HIStory, Our Future: Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy
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The Old Testament is a history of God’s interaction with His chosen people through whom the Messiah would come. Many times a prophet like Jeremiah, Isaiah or Daniel would be given prophecies, sometimes cryptic, of God’s plan for His people through time. Many of these were prophecies of judgment on the people for not following God’s statutes for various things like the annual Sabbaths, etc. and their ultimate redemption following judgement.
The time between the Old Testament and the New Testament are sometimes called the silent years, a period where there was no writings canonized of the story of Israel or any word from God’s prophets. However, that doesn’t mean God hadn’t already spoken of this time, not in detail telling events that would happen in it, but in responding to Daniel’s request to know the future of His people Israel while still in Babylonian captivity. For a more full account of all of Daniel 9, I recommend reading that chapter study. There is a lot of the same information, but this page is focused more on the last four verses only. There is context in the whole of the chapter that does give a more rounded view of the prophecy.
This short passage of prophecy would cover 490 years of God’s plan for Israel, 70 weeks of years. The first 483 years, 69 weeks, cover the time after the return from Babylonian captivity when the temple and Jerusalem were being rebuilt until the Messiah. The last 7 years, the 70th week, is separated from the others by the description of a very distinctive event that has not yet happened. We know this because in the middle of this 7 years, the animal sacrifice and offerings to God will be stopped and the abomination of desolation takes place. In the context of Israel, this is tied to the existence of the temple of God at which these sacrifices and offerings were made.
Since 70 AD the nation of Israel has been scattered into the nations without their national identity, until 1948. Since 70 AD the temple has yet to be rebuilt. However, there is a growing movement in Israel to rebuild the temple and return to the daily sacrificial system that was stopped almost 2,000 years ago with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. This study therefore is a critical link to understanding firstly that God still has a plan for Israel that is not yet finished, and it is this very link to this prophesied future that Yeshua uses when talking about the last days in the Olivet discourse.
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, watching, and understanding for what we are watching, then 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 (Birthpangs 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 of the world 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. Hebrews 9:28 Note the order of events and the association of this time with a rise of false christs and false prophets with great signs and wonders attempting to deceive the elect, the coming of the Son of man, and the signs of the sixth seal. This points to a common time amidst great deception of both sudden destruction and the blessed hope, both at the same time when Yeshua comes to gather His bride.
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 genetic 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 in the future on this earth. Many were future to the time they were given, but we have the benefit of hindsight now looking to the past, but what remains is yet future to us. God uses this as evidence that He knows the end from the beginning and to warn those who believe and are listening and watching. 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, 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 seriously, 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 for His natural people to whom promises were made. 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!
Seventy Weeks: Seventy Sabbatical Year Cycles
The word translated as weeks in this prophecy 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. ...
The 70 Weeks of Daniel: The First 69 Weeks
The whole of Daniel 9 is his confession of the sins of Israel that led them to captivity and petition to God to understand the future of his people, Israel. Daniel took God’s Word seriously and recognized that the 70 years of captivity were up.
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 seriously... 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 Messianic Kingdom.
This passage is split into two parts. The first identifies the subject of the passage, Israel and Jerusalem. 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 chapter study, which shows the scope of this prophecy.
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. This is a Jewish prophecy and I don’t believe it is fully 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.
From The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem
There have been several different times proposed for the beginning of this timeframe that are covered in much more detail here. There were several commands to rebuild the temple and Jersualem given after Cyrus conquered Babylon and was used by God to restore Israel to the land over time.
Given that the weeks are sabbatical years, which were counted from Tishri 1, we should expect in some year after the Babyloninan exile that the counting of the 70 weeks determined for Israel and Jerusalem would be started. The dates below are calculated using a combination of Rosetta Calendar, The Babylonian Calendar Converter, and Julian Day and Civil Day Calculator.
First Decree: Cyrus the Great (539 BC)
The first decree was given by Cyrus in 539 BC after he was called by name around 150 years before he was even born. Isaiah 44:21-45:6
This decree of Cyrus focused primarily on the temple in Jerusalem and the silver, gold, beasts, material needed, and even those temple instruments that Babyolon had stolen seventy years prior. Gabriel said the command to restore and rebuild Jersualem would be the starting point of this period of 69 weeks of years. It was through troubled times that the temple and walls were rebuilt and ultimately it wasn’t until around 23 years after the decree that the temple was completed. Ultimately the following decrees were just a reinforcement of this original decree, successively getting closer to the fulfillment of the restoration in order to start the sabbatical year count.
Tishri 1 539 BC + 483 years
We know for a fact that Yeshua did not come in or around 56 BC.
Second Decree: Darius I (518 BC)
The second decree was given by Darius in 518 BC and was a recapitulation of the decree of Cyrus because of locals hindering the rebuilding. Ezra 5:6-17 | Ezra 6:1-17 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, 2 years after the decree from Darius I. Ezra 6:13-18
Tishri 1 518 BC + 483 years
We know for a fact that Yeshua did not come in or around 35 BC.
Third Decree: Artaxerxes I Longimanus (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.
The third decree was given by Artaxerxes in 457 BC when Ezra the scribe went from Babylon to Jerusalem with priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, and ministers of this house of God. 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). Ezra 7:1-10 In his journey he had a decree from Artaxerxes. Ezra 7:11-28
This was 58 years after the temple had been completed and dedicated, yet it seems clear that the statutes and judgments of the Mosaic Covenant were not fully understood or followed by Israel until the time Ezra arrived to ensure regathered Israel was obeying the commmandments given to them to follow at Mount Sinai. It seems to me that the decree of Artaxerxes, after the temple was built, to have Ezra judge and teach the Law of God would be a logical starting point later that year on Tishri 1 to begin the sabbatical year count to the Messiah.
Tishri 1 457 BC + 483 years
Fourth Decree: Artaxerxes I Longimanus (445 BC)
The fourth decree is said to come from Nehemiah 2:6-10 where Artaxerxes sends letters to the governors in 445 BC. In Nehemiah 1:1-4, the king’s cup bearer, heard that Jerusalem still had not been rebuilt even though the temple had been completed 71 years earlier. 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. Nehemiah 2:1-10
This seems to most clearly speak to the rebuilding of the walls and gates, but there is some dispute that this is an official decree as seen with Ezra in 457 BC, where it is stated to be a decree. These are letters sent to the governors effectively re-enforcing his previous decree given to Ezra. Since the verse just says from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, I’m not sure the decree/letter question holds much water, so keeping the assumption it is relevant, the same calculations can be done.
Tishri 1 445 BC + 483 years
Unto the Messiah the Prince
There are also several theories about when the revealing of the “Messiah the Prince” is. I believe the dates hinge on understanding the date of the crucifixion, which my research has led to be on Wednesday, April 5, 30 AD. This was the only year that fit with all the criteria while also allowing for the full 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, a full 72 hour period not possible with the traditional Friday crucifixion. It is also fully compliant with the understanding of preparation day and the fact that during Pesach Seder there are several high day Sabbaths that are treated just as weekly Sabbaths and are called Sabbaths, which is where some of the confusion with having to have the crucifixion on Friday comes in. It also places the resurrection on the feast of firstfruits that Sunday.
Given that Christ was about 30 years old when he started his ministry, Luke 3:23, and there are three Passovers explicitly defined, the last of which being His crucifixion on April 5, 30 AD, we have a ministry starting in the fall of 27 AD, 2½ years before His crucifixion, and 30 years before that would arrive at a fall 4 BC birth.
Christ’s Birth (Fall, 4 BC)
This time frame does not fit any of the possible decree dates plus the 483 years. (56 BC, 35 BC, 27 AD, 39 AD)
Christ’s Baptism and Ministry Starting (Fall, 27 AD)
This time frame fits perfectly the third decree, the first by Artaxerxes Longimanus in 457 BC. Tirshi 1 falls on September 19, 457 BC and 483 years later (176,416 days where each year is 365.25 days) comes to September 20, 27 AD.
Christ’s first Passover mentioned in John 2:13 would have been on March 29, 28 AD, His second mentioned in John 6:4 would have been on April 16, 29 AD, and His third mentioned in John 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:28-39; 19:14 would have been on April 5, 30 AD when He was crucified.
Triumphal Entry (April 1, 30 AD)
This theory put forth by Sir Robert Anderson in The Coming Prince and promoted by Chuck Missler takes the view that 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 arranges it to fulfill prophecy. Luke 19:28-40 This is the 10 Abib/Nisan, the same day of the month that Israel was to select their Passover lamb according to their father’s house, a lamb for a house. Exodus 12:1-3 Yeshua presented Himself as the Lamb to His Father’s house on lamb selection day. It is further believed that in 1 Chronicles 11:1-2 shows the differences between KingH4428, as in royalty, and Prince [Nagid], or rulerH5057, which is based in the idea of announcing.
However, this time frame does not fit any of the possible decree dates plus the 483 years. (56 BC, 35 BC, 27 AD, 39 AD) Even taking a 360-day year calculation of 173,880 days comes to September 27, 32 AD from a Tishri 1 calculation. Going from the date of the decree if it was March 24, 445 BC, 173,880 days later would be April 14, 32 AD. This is Nisan 14, but it falls on a Monday and doesn’t fit with the rest of scripture.
Time Span for First 69 Weeks:
So the seventy years are sabbatical periods of time, marked in the seventh month of Tishri. The decree of Cyrus was the decree, but was not fulfilled until successive recaptulations brought it to fulfillment through Darius I reaffirming Cyrus’s decree followed by Artaxerxes I.
We begin the span of the 69 weeks after the initial command of Cyrus when Artaxerxes re-enforces it adding that Ezra is commanded to, “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 indeed, “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” I believe the connection of the sabbatical years and obedience are both tied to when Cyrus’s original command to restore and build Jerusalem is ultimately fulfilled when Israel learns and obeys the statutes Ezra teaches them.
In his journey he had a decree from Artaxerxes and he left 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). Ezra 7:11-28 And so the first sabbatical year would have started several months later after Ezra had settled in at Jerusalem and Israel learned and obeyed the commandments of God.
From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem
and following the statutes to the Messiah is the span of this verse:
Either way, this would be before the Messiah, but the fall assumption fits best since Yeshua was born in the fall and so His baptism and starting of His ministry in the fall and Him being around 30 years old at the time would fit best with the sabbatical year also starting around that time. For this reason I lean toward this period being fulfilled from around September 19, 457 BC through September 20, 27 AD.
So we have now seen in Daniel 9:25 the time for Israel and Jerusalem from just after the end of the Babylonian captivity until the Messiah’s arrival to usher in the Kingdom of God and preach the good news of the captives being freed and the acceptable year of the Lord. Had He been accepted as the Messiah He is, perhaps the 70th week would have completed beginning from the end of the last 62 week period.
However, we can see in the next verse a gap introduced. The connection of Christ’s crucifixion and His prophesy of Jerusalem’s destruction at the triumphal entry indicate that from the beginning the plan of God was only going to be accomplished the way that it was, by the atoning blood of the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world.
And indeed it was about 2½ years after the 62 week period when He began His ministry that Yeshua died and rose again, killed for our transgressions because He was blameless. He is the only man who ever could make this sacrifice because He had no sin, He did not deserve to die. Yet He gave Himself freely because greater love has no man than he would give his life for a friend. We are His friends, if we obey Him. John 15:12-16 He asks us to love Him and love each other. That is His way.
It is also after this first 69 weeks that we see the city and sanctuary are to be destroyed. This was prophesied by Yeshua at the triumphal entry. Luke 19:41-44
What should be noted is that Christ’s death and resurrection and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple are historically verifiable and said to happen 2½ years (27 AD) and 72½ years (70 AD) after the first 69 weeks respectively. Furthermore, we know from history that the Jewish rebellion against Rome continued until Masada in the spring of 73 AD when the gate was breached and the soldiers discovered most of the Jews had committed suicide rather than be taken by the Romans. So verse 26 was fulfilled quite literally in total outside the scope of the first 69 weeks and covered a period of about 75 years from the end of the 69 weeks to the end of the war where desolations were determined.
Understanding that it is the next verse after these events are described where the final week is mentioned tells us is that there is no way this final week is contiguous with the first 69 and there must be a gap between them. Christ’s crucifixion was outside the scope of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy and 70 AD is well outside any seven year period that would define the final week. Additionally, I don’t believe all of verse 24 was fulfilled 7 years after the start of Yeshua’s ministry.
“The people of the prince”
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. 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. Because of the phrasing there are several theories about this prince that shall come.
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. Therefore this an allusion to the revived Roman Empire of the end times headed by the prince (antichrist) yet to come.
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 that judgment. This is the idea that they brought this upon themselves.
There is further detail from scripture about the Romans destroying Jerusalem and taking the temple apart until no stone was left on top of another. He prophesied this again after the triumphal entry when telling the disciples of the things that would lead to His coming again and the end of the world. Luke’s account differs from Matthew’s and Mark’s accounts. Yeshua is speaking to the disciples about them and His followers leading up to the destruction in 70 AD. Note that similar to how the Jews treated the prophets, those who hold the testimony of Yeshua during this time will be hated by their own families for it and even killed.
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 phase 1 of the great tribulation. This is explained through comparison of scriptures on the Olivet Discourse page.
The point is that believers in Yeshua were persecuted and killed by Israel in the time from 30 AD to 70 AD and that what the Romans physically did were the result of Israel’s unbelief and actions against those who did live by faith and in belief in Christ. Because of this were the days of vengeance and wrath on Israel, who would be blinded, killed, and carried away to all nations for it. Therefore, the people of the prince to come are the Jews and the prince to come will be from that people.
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
Who is “he?”
We have two “he’s” here, Christ in red and antichrist in green. They are both named in the beginning, then the rest of the references to a specific character are in the form of “he.” Who was the last “he” mentioned? I think clearly the last noun mentioned, the future prince that shall come. There are other views that hold various perspectives from this referring to Yeshua to a disconnected future antichrist. I go into why I don’t hold the 70th week of Daniel as being historical here.
So this future prince tied to the people that destroy the city and sanctuary confirms a covenant with many for one week, which is the final sabbatical week of 7 years. This is where the previous determination of the prince that shall come causes all kinds of theories about the identity of this person that confirms the covenant with many for one week, the final 70th week of Daniel.
26 & 27 Unrelated
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. This simply disconnects the identity of the future man of sin from that of the prince representing Titus.
We know the people were phyiscally Roman soldiers, 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, the antichrist would be the head of the revived Roman Empire.
If referring to the mercenaries in the Roman army surrounding Israel, we would expect this future prince to come from some unknown nation which is now most likely an Islamic nation. The hatred for the Jews stemming from some in Islam and the killing of Jews in Judea at the abomination of desolation typically make this candidate reasonable to many. However, Islam did not exist in 70 AD so tying it to Islam is a little more of a stretch, while tying it to some unknown people group that is Islamic now after the fact would be more likely. There are other theories of a Syrian antichrist that would fit in this paradigm.
This is really too generic to tie to any particular group outside those who destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, which would be the Roman army and its soldiers, mercenary or not. This will more generically be tied to the attitude in the end times of the hatred of Jews and Christians during the reign of the antichrist, but not so much identifying him.
The view that Israel’s unbelief and hatred of those who did believe in Yeshua is the cause of the judgment that destroyed Jersusalem and the temple would cause that ultimate identity of the antichrist to be from the 12 tribes of Israel. Given that the Jews are the target of the antichrist, it would seem counter intuitive to have him originating from Israel herself.
I think it’s important to think back to who is ultimately behind this hatred of the Jews and that the dragon, Satan, is out for Israel’s destruction. How he accomplishes that can be in multiple ways because he knows his ultimate end will be separation from God. If he just kills the people of Israel they aren’t his. But if he can deceive even the blinded elect into believing that he is their awaited Messiah, not only will he have devoted puppets to do his will, but he will have ensured their eternal damnation with him apart from God in the lake of fire.
We have seen what devoted and fervent Jews have done in the past, thinking they are doing God’s will and killing the prophets for perceived blasphemy and even killing their Messiah for it, not realizing that it was part of YHVH’s plan from the beginning. (Behold the hands/wrists, behold the peg/nails)
In the context of Romans 11, we see that the root is Christ and the wild branches are grafted onto that root while the natural branches are broken off in unbelief. In addition to the killing of Jews in the unparalleled time of Jacob’s trouble, it could also be that by his deception the dragon deceives many of the Jews into believing he is the Messiah and then turns on his own people, dictating the death of anyone who doesn’t accept him, twisting the scriptures to his own nefarious end and using the Jews against their own people in their fervent belief once again. I’m sure he would get much more pleasure out of that, using God’s chosen people against themselves to accomplish his plans.
Confirming the Covenant for One Week
This is the final week of years of the 70 weeks prophecy and it begins with confirming(H1396 - gabar) the covenant(H1285 - barit) for that week. The word for confirm in this case means to make strong, firm, or confirm. This is the idea of an existing covenant being strengthened.
In the study of the abomination of desolation, I go over this term and the four times Daniel uses it or some derivation of it. This is central to understanding what is coming because it’s the central event that Yeshua points back to Daniel to warn of. In Daniel there are two mentions that are historical in nature and two that are yet future. I would encourage you to go over the study on the fourth kingdom, all the related chapter studies, and the visions of Daniel and John chart for a better understanding.
Covenants are central to God’s dealing with His people as we saw in the Old Testament (Covenant) and what we see in the New Testament (Covenant). I would note here that Yeshua’s death and resurrection was not a confirming of the Old Covenant, but something new entirely. Yes the old foreshadowed the new, but the requirements of the old conditional covenant between God and Israel are replaced with a new conditional covenant between God and all who believe in Yeshua. In this way, I would not label this strengthening of the covenant as representative of Yeshua’s New Covenant, as the titles of the testaments (covenants) state, it is new. We are not under the yoke of the Mosaic Covenant to which Israel was yoked in the wilderness at Mount Sinai.
What is interesting from one of the historical accounts in Daniel 11, we see the depiction of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the events around the abomination of desolation that he set up.
Antiochus made dictates, as laid out in 1 Maccabees, that forbade the Jews to keep the laws given to them to keep in addition to the combined stopping of the daily and the abomination of desolation. Could this historical account be tied to the future covenant with many made for one week? I think there are some other scriptures that might strengthen that possibility.
The first seal of Revelation 6:1-2 speaks to a rider on a white horse who has a bow(G5115), a crown was given to him and he went out conquering. The first thing from this verse that comes to mind is a bow and arrow, which makes sense given he is going out to conquer. This word only appears there in the New Testament, but in the Septuagint it appears 38 times in 36 verses. The majority of these would seem to indicate a bow and arrow or quiver, but there’s another interesting mention referring back to the unconditional Noahic Covenant.
Both the bow as a weapon and the rainbow in the sky are in the simplest form of the word bowed. I just find it interesting that there’s a possible double meaning in Revelation regarding this rider who is given a crown, does not take it, and has a bow and goes forth conquering. This could be referring to the token of a covenant the antichrist makes for one week as well as the tool used to conquer.
Yeshua warned in the olivet discourse to take heed that no man deceive you and that many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:4-5 Similarly he warned of both false christs and false prophets, both of which are foretold to come in Revelation 13. Matthew 24:24 He also said when talking to the unbelieving Jews that He was not recieved by them coming in His Father’s name, but another coming in his own name they would receive. John 5:43
So this rider of the white horse brings forth a covenant related to Israel and he is given governmental authority after which he begins a campaign to conquer. I would recommend reading False Christ | Will the Antichrist Claim to Be the Jewish Messiah? by Chris White. The research there that points to a Jewish Antichrist is very compelling and brings new light to this passage.
Another possible hint comes in the third seal, where the rider has a pair of balances(G2218) in his hand and wheat, barley, oil, and wine are all mentioned. Many take this to mean some sort of famine, but I think there is a more straight-forward possibility that can be simply derived by taking the Greek word actually used and not accepting the English translation of balances. Note that all scriptures below from the New Testament are the same Greek word zygos.
This puts a different spin on the passage does it not? When also accounting for the fact that wheat, barley, oil, and wine are all central to the consecration of the priests, it becomes even more interesting. Exodus 29:1-2; 35-40 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.
Just like the 70 weeks prophecy, this is all very centered on Israel and Jerusalem and indicates that the confirmed covenant for one week is tied to the strengthening, confirming, or reaffirming of the Mosaic Covenant and the temple and daily sacrifices and offerings incumbent with that. This would also make sense in that the midst of the week is the stopping of those things that will have to be started first.
So perhaps it could be that the first seal is the token of the Mosaic Covenant made with nine other nations and Israel as laid out in the other prophecies of the seven headed, ten horned beast. Through this seemingly impossible task, a crown of leadership is given to this leader that came up suddenly from amongst the ten horns and three of those kingdoms rebel because of the deal that allows the Jews to rebuild the temple and start the daily sacrifice once again. So this new leader in Israel goes forth conquering those three horns who fall before him (Daniel 7:8, 20, 24) and the blinded Jews, who have earnestly returned to the Mosaic Covenant because it’s all they know about worshiping God, begin looking to this leader as a messianic figure.
They dedicate the new temple and begin Old Testament worship and feasts according to the Torah. A growing number of Jews whisper of Messiah coming and perhaps even a false prophet seen as Elijah by them begins to point out how this powerful leader conquering all of Israel’s enemies is fulfilling scripture. The excitement among the Jews grows as the expectation of the Messiah having arrived in their lifetimes after so long spent waiting. The trap is set, the spring is very tight and only one little latch restrains the trap from going off.
Midst of the week
In the midst of the week he [antichrist] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. As mentioned, in order to stop the daily, or sacrifice and the oblation, it must have started again. To that end I believe scripture is clear there will be a rebuilt temple of some sort either on the temple mount, or in one of the other proposed locations, and that the daily ministering of that temple will again be implemented based on scripture regarding the end. For more information on this, check out the temple page and for my thoughts on when it will be rebuilt.
In addition, the only event Yeshua actually pointed to Daniel for takes place and the antichrist causes the abominations by which he will make it desolate. For more detail on abomination and desolation as well as what that means in this context, check out the abomination of desolation page that goes into more detail. In short...
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5
He makes it desolate by his abominations “even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” 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.
We know from the abomination of desolation that the dragon gives the beast his power for 42 months, Revelation 13:5, and the saints are given to the beast for 3½ years, Daniel 7:25, and that the power of the holy people will be scattered for 3½ years, Daniel 12:5-11. It is through this time that the wrath of God is poured out on the earth. God has a determined judgment determined to be poured out and when it has been it will be done.
It is Done
Revelation 15:1, 6-8
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. Revelation 19:20-21
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 into the Promised Land with Messiah ruling the earth in righteousness. 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. I would also recommend going through the studies on the visions of Daniel and John that give an even wider scope of history and some great insights.
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