The prophecy of Daniel’s 70th week, in Daniel 9:24-27, has been paused or delayed for 1,989 years now. The end of the 69th week occurred when the Messiah (Jesus) was “cut off” (killed) in the year AD 33. The date on the Jewish calendar was Nisan 14, 3793. It occurred on Passover day or what was known as the preparation day of the Passover. The preparation day occurs the day before the special Sabbath (not the weekly one), which occurs on Nisan 15 and is biblically called the First day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. No work is to be done on this Sabbath day. That is why Jesus’ body had to be taken down from the cross and buried before this day started at 6:00 pm.
The Gentile date for the crucifixion of Jesus occurred on April 2, AD 33 according to the Julian calendar, which was the one being used by the Roman Empire at that time. If our modern Gregorian calendar would have been in use at that time, you could deduct a few days, and the date would have been March 31, AD 33. There are 365.25 days in the Julian calendar and 365.2425 days in the Gregorian calendar.
The obvious question is, why was there a pause between the 69th week (483 years of 360 days per year) and the 70th week (490 years)? In other words, why didn’t the 70th week follow immediately after the 69th week ended? Many theologians believe this could have been the case if the Jews had accepted Jesus as their King and Messiah. Jesus could have established his Millennial Kingdom 7 years later instead of having to wait for 2,000 years because of the Jews’ unbelief. The Millennial Kingdom of God would then have started in the year AD 40. Of course, Jesus would still have to die as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world (John 1:29) and be resurrected on the third day.
There are references to both the 1st and 2nd Coming of the Lord scattered throughout the Old Testament in what appears (if one didn’t have the New Testament) to be a single event. These “dual reference prophecies” could only be determined as such after the 1st Coming had already taken place. They were written in such a manner that was impossible to know beforehand that the Lord’s 1st Coming would only partially fulfill them.
The writers of these prophecies often switch from the 1st Coming to the 2nd Coming in the middle of a sentence or in the very next sentence, as if they are one event. The Holy Spirit might have made sure they were written this way because it could have possibly been only one event if the Jews would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as their King, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Here is an example of one such dual reference prophecy: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (Isaiah 9:6).
The first half of the first sentence is referring to the 1st Coming, and the second half is referring to His Millennial Kingdom after His 2nd Coming. The second sentence is also referring to Jesus’ millennial rule after His 2nd Coming. At the time of Isaiah’s writing (and centuries afterward), no one could have known from reading these verses that it was speaking of two separate advents of the Messiah.
Another dual reference prophecy is found in Micah 5:2. “But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
If you didn’t know better, one would think that the events of this prophecy would transpire in the lifetime of one individual that would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah and then grow up to become ruler over all of Israel. The last part of the verse indicates that this is no ordinary ruler but is the Messiah Himself. With the benefit of the New Testament, we now know this verse is referring to Jesus being born in Bethlehem when he came the first time as a human baby; but he will not become ruler of Israel until He comes the second time (2nd Advent) as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
One more example of dual reference prophecy is found in Isaiah 61. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, when he was in the synagogue in Nazareth, he read from the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-2. However, Jesus stopped before the end of verse 2, leaving out the phrase “and the day of vengeance of our God.” He then closed the book and sat down. Jesus said to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).
Jesus was saying He was the fulfillment of this prophecy and had come to do the things listed therein. But by stopping his reading where he did, he revealed he hadn’t come (yet) to fulfill the last part of Isaiah’s prophecy, “the day of vengeance of our God.” In other words, there would be a separation of time between the year of the Lord’s favor (1st Advent) and the day of His vengeance (Day of the Lord – Tribulation). Without the benefit of the Luke 4 passages and just by reading Isaiah 61:1-2, one would assume that the Day of the Lord (day of vengeance) would take place directly after the Messiah’s ministry. However, we now know these are two distinct events separated by thousands of years.
Of course, the most obvious dual reference prophecy is found in Daniel 9:24-27 and is known as the 70 weeks (sevens) prophecy. If you were living in the times of Daniel when he recorded this prophecy, you would think the 70th week would come concurrently after the 69th week, without any gap of time between them.
Once the apostles and disciples figured out Jesus was the Messiah and was the subject of Daniel 9:26, they thought He would return soon after His ascension to begin His day of vengeance and then to establish His kingdom. They knew nothing about a vast gap of time between the 69th and 70th week. As a matter of fact, just before Jesus ascended to heaven, the apostles asked him, saying, “Lord will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:6-7).
It is clear from the apostles’ question that Jesus never mentioned an extended period of time in which Israel would be set aside while his attention would be focused on the Gentiles and the Church. They didn’t even know about the Church at this time or that Gentiles would be a part of it. They would not know this fact for certain until 20 years later when James told them at the Jerusalem Council, and even then, they didn’t know for how long the time of the Gentiles would last.
In hindsight, we now know Jesus will resume His focus on Israel after the Rapture. After the Holy Spirit and the Church are removed from the earth, God’s divine clock will reset, and Daniel’s 70th week will begin (with a short gap of time between them – until the Antichrist confirms the covenant). The dual reference prophecies were written in such a way that if the Jews had accepted Jesus as their King and Messiah, He could have fulfilled them in the allotted time of the 490 years, without a vast gap of time between the 69th and 70th weeks.
Jesus was cut off, resurrected, and ascended into heaven at the end of the 69th week (after 483 years). 7 more years were still needed to complete Daniel’s prophecy before the Messiah Jesus could establish His Millennial Kingdom (in AD 40). These last 7 years would (also) unfold into what the Old Testament prophets called the time of Jacob’s Trouble or the Day of the Lord. I am uncertain as to how all this would be accomplished by the Lord, and one can only speculate what these last 7 years would have been like. I’m sure it would have been different from what is described in Revelation because this book and all of the books of the New Testament would never have been written, and the Church might never have been formed.
One thing is certain in this scenario; all of the prophecies in the Old Testament (including the Day of the Lord and Daniel’s prophecies) and Jesus’ prophecies would still be fulfilled in these last 7 years. God’s will is always accomplished, and His word is always fulfilled.
As I mentioned before, even if the Jews had accepted Jesus as their King and Messiah, He would still need to die on the cross to fulfill prophecy. The Romans would not accept a Jewish king in their midst, so they would see to it that he was crucified. They would then punish and persecute the Jews who were now revolting against the Roman Empire. Jesus would still be resurrected on the third day and appear to many. I believe Jesus would also have remained on the earth for 40 days before ascending to heaven and the Father’s house, where He would remain until He returned 7 years later.
For Daniel’s prophecy to be fulfilled (in this scenario), I believe the Jews would agree to a 7-year peace treaty with the Romans to avoid further persecution or war. This event would anger God greatly, and the time of Jacob’s trouble would commence. The Roman ruler would break this covenant with the Jews and commit the abomination of desolation (Daniel 9:27) midway through this “covenant with death,” as described by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 28:15-16). Instead of the temple being destroyed in AD 70 (for in this scenario, there is no AD 70), its destruction would occur after the abomination of desolation. The temple’s destruction would still fulfill Jesus’ prophecy of Matthew 24:2.
The desolations of Daniel 9:27 would continue until the Jews repented and called on the Lord to return, fulfilling the prophecies of Hosea 5:15 and 6:1-2. Jesus would return to the earth 1,260 days (3.5 years of 360 days per year) after the abomination of desolation at the battle of Armageddon and destroy the Roman Antichrist and his army and all the other forces arrayed against Him.
Of course, God knew Israel would reject His Son as the Messiah during His 1st Advent, and the scenario I just described would never have taken place. However, He gave them every opportunity to do so, including Jesus remaining on the earth for 40 days after His resurrection. The Holy Spirit also gave the prophets of old dual reference prophecies so that Jesus could have fulfilled them completely during His 1st Advent. In between the gaps in these prophecies, the Church was born and the covenant of God’s grace through faith has temporarily suspended the covenant of the Law for Israel, just as He always planned. After the Rapture and the removal of the Church and Holy Spirit, the covenant of the Law will resume for Israel (after a short gap of time) until it comes to an end 7 years later.
In my series articles, “In the Midst,” I have given many hypothetical examples of the timing of the soon-coming 7-year Tribulation. These examples are just that; they are not predictions, only possible theories based on Jesus’ 2nd Coming on a future Feast of Trumpets. Trumpets is the day many theologians believe Jesus will return to the earth based on the idea that He will fulfill the last 3 Feasts of the Lord at this time. As Jesus fulfilled the first 4 Feasts of the Lord: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Firstfruits, and Pentecost during His 1st Advent, so He will fulfill the last 3: Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles during His 2nd Advent.
There are 2,520 (7 years of 360 days per year) days duration for the Tribulation. Based on Trumpets (Tishri 1) being the date when Jesus returns to the earth (2nd Advent), to determine the “in the midst” event of the Abomination of Desolation, you must count backward 1,260 days from Trumpets according to Revelation 12:6. Usually (about 90% of the time), this will put you at Nisan 10-12. Most theologians believe the start of the Tribulation (when the Antichrist confirms the covenant with the many) begins 1,260 days before the Abomination of Desolation. I believe it starts 1,230 days before the A.O.D for the following reason: the end of the Tribulation occurs 2,520 days after the start of the Tribulation and 1,290 days after the Abomination of Desolation according to Daniel 12:11. For further details, see: In the Midst, Part IV: Return of the King :: By Randy Nettles – Rapture Ready
The most likely timeline for the soon-coming seven-year Tribulation, in my opinion, is AD 2026-2033. I have given the reasons and empirical evidence for this hypothetical timeline in several articles, including The Perfect Numbers in the Day of the Lord :: By Randy Nettles – Rapture Ready, so I will not list them here.
However, an interesting phenomenon regarding these 7 years of AD 2026-2033 is that they mirror the 7 years of AD 33-40 regarding the dates on the modern Gregorian calendar and the modern Jewish calendar (which uses the mathematical calculations of the Metonic cycle of 19 years). For example, the following table starts with the dates of Passover (Nisan 14) on the Gregorian calendar, starting with the comparison between the years AD 33 and AD 2026. I chose Nisan 14 because of how significant of a date it is in the Bible. It could have been any date. All of the days of the year of AD 33 match AD 2026, etc. Note: The Jewish Anno Mundi (years from creation) years are not given as they are off (deficient) by about 200 years, according to my reckoning. Instead, we will use the Anno Domini dating system.
Passover – Nisan 14 Dates
Start: *AD 33 – March 31 Start: *AD 2026 – March 31
- AD 34 – March 19 1) AD 2027 – March 19
- AD 35 – April 8 2) AD 2028 – April 9
- AD 36 – March 27 3) AD 2029 – March 29
- AD 37 – March 17 4) AD 2030 – April 16
- AD 38 – April 4 5) AD 2031 – April 6
- AD 39 – March 24 6) AD 2032 – March 25
- AD 40 – April 12 7) AD 2033 – April 13
* Note: The Jewish Anno Mundi (year from creation) years are not given for the Passover dates as they are off (deficient) by about 200 years, according to my reckoning. See Chronology of Mankind: 6,000 Years of History Pt 1 :: By Randy Nettles – Rapture Ready. Instead, we will use the Anno Domini dating system that we presently use for the Gregorian calendar.
Notice the nearly identical dates (within a day or two) for the two groups of seven years, except for the “in the midst” years of AD 37 and AD 2030, which is off by a month due to the addition of an intercalary/embolismic month (usually added every 2 or 3 years) in the Jewish calendar. This is done so their calendar can become realigned with the solar calendar. These Gregorian dates that correspond to their Jewish dates repeat (cycle) about every 8 years. For example, the next time there will be an (nearly) identical 7 years (as above) for these dates will be from 2034 – 2041. Then the next one will be from 2042 – 2049, etc.
There is always a full moon during the Passover/Unleavened Bread Feast. It generally occurs on the first full moon of spring, but sometimes it will land on the second full moon of spring (as it will do in the year AD 2024). The modern calculated Jewish calendar is very accurate in determining the Jewish Feasts that coincide with new or full moons. The first full moon of spring occurs after the date of the vernal/spring equinox of that year. Biblically, Passover is always on Nisan 14, and the first day of Unleavened Bread is always on Nisan 15 (nowadays, the Jews have combined them and the Passover Feast starts on the 15th).
As I commented on earlier, Jesus was crucified on Passover (it was called the preparation day at that time), Nisan 14, 3793 on the Jewish calendar and April 2, AD 33 on the Julian calendar (if the Gregorian calendar had been in effect, it would have been on March 31, AD 33). The first full moon of spring occurred the next day on Nisan 15, 3793, on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or April 3, AD 33 on the Julian calendar. For confirmation, see: www.moonpage.com.
You can also look up NASA records for lunar eclipses (they only occur on a full moon), and you will find that a small partial one occurred on April 3, AD 33 (Julian calendar). This lunar eclipse might not have been observed in Israel, or maybe the moon appeared slightly red. The three hours darkness that occurred at Jesus’ crucifixion was not a solar eclipse, as they only occur during a new moon and do not last long. This was a supernatural event that God created to demonstrate His anger and displeasure at the exceeding sinfulness of Jesus’ tormentors. It was a precursor to the darkness that will envelop the earth during Jesus’ 2nd Coming. As He went out, so He will return.
If the Jews had accepted Jesus as their Messiah during His 1st Advent, the 70th week would have started in AD 33 and ended in AD 40. These 7 years look remarkably similar to the years of AD 2026 through AD 2033, regarding the dates on the Gregorian and Jewish calendars. It looks like at the end of the 69th week (in AD 33), the 70th week could (theoretically) finally resume in the future year of AD 2026, as far as the comparison of the dates is concerned. I suppose this is just a coincidence?
Regardless, the Jews could have finished their transgression against the Lord Jesus and accepted Him as their King and Messiah approximately 2,000 years ago. Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks would have been fulfilled shortly after this. Instead, they are still hopelessly searching for their Messiah, while the (time) gap between the 69th and 70th week keeps getting longer. The Jews have always been a stiff-necked (hard-headed) people, as described by God and his prophets multiple times. See Jewish People & The Supernatural Signs for the Jews :: By Randy Nettles (raptureready.com).
God, who is all-knowing, knows the end from the beginning. “Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18). He always knew Israel would reject His Son, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior when he came the first time. While Israel was still searching for their Messiah (and ignoring the prophecy of Daniel 9:25), God would visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this, the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: “After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind will seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord who does all these things” (Acts 15:15-17).
However, the remnant of Israel will eventually “see the light” and recognize and acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as their Christ at the last moment of Jacob’s trouble. He will hear their cries and save them from certain death at the hands of their enemies. “Come, and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1).
At the end of the 70th week, the six objectives or accomplishments of Daniel 9:24 will have finally been met by the nation and people of Israel, and Jesus will begin His 1,000-year reign upon the earth. The Jews will then become the elect people that God always intended for them to become. When God made His covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai, He told Moses and the people, “You shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).
“And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:1-4).
The seal of the book of Daniel is opened, and the time of the end is near. Those who share the knowledge of the saving grace through faith in Jesus Christ will be richly rewarded.
“May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:17-18).
Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.