“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. 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. 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. 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
Today’s verses are some that can lead to disagreement even among Christians. So I start with a warning that today is what my research leads me to believe. As always feel free to research this on your own. I also looked at these verses in my “Daniel’s 70 Weeks of Years” email/posting March 18, 2013 when we looked at Jesus in the Old Testament.
At that time I wrote that these verses were one of the reasons, if not the main reason, that the Messiah was expected when Jesus began His ministry. Then I mentioned that what is translated in English as weeks is actually the Hebrew word שָׁבוּעַ (šā•ḇûaʿ) which really means sevens similar to the English word dozen which means twelve. So while the Hebrew word can mean a week it can also mean any period of seven. In this case it refers to seventy sevens of years, or 490 years. But Daniel divides the 490 years into three periods as follows: seven weeks (49 years) plus sixty-two weeks (434 years) plus one week (7 years). More on this later.
In today’s verses God told Daniel that six things would happen before the end: 1) Finish transgression, 2) Put an end to all sin, 3) Atone for wickedness, 4) Bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) To seal up vision and prophecy (finish/complete) and 6) To anoint the most Holy. Looking back from today we can see that most of this has not happened. In fact the only one that has been completed is the atonement.
Let’s take a more detailed look at how the 490 years are calculated, realizing that when we are talking about ancient times the dates I use are close but may not be exact. One calculation based on these verses is as follows.. The clock starts with the decrees: Cyrus – 538 BC – Jews to return to Jerusalem, Darius – 519 BC – Reaffirmed Cyrus’ decree and allowed the rebuilding of the temple and Artaxerxes – 458 – first decree and then in 445 the second decree to rebuild Jerusalem
The sevens are first seven sevens (49 years) was the time it took to rebuild the temple then sixty-two sevens or the time from the finishing of the rebuilding to the triumphal entry (Luke 19:41-44).
Artaxerxes decree was issued on March 14, 445 BC. The Messiah was to come 483 years later. This is 173,880 days (note: there was only 1 year between 1 BC and 1 AD, there was no year 0) this would put the triumphal entry on April 6, 32 AD, a Sunday. This calculation puts Jesus entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday during what many consider the proper timeframe.
Daniel 9:26 tells us that the Anointed One will be cut off as well as the destruction of the city and the Temple. This leads us to the last seven which has yet to come. This would be The End Times or the seven years of the Tribulation. Finally Daniel 9:27 tells us of The Antichrist.
Why the gaps? I cannot say for sure but I think the gaps are misdirection. What I mean is we can focus on the gaps and miss what God is telling us. We want things on our timetable and to fit how we think things should work. When we do that we are putting God in a box. That is the last thing anyone needs to do.
Have a blessed day,