Daniel 9 – The Seventy Weeks
We read in Daniel chapter 9 that Daniel knew by the writings of Jeremy the prophet, that 70 years were appointed by God for his people to be in Babylonian captivity and under Cyrus they would be allowed to go back to the land. But when he had the vision of chapter 8 he realized that it was for many days. Their trouble was not going to end in 70 years. That only ended the Babylonian captivity. The 70 years was over, God had judged Babylon and Darius of Media was reigning. Not much was happening, Daniel did not understand why they were not going back. Why are not the people spiritual? We feel like this sometimes, why don’t God’s people put you first in their lives when your coming is so soon?
Daniel “set his face unto the Lord” about the matter and fasted, he was so burdened. He intercedes for the people of God Identifying himself with the whole nation as though he is guilty of their sin, saying “we have sinned.” It is a wonderful prayer of repentance and abasement toward God, yet also confidence in His unchanging love and faithfulness to His people. We learn much from Daniel’s prayer of supplication, getting under the burden as though it is our burden. We are not being made kings and priest unless we inter into this ministry which is a sweet odor to God.
While Daniel was yet speaking, immediately God answered and sent Gabriel, being caused to fly swiftly and touched Daniel. The Lord reveals Himself to those that seek Him. Gabriel’s message, I am come to give thee skill and understanding, for thou art greatly beloved. Daniel was greatly beloved of the Lord, for He was faithful to the Lord and gave himself unto the Lord and God loves that. Anyone who will yield their lives to God has His special favor.
Daniel had a measure of understanding of the visions of Gentile Times, but not the length of time they would take place. He did not know it would be over several hundred years. God reveal this to Daniel, the revelation is Vs. 24-26a. “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. (These all were fulfilled by Christ). Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto 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:” We stop at the colon because this is the end of the 70 weeks of years. The period of time God would bless the Jews in their land during “Gentile Times.” It helps us to know year day counting. Simply put, it is a year for a day. So you multiply 70 weeks times 7 days and you get 490 days or 490 years. We know these are weeks of years, because this is history to us and 490 days would not be the fulfillment of this.
The 70 weeks have nothing to do with the Gentiles or the Church. It is strictly the Jewish people and Jerusalem. The church was still a hidden mystery at that time.
God breaks down those 490 years into divisions and we see when those 490 years began - V. 25 to the colon is 7 weeks, 49 years. There was 49 years from the commandment to go forth and rebuild Jerusalem unto the last prophecy in the Old Testament, the book of Malachi. Then there was 434 years from Malachi to the book of Matthew. There was no prophecy during these years. God uses His calendar of 30 days in a month and 360 days in a year, not the calendar of the nations. So 483 years were accurately fulfilled (49 + 434 = 483 years). So what part of Jesus life was fulfilled in this 69 weeks of years (483 years)? Notice V. 24 – it was determined upon the people and the holy city. So this would be His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, offering Himself as their Messiah (4 days later He was crucified).
From the colon on is what will take place because of Israel’s rejection of their Messiah. Their rejection opened the way for Satan and his man and delayed their blessings, not only for the years of the Church Age, but 7 more years of terrible judgment. There is more than 2,000 years in that colon. So the question, when was the last week fulfilled. Most Bible scholars believe it to be the unfulfilled week of V. 27. This can not be true because everything from this colon on is tribulation not blessings for the nation of Israel. So where is that other week? Well it was 7 years from the resurrection of Christ to the stoning of Steven. Messiah had come, He had finish the transgression, he made an end of sin, He made reconciliation for iniquity, He brought in everlasting righteousness. He sealed up the vision. He fulfilled prophesy and the most holy was anointed. If Israel had received their Messiah at the time of Steven message to them, He would have ushered in the Kingdom at that time. Acts 7:55, Jesus was standing ready to return if they received Him), but they didn’t they stoned Steven, rejecting their Messiah. God had expended His grace for one more week until the stoning of Steven. There was a young man holding the coats of those doing the stoning and he consented unto Steven death. His name was Saul which later became the Apostle Paul – which ushered in the Church Age. So the fulfillment of the 70 weeks is up at the stoning of Steven.
Next issue, we will read of the prince to come and the judgment of the tribulation week of 7 years.