Chapter 26, Part 1 Preview: Among the most important prophecies in the Scriptures, the one usually referred to as the “Seventy Weeks Prophecy” stands out. It is the “chief cornerstone”, so to speak, of Messianic prophecies because it establishes the time line of both the (so called) First and Second Comings of the Messiah. In fact, it is the only pre “Messianic” Scripture that calls the Messiah the “Messiah”; so technically, it is the only “Messianic” prophecy of old. The Daniel 9 prophecy is very specific. It pinpoints four exact “milestone” events, and three of them were prophetic. For several centuries individuals have been able to approximate within a few years, the Messianic timetable. Some few have even been able to pinpoint the very years, but there is absolutely no consensus on how the details have been—and yes will be fulfilled.
This has been the largest study that I have ever done. I looked at well over one hundred web sites to get as many perspectives as possible. Of course there was a fair amount of similar material and a lot of conflicting material. I tried to incorporate as much useful material as I could compile, not leaving out anything that might be of use. I'll have to admit that it left my head spinning. Perhaps when I get more spare time on my hands I’ll revisit this topic and revise it some. There is plenty of food for thought here.
You would not think that the exact day and year of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) crucifixion would be nearly lost in history, and would be the topic of such voluminous debate. In this chapter an attempt is made to reconcile all of the loose ends, while exposing many of the errors that are commonly endorsed. The end point of the 70 weeks prophecy is an exact seven year period. Daniel’s prophecies contain the keys to understanding the chronology of the end time events that precede the coming of The Everlasting Kingdom. Numerous other prophecies address the events of the end of the age of human rule, but not the timetable:
Daniel 7:27-28The kingdom and the sovereignty, and the majesty of every kingdom under every sky will be given to the kadosh ones, the people of the Highest One. His kingdom is an Everlasting Kingdom, and every sovereign will serve, hear and obey Him.’
28 “This is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts alarmed me greatly, and my 'face turned pale', but I kept the matter to myself.—The Gabriel Version
The timing and implications of Daniel’s prophecies were meant to be understood—now more than ever. The lives of many of us who live into this period will depend on having at least somewhat of an understanding of these things!
This phrase “Seventy weeks” is derived from the opening words of many English translations: “Seventy weeks have been decreed” (Daniel 9:24). This is really an inaccurate wording because the Hebrew word “shavuim”, really means “sevens”, and can refer to seven of anything. It should say: “Seventy sevens have been decreed....” Its meaning always depends on the context. Here, the context is most certainly referring to years—seventy sevens of years, a total of 490 years. This was not an uncommon usage of the word “seven” in the Hebrew language. There were weeks of days, weeks of months and weeks of years. So the phrase refers to seventy “seven-year periods”. There are seven of these in every Jubilee cycle.
I strongly suspect that when Yeshua said “seventy times seven” in the following illustration, He was actually telling Peter that we must “forgive” “until” the “seventy times seven” year period is accomplished.
Matthew 18:22-23 Yeshua replied, “I tell you, not just seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 This is why the Kingdom of the Heavens can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
Yeshua was hinting about His prophesied fulfillment of a time line and not about an indefinite period of time! After Judgment Day—which is where this prophecy concludes—it will do little good to forgive the condemned “for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet” (Malachi 4:3)! The account concludes that Elohim, (God), just as a righteous earthly king, will punish the evil ones when it is time for judgment.
Matthew 18:34-35 Then his master became greatly incensed and handed him over to the jailor/torturers until he could repay his entire debt. 35 My Father in the Heavenly realm will treat each of you the same way unless you endeavor to disregard your neighbor’s shortcomings.”
The “Seventy Weeks” prophecy is among the most controversial few verses in the Bible. The web search I did provided endless different explanations. Many themes reappear frequently but in different combinations. Finding out exactly how this prophecy works is of supreme importance for determining the chronology not only of the Messiah’s literally earth shaking ze’bak (sacrifice) but also the timing of His so-called Second Coming, tho He has actually been here many times in the past.
The Pharisees asked Yeshua for a sign—proof of His being the Messiah. Yeshua answered that the only sign He would give to prove that He was our Messiah was that He would be “in the inner part of the earth for THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS” (Matthew 12:39-40). Skeptical? Well, you are in good company, for none of His disciples waited near the tomb for His resurrection. And upon hearing that He had arisen, exactly three days later, they were skeptics too.
Before going any further, it is of paramount importance that you understand that the Messiah was crucified on a Wednesday. You cannot fully understand the seventy week’s prophecy without first understanding the Biblical references pertaining to the chronology of the Messiah’s last days here on earth. The evidence is overwhelming! The opposition only has tradition to stand on, and a proclivity to dismiss some of Yeshua’s own statements! If you have not yet considered this minority viewpoint, then please stroll on over to this link for a look at the issue: Good Friday is a Myth; [Yeshua] Died on a Wednesday! As usual, some peripheral statements differ from the views expressed on this site. Here there are peripherals are about “heaven” and the “Jewish calendar”. Don’t forget to stroll back! (Written records date the restoration of this simple truth back to at least 1724).
I’ve known since the 1960’s that reconciling the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation is a massive challenge. As a teen I found and read a 19th century copy of Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith. (Other kids read this kind of stuff—right?) It took Smith 768 pages (at least in the newer versions available for sale on the web) to explain the details of Daniel and Revelation as he understood them. I have been putting off an extensive study of at least some of Daniel’s prophecies ever since that long ago time when I first wondered if all of these things were true. Recently [in 2005], someone at a Sabbath Assembly asked me to explain the seventy weeks and I was a bit short on answers. That among several other factors led me into this study.
The audience for this marvelous prophecy is the Israelite people and especially the future inhabitants of Jerusalem. The opening words of the prophecy make this unmistakable. But the ramifications of these events will affect “many”. Because the Beast is king over ten kings, or kingdoms, with aspirations for a New World Order and “many” nations is implied. Here is the entire prophecy:
Daniel 9:24-27 Seventy sets of seven time periods have been assigned for your people and your kadosh city to end the rebellion, to put a stop to sin, to reconcile injustices, to usher in everlasting morality, to seal up the prophet’s vision, and to anoint the Most Kadosh place. 25 So know and understand that from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Messiah], the Prince arrives, there will be seven sets of seven time periods, and sixty-two sets of seven time periods. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in distressful times. 26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing, and the people of the coming leader will destroy the city and the Temple, and its end will be with a flood, and all the way to the end there will be war, desolation is determined. 27 He [the desolator] will make a firm contract [covenant] with many for one period of seven. Then in the middle of the period of seven he’ll stop the zebakim and the offerings. The desolator will introduce abominations [or idols] thru a wing of the Temple [[JFB commentary], until the predetermined end time, when wrath will be poured out on the awestruck.’”
Other versions use the word “consumption” or “consummation” in verse 27 rather than “end time”, but no matter how you view this word, it marks the end of human rule: “... even until the consummation”
Daniel 9:26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One [Messiah] will be cut off , and will have nothing, and the 'cohorts' of the coming prince will destroy the city and the Kadosh Place and its end will be with a flood, and all the way to the end there will be war, desolation is determined.
Verse 25 of the 69 weeks, works out perfectly, but verse 26 appears to be saying that the Anointed One is “cut off” (killed) after week 62 but that the first advent—His coming, would follow week 69! Here is how the JFB Commentary explains it:
25. from the going forth of the commandment—namely the command from God, whence originated the command of the Persian king (Ezra 6:14). AUBERLEN remarks, there is but one Apocalypse in each Testament. Its purpose in each is to sum up all the preceding prophecies, previous to the “troublous times” of the Gentiles, in which there was to be no revelation. Daniel sums up all the previous Messianic prophecy, separating into its individual phases what the prophets had seen in one and the same perspective, the temporary deliverance from captivity and the anti typical final Messianic deliverance. The seventy weeks are separated (Daniel 9:25-27) into three unequal parts, seven, sixty-two, one. The seventieth is the consummation of the preceding ones, as the Sabbath of God succeeds the working days; an idea suggested by the division into weeks. In the sixty-nine weeks Jerusalem is restored, and so a place is prepared for Messiah wherein to accomplish His sabbatic work (Daniel 9:25,26) of “confirming the covenant” (Daniel 9:27). [Apparently a common error: the Beast confirms it.] The Messianic time is the Sabbath of Israel’s history, in which it had the offer of all God’s mercies, but in which it was cut off for a time by its rejection of them. As the seventy weeks end with seven years, or a week, so they begin with seven times seven, that is, seven weeks. As the seventieth week is separated from the rest as a period of revelation, so it may be with the seven weeks. The number seven is associated with revelation; for the seven Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5). Ten is the number of what is human; for example, the world power issues in ten heads and ten horns (Daniel 2:42, 7:7). Seventy is ten multiplied by seven, the human molded by the divine. The seventy years of exile symbolize the triumph of the world power over Israel. In the seven times seventy years the world number ten is likewise contained, that is, God’s people is still under the power of the world (troublous times); but the number of the divine is multiplied by itself; seven times seven years, at the beginning a period of Old Testament revelation to God’s people by Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi, whose labors extend over about half a century, or seven weeks, spirits of God are the mediators of all His revelations (and whose writings are last in the canon; and in the end, seven years, the period of New Testament revelation in Messiah. The commencing seven weeks of years of Old Testament revelation are hurried over, in order that the chief stress might rest on the Messianic week. Yet the seven weeks of Old Testament revelation are marked by their separation from the sixty-two, to be above those sixty-two wherein there was to be none. Messiah the Prince—Hebrew, Nagid. Messiah is Yeshua’s title in respect to Israel (Psalms 2:2, Matthew 27:37,42). Nagid, as Prince of the Gentiles (Isaiah 55:4). Nagid is applied to Titus, only as representative of Christ, who designates the Roman destruction of Jerusalem as, in a sense, His coming (Matthew 24:29-31, John 21:22). Messiah denotes His calling; Nagid, His power. He is to “be cut off, and there shall be nothing for Him.” (So the Hebrew for “not for Himself,” Daniel 9:26, ought to be translated). Yet He is “the Prince” who is to “come”, by His representative at first, to inflict judgment, and at last in person.”
“wall—the “trench” or “scarped rampart” [TREGELLES]. The street and trench include the complete restoration of the city externally and internally, which was during the sixty-nine weeks.
“26. after threescore and two weeks—rather, the threescore and two weeks. In this verse, and in Daniel 9:27, Messiah is made the prominent subject, while the fate of the city and sanctuary are secondary, being mentioned only in the second halves of the verses. Messiah appears in a twofold aspect, salvation to believers, judgment on unbelievers (Luke 2:34; compare Malachi 3:1-6, 4:1-3). He repeatedly, in Passion week, connects His being “cut off” with the destruction of the city, as cause and effect (Matthew 21:37-41, 23:37,38, Luke 21:20-24, 23:28-31). Israel might naturally expect Messiah’s kingdom of glory, if not after the seventy years’ captivity, at least at the end of the sixty-two weeks; but, instead of that, shall be His death, and the consequent destruction of Jerusalem.
“not for himself—rather, “there shall be nothing to Him” [HENGSTENBERG]; not that the real object of His first coming (His spiritual kingdom) should be frustrated; but the earthly kingdom anticipated by the Jews should, for the present, come to naught, and not then be realized. TREGELLES refers the title, “the Prince” (Daniel 9:25), to the time of His entering Jerusalem on an ass’s colt, His only appearance as a king, and six days afterward [actually four] put to death as “King of the Jews.”
“the people of the prince—the Romans, led by Titus, the representative of the world power, ultimately to be transferred to Messiah, and so called by Messiah’s title, “the Prince”; as also because sent by Him, as His instrument of judgment (Matthew 22:7).
“end thereof—of the sanctuary. TREGELLES takes it, “the end of the Prince,” the last head of the Roman power, Antichrist.
“with a flood—namely, of war (Psalms 90:5, Isaiah 8:7,8, 28:18). Implying the completeness of the catastrophe, “not one stone left on another.”
“unto the end of the war—rather, “unto the end there is war.”
“determined—by God’s decree (Isaiah 10:23, 28:22). —Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary
Before going further, I’d like to consider the “flood”. The details of the seventieth week specify: “and his end [the Beast’s] shall be with a flood”. The word “flood” can be rendered “overflowing”. There is plenty of evidence that this flood is a metaphoric term for the onslaught of a colossal army. The related Hebrew words “shataph” and “sheteph” are very similar and both imply a flood. The Beast will get a taste of his own medicine.
This quote from Isaiah speaks of the army of the King of Assyria as “mighty flood waters”. Interestingly, this “flood” also has a “wing” or “wings” as Daniel mentioned!
Isaiah 8:6-9 “These people have refused the gently flowing water of Shiloah, and are delighted with Rezin and Remaliah’s son.” 7 That is why Yehovah is going to cause the Euphrates River to rise against the king of Assyria and all his power. It will overflow all its channels, and run over all its banks. 8 It will rush into Judah. It will overflow and pass thru, it will reach neck-deep, and its outspread wings will cover the width of your land, Emmanuel. 9 “Be broken, you nations; be crushed! Pay attention, all you distant countries. Prepare for battle, but be terrified!
Daniel used both “shataph” and “sheteph” two chapters later in the same type of context.
Daniel 11:21-22 “A contemptible person will emerge in his place, who won’t have been given a title of royalty. He’ll come in a time of peace, and seize the kingdom via conspiracy. 22 A flood of overwhelming forces will be swept away before him and shattered, including a covenant leader.
Now there is no doubt that the flood reference is about an outpouring of troops. I take it that wing/s in these instances mean “extreme”. The extreme “abominations” will be ended by an army “stretching out” to the extreme “breadth of your land”.
The Messiah is but one of many names that our Savior is called. He is also called: “Shiloh” (Genesis 49:10), “Angel [Messenger] of the Lord” [Yehovah], “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty Elohim, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” ( Isaiah 9:6), the “Root of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:10), the “Branch” (several refs.), the “chief cornerstone” (Psalms 118:22), and more.
Yet a significant portion of the audience for this prophecy is hiding under their beds.
“A variety of opinion is present as to possible fulfillment of the prophecy. This passage has caused great concern for Jews as it suggests through any cursory calculation that their Messiah should already have come. It is for this reason that a curse was placed on any who attempt to calculate the end times. Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, better known as “Maimonides”, is one of the most prominent exegetes in Jewish history, and he wrote of this exact concern in his Igeret-Teiman. His viewpoint was that the timing was sealed up so that none should attempt to calculate when the Messiah was coming, and he was concerned that the “untutored” would be led astray upon finding that the Messiah’s time had already come. Rabbi Judah haNasi, one of the most respected teachers in Rabbinical Judaism for his work in assemblage of the Talmud, had a less hopeful viewpoint on the matter, indicating that the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy was long past.” (Sanhedrin 98a and 97a)—Wikipedia
For this prophecy to be completed, six things must be accomplished over a period of 490 years:
The links from the Thomas Ice Collection below concerning these six aspects of the 70 weeks prophecy provide the best explanation on this topic that I have seen. These links go thru the above six points with remarkable credibility. The main point made is that on close inspection, none of the six points have been fulfilled! Only the conditions concerning the Messiah’s death that were prerequisite up to their fulfillment have been fulfilled. These six events will all be fulfilled at the end of the age.
The most readily apparent “gap” in prophecy is found in the book of Luke:
Luke 4:16-20 He went to Nazareth where He had been raised, and He went into the synagogue, as usual, on the Sabbath and stood up to read. 17 He was handed the scroll of Isaiah the prophet. Yeshua unrolled the scroll and found the place where it says: 18 “The spirit of Yehovah is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the oppressed and to herald release from bondage to the captives, to give the blind vision, to assure the penitent by liberating them from their sins, 19 and to announce the Acceptable Year of Yehovah.” 20 He rolled up the scroll and gave it to the attendant and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue was gazing at Him.