Daniel’s 70 Weeks – Part 3
As you have seen, we’ve taken a while to lay some groundwork and historical background for this study in Parts 1 & 2 of this series. Now we are coming to the meat of the study.
In the final installments in this study, we will be looking more in depth into exactly what these “weeks” of years are, and how astoundingly accurate they have been. Bear in mind that the book of Daniel was written three centuries BEFORE Christ was incarnated into human flesh and came to earth as our Redeemer. Knowing this will prove beyond any doubt the absolute infallibility of scripture and its divine authorship.
The prophecies contained within this book are both historically and mathematically precise right down to the most minute detail.
Many people feel that the verity (truth) of the Bible cannot be known or proven. These assertions could not possibly be more wrong. Biblical prophecy is so detailed, so precise in its fulfillment, that anyone who takes the time to truly study it can come to no other conclusion than that the Bible is a supernatural book given to man from a supernatural being. That being is none other than Almighty God—the Ancient of Days—the Great I AM who “was and is and is to come”— the eternal and everlasting God.
Only a fool would choose (in the face of such overwhelming evidence) to deny the provable truth of Biblical prophecy.
The book of Daniel is the linchpin of all end-time prophecies. Without the book of Daniel (among other Old Testament books), the book of Revelation would make little to no sense at all. Revelation is the UNVEILING of that which was first given by God to the Prophet Daniel when he lived as a Hebrew captive in the pagan land of Babylon, and then sealed “until the time of the end.”
So, are you ready? Then grab a cup of coffee, your Bible, a notebook and pen and let’s begin. Prepare to have your mind blown by the indescribable prophecy of the 70 “weeks” of years appointed to Israel.
Part 3: The First 69 “Weeks” Of Years
[Daniel 9:25] In this one verse, an incredibly specific prediction occurs.
In this verse lies a mathematical prophecy so detailed and so incredible that atheists and haters of the Bible have tried for years to debunk, always unsuccessfully. This prophecy gives the exact timing when the coming Messiah (Jesus) would present Himself as the promised Messiah to the Jewish people.
Let me take a moment to credit the author of the information that follows. I am indebted to the late Sir Robert Anderson in his seminal work “The Coming Prince” for giving us the following mathematical calculations in regard to Daniel’s prophecies of the 70 weeks, detailed in Daniel chapter 9. It was Dr. Anderson who took the words of Daniel and did the calculation, along with the dates of history, and brought to light just how incredibly accurate God’s information to Daniel actually is.
Note that all of these prophecies are based on the Jewish and Babylonian calendars which followed a LUNAR month. Therefore, a year in biblical terms is counted as having 360 days and NOT the 365 days that make up the Julian calendar that we use today. Hence, 69 “weeks” of 360-day years totals 173,880 days – EXACTLY.
As we see in this verse, the angel Gabriel revealed to Daniel that the interval between the command to rebuild the CITY of Jerusalem until the PRESENTATION of Messiah the King would be 173,880 days, which equals to 69 “weeks” of years TO THE VERY DAY.
**Note: The beginning point of these 69 “weeks” of years was to be marked by the command to rebuild the CITY of Jerusalem, and NOT the command to rebuild the TEMPLE. Work on rebuilding the Temple had already begun BEFORE the command was given to rebuild Jerusalem. (See the books of Ezra and Nehemiah regarding the rebuilding of the Temple.) It was the command to rebuild JERUSALEM that was to be the starting point for the beginning of the 69 “weeks” countdown.
The command to rebuild Jerusalem was given by the Persian King, Artaxerxes Longimanus, on March 14, 445 BC. The very day that Jesus presented Himself to the Jews (Zechariah 9:9) on Palm Sunday was April 6, 32 AD. Adjusting for leap years, we find that it is 173,880 days to the VERY DAY that Jesus rode into Jerusalem presenting himself as Israel’s Messiah.
Again, these specific mathematical calculations were made and verified by the late Sir Robert Anderson in his groundbreaking work, “The Coming Prince.”
Thus the Bible divides THE 70 weeks or heptads as follows:
(1) 7 “weeks” = 49 years (During the 49 years or 7 “weeks”) Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in “troublous times.” This was fulfilled as Ezra and Nehemiah record in their respective books.
(2) 62 “weeks” = 434 years thereafter Messiah was to come. This was fulfilled in the eventual birth, manifestation, and the presentation of Jesus as Israel’s true Messiah whom they should have recognized from their own scriptures (Luke 19:40).
(3) The 69 “weeks” (7 + 62 = 69 “weeks”) end with the Messiah being “cut off but not for Himself.”
(4) The 62 “weeks” follow the initial 7, and so verse 26 of Daniel 9 deals with the events AFTER the 69th “week,” but BEFORE the 70th.
The events in Daniel 9:26 include the Messiah being killed, resurrected and ascended, and the Temple being destroyed. The destruction of the Temple occurred in 70 AD along with the subsequent worldwide diaspora, as foretold by Jesus Himself (Luke 19:43-44).
This worldwide dispersion of the Jews would last from the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 until May 14, 1948 when the modern nation of Israel was reborn and recognized as a free and independent nation by President Harry Truman. (Read Ezekiel 37 regarding the Prophecy of the “dry bones” that presage the eventual regathering of Israel as a nation.)
As stated above, Israel was indeed regathered from amongst the nations of the world into which she had been driven, and returned back to her own land – the land of Israel – when she regained her status as a nation reborn in May of 1948.
As history confirms, both the city of Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the armies of the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD just as Jesus predicted they would be, and the Jews were again dispersed from their homeland, this time scattered “into ALL the earth ” just as it was foretold they would be.
Israel’s’ final diaspora lasted from 70 AD until May 14,1948 when the Jews were officially returned to their land and became a nation once again just as predicted by both the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel (see Ezekiel chapters 36–37).
Just as Daniel and Ezekiel predicted, the Jewish people returned to their homeland of Israel still in UNBELIEF of the Lord Jesus as their Messiah.
Also, just as predicted, the city of JERUSALEM is still being “trodden down by the Gentiles” and will continue to be so “until the TIMES of the Gentiles” are fulfilled, which will occur at the END of The Tribulation, just BEFORE Jesus establishes His millennial Kingdom (Luke 21:24).
As we have seen, 69 of the 70 weeks of years that God appointed to the Jewish people have already been fulfilled with the rejection of Jesus, who has always been Israel’s Messiah. With Israel’s rejection of Jesus’ offered Kingdom under His rulership as Messiah, the Messiah was indeed “cut off” by His crucifixion, and “not for Himself” – in other words, NOT because He was guilty of any offense Himself, but as the sacrificial Lamb of God to make atonement for the sins of the world, just as was prophesied in Daniel 9.
At the time of Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah and their subsequent rejection of His offer of the kingdom, Jesus’ death stopped, halted – postponed the countdown and thus put on hold the continuance of the 69 “weeks” of years, 7 years short of the appointed 70 weeks. Israel still has 7 years left of her “appointed time.”
We in the Dispensation of Grace – the Church Age – are now living in what Hal Lindsay calls a “parenthesis of time” – an indeterminate period of time BETWEEN the already fulfilled 69 “weeks” of years and the yet to begin 70th “week” of years.
Israel’s last or 70th “week” will commence AFTER the ending of this current dispensation in which we are now living, which will end with the rapture of the Church (an event completely unknown to Daniel or any other Old Testament prophets).
The 70th “seven” appointed to the Jews will commence with the signing (actually the confirmation) of a “covenant” that will be made between Israel and many other nations, brokered by the coming Antichrist. It will be the CONFIRMATION of this covenant between Israel and “the many,” brokered by the one who will turn out to be the Antichrist, which will be the event that will begin the countdown of those final 7 years that are to be the fulfillment of the final 70th “week” of years allotted to Israel, the Jewish people.
Now that we understand the detailed prophecies inherent in the divisions of the 70 weeks of years, we will now be ready to study the prophecy in more depth. In our final study, we will look at both the interval between the 69th and 70th weeks – the interval in which the Church is now living called the Dispensation of Grace, or the Church Age; and we will look into what will be coming to ISRAEL and the rest of the lost world during that final 70th “week” that has been appointed by God.