Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy
When looking at prophecy, you have to ask yourself, why was it written. So many prophecies seem to be written in a way that is very difficult to understand, and if we can’t understand them why are they there? We first have to ask ourselves- Am I seeking out God, and am I prayerfully studying and searching the holy scriptures? In order for anyone to understand God’s mysteries, they have to seek them. If you don’t seek, you don’t find- it’s simple as that. Jesus instructed us to do the opposite- Seek and you shall find!
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
Looking to Daniel’s 70 week prophecy, this is a vital prophecy in Christianity today. Many Christians use this prophecy to explain their end times doctrines, so of course it is vitally important to get it right. Many Christians instead of seeking, rely on the testimony of their fathers generation after generation without even attempting to seek the truth by a connection with God the Father through Jesus the Son. Those that aren’t truly seeking, probably won’t even have read this far on this page. When we are connected with God, he reveals His mysteries to us constantly. The only way to get this right, is to prayerfully study the scriptures and history, and allow God to lead you to what he wants you to see. This page is designed to help in your research of this prophecy, and we advise you to do the research on your own. Let’s start by reading Daniels 70 week prophecy. It can be found in Daniel 9:24-27:
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. ~ Daniel 9:24-27
There are many questions that must be answered to understand this prophecy:
What time period was Daniel living in?
What People is he referring to?
When was the commandment to restore and rebuild Israel?
What Holy City is he speaking of?
What does 70 Weeks mean- what period of time?
What does 7 weeks and three score and 2 weeks mean?
What does 3 score and 2 weeks mean?
When was the wall of the city rebuilt?
Who is the Messiah?
What is the covenant that is confirmed for a week?
What causes sacrifice to cease?
DANIELS TIME PERIOD:
Daniel was living in the time of the Babylonian captivity. At this time, Jerusalem was already attacked by the Babylonians, and the temple of Solomon was destroyed. He wrote these things somewhere around 560BC.
WHAT PEOPLE IS HE REFERRING TO?:
Daniel was Jewish, and the prophecy was given for “his (thy) people”, so they are talking about the Jews. 70 weeks are determined for the Jews.
WHEN WAS THE COMMANDMENT TO RESTORE AND REBUILD ISRAEL?:
There were three decrees to rebuild, so it is vital that we pick the correct decree. Jeremiah had prophecied many years earlier that the Israelites would return to Jerusalem. He said: God had promised, “After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” ~ Jeremiah 29:10
1. Decree of Cyrus 536BC –
Based on the prophecy of Jeremiah, many years later in Ezra 1:1-4, there was a decree from Cyrus:
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.~ Ezra 1:1-4
This decree was issued in the year 536BC. This is a decree to rebuild the temple “house of God”, but not a command to “restore and rebuild” Jerusalem as a whole. To restore Jerusalem, they would have to restore the whole city, and the power of the Jews to rule over their people there. This decree doesn’t fit Daniel’s prophecy.
2. Decree of Darius I 520BC– This can be found recorded in Ezra 6:1-12:
Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. ~ Ezra 6:7-8
Again this is a decree to restore the temple of God, but not a complete restoration of Jerusalem.
3. Decree of Artzxerxes I (Longimanus) 457BC– This can be found in Ezra 7:25-26. Ezra was authorized by the King as a priest and scribe to return to Jerusalem and to restore the Jewish system based on the laws of God. He was also given gold and silver to furnish the temple, and was told that the King’s treasurers in Jerusalem would give him whatever he needed to beautify God’s house.
And thou, Ezra, 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 whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.~ Ezra 7:25-26
While the building began, the city was in now way being restored until Ezra received this command from the King in 457 BC. This decree fulfils Daniels prophecy, as this is the only decree of the three that involves restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem to what it was before.
WHAT HOLY CITY IS HE REFERRING TO?
We can surmise that the holy city he is referring to is the holy city of the Jews, Jerusalem. This is the capital of the Israelites promised land, and remained the holy city for the Jews ever since.
WHAT DOES THE TIME PERIOD OF 70 WEEKS MEAN?
Seeing that we are looking at a time period beginning in 457BC, and we are referring to the coming of the Messiah, I think that we can all agree that 70 weeks doesn’t mean 70 actual weeks. We know that the Messiah didn’t come a little over a year after the rebuilding of Jerusalem so that just doesn’t fit. Looking to the bible, there are a few places that allude to a day=year principle. See the following verses (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6-7). If we apply the day=year principle to 70 weeks, we get- 70 weeks = 490 days = 490 years.
WHAT DOES 7 WEEKS & THREE SCORE WEEKS & TWO WEEKS MEAN?
Again using the day=year principle we can figure this out. Also understand that in the bible, a “score”=20. Doing the addition- 7 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 2 = 69 weeks. 69 weeks = 483 days = 483 years.
WHAT DOES THREE SCORE AND TWO WEEKS MEAN?
Using again the same day=year principle, and the fact that a score=20, doing the addition we find- 20 + 20 + 20 + 2 = 62 weeks. 62 weeks = 434 days = 434 years.
WHEN WAS THE WALL OF THE CITY REBUILT?
The dates are vague on this, some encyclopedia sources say that the wall was completed around 404-408BC, others have dated the wall to the 5th centure BCE. Dates aren’t as conclusive on this topic as others.
WHO IS THE MESSIAH?
This of course is the only Messiah known to come from the Jewish lineage- Jesus Christ himself. He was originally the Messiah for the Jews, but became the Messiah for all. (NOTE: Jesus was actually born in 3BC according to recent discoveries and records of the kings of His time)
WHAT IS THE COVENANT CONFIRMED FOR A WEEK?
We can find clear evidence in the bible that Jesus came to confirm the covenant of the Jews. Let’s take a look:
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers ~ Romans 15:8
WHAT CAUSED THE SACRIFICE TO CEASE?
In the Old Testament, there were the ten commandments, and then there were the sacrifical laws that were added because of the transgressions of the people. These were daily sacrifices, and then once a year the high priest would offer a sacrifice to God for the transgressions of all of the people. When Jesus died, he caused the sacrifice to cease because he bore the sins of all men. There was no longer a need for the sacrifice, or the sacrificial laws.
With this understanding let’s read the prophecy again, and insert what we know (underlined):
490 Yearsare determined upon the Jews and upon Jerusalem, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (457 BC) unto the Coming of Jesus shall be 483 Years (NOTE: This comes to 26/27AD, the approximate time that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times (Wall rebuilt in 404-408BC). And after 434 Years shall Jesus be cut off (434 Years from when the wall was rebuilt assuming 404BC comes to the year 30/31AD, the approximate time Jesus was crucified), but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (The city and the sanctuary were sacked and destroyed in 70AD by the Romans, and this was predicted by Jesus himself to come). And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (Jesus confirmed the covenant with the Jews beginning with his ministry after his baptism. His ministry focused on the Jews only, and rarely did he reach out to the Gentiles, only in cases where the Gentiles were seeking him in faith. This covenant lasted until approximately 3 years after Jesus death when the gospel was finally brought to the Gentiles. This is the last week of Daniel’s 70 weeks): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (in 30AD Jesus sacrificed himself putting an end to all Sacrificial laws and causing sacrifice to cease. Seeing that the beginning of the last week was around 26/27AD and the end of the last week will be around 33/34AD, this is in the middle or midst of the week), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Because of the abominations of the Jewish people, came the abomination of desolation where Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans, and the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Jesus himself warned that this would come and instructed the people that when they see the armies surrounding the city, to flea for the mountains and turn back for nothing. Those that were Christ’s believers in 70 AD escaped the destruction of Jerusalem by following Jesus instructions. At the end of the 70 weeks, around 33/34 AD Salvation was finally offered to the Gentiles after the death of Deacon Stephen. You can read in Acts that as he was being stoned, the Jews laid their tunics at the feet of Saul, who soon after became the Apostle Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles. The days prophecied for the Jews alone was completed at the end of the 70 weeks) ~ Daniel 9:24-27
Do you see the importance of this prophecy? It tells us with precision exactly when the Jews could expect the Messiah, Jesus Christ to come. This wasn’t understood at the time of Christ, but can be understood now as we look upon history and compare. The important thing to understand, is that this prophecy has been fulfilled. Many Christians believe that the last week of this 70 weeks hasn’t happened, or won’t come until the end times, and they call it a final 7 year tribulation period. I urge you to study and search the scriptures so that you can see the truth, and so that you know what to expect in these end times. The above picture is a quick simple example of what this prophecy contains. Below is another chart describing a widely accepted doctrine in many Christian churches, a doctrine that doesn’t seem to match up with Daniel’s prophecy. For some reason they’ve inserted a gap of thousands of years between the 69th week and the 70th week, something that can’t be substantiated or confirmed by any biblical scripture.
The end times events that are getting ready to unfold may catch many by surprise, and for this reason it is more important than ever to prayerfully search the scriptures, connect with God through Jesus Christ and pray that you can see what you will need to know for the coming days. According to the bible, the events of the end time are very different than what the majority believe. Remember, narrow is the way that leads to God’s kingdom. There are many other prophecies throughout the bible that will help us to understand our future, and we pray that you “seek” what God wants you to see.