HIStory, Our Future: Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy
Daniel’s constant reliance on God and communication with Him (prayer) is one reason why God so favored Daniel. Just as in any friendship, if there is no communication, the friendship fades away as we see less and less of them. So too, when we turn from God to our own desires and aspirations, does our distance from Him become greater. Like the story of the prodigal son, however, God is always waiting for us to return to Him and His ways. There are many with a void in them they try to fill with other things, but they never fill this void with the things of this world. So as we study God’s plan for our future, let us remember the most important thing for us to do with our lives is have a personal relationship with Yeshua the Christ. Just be sure you are communicating for the right reasons. Matthew 6:1-21
The Beginning: Yeshua’s Words Regarding the Time of the End
Before beginning the study of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy, let’s start at the time we can most identify with, now. What exactly are we looking for to understand the times in which we live? We have signs written for us in scripture quoting Yeshua to tell us what they will be like. The Olivet discourse is our overall picture of the transition into the day of the Lord given to us by Christ Himself. So since our study is focused around Bible prophecy, to examine the 70 weeks of Daniel, we should start with what Christ describes as the signs of the end-times.
Matthew 24:3-14 (Leading up to the time of great tribulation)
This is also a warning to believers in God of what the beginning of this time will be like. The majority won’t be expecting it but we are told to watch for it. We’re also told that Christ appears to those looking for Him when He comes the second time. The bold section is the harpazo which is found also in Luke 17:24-37, the only other place like this in scripture. Hebrews 9:28
Also as a sidenote, there is some discussion that the seals match the pre-signs Christ spoke of in the passage above. These are laid out here.
As we can see in Yeshua’s explanation, the key to understanding the great tribulation comes from the Old Testament. So now we jump to the book of Daniel for understanding of the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. There are only four verses to the prophecy Gabriel gave Daniel about Israel’s future, but they provide a lot of detail with some searching of scripture. The scripture of discussion here is Daniel 9:24-27, the 70 Weeks of Daniel.
National Israel vs. Eternal Israel: Importance of Recognizing God is not done with National Israel
I should also clarify who I will be referring to as Israel in this study. National Israel is temporal and is made up of both just and unjust Jews only. They are the “natural branches” spoken of in Romans 11, some broken off in unbelief. They are the literal seed of Abraham of which the majority currently live in apostasy from God through their rejection of the Meshiach Nagid, Yeshua the Christ. This is because they have been blinded by Christ until the fullness of the Gentiles. Luke 19:41-44 | Romans 11:25
Bible prophecy, for the most part, is telling us what is going to happen during the end-times on this earth. These prophesies are focused on an Israel living apart from the Lord and is the story of God’s bringing her back to Him. If Bible prophecy is talking of Israel as unrepentant or the like, then it means that prophecy is not speaking of the eternal Israel of which there are no unjust.
Also, the prophesies were given at a time when no Christian church existed to a people of a specific lineage. Regardless of what happened after, that prophecy is for that same people defined by their lineage. Yes, we are fellow heirs through Christ and part of eternal Israel, but we are also not a natural branch, nor can we ever be because God delineated an eternal difference for us by calling us wild branches and Israel natural branches. That is our natural bodies and what are spoken of in Bible prophecy. Our spirits, when aligned with God’s ways, are all the same. We are the image of our Father, Love. Love has no genetic lineage, we either embrace it or we reject it. Loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves are God’s ways.
But speaking in material terms, Gentiles will always be the wild branch that is grafted onto the root, Christ. The fact that this difference is made clear should tell us that lineage does still matter in Bible prophecy. Romans 11 So when Israel is referred to in the 144,000 getting the seal of God, it is literally the 12 tribes of Israel, 12,000 from each tribe. That distinction is straight from the Holy Bible. Revelation 7:1-8 Likewise, when Old Testament prophets foretold the time of the end when Israel would suffer a time unparalleled in history, the time of Jacob’s trouble, it was referring to national Israel living in Judea. I take the Bible literally, and it talks about the nation of Israel experiencing these things and God refining the remnant of them through fire to the point when they call Him their God and He calls them His people. Zechariah 13:8-9
God is not done with Israel, that’s what the study of the 70 weeks is all about. As you will see, this prophecy was given before the church existed and was given by God to the nation of Israel through Gabriel and Daniel to tell Israel’s future, a future pivotal to God’s unfolding plan of redemption. As Gentile believers read these Jewish prophecies, we can see how they apply to Israel and how Israel is God’s prophetic timepiece for us to understand the times in which we are blessed to live in! I hope this study builds your faith in God’s Word and brings to light the clarity in His Word. I pray furthermore that your relationship with Christ blossom as the bride awakens and trims her lamps!
To start, watch Chuck Missler’s presentation of Daniel’s 70 Weeks. This is where I first learned about the 70 weeks of Daniel and I highly recommend purchasing a copy for yourself, which you can buy on DVD here.
The 70 Weeks of Daniel
The 70 Weeks of Daniel: The First 69 Weeks
There are four verses to the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks. These 70 weeks are the future of the nation of Israel as given to Daniel by Gabriel from God. I will go over each verse separately because of the detail each one holds and how that’s connected to the overall study. I was amazed when I saw the depth and detail that was covered in just these four verses! This section will cover just the first three verses. Since the Daniel 9:27 is connected to current times, that will be separated and gone over later on this page.
This passage is split into two parts. The first identifies the subject of the passage, Israel. The second identifies the conditions that all must be met before the end of this prophesied time and is detailed more on the Daniel 9:24 definitions page, which shows the scope of this prophecy. What prompted this prophecy?
Why was Israel in captivity in Babylon? Because they did not obey God’s command to let the ground lie fallow every seven years. (Sabbath for the land - Leviticus 25:1-9)
I think it’s important to understand and recognize that it was Daniel’s literal reading of the prophecy of Jeremiah that caused him pray asking God to reveal his nation’s future and ultimately brought this prophecy. An Old Testament prophet took another prophet’s prophecy literally... We should hold ourselves to the same standards, believing God means what He says and says what He means, taking Him at His Word.
God never left Israel in the dark about her future. Amos 3:7 (God hasn’t left those who believe in Christ in the dark either, which is why you’re reading these scriptures now. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) He told Jeremiah exactly how long Israel would be in Babylonian captivity and why. Daniel recognized this time was almost up and so requested of God to know Israel’s future from that point. That is what Daniel’s 70 week prophecy gave the people of Israel, their future history until the end of time up to the millennium (Christ’s reign on earth). There is a gap, but I’ll get into that in detail coming up. For those with anti-gap leanings, please don’t let that prevent you from reading further.
Once again, an important point to remember here is at the time of this prophecy, there was no church. This prophecy is for Israel and is clearly stated as such. Not only that, but it specifically identifies Jerusalem and clearly lays out a list of things that must be completed within this 70 weeks of years timeframe. These aren’t all completed yet. This is a Jewish prophecy and it is not completed yet. That means that Israel is still part of God’s plan in these times as evidenced by her amazing existence amongst the millions of enemies and surrounding hostile nations since 1948.
This next passage gives us the timing and length of the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. Moreover it leads to a level of precision in God's Word that is truly amazing.
The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 16, 445 BC (Sir Robert Anderson: The Coming Prince adjusted days see below) Nehemiah 2:1-8
Source: “The exact date of this event was given as being in the month of Nisan in the 20th year of Artaxerxes’ reign. When the day of the month is not given in Jewish chronologies, then it can be assumed that the first day is meant. The 1st of Nisan, in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes of Babylon corresponds to March 16, 445 BC. Sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years later, the Messiah would come.”
Yeshua had an enthused crowd that would have called Him King, John 6:14-15, but it was not under the timing of the prophecy given to Daniel. Then, at what we now call the triumphal entry, He meticulously arranges it. Luke 19:28-40
From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem
to the triumphal entry is the span of this verse:
Excerpt: Evidence that Supports Jesus’ Crucifixion Occurred on April 11, AD 32 Based on the Elephantine Papyri
It’s interesting also that the triumphal entry is when Israel was blinded. Luke 19:41-44 They were blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. Romans 11 | 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 | John 12:37-50 I believe the fullness of the Gentiles is like a cup. There’s a certain point where the cup is as full as it will get. At that point the blindness God gave Israel will be lifted. Romans 11:7-11
What’s even more amazing is that the triumphal entry was also the day when Christ blinded Israel and prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem because Israel didn’t recognize the very day of their Messiah presenting Himself. Luke 19:41-44 It came to pass exactly 14,000 days after He prophesied it. There are two other periods of 14,000 days in history that represent a generation. We’ll get more into how this all ties together later. But let’s finish the 70 weeks study first.
In the next verse, we see the gap introduced and the connection of Christ’s crucifixion and the prophesied destruction at the triumphal entry.
7 weeks (rebuilding temple and city of Jerusalem)
+ 62 weeks = 69 weeks (the time from the order to rebuild
until the triumphal entry, the first and only time that Yeshua declared
His kingship, to the day as prophesied.)
The triumphal entry was the end of the 69th week. Christ was crucified on Passover, April 10, 32 AD, four days after the triumphal entry. However, all of verse 24 was not fulfilled 7 years after the triumphal entry. That tells us several things when we put it together.
“The people of the prince”
We know who the people are because of our perspective in time. We know
the Romans besieged Jerusalem and destroyed the temple in 70 AD, but who
is the prince? According to scripture, he wasn’t there. The Bible
says “the people of the prince that
shall come...” This indicates
he was not yet there in 70 AD. The people of this prince attack the Jews,
Jerusalem, and their temple, but the prince is not yet there. Is this an
allusion to the
Roman Empire of the end times headed by the prince (antichrist) yet
to come? I believe it is. Verse 27 addresses “the
prince that shall come.”
Notice that when they see the armies surrounding Jerusalem, they should expect that the desolation of Jerusalem is near. The abomination of desolation doesn’t lead to the destruction of Jerusalem, just the destruction of the Israelites during the time of Jacob’s trouble, which is the start of the great tribulation. Notice also that unlike Matthew and Mark’s accounts, Luke 21:12-24 does not mention the abomination of desolation and it is pointed out that it is before the things commonly known to happen in the end-times. Read all of Luke 21 in order all the way through. Verse 12 comes after a list of end-time signs given by Christ. Verse 12 then says “before all these” indicating that from that point, we are at a point before the signs of the end-times. This is talking about the desolation of Jerusalem in 70 AD, not the abomination that makes desolate standing in the temple where he [antichrist] ought not. This is explained through comparison of scriptures on the Olivet Discourse page. This passage in Luke 21 is covering the time from Christ’s death to 70 AD
Many claim that the Bible doesn’t say anything about a gap in the prophecy, but the gap is there by implication. Israel is the apple [lens] of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8,9 | Deuteronomy 32:8-10 | Lamentations 2:18) and the list of things that must happen within these 70 weeks have not all happened yet. The fact that God’s prophecy of bringing Israel back into the land is fulfilled after thousands of years should be testament enough that God isn’t done with Israel. Ezekiel 36 We won’t rely on our own understanding, but the Word of God.
Jesus confirms this by quoting that passage, and stopping in mid sentence, where the 2,000 year gap occurs, and closes the book saying, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” He stops because “the day of vengeance of our God” is after the great tribulation, the day of the Lord, which has not happened yet. His first coming was for the purposes He read aloud, the part He left out is yet future at His second coming. Check it out:
We also have evidence of this 2,000 year gap from Daniel too. Notice that verse 25 gives us a start and end point. From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the triumphal entry. Verse 26 occurs between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel. Therefore, the 70th week is separate from the first 69. It is in this gap (whose ultimate time is not given), that we see Christ crucified and Jerusalem destroyed. That was 14,000 days after the triumphal entry.
Between the 69th & 70th weeks
Now that we’ve gone over the history and God’s precision in this same prophecy in the past, let’s examine the future and apply that same precision from scripture to the future aspect of this prophecy, the 70th week. Before we dig in directly, let’s get an idea of how Daniel’s prophecy was laid out in conjunction with history as it has happened and possibly will happen through this chart.
Notice how the 69 weeks ended at the triumphal entry when Christ blinded Israel. I believe that is what this gap between the 69 and 70th weeks represents. God blinded Israel, so clearly He wasn’t dealing with them as a nation because they were prevented from understanding the truth in Christ as a people. Some Jews have come to know Christ, so it’s on a personal level and God knows who are His. But as a nation, Israel’s been blinded since 32 AD. It isn’t until the 70th week that God begins to come back and deal with Israel as a nation. They will still remain blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles. Romans 11:25
70th Week of Daniel
This brings us to the modern day world and the fulfillment of thousand-year old prophecies! What an exciting time to be alive. We should give thanks to God for this great opportunity and honor to get to learn and see His glory declared throughout all the unsuspecting world. We get to declare His glory!
Who is “he?”
Continuing from the previous verse, it seems to be speaking of the leader, or prince, of the “people of the prince that shall come.” We know the people were Roman soldiers, and the times of the Gentiles isn’t completed yet, so there is a link between the head of Rome (that can survive over thousands of years) and this prince. If we extrapolate who this would be, it is the antichrist/man of sin/beast, who is the head of the revived Roman Empire. There is some debate over this subject, so I’d like to point it out in color code and with verses 26 & 27 combined together for easier understanding.
We have two “he’s” here,
Christ in red and
antichrist in green.
There are some who believe that the “he” that confirms the covenant with may is referring to Christ's sacrifice on the cross. I do not believe this is accurate for several reasons. Firstly, everything in this prophecy flows from beginning to end and the beginning of verse 26 has the crucifixion while the confirmed covenant follows the destruction of the temple that came 14,000 days after the crucifixion. Furthermore, the week of years tied to this covenant has the stopping of the sacrifice in the midst of the seven years, which would have begun with the crucifixion as the confirmation of the covenant. Seven years after the crucifixion, all those things in Daniel 9:24 were not fulfilled. I believe this among other issues supports the interpretation that the “he” is referring not to Christ, but rather to the man of sin yet future.
In the midst of the week he [antichrist] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. In order to stop the sacrifice and the oblation (a term that Jews know well for the daily temple sacrifices), it must have started again. I believe scripture is clear there will be a rebuilt temple on the temple mount and that the daily sacrifice will again be implemented based on scripture regarding the end. For more information on this, check out the Temple Mount page and for my thoughts on when it will be rebuilt.
So the antichrist overspreads the abominations...
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5
He does this until the (fulfillment, goal, or end of prophecy?) “and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 That sounds like the language of God’s wrath being poured out on the dwellers of the world. However, as Christians we have the blessed hope, which is our gathering to Christ before His wrath is poured out.
There’s a recent study I came across by Chris White, Will the Antichrist Be A Roman?, which points out that “the prince that shall come” is future from Daniel’s time, which actually points to Titus being the focus of Daniel 9:26. And the soldiers of Titus being conscripts from the regions around Israel were distinct from Titus, not actually being Romans. And according to the account of Josephus, Titus actually wanted to save the temple, but the soldiers wouldn’t obey him. Chris goes on to state the “he” of Daniel 9:27 is actually not related to the same “he” from verse 26 and according to the grammar rules is assumed to be the antichrist of the future. I need to do some more study of this perspective.
It is Done
The 70th week of Daniel begins with a covenant confirmed with many for one week and in the midst of that week the abomination of desolation takes place. I believe its end coincides with the completion of God's wrath being poured out on the earth and the end of the reign of the man of sin and the dragon. This whole prophecy of 70 weeks of years determined for Israel has the apple of God's eye at its focus and it is when Christ returns to rule for 1,000 years that Israel comes to recognize her Meshiach Nagid. There is more that is prophesied to happen after the millennial reign, but the scope of Daniel's prophecy for his people and the city are fulfilled when Christ returns in glory to take the kingdoms and rule.
So that explains the scope of Daniel’s 70 weeks vision of Israel’s future. It also reveals some key points about prophecy and even how we should approach God. Understanding that Israel is the apple [lens] of God’s eye, it is His focus in dealing with the world. Now that you have seen the prophesies connected to the timeline of Israeli and secular history, look over the exact day prophecies given to Daniel and John (Revelation). These passages are the source for the development of the framework of the 70th week of Daniel.
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
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