In this article, we are going to examine a vision which is commonly referred to as The 70 Weeks of Daniel.
The people of Israel were in their final days of captivity in ancient Babylon when the prophet Daniel received this vision.
To begin with, this vision establishes three parameters.
AN ALLOTMENT OF PROPHETIC TIME
The first parameter is that these “70 Weeks” are an allotment of prophetic time, where predicted Biblical events are fulfilled.
Prophetically speaking, each “week” or “seven” has a duration of seven years.
So the 70 Weeks of Daniel encompasses a time span of 490 years.
- PEOPLE OF ISRAEL
The second parameter is that the fulfillment of this vision are for the benefit of (and directly involve) the people of Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem.
The third parameter is that this vision is a series of predicted events, with each event being a sign, which indicates the start or the finish of a phase within the 70 Weeks.
Take for example these six events listed in Daniel 9:24.
These six events designate the “finish” of this 490 year allotment of prophetic time.
And since “sin” still exist, we know that this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled and is predicted to take place at the second coming, when The-Son-of-Man will put “an end of sin”…
…and anoint the most Holy Place…
… at His second coming, when He establishes His kingdom on earth.
BEGINS WITH A DECREE
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Moshiach the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (Daniel 9:25 KJVm)
The event, which designated the start of this allotment is the issuing of an official document, which restores the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee (Ezra 7:13 KJV)
This event was fulfilled in 457 BC when Persian King Atexerxes1 issued a decree, which freed Israel from captivity in Babylon encouraging the people of Israel to return and restore to the city of Jerusalem.
But Jerusalem was still in total ruin from the Babylonian siege, which occurred 70 years earlier.
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their Eloah which is in Jerusalem: (Ezra 7:16 KJVm)
So the returning Israelis had to begin the building process. To this end, King Artexerxes financed the project.
And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my Elohim was on me, the king granted my requests. (Nehemiah 2:8)
The building process was still in affect 13 years later under Hezekiah. But it was the decree issued in 457 BC, which initiated the start of the 70 Weeks and with the issuing of this decree this predicted event was fulfilled and the 490 year count down began.
FIRST ADVENT PREDICTED
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. (Daniel 9:25 KJVm)
The next event predicted in this vision is the first advent of Messiah. Which was predicted to occurred 69 weeks or 483 years after the issuing of the decree.
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. (Daniel 9:26 KJVm)
The vision even goes so far as to predict the execution (cut off) of Messiah.
Studies have shown that The-Son-of-Man’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem…
…and He was “cut off” as predicted, 483 years after the issuing of the edict by king Artaxerxes.
And with the Master’s crucifixion…
…the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s vision were fulfilled.
However, if the “Seventy Weeks” were continuous, then the remaining “week” would have been completed seven years after The-Son-of-Man’s crucifixion.
After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. (Daniel 9:26 NIV)
But the continuation of war…
…and sin are indications that Daniel’s vision of Seventy Weeks is not yet complete…
…leaving seven years of allotted prophetic time yet to be fulfilled.
This remaining seven years is often referred to asthe 70th Week of Daniel.
Identifying more details concerning the 70th Week of Daniel will be the focus of the next article.