things we have in scripture now must be fulfilled prior to the end of the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy given to him by God through the angel Gabriel. Almost all of Revelation is contained within the 70 weeks timeframe. There are explanations of what will happen after the 70 weeks, but mostly descriptive of what it will be like. Not the kind of prophecy we see describing, in great detail, the period of time prior to Christ’s return to earth to rule. I believe the sealing of the vision and prophecy comes when Christ does.

Revelation 19:10
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimonyG3141 of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Testimony (G3141)
marturia (mar-too-ree’-ah)
From G3144; evidence given (judicially or generally): - record, report, testimony, witness.

Once Christ is here, there will be no need for record or report or evidence because Christ will dwell among us on the earth from that point till they are destroyed. So if our report of Christ is prophecy (since all prophecy revolves around Christ), then that will end when Christ’s presence is His own testimony and prophecy will be fulfilled among us.

to anoint the most Holy

  • to anoint (H4886) משׁח mâshach (maw-shakh’)
    • A primitive root; to rub with oil, that is, to anoint; by implication to consecrate; also to paint: - anoint, paint.
    • Occurs 69 times, anoint (smear, spread liquid)
  • most Holy (H6944) קדשׁ qôdesh (ko’-desh)
    • From H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: - consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.
    • Occurs 467 times, "most holy, or holy holy" in the temple where the ark of the covenant was placed, holy [ground, convocation, habitation, Sabbath, men, garments, place, things, crown, ], Holiness

What is the most Holy? I did a search through scripture to see where else “most Holy” is used and what it is in reference to. My conclusion is that the most Holy is the physical location of the holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. I believe the anointing of the holy of Holies will be when Christ steps His feet on the Mount of Olives and enters through the Golden Gate into the temple, His throne for the next 1,000 years. He is worthy and indeed was the One who’s presence rested there in Old Testament times. Here is a quick breakdown of “most Holy.”

“Most Holy” is found 45 times in 43 verses in the Old Testament. 

  • Holy of Holies/Temple/Temple Mount [17] (Exodus 26:33 | Exodus 26:34 | Numbers 18:6-10 | 1 Kings 6:16 | 1 Kings 7:50 | 1 Kings 8:6 | 1 Chronicles 6:49 | 2 Chronicles 3:8 | 2 Chronicles 3:1-10 | 2 Chronicles 4:22 | 2 Chronicles 5:7 | Ezekiel 41:4 | Ezekiel 43:12 | Ezekiel 44:13 | Ezekiel 45:3 | Ezekiel 48:12 | Daniel 9:27)
  • Most Holy things [4] ~ Ark of the Covenant, Table of Shewbread, & temple instruments (Numbers 4:1-15 | Numbers 4:19 | 1 Chronicles 23:13 | 2 Chronicles 31:14 )
  • Adjective describing:
    • Altar [2] (Exodus 29:37 | Exodus 40:10)
    • Atonement [1] (Exodus 30:10)
    • Anointing of people and things in the temple [1] (Exodus 30:20-29)
    • Burnt offerings [14] (Leviticus 2:3 | Leviticus 2:10 | Leviticus 6:17 | Leviticus 6:25-29 | Leviticus 7:1-6 | Leviticus 10:12 | Leviticus 10:17 | Leviticus 14:13 | Leviticus 21:22 | Leviticus 24:9 | Leviticus 27:28 | Ezra 2:63 | Nehemiah 7:65 | Ezekiel 42:13)

So as you can see, the majority of times in scripture speaking of the “most Holy” are discussing the area of the temple or adjectives describing things associated with it such as the burnt offerings that were given there and the eating of these most Holy offerings. Clearly something that must be anointed must be physical. And indeed the majority of times the Bible talks about “most Holy,” it is in reference to the physical location of the temple and more specifically, the holy of Holies, where the Lord dwelt among Israel all that time ago. He will return to rule from there as well.

This could be several things in context to the end of the 70th week appointed to Israel and Jerusalem. We know that Yeshua will rule the world with a rod of Iron from Jerusalem so it could be the anointing of His habitation there. Ezekiel speaks of a temple larger in scope than any historical temple in great detail and given the temple was to be crafted after the temple in heaven, the Messianic temple and the most holy place from where Yeshua will reign could be anointed. This will be the start of the 7th day according to the Lord so it could be the anointing of the millennial Sabbath rest. It very well could be all of these things together, ushering in the millennial reign of Christ at the very end of the 70th week when Israel enters into the promised land accepting Yeshua as their Messiah and fulfilling the promise made to Israel and ending the prophecies and visions in the 7th day.

Babylonian Captivity to Messiah (457 BC - 30 AD)

Daniel 9:25
Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Chapter 25 is the first in a set of ordered events Daniel is given to understand the future of Israel and Jerusalem. The start of this is the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. A period of 69 weeks, depicted as 7 and 62 follows until the Messiah. 

The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem

Isaiah 44:21-45:6
Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou [art] my servant: I have formed thee; thou [art] my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done [it]: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise [men] backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else.

Daniel knew God would keep His promises and redeem His people, and he knew it would be after seventy years His Word would be accomplished. This prophecy from the Lord through Isaiah was around 150 years before Cyrus II (550 - 530 BC) even came to power, let alone was born, so Daniel also knew when Cyrus conquered Babylon what was coming, he just wanted to know Israel and Jerusalem’s future.

First Decree of Cyrus (539 BC)

Ezra 1:1-11
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he [is] the God,) which [is] in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that [is] in Jerusalem. Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all [them] whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem. And all they that [were] about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all [that] was willingly offered. Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. And this [is] the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second [sort] four hundred and ten, [and] other vessels a thousand. All the vessels of gold and of silver [were] five thousand and four hundred. All [these] did Sheshbazzar bring up with [them of] the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.

Clearly Isaiah’s prophecy had a profound effect on Cyrus and while many would have a hard time accepting it, the Cyrus Cylinder reads like a great king with his own idea of gods having found favor from this Israel God and believing it, although putting his own spin on things.

“Marduk, ex[alted one, the Enlil of the God]s, roamed through all the places that had been abandoned, (and upon seeing this) reconciled his anger and showed mercy to the people of Sumer and Akkad who had become (as) corpses. He sought and looked through all the lands, searching for a righteous king whose hand he could grasp. He called to rule Cyrus, king of Anshan, and announced his name as the king of the universe. He made the Guti-land and all the Medes (Ummanmanda) bow in submission at his feet and so (Cyrus) assiduously looked after the justice and well-being of the Black-Headed People over whom he had been made victorious (by Marduk). And Marduk, the great lord, leader of his people, looked happily at the good deeds and steadfast mind of Cyrus and ordered him to march to his own city Babylon, set him on the road to Babylon, and went alongside him like a friend and companion. His teeming army, uncounted like water (flowing) in a river, marched with him fully armed. (Marduk) allowed him to enter Babylon without battle or fight, sparing his own city of Babylon from hardship, and delivered Nabonidus, who had not worshipped him, into his hands. ... The great lord Marduk, who loves Babylon, with great magnanimity, established (it) as (my) destiny, and I sought to worship him each day. ... (And) as for the citizens of Babylon … whom (Nabonidus) had made subservient in a manner (totally) unsuited to them against the will of the gods, I released them from their weariness and loosened their burden. The great lord Marduk rejoiced in my deeds. Kindly he blessed me, Cyrus, the king, his worshipper ... From [Babylon] to Ashur and Susa, Agade, Eshnunna, the cities of Zamban, Meturnu, Der as far as the borders of the Gutians – I returned to these sanctuaries on the other side of the Tigris, sanctuaries founded in ancient times, the images that had been in them there and I made their dwellings permanent. I also gathered all their people and returned to them their habitations.”

This was also recorded by Josephus in Antiquities 11.1.1-2. It was in the fall of 540 BC (Wikipedia) that Cyrus captured Babylon without a fight and so this first decree is around that time as well, 539 BC (Wikipedia), since it was the first year of his reign. This decree of Cyrus, however, seemed focused on the temple in Jerusalem while Gabriel said the command to restore and rebuild Jersualem with the caveat that the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Second Decree of Darius (518 BC)

This decree was a recapitulation of the decree of Cyrus because of locals hindering the rebuilding. They wrote a letter to Darius I (29 September 522 BC – October 486 BC) asking if Cyrus had really allowed the rebuilding. Ezra 5:6-17 The search was made and the response given.

Ezra 6:1-17
Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that [is] in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein [was] a record thus written: In the first year of Cyrus the king [the same] Cyrus the king made a decree [concerning] the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof threescore cubits; [With] three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king’s house: And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which [is] at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which [is] at Jerusalem, [every one] to his place, and place [them] in the house of God. Now [therefore], Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shetharboznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which [are] beyond the river, be ye far from thence: Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, [even] of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which [are] at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail: That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons. Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter [and] to destroy this house of God which [is] at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed. Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished [it], according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which [is] at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.

Again, this speaks only to the temple, although it does hint at the troublesome times the Jews were having in just building the temple at the time. It was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius I on the third day of Adar, February 19, 516 BC, that the temple was completed.

Third Decree of Artaxerxes (457 BC)

I owe my understanding of the 457 BC date, and not the more widely accepted 458 BC date, to Rick Lanser, MDiv. His article Did Ezra Come to Jerusalem in 457 BC? from The Daniel 9:24-27 Project series of articles is highly recommended along with the rest of the articles in the series. I don’t agree with everything, but very important work.

In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes I (465 - 424 BC) king of Persia, Ezra went from Babylon to Jerusalem with others, leaving on the first day of the first month of Nisan (March 9, 457 BC) and arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month of Av (July 5, 457 BC). In his journey he also had a decree from Artaxerxes.

Ezra 7:11-28
Now this [is] the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, [even] a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which [is] in thine hand; And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation [is] in Jerusalem, And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which [is] in Jerusalem: That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which [is] in Jerusalem. And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, [those] deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow [it] out of the king’s treasure house. And I, [even] I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which [are] beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing [how much]. Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether [it be] unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Blessed [be] the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put [such a thing] as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem: And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God [was] upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

With the temple already completed 58 years prior, this decree would have seemed to be an offering for Israel to give to God and to further build up Jerusalem, although it’s not really stated as such. The command that “whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God” would seem to be an open command not related to the temple, which was completed, but for the rest of the city.

The scholarly consensus for the date of Artaxerxes decree is 458 BC. Add 483 years, we arrive at 26 AD, although Associates for Biblical Research presents a compelling case for a 457 BC date as well, which would be 27 AD. They also hold that it was this third decree, Artaxerxes’s first, that is referred to in the Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy. More here.

Fourth Decree of Artaxerxes (445 BC)

In the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes I (465 - 424 BC) king of Persia Nehemiah, the king’s cup bearer, was sad thinking of Jerusalem still laid waste, although the temple had been rebuilt 71 years prior. So around November of 444 BC, Nehemiah learned of the state of Jerusalem and about four months later in March or April of 445 BC he petitioned the king. Notice how similar his prayer and supplication is to Daniel’s.

Nehemiah 1:1-2:10
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and [certain] men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province [are] in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also [is] broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [certain] days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, [If] ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But [if] ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, [yet] will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these [are] thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates 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. Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Daniel 9:25 stated that from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem to the Messiah would be 69 weeks with the additional mention of the street and walls being built in troublesome times. In Nehemiah 2:17-20 he reveals his plan to rebuilt the wall and Nehemiah 3 speaks to the work that was done. Nehemiah 4-5 speaks to the troublesome times during this time.

However, this decree in April, 445 BC was a reinforcement of first decree Artaxerxes made even though it actually declared and gave the letters to Nehemiah would be the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem followed by the street and walls being built in troublsome times. So the original decree in 457 BC would be that given to Ezra, later reinforced through Nehemiah.

“Since sabbatical years were always counted from the first of Tishri, if the “sevens” of Daniel 9 are sabbatical year cycles, their restart in the postexilic period must be counted from that date in some year. That year was determined from the study in “Did Ezra Come to Jerusalem in 457 BC?,” which indicated that Artaxerxes’ seventh regnal year was 458–457 BC, and the decree promulgated during it was the only one that can be connected with both the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its restoration. This restoration was essentially a spiritual one, with Ezra serving as God’s agent to accomplish it. He did this by bringing with him a full complement of Levites, intensively teaching the people the precepts of the Law, and insisting that they be followed to the letter. Therefore, it was after Ezra’s arrival in 457 BC that the sabbatical year cycles stipulated by the Law were initiated, not after Nehemiah’s later construction-focused arrival in 444. We cannot use 444 BC as the anchor point for the start of the Seventy Weeks count.

“That analysis, when joined with the evidence that Ezra’s return to the Land took place in the summer of 457 BC, led to the conclusion that the count of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks—seventy sabbatical year cycles—began on Tishri 1, 457 BC. This was the earliest possible date when it could be said that Jerusalem had been spiritually restored and a sabbatical cycle count could have been initiated. That this is the correct date is further indicated by the reading of the Law by Ezra on Tishri 1, 444 BC (Neh 8:1–2, cf. Dt 31:10–12), which signified that the year 444–443 BC was a sabbatical year. Taking the seven-year sabbatical cycle pattern back in time from that year marks 457–456 BC as the first year of a sabbatical cycle, corroborating the independently-determined date of Ezra’s arrival.” | Daniel 9:24-27: The Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks, Rick Lanser MDiv

Divisions of the Seventy Weeks

“So, what do the first 49 years signify? My view is that the Lord directed Gabriel to set off the first seven weeks from the 62 that followed to mark the completion of a Jubilee of seven sabbatical cycles. In this way he provided us with a hint that the remaining 62 and one final week are also to be interpreted as sabbatical year cycles. Since a Jubilee merges seamlessly into the sabbatical year that follows it, yet at the same time can be regarded as a unit on its own, the “seven weeks and sixty-two weeks” should be linked seamlessly together to fill the period “from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince”—up to the time of His manifestation at His baptism.

“Therefore, as discussed in Part 1 of the Artaxerxes article under “The ‘Weeks’ of Daniel 9:25 were Sabbatical Year Cycles,” the separate mentions of the seven and sixty-two weeks does not involve inserting a chronological gap of unknown duration between them. Without clear evidence for a gap, and in the face of strong evidence against one—namely, the presence of the Lord Jesus on Planet Earth at the right time when no gap is assumed, and without recourse to the dubious idea of “prophetic years”—sound logic demands that we take the position which explains the most factors without exegetical creativity purely for the sake of rescuing a theological construct. As Occam’s Razor teaches us, the simplest explanation that accounts for all the factors is probably the correct one. For these reasons it appears there was no gap separating the seventh week from the 62 that followed it. They constituted a continuous period of 483 years.

“Thus understood, the perspective of this study is that the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy was an unbroken span of time from the issuing of the decree in the seventh year of Artaxerxes until the baptismal anointing (Acts 10:37–38) of Jesus Christ—483 years. When the one remaining week is added to the count, we arrive at 490 years—ten Jubilees set aside by the Lord for the Jews and their holy city. What a perfect number.” | Daniel 9:24-27: The Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks, Rick Lanser MDiv

The Messiah the Prince

It is not really defined what exactly the end point is, but there are some ideas put forward.

Yeshua’s Birth

Luke 2:6-14
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The savior is declared to the shepherds in the field and technically this is the arrival to the earth of the Messiah and the wise men follow some time later to worship Him. However, this does not seem to me to be the focus of the arrival of the Messiah in the prophecy. While His conception and birth were clearly prophesied and known to many, this was only the start of His first coming and the fulfillment of it and the arrival of the Kingdom of God seems more apt to me.

Yeshua’s Baptism and Ministry Starting

Matthew 3:13-17
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

This is the point of recognition by God of His Son publically after He is baptized into His ministry by John the Baptist, who was the representation of Elijah preparing the way for the Lord. Malachi 4:5-6 | Luke 1:15-17 | Matthew 17:10-13 Based on a 4 BC birth of Christ and the statement in Luke 3:23 that He was about thirty when He started His ministry, this would have taken place in the fall of 27 AD. We can also look at the crucifixion that was on Wednesday, April 5, 30 AD and the three Passovers that John says Yeshua participated in.

  1. (28 AD) John 2:13 - Just after the turning of water to wine at the wedding after His ministry started.
  2. (29 AD) John 6:4
  3. (30 AD) John 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:28,39; 19:14 - This is the Passover of the crucifixion

This is in agreement with His ministry starting that previous fall in 27 AD when He was about thirty years old, which lines up with the arrival of the Messiah 483 years after the decree of Artaxerxes I in 457 BC. This also gives us a view of Christ’s ministry being for 2½ years.

“...when we count 69 sabbatical year cycles forward from 457 BC, we find the final year of those 69 weeks of years spans Tishri 1 (September 30), AD 26 through Elul 29 (September 19), AD 27. Therefore, the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks informs us that the Messiah could not be manifested until Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets, AD 27 at the earliest.” | Daniel 9:24-27: The Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks, Rick Lanser MDiv

Yeshua’s Presentation as Messiah at Triumphal Entry

Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Matthew 21:1-5
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose [them], and bring [them] unto me. 3 And if any [man] say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

This seems to be the point at which Yeshua makes a point to present Himself as the Messiah to Jerusalem as Israel was gathered there for the coming Passover feast. This was the 10th of Nisan, April 1, 30 AD.

Sir Robert Anderson’s book The Coming Prince used the second decree of Artaxerxes given to Nehemiah in 445 BC as the starting point for this prophecy and the trimphal entry as the ending point. However, he placed the crucifixion year in 32 AD in which 14 Nisan fell on a Monday, not a Wednesday. The only way to get close in this calculation is to take a 360-day year, but even that doesn’t quite fit. There are reported problems with the calculations in The Coming Prince and some others that have similar start and end times that don’t quite calculate out to the 30 AD crucifixion.

Counting days back from April 1, 30 AD (10 Nisan - triumphal entry):

  • To April 2, 444 BC (1 Nisan) is 172,762 days, which would mean 357.69-day years over that 483 year period.
  • To March 13, 445 BC (1 Nisan) is 173,151 days, which would mean 358.49-day years over that 483 year period.

Counting years back from April 1, 30 AD:

  • 360-day year is 173,880 days = March 11, 447 BC
  • 365-day year is 176,295 days = August 3, 461 BC

It would seem that the option from Artaxerxes first decree in 457 BC to the start of Yeshua’s ministry fits the best, but it’s not really that critical when looking at the overall prophecy. What I do think is important is that from the order to restore and build Jerusalem to the Messiah is 69 weeks. It is after that 69 weeks that the Messiah is crucified for our sins.

Daniel 9:26a
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:...

Destruction of Jerusalem and Sancutary (70 AD)

Daniel 9:26b
...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.

We know when the city and sanctuary were destroyed starting with the seige just before Passover in 70 AD to the destruction of the temple on Av 9, August 30, 70 AD by Titus’s army. It was some time after the destruction of the temple that the fighting went on, eventually leading to utter defeat and complete destruction of Jerusalem.

Because of the phrasing that this was done by “the people of the prince that shall come,” there are several theories about the origins of the antichrist.


Since it was the army of the Roman general Titus that destroyed Jerusalem, it is taken that the prince that shall come will be from a revived Roman Empire.


There is a theory I’ve heard that much of Titus’s army was comprised of local mercenaries and therefore the people of the prince were actually made up of the surrounding enemies of Israel, which would translate to the antichrist coming from one of these now primarily Islamic nations that continue to hate Israel.


This is the thought that it was more about the people’s hatred of Israel that defines them and not so much their country of origin. Like the future antichrist that hates Israel, so to did those people of the same spirit that laid waste to Jerusalem and the temple.


This theory holds that it was through Israel’s rejection of the Messiah that their destruction and that of their temple was destroyed. Therefore in their unbelief they are the people that destroyed the city and sanctuary and the Roman armies that destroyed the city and temple were God’s instrument to fulfill their judgment.

Luke 19:41-44
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

So what is the answer? I think there are other things to watch for that will better determine the identity of the man of sin and then we can look back and understand. For more on the study of the visions of Daniel and John, check out the HIStory, Our Future: The Fourth Kingdom study.

70th Week of Daniel

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.

This one verse is the cause of many varied interpretations from being historical in Yeshua’s death on the cross figuratively stopping the daily sacrifice to a future view of the antichrist and some in between where half was fulfilled historically in Christ and the last half is yet future. The major cause of confusion is defining the “he” starting the chapter and the confirming of the covenant with many for one week.

Historical View

The basic view is that he is pointing to the Messiah from the previous view and Yeshua confirmed the New Covenant for one week and in the middle of the week, 3½ years into his ministry, he was “cut off” and the veil separating the holy of holies was ripped, putting an end to the sacrifices and offerings of the old covenant. The city and sancuary were then destroyed.

Partial Historical View

In the Hebrew, we are told that he “strengthens (gabar)” a covenant, not that a covenant is “made.” If a covenant was made, (cut) that would be the Hebrew phrase “karath berith.” Thus, a covenant already exists and it strengthened, and it needs to be confirmed/strengthened for seven years. This is the work of Messiah Yeshua who “strengthened” a covenant with us “enacted by better promises” (Hebrews 8). This process will take 7 years, from 26 CE to 30 CE (3½ years) and then completed in the future starting with the day of the Lord and the wrath of God for the last 3½ years.

Counter-Points to Either Historical Views

  • There is an order of events from verse 25 through 27. This order clearly places the death and resurrection after the first 69 weeks and before the destruction of the temple 40 years later. It is after this destruction that the confirming of the covenant takes place. I see no reason to change the order of events as given in scripture.
    • The order to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and the walls until the Messiah.
    • After the first 69 weeks, the Messiah is cut off, but not for Himself, for us all in 30 AD.
    • The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD.
    • The confirming a covenant for one week, the final seven years.
    • In the middle of that week the daily sacrifice is stopped and the abomination of desolation.
  • I would define the he as relating to the last person mentioned, which would be “the prince that shall come” from the previous verse.
  • The temple sacrifices continued until its destruction in 70 AD.
  • Did Yeshua overspread abominations to make desolate?
  • Yeshua’s sacrifice is an everlasting covenant. Hebrew 13:20-21
  • For the full historist view: “Mark 13:10 and Matthew 24:14 state the Gospel must be proclaimed to all nations and then the end will come. It could not be that Yeshua’s death on the cross marked the middle of the 70th week because the Gospel was not preached to all the nations for decades at the very least if you assume it being a local context of nations. A global context would be millennia.” | Diaste in 7-year Tribulation post

Futurist View

There are various views within the futurist view, but I would like to focus on what I’ve found here for your consideration. The futurist view is what I hold at this time.

I would define the he as relating to the last person mentioned, which would be “the prince that shall come” from the previous verse. The context of that future prince is the timing of the destruction of 70 AD. Therefore this would indicate a future individual tied to his people that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. As we know the events of this final 70th week have not happened following 70 AD, we watch and wait.

Confirm the Covenant for One Week

So what does it mean for this future prince to “confirm the covenant?” Recall previously when we went over the covenants and commandments, as well as the context of Daniel’s prayer and confession. The language was all about Israel failing to keep the commandments and breaking the covenant that God had kept. That Judah had turned from God

Daniel 9:11-14
Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As [it is] written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God [is] righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

The whole context of this chapter, from Daniel’s prayers to the resulting prophecy, is centered around Israel, Jerusalem, and the covenant that Israel broke resulting in her captivity and the promise of return. When Gabriel tells Daniel that "he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week," why should we depart from the meaning of this based on the context of the rest of this chapter to associate it with an eternal covenant Yeshua made with those who believe or some unknown covenant out of the blue?

Recall also the political nature of the rise of the antichrist kingdom from Daniel 7, where we see four beasts and the fourth with ten horns has a little horn come up, and before whom three fall, which is the antichrist. And recall from Daniel 11, the wars of the antichrist. And recall from Revelation 17-18 the woman riding the beast that the ten horns hating her, that is Jerusalem. It would seem logical from a modern political perspective to see some kind of agreement to last initially for seven years tied to the rebuilding of the temple to allow Jews their place that is clearly historically and archaologically theirs. If this ten nation alliance is with the surrounding Middle East nations it is also plausible to assume at least three would take issue with this and attempt to stop it unsuccessfully.

The Third Seal?

I think the rebuilding of the temple and start of the daily sacrifice might be tied to the third seal of Revelation 6:5-6. The rider has a pair of balancesG2218 in his hand. This word means to join [especially by “yoke”], coupling, servitude [a law or obligation].

Looking where else in the New Testament this same word is used would seem to verify this. Christ speaks of taking His yoke on us to find rest and that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Acts 15:5-11
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

This same word in Greek speaks to the burden carried keeping the law of Moses. Peter speaks to this burden of the law of Moses that Yeshua replaced with His own easy yoke for them that believe. We are not under the Law, but rather grace through Christ.

Exodus 29:1-2; 35-40
And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.
...And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them. And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy. Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even: And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.

Also, A voice from the midst of the four beasts at the throne in heaven says: measure of wheat for a penny, three measures of barley for a penny; and hurt not the oil and the wine.

In addition to the bullock and ram, we see the wheat oil and wine are part of the initiation of the consecration of the priests and to start the daily sacrifice.

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (“Maimonides” or Rambam [1138–1204 A.D.]) interpreted the scriptural requirements for the temple sacrifices. I found this link on the temple sacrifices interesting.

Korbanot: The Biblical Temple Sacrifices
Only five types of animals could be brought as sacrifices: oxen, sheep, goats, turtledoves and pigeons. Other sacrifices known as flour-offerings (minchah) consisted of wheat or barley flour accompanied by olive oil and frankincense. Additionally, wine (and sometimes water) would be poured into specially designed cavities in the altar.

Wine-offering: Maimonides, Maaseh Hakorbanot 2.
Water-offering: Maimonides, Temidin U’Musafin 10:6–10..

Burning olive oil in the Temple’s Menorah was also part of a ritual offering to God. Exodus 27:20 In addition, meal offerings were brought to a Temple priest who burned a part of it on the Temple’s altar. Leviticus 2:1-9

We see oil and wine also included in the decree of Darius, reinforcing that of Cyrus the Great earlier, of the things which should be allowed for the Jews to make burnt offerings to God according to the appointment of the priests at Jerusalem around 518 BC.

Ezra 6:8-10
Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which [are] at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail: That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.

Furthermore, we see in the destruction of Babylon, the lament of the merchants for her destruction, much of which os over the loss of buyers for their merchandise, including some of what is needed for the consecration of the priests and to start the daily sacrifice.

Revelation 18:11-13
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

Bringing this all together, it would seem to be speaking to the yoke of the daily sacrifice and return to the following of the law of Moses, which can’t start until the temple is rebuilt. Ever since Christ’s first coming, the daily sacrifice in the temple is done away with. However Israel as a nation never accepted Yeshua, that is yet to come. In their mindset, the temple and sacrifices are required of them. This would fit with the 180 degree flip of Christ’s easy burden and the demands of a return to the old ways with the return of the temple in Jerusalem. It also speaks to the value of the ingredients for at least the flour-offerings to start the daily sacrifice.

Midst of the Week: Abomination of Desolation

Part of the reason I think that the confirming the covenant is tied to the daily sacrifice is also because it is in the midst of the week that he will stop the daily sacrifice and, through abominations, make desolate. I would recommend reading the Abomination of Desolation study, particularly the overspreading of abominations section.

Matthew 24:15,21-22
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) ... For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

It is Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12:11 that Yeshua is pointing to when speaking of the abomination of desolation that starts the unparalleled time of Jacob’s trouble from which they are saved out of. Revelation 12:13-16 This unparalleled time is also in Jeremiah 30:4-7 and Daniel 12:1

Wrath of God

The final words of this verse state that the desolation will remain “until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” I believe this is speaking of the wrath of God, which we see throughout the latter half of Revelation where we see the proclamation of the pouring out of God’s wrath on those with the mark as well as the seven bowls which are all “poured out,” completing the wrath of God in Revelation 16.

Revelation 14:9-10
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

It is after Christ returns in glory and takes the kingdoms of the earth and builds the temple from Ezekiel 40-48 that the desolation of the temple will no longer be desolate and Yeshua will rule with a rod of iron over the whole earth for the duration of the Messianic Kingdom.

Gap Between 69th and 70th week

As mentioned earlier in this study, the weeks should not be split such that the period of time includes any gaps. However, Gabriel provides three different periods of weeks in the prophecy. The first two (7 and 62) are defined together as starting with the commandment to build Jerusalem and the walls unto the Messiah. The last week is defined alone representing a seven year period. If he had simply said 70 weeks from the command to build Jerusalem to the end, then there would be no case for the final week to be separate from the first 69, but he did not.

Interestingly, there is a gap in time from the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple until the 70th week. If we consider this in context of this chapter and the focus on Israel and Jerusalem, this makes complete sense because Israel and Jerusalem were present from the restoration of Jerusalem to its destruction. Israel was disbursed to the nations, blinded, and only when Israel is back with the temple in Jerusalem will the final verse of prophecy be fulfilled up to the consummation of God’s wrath and the Messianic Kingdom.