70 Weeks (Daniel 9:20-27)

24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  (Daniel 9:24-27)

Learn it:  

            This is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in all of Scripture.  How do we measure out the time of these 70 weeks and what does it mean?  I’ll give you my opinion based on my research and I hold this with open hands knowing that God is the only one who truly understands this.  With that said, in prophecy it is typical to believe that one week equals seven years.  Then the 70 weeks is broken up into three parts.  The first 7 weeks (49 years) is what it will take for Jerusalem to be restored after the exile.  From the time that Israel is permitted to go and rebuild Jerusalem and it is finished is roughly 48 years. 

The next time period is of 62 weeks (434 years).  This measures the time from when the walls are finished till the time the “anointed one shall be cut off” (Dan. 9:26).  Most scholars believe that this is pointing towards the time that Jesus enters into Jerusalem and is arrested, beaten, and crucified.  Which is about 434 years from when Jerusalem is rebuilt.  This is an amazing prediction and only God could have done it. 

            The last week is the trickiest.  Does this last week happen right after Christ’s death or is there a gap and we are still waiting for these events to happen?  If we look at the description in Daniel and compare it to historical events there is nothing that lines up with what has been described.  Some people make arguments that it describes the fall of the temple in Israel in 70 AD but that event happened 37 years after Christ’s death.  So, they still have a mathematical issue.  I believe that there is an undetermined gap in this last week and it points to the time of tribulation.  There have been gaps in other prophecies so it’s not unheard of to assume a gap in time. 

            In the future there will be a time of seven years of great tribulation where the anti-christ will rule.  Jesus refers to this same seen in Matthew 24:15, 21-22.  In that passage Jesus is understanding that this prophecy in Daniel is still to come. 

Live it:

            The purpose of prophecy is to spur us on to reach lost people and be reunited with God.  He wants to spare us from His coming wrath, but we have to acknowledge Him as God, and He is the only one that can save us.  Who has God placed in your life for you to share with them the Gospel?  How can you play apart in His mission to redeem the world?   

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