When is or was Daniel’s 70th week, and what is it all about? In Daniel 9:24-26, he reports the message from the angel Gabriel, saying, “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.”
In this prophecy, the angel foretells to Daniel (and anyone who desires to know the past and future as we stand in time today) what the future is for the Jewish people.
The first seven weeks of years are the times of Ezra and Nehemiah when they were writing of the restoration of the temple and the walls of the city. Then, sixty-two weeks until the time of the coming of Jesus Christ for a total of sixty-nine weeks of years. No specific 70th week is mentioned after that point.
The next event after the Messiah is cut off at the 69th week is His resurrection and forty days of instructions to His disciples with directions to go into all the world and tell of His death, burial, and resurrection, and that belief in Him would result in their everlasting life.
That commission has been ongoing and intentional until His return in the future. It was not for the Jews as a body of participants, however, for God had other intentions for them. The 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem and its temple had fulfilled God’s promise to scatter the Jews into all the world as punishment for disobedience to Him.
We see, then, that destruction of the city and its temple when Rome conquered Israel and fulfilled God’s pronouncement that He would scatter the Jews into every nation of the world. It took 65 years to see the total abandonment of Jerusalem by Jewish people, then 1,800 years of desolation came over the land of Israel. It was God’s way of preserving the land for the later habitation of His people.
His promise to restore the land to Israel began as nomadic Jews drifted into that desolate place. Annual rainfall, having been absent in any quantity during those years, began to increase, as did the Jewish population. Then many more years passed.
So where is that 70th week the angel proclaimed to Daniel?
After Messiah’s resurrection to heaven, He will return for His body of believers. It is a gigantic event at the end of the Christian church age, as Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Then we will be with Him.)
This “ingathering” is told in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 in detail, and in 5:2 as: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”
When that “ingathering of believers in Christ” called the Rapture happens, John describes their appearance before the Lord Jesus Christ on His throne and receiving the representative twenty-four “elders” who have golden crowns issued to them. This is recorded in Revelation 4, and further information on them is in John 14:2-4 and other chapters in Revelation.
That Rapture event clears the way for God’s full attention to the 70th week we are learning about. This Rapture is the “snatching away” of those who have been saved by believing in that One who was “cut off, but not for Himself,” mentioned earlier in Daniel 9. The Apostle Paul writes of it in his two epistles to the Thessalonians, as he says in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him ….”
In the turmoil when millions of believers in Christ have suddenly disappeared, a cry will go out for someone who can take control and lead the world out of its dilemma. Then that one of Roman heritage will come forth and be accepted. (Could it be that one who “has been primed to lead us into a New World Order?) With that authority, he will “confirm a covenant with many” nations that gives the Jewish people seven years of peace with their long-term enemies, the Arab/Muslim world. It will be the Jewish people who will exclaim “Peace and safety,” as is told in 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
Then the one who is the Antichrist will take control of a world of turmoil. Daniel 9:27 tells of this one who comes from the heritage of the Romans and shows up in prophecies of the future:
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined is poured out on the desolate.”
The Jews will think of him as their friend and their Messiah, for he has no nail holes in his hands and feet, and he allows them to rebuild their temple. For three and one-half years, he will be forming his takeover as that seventh head of the Beast that the Apostle John describes in Revelation 13 and its fulfillment in Revelation 17.
But verse 3 continues with “then sudden destruction shall come upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and none shall escape.”
Is this illustration particularly meaningful here? Look at it like this: The birthing process begins, first, as the woman’s “water breaks” and the labor begins. The Jewish people begin a powerful struggle for survival, with “labor pains” that will end with a totally new-born nation rightly related to their Messiah and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. This is that 70th week.
As the angel Gabriel described this 70th week to Daniel, he said it was “to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”
As the seven years of tribulation come to its halfway point, the Antichrist declares he is God and demands that all worship him as God. The Jews realize he is not their Messiah, and as Zechariah 12:10 tells us, “They look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn as one mourns for his first-born son…” They will celebrate this new revelation at the Feast of Atonement after the Antichrist reveals his true identity at the mid-point of the 70th week.
Then comes that half of the period called the Great Tribulation because it brings in all of the vicious actions of the Antichrist as he sets up the Mark of the Beast, killing all who do not take the mark. The preview in chapter 6 tells of this increased judgment as Jesus opens that sixth seal.
The Antichrist and his false prophet are coming into their ultimate goal, the solitary 8th head of the Beast, as foretold in Revelation 17. All opposition has been conquered… except God. The Second Coming of Jesus wraps up the end of that 70th week at the Feast of Tabernacles of that time. And the Antichrist and the false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire to burn forever and ever.
As Jesus takes authority over the world from the “throne of David” in Jerusalem for the Millennium, then the angel’s message comes forward, and there is “an end to transgressions, to sins and inequities, and everlasting righteousness is brought in to finish the missing “70th week of Daniel.”
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