9:24. The prophecy of the seventy weeks is crucial for understanding biblical prophecy. Every statement in verses 24–27 is important and deserves special attention. The first interpretive prob lem is the meaning of the expression seventy weeks. The word weeks is a Hebrew word shab?a? that can refer to any period of seven: seven days, seven months, seven years, and so on. Only the context indicates what period of seven is intended. There are four good reasons for believing that the “seven” intended here is a period of seven years: (1) Daniel has just been concerned about years (vv. 1, 2). (2) It is impossible to fit the events of verses 24–27 into 490 days or weeks. (3) In the only other place where Daniel uses the word week, he qualifies it by adding the word days (10:2, 3). (4) Finally, the fact that verse 27 speaks of a covenant being broken at the half-way point of the seventieth seven agrees well with Daniel 7:25, 12:7, and Revelation 12:14, which speak of three-and-one-half years as one-half of a week. In sum, verse 24 declares that God had determined a period of 490 years to accomplish six key activities on behalf of Israel. Each divine act is marked out by an infinitive: to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, and so on. The first three are negative and the last three are positive.
Seventy Weeks Prophecy
9:24. These 70 prophetic weeks of Daniel’s vision describe God’s dealings with Israel, and are divided into two periods—the first 69 weeks, and the final (seventieth) week. During this period, the messianic work of God will be completed. According to Daniel’s prophecy, at the end of the sixty-ninth week, the Messiah will be cut off and the city of Jerusalem, including the temple, destroyed. This particular dispensation—which was among God’s secret things in the Old Testament but is a mystery revealed in the New Testament—falls within this gap. The 70 weeks began from the only biblical decree authorizing the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its wall (Neh. 2). It is dated in the Jewish month of Nissan 445 b.c. Using a 360-day year (12 30-day months; cf. Gen. 7:11 with 8:4; 7:24 with 8:3; Rev. 12:6, 7, 13, 14 with 13:4–7), Sir Robert Anderson calculated the end of the sixty-ninth week to fall on Palm Sunday, just before the Lord’s crucifixion. Illustration: Just as the events of the first 69 weeks have been literally fulfilled, so will be the events of the final week. Application: The Christian should realize that God is not yet through with Israel. (First Reference, Deut. 29; Primary Reference, Dan. 9:24; cf. Luke 21:24.)
9:25. The commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem is said to be the point of commencement for the 490-year period. At least four decrees mentioned in Scripture have been set forth by various scholars as the fulfillment of this prophecy: the decree of Cyrus in 539 b.c. (2 Chr. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:1–4); the decree of Darius I in 519/518 b.c. (Ezra 6:1, 6–12); the decree of Artaxerxes I to Ezra in 457 b.c. (Ezra 7:11–26); and the decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 b.c. (Neh. 2:1–8). Only the last decree, however, could have fulfilled this statement, since it was the only one of the four that specifically concerned the rebuilding of the city. Cyrus’s decree was for the purpose of rebuilding the temple. Darius’s decree simply confirmed the intent of Cyrus’s earlier decree. Artaxerxes’ decree to Ezra was concerned only with the return of additional exiles and with the beautification of the temple. Only Artaxerxes’ decree to Nehemiah refers directly to the restoration of the city. According to Nehemiah 2:1–8 this decree was given in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes in the month Nisan, or March-April, 444 b.c. From this date to the Messiah will transpire a period of seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks, or 483 years. See the note on verse 24 for the explanation of the week as seven years. The reason the first 69 “weeks” are subdivided into two periods of seven and 62 is uncertain, but clearly these 69 weeks run consecutively with no gap between them.
9:26. After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off: This phrase assumes that the first seven weeks (for a week equalling seven years, see the note on v. 24) have already transpired and thus serves to summarize the passing of 69 weeks of years (483 years). There is a gap of time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks. This is indicated by the statement that the Messiah will be cut off after the 69 weeks. Daniel used a calculation of time based upon prophetical years (360 days), rather than solar years, (365 days). The same calculation is used in the Book of Revelation where “a time, and times, and half a time” (Rev. 12:14) equals 1,260 days or 42 months (cf. Dan. 7:24, 25; 12:7; Rev. 11:3; 12:6; 13:5). In each case the calculation is based upon 30-day months.
The Messiah’s being cut off refers to the crucifixion of Christ, which probably occurred on April 3, a.d. 33. The sixty-ninth week ended just prior to His crucifixion, probably at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The time span from Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild the city in March 444 b.c. until Christ’s crucifixion in April a.d. 33 covered 483 prophetical years (173,880 days). This calculation agrees perfectly with our own solar calendar. Thus, Daniel predicted that 483 prophetic years would lapse from Artaxerxes’ decree until the death of the Messiah. The final week of years (Daniel’s seventieth week) is left unexplained and is best taken to be the equivalent to the seven years of tribulation that are yet determined for Israel.
The prince that shall come is the little horn of 7:8 who will emerge from the fourth, or Roman Empire. He is known elsewhere in Scripture as the Antichrist. However, the present verse states that the people of the prince, and not the prince himself, will destroy the city. This prophecy was fulfilled in a.d. 70 when Titus, the Roman general, destroyed the city of Jerusalem, killing thousands.
9:27. He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: The pronoun he here refers to its nearest antecedent, “the prince that shall come,” or Antichrist, in verse 26. The commencement of the future seventieth “week” (see the note on v. 24 for the seven-year length of a “week”) then occurs when the Antichrist makes a covenant with the Jews for a seven-year period. It will evidently be a covenant intended to provide peace for Israel. However, in the middle of the period, the Antichrist will break this covenant and cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, that is, put an end to Jewish worship and set himself up as an object of worship (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:8).
The statement that for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate refers to what Jesus called “the abomination of desolation” (Matt. 24:15). It foreshadows the act of sacrilege when the Antichrist ends organized religion and demands that he be worshiped. This final seventieth week is also known in Scripture as the Tribulation (Matt. 24:21). Revelation 4–19 is an exposition of what will take place during this period. The seventieth week will end when Christ returns to the earth to establish His kingdom (Rev. 19:11–21)
9:24–26 Seventy weeks … from … until. These are weeks of years, whereas weeks of days are described in a different way (10:2, 3). The time spans from the Persian Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem, ca. 445 b.c. (Ne 2:1–8), to the Messiah’s kingdom. This panorama includes: 1) 7 weeks or 49 years, possibly closing Nehemiah’s career in the rebuilding of Jerusalem as well as the end of the ministry of Malachi and the close of the OT; 2) 62 weeks or 434 more years for a total of 483 years to the first advent of Messiah. This was fulfilled at the triumphal entry on 10 Nisan, a.d. 30 (see notes on Mt 21:1–9). The Messiah will be “cut off,” (a common reference to death); and 3) the final 7 years or 70th week of the time of Antichrist (cf. v. 27). Roman people, from whom the Antichrist will come, will “destroy the city” of Jerusalem and its temple in a.d. 70.
9:24 This highly complex and startlingly accurate prophecy answers Daniel’s prayer, not with reference to near history, but by giving the future of Israel in the final end of the age. God promises 2 sets of 3 accomplishments each. First, those related to sin are: 1) finish the transgression, i.e., restrain sin and Israel’s in particular in its long trend of apostasy, as in v. 11; 2) make an end of sin, i.e., to judge it with finality (cf. Heb 9:26); and 3) make atonement for iniquity, signifies to furnish the actual basis of covering sin by full atonement, the blood of the crucified Messiah who is “cut off” (v. 26), which affects the first two realities (cf. the fountain, Zec 13:1).
Second, those accomplishments related to righteousness are: 1) bring in … righteousness, the eternal righteousness of Daniel’s people in their great change from centuries of apostasy; 2) seal up vision, i.e., no more revelation is needed and God will bring these anticipations to completion by their fulfillment in Israel’s blessing as a nation; and 3) anoint the most holy place, consecrate the Holy Place in a temple of the future that will be the center of worship in the millennial kingdom (cf. Eze 40–48). Clearly this must be understood to sweep to the end of Gentile power and the time of Antichrist right before Christ’s return. Summing up, the first 3 are fulfilled in principle at Christ’s first coming, in full at His return. The last 3 complete the plan at His Second Advent.
9:27 This is clearly the end of the age, the Second Advent judgment, because the bringing in of righteousness did not occur 7 years after the death of the Messiah, nor did the destruction of Jerusalem fit the 7 year period (occurring 37 years later). This is the future 7 year period which ends with sin’s final judgment and Christ’s reign of righteousness; i.e., the return of Christ and the establishment of His rule. These 7 years constitute the 70th week of Daniel. he will make a firm covenant. “He” is the last-mentioned prince (v. 26), leader of the Roman sphere (cf. chaps. 2 and 7), the Antichrist who comes in the latter days. The time is in the future tribulation period of “one week,” i.e., the final 7 years of v. 24. He confirms (lit., causes to prevail) a 7 year covenant, his own pact with Israel for what will turn out actually to be for a shorter time. The leader in this covenant is the “little horn” of 7:7, 8, 20, 21, 24–26, and the evil leader of NT prophecy (Mk 13:14; 2Th 2:3–10; Rev 13:1–10). That he is in the future, even after Christ’s First Advent, is shown by 1) Mt 24:15; 2) by the time references that match (7:25; Rev 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5); and 3) by the end here extending to the Second Advent, matching the duration elsewhere mentioned in Daniel (2:35, 45; 7:15ff.; 12:1–3) and Rev 11:2; 12:14; 13:5. middle of the week. This is the halfway point of the 70th week of years, i.e., 7 years leading to Christ’s second coming. The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel (v. 27a), which has resumed its ancient sacrificial system. Three and a half years of tribulation remain, agreeing with the time in other Scriptures (7:25; Rev 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5; called “great tribulation,” cf. Mt 24:21) as God’s wrath intensifies. abominations … one who makes desolate. The Antichrist will cause abomination against Jewish religion. This violation will desolate or ruin what Jews regard as sacred, namely their holy temple and the honoring of God’s presence there (cf. 1Ki 9:3; 2Th 2:4). Jesus refers directly to this text in His Olivet discourse (Mt 24:15). See note on 11:31. complete destruction. God permits this tribulation under the Antichrist’s persecutions and ultimately triumphs, achieving judgment of the sin and sinners in Israel (12:7) and in the world (cf. Jer 25:31). This includes the Antichrist (11:45; Rev 19:20), and all who deserve judgment (9:24; Mt 13:41–43).
King James Version study Bible . 1997, c1988 (electronic ed.) (Da 9:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Seventy Weeks, The Vision of the
The Vision of the Seventy Weeks
The expression “seventy weeks” literally means “seventy sevens” of years. If days were meant it would be so expressed as in Dan. 10:3. Daniel’s prayer, to which this vision was an answer, did not concern days, but years (Dan. 9:2). Then too, we know from Scripture that the last week (Dan. 9:27) is divided into two parts of three and one-half years each (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:5, 14; 13:5). The whole period of “seventy sevens” is 490 years which are determined or marked off from all other years and concern only “thy people [Israel] and thy holy city [Jerusalem],” for which Daniel was praying (Dan. 6:10; 9:1-23). Six prophetic events are to take lace during these 490 Swears relative to Israel and Jerusalem for six purposes:
1. “To finish the Transgression.” The Hebrew word pasha means to revolt, rebel, or sin against lawful authority. It is often translated “transgression” (Psalms 51:13; Isa.43:27; etc.). This transgression has reference to Israel in her rebellion against God. This prophecy foretells the culmination of that rebellion. The law was added because of transgression until the Seed should come. and it served as a schoolmaster to lead Israel to Christ (Gal. 3:17-25). Israel failed to receive the Messiah and was broken off in unbelief from God’s favor as a nation. She will not be fully received again until the second coming of Christ, who will turn ungodliness from Jacob and cause a nation to be born at once (Rom.11:25-29; Isa.66:7-10; Ezek. 36:24-30).
2. “To make an end of sins.” Israel’s sins, if collected in the form of concrete matter, would fill the whole earth, for, she has been in rebellion against God from her beginning and she will be until the fulfillment of this prophecy at the return of Christ. This “end of sins” will not be made until after the tribulation, but from that time on Israel will obey God forever (Ezek. 36:24-30; 37:24-27; 43:7; Zech.4: 1 -21).
3. “To make reconciliation [atonement] for iniquity.” The Hebrew word avon means perverseness, to be crooked, or wrung out of course (1 Sam. 20:30; 2 Sam. 19:19; Job 33:37). Atonement was made on the cross for the whole world, but Israel as a nation has not yet appropriated its benefits and will not until the return of Christ (Zech.__Zechariah__13:17; Rom.11:25-27).
4. “To bring in everlasting righteousness.” When the transgression has been finished, the end of sins made, and the full benefits of the atonement will have been realized by Israel, then everlasting righteousness will be ushered in (Isa.9:6, 7; 12:1-6; Dan. 7:13, 14, 18, 27; Matt. 25:31-46; Ezek. 43:7; Rom.11:25-29).
5. “To seal up the vision and prophecy,” that is, this means to make an end of prophecies by the fulfillment of those concerning Israel and Jerusalem. The word prophecy should be translated prophet as elsewhere. It means that there will be no need of inspired men to rebuke Israel in an attempt to lead them into the way of righteousness “for all shall know the Lord from the least unto the greatest” (Jer. 31:31-40; Isa.11:9).
6. “To anoint the most Holy.” This refers to the cleansing of the holy of holies, the temple and the city of Jerusalem from the abomination of desolation and the sacrilege of Gentiles, and to the establishment and anointing of the Millennial temple of Ezek. 40-43; Zech.6:12, 13. The “most Holy” is never used of a person, nor would the Jews ever associate this term with their Messiah, who is distinguished from this term in this passage by the title “Messiah.” This vision needs no explanation other than that of the angel who interpreted the vision to Daniel. All that is needed is an understanding of the explanation, the association of it with other Scriptures on the same subject, and the determination of the time of its fulfillment.
THE 490 YEARS ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE PERIODS:
1. THE FIRST PERIOD consisted of seven sevens or forty-nine years during which time the Holy City, its street, and wall were to be built “even in troublous times” (Dan. 9:25). Therefore we see that these 490 years began with “the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah.” There were three decrees for the restoration of the city. The first decree was given during the first year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:8; Isa.44:28; 45:1-4; 46:11). Cyrus reigned nine years, then Cambyses, his son, reigned seven years. In the reign of Cambyses the work on the temple and city ceased (Ezra 4:1-24). Darius I of profane history reigned thirty-five years. In the second year of his reign he reconfirmed the decree made by Cyrus and the work was started again. The temple was finished in the sixth year of his reign, but the city was not then restored although fifty-seven years had passed since the first decree was made by Cyrus (Ezra 6:1-15). Xerxes reigned twenty-one years (Dan. 11:1-3) during which time the city was not yet completed. Artaxerxes reigned after Xerxes twenty years and he then gave the third decree to Nehemiah to restore “Jerusalem unto the Messiah” (Neh. 2:1-6: 19; Dan. 9:25, 26). Nehemiah restored the walls in fifty-two days after he reached Jerusalem, but this was by no means the full restoration. That took place seven sevens or forty-nine years after the third decree, which was given about 452 B.C.
2. THE SECOND PERIOD consists of sixty-two sevens or 434 years. It began immediately after the first period of seven sevens or forty-nine years, and continued without a break to the time when the Messiah was “cut off” or crucified (Dan. 9:26). This phrase “cut off” is from the Hebrew karate meaning “to cut off in death” (Gen. 9:11; Deut. 20:20; Jer. 11:19; Psalms 37:9). These forty-nine and 434 years make 483 years from the third decree to the crucifixion of the Messiah, or sixty-nine of the seventy sevens of years, leaving the last period of seven years concerning Israel and Jerusalem to be fulfilled after the crucifixion.
3. THE THIRD PERIOD will consist of one seven-year period better known as Daniel’s Seventieth Week. The crucifixion of the Messiah ended the sixty-ninth week and God ceased dealing with Israel as a nation. They were broken off in unbelief and their city destroyed as foretold in this same vision of seventy weeks (Dan. 9:26) and by Jesus in Matt. 21:43 23:37-39; 24:2, Luke 21:20-24. Also see Acts 13:45-49; Rom.11. This Seventieth Week will be fulfilled when Israel, partially gathered, will exist as a nation in possession of Jerusalem. That Jerusalem will be in their possession again is proved by the fact that it will again be given to the Gentiles in the middle of the Week (Rev. 11:1,2). Not one of the six above events have been fulfilled. They must be fulfilled in the future. The Seventieth Week will be the last seven years of this dispensation and will parallel the seven years covenant between Antichrist and Israel (Dan. 9:27). It is to be the time when all the events of Rev. 6:1-19:21 will be fulfilled, and when the whole tribulation will run its course. What is to happen during this Week was not revealed to Daniel in detail, but it was revealed to John. This Week of years will begin after the rapture of the church, and at the second advent, and fulfill all the above six prophetical events concerning Israel. The present Church Age comes in between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks, or during the time of Israel’s rejection. It is fulfilled before the Seventieth Week. which is primarily concerned with Israel as were the first sixty-nine weeks.
Notes For Verse 27
b [until the consummation] Until the end of the 70th week (see point 14, of The Seventy Weeks).
c [determined] Hebrew: charats (HSN-<H2782>), to point sharply; to decide; to decree (Dan. 9:26-27; Job 14:5; Isa. 10:23; 28:22). Destruction is decreed for Antichrist (Dan. 7:11,25,26; 8:25; 11:45; Isa. 11:4; Ezek. 38:17-21; 2Th. 2:8; Rev. 19:20; 20:10).
d [upon the desolate] Not upon the desolate place, but upon the one making the temple desolate.
Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.
- · The third period of one week in which Antichrist will make and break a covenant with Israel ending with the second coming of the Messiah (Rev. 4:1-19:21; Mt. 24:15-31) (9:27)
- Daniel’s fourth vision: Israel in the last days under the Antichrist (10:1-21)
- History from Darius to the future Antichrist (Dan. 11:1-34) (11:1-45)
- The great tribulation of the last 3/ years of the 70th week. The translation of the 144,000 of Rev. 7:1-8; 12:5; 14:1 (12:1-13)
- Time, place, and occasion (10:1-4)
- Gabriel detained by the angelic forces of Satan over Persia (10:13)
- Further effect on Daniel (10:15-19)
- The Prince of Grecia (10:20)
- Michael and Gabriel (10:21)
- Five years before Gabriel had helped Michael overthrow the satanic forces over Babylon so that the Prince of Persia might come (11:1)
- Four more kings over Persia before Alexander the Great (11:2)
- King of the south: Ptolemy Lagidae, one of Alexander’s generals who seized Egypt on the death of Alexander. King of the north: Seleucus I, one of Alexander’s princes and a general who seized Syria, Babylon, and Media and became greater than Ptolemy of Egypt (11:5)
- League between Egypt (south) and Syria (north) through the marriage of Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, to Antiochus Theos, the third king of Syria (11:6)
- Branch of her roots: a brother of Berenice, Ptolemy Euergetes, who invaded Syria (north) to avenge the murder of Berenice by Laodice who was divorced by Antiochus so he could marry Berenice (11:7-9)
- Defeat of Antiochus the Great by Ptolomy III of Egypt (south) (11:10-12)
- Antiochus the Great (Syria, north) renews the war after fourteen years and defeats Ptolemy V (Egypt, south) (11:13-16)
- Antiochus the Great and Ptolemy V come to terms: Antiochus gives Ptolemy his daughter who later helps her husband defeat the plans of Antiochus (11:17)
- Antiochus next makes war on Greece but is turned back by the Roman prince Scipio who defeats him at Magnesia near Smyrna (11:18-19)
- Seleucus, the son of Antiochus the Great sends Heliodorus to plunder the temple at Jerusalem and exact money from Israel(2 Macc. 3:4). This king is soon poisoned and is succeeded by Antiochus Epiphanes (11:20)
- A. He obtains his rule by flattery (11:21)
- B. He makes a league with the high priest; deals deceitfully and becomes strong (11:22-24)
- C. Makes war against Ptolemy of Egypt who is betrayed and killed and his army defeated (11:25-27)
- D. Antiochus returns in glory and victory and sets his heart to break his Jewish covenant and plunder Palestine (11:28)
- E. He leads a second expedition into Egypt but is turned back by a mandate from Rome in league with Cyprus. He then turns against the Jews and many apostate Jews help him to pollute the temple and place the abomination of desolation: a sow on the temple altar and doing away with Jewish sacrifices (11:29-31)
- F. He is resisted by the Maccabees who do exploits but are oppressed by him many days (11:32-34)
- Wars between Syria and Egypt in the last days: a prophetic description of the last king of the north, Antichrist, and his conquests of the nations and his dealings with Israel (11:35)
- The time of the vision (11:35)
- War between Syria (north) and Egypt (south) at the end time: Antichrist (Syria, north) is victorious over Egypt (south) and many countries up to the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week when the “eighth” or Revived Grecian Empire is formed (Dan. 7:24; 8:23-25; Rev. 11:7; 13:1-18; 16:10; 17:3, 8-14, 16-17; 19:19-21) (11:40-43)
- New adversaries in the north and east in the middle of the week after he has conquered and gotten control of the ten kingdoms of Revised Rome. He conquers these in the last three and a half years and then brings them into Palestine to destroy Israel as he intended to do in the middle of the week when he broke his covenant with them and planted his tabernacle in the glorious holy mountain (Dan. 11:45; 2 Th. 2:3-4; Mt. 24:15) (11:44)
- Rewards for the righteous (12:3)
- The book sealed to the end (12:4)
- Question of the angel (12:5-6)
- Daniel’s question (12:8)
- The answer: two additional periods following the 3 1/2 years (12:9-13)
The Seventy Weeks
There are 14 main parts to this prophecy. Without a clear understanding of them many other prophecies cannot be fully understood.
1. Meaning of the seventy weeks. The phrase “seventy weeks” literally means “seventy sevens” (Hebrew: for “week” is shabuwa((OT:7620), seven).
Seventy Sevens of Years because:
(1) Daniel’s prayer, to which this vision was an answer, did not concern days, but years (Daniel 9:2).
(2) The last “week” is one and is divided into 2 parts, the last half explained to be 3 ½ years, as proved in the following notes.
(3) If the last half of the 70th week is 3 ½ years, then the first half is also 3 ½ years, making the one seven of Daniel 9:27 to be 7 years.
(4) If the last or one “week” is a period of 7 years, the other “weeks” are also 7 years each. The whole period, therefore, is 70 x 7 = 490 years.
2. Division of the seventy weeks. They are divided into three main periods:
(1) The 1st division-7 weeks, 49 years for the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25)
(2) The 2nd division-62 weeks, 434 years from the completion of the city at the end of the 49 years to the time the Messiah is cut off or crucified for men (Daniel 9:25-26)
(3) The 3rd division-one week, 7 years, the last 7 years of this age, ending with the 2nd advent of Christ to fulfill the 6 events of Daniel 9:24
3. Whom do the seventy weeks concern? The whole 490 years are determined (Hebrew: chathak (OT:2852), cut off; marked off; decreed) to be fulfilled concerning thy people (Daniel’s people) and thy holy city (Daniel’s native city, Jerusalem) to fulfill the 6 events of Daniel 9:24. They do not concern the church in any sense. In fact, the church was not begun until after the 69th week, and it will be raptured before the 70th week begins (notes, 2 Thes. 2:7-8; Rev. 4:1).
4. When do they concern Israel and Jerusalem? Not during any time that she has been scattered among the nations. The 70 weeks concern Israel as a nation at Jerusalem. Since Israel was scattered and her city and temple destroyed in 70 A.D., since the 6 events of Daniel 9:24 have not yet been fulfilled, and since the 69th week ended at the crucifixion of Christ, the 70th week is the only part left to be fulfilled. During this time, the 6 events of Daniel 9:24 will be fulfilled. Still in the future, it will be fulfilled when Israel as a nation gets control of Jerusalem again.
5. Six things to be done in the 70 weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24):
(1) “To finish (put an end to) the transgression.” The Hebrew word pesha((OT:6588) means revolt; rebel; sin against lawful authority. It is often translated “transgression” (Psalm 51:1; Isaiah 43:25; etc.). This transgression has reference to the sins of Israel at Jerusalem, the culmination of their sins when they will be saved from all sin at the return of their Messiah who will turn ungodliness from Jacob and convert the nation in a day (Romans 11:25-29; Isaiah 66:7-10; Ezekiel 36:24-30).
(2) “To make an end of sins” concerning Israel and Jerusalem. This has never been done, but will be accomplished at the second coming of Christ (Ezekiel 36:24-30; Ezekiel 37:24-27; Ezekiel 43:7; Zech.14). The Spirit of repentance will be poured out upon Israel just before the second coming, and a fountain for sin and uncleanness will be opened to the whole nation at that time (Zech.12:10-13:1; Romans 11:25-29).
(3) “To make reconciliation (atonement; Hebrew: kaphar (OT:3722), to cover; make atonement) for iniquity.” This was done for Israel and all others on the cross (Isaiah 53; Col. 1:20; Col. 2:14-17; 1 Peter 2:24), but Israel as a nation has not yet experienced this covering for sin. They will be fully reconciled to God at the second coming of Christ (Isaiah 1:18-20; Isaiah 66:7-8; Zech.12:10-13:1; Matthew 23:37-39; Romans 11:25-29).
(4) “To bring in everlasting righteousness.” When transgression comes to an end, when an end of sins is made, and when full atonement for all sin is experienced by Israel, then everlasting righteousness concerning Israel and Jerusalem will be ushered in (Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 12:1-6; Daniel 2:44-45; Daniel 7:13-14,18,27; Ezekiel 43:7; Zech.14; Luke 1:32-33; Romans 11:25-29; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 19:11-20:10; Rev. 21:1-22:5).
(5) “To seal up the vision and prophecy.” The prophecies concerning Israel and Jerusalem and their eternal restoration under their Messiah will be fulfilled. The word for “prophecy” here should have been translated “prophet.” It could also mean that there will be no more need for inspired men to rebuke Israel at Jerusalem in the attempt to lead them to God and righteousness when the Messiah comes, “for all shall know the Lord from the least unto the greatest of them” (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 66:7-10; Jeremiah 31:31-40; Romans 11:25-29).
(6) “To anoint the most holy.” This refers to the cleansing of the holy of holies, the temple, and the city of Jerusalem from the abomination of desolation, the sacrilege of Gentiles; and to the anointing of the Millennial temple of Ezekiel 40-43; Zech.6:12-13. “The most holy” is never used of a person, nor would the Jews ever associate this term with their Messiah who is always distinguished by the simple title, Messiah. Therefore, to teach that this refers to man crowning Christ is out of harmony with Scripture. Man is not to anoint and crown Christ. This has already been done by God the Father (Luke 22:29; Acts 1:7; Acts 2:36; Phil. 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:1-3; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 19:11-21; Daniel 7:13-14).
6. When do the seventy weeks begin? With the commandment “to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince” (Daniel 9:25). There were three decrees for the restoration of Jerusalem:
(1) The first decree was given during the first year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 3:8; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1-4; Isaiah 46:11). Cyrus reigned 9 years; then Cambyses, his son, reigned 7 years. In the son’s reign the work on the temple ceased (Ezra 4:1-24).
(2) Darius I of profane history reigned 35 years. In the second year of his reign he confirmed the decree made by Cyrus 18 years before. The temple was finished in the sixth year of his reign, but the city was not restored. Xerxes reigned 21 years (Daniel 11:1-3) during which time the city was not yet completed.
(3) Artaxerxes reigned for 40 years. In the 20th year of his reign (444 B.C.) he gave Nehemiah the 3rd decree “to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince” (Daniel 9:25-26; Neh. 2:1-6:19). From this point the 70 weeks or 490 years are counted. At this point the first division of the 490 years (the 7 weeks or 49 years for the restoration of Jerusalem with streets and the wall) began (Daniel 9:25). Nehemiah restored the walls in 52 days after he reached Jerusalem, but this was by no means the full restoration. That took place during the next 49 years. Thus the 3rd decree to restore Jerusalem was 92 years after the first decree by Cyrus.
7. The crucifixion of the Messiah. This was to be after the 62 weeks or 434 years, and was to follow the 7 weeks or 49 years of the restoration of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26). Christ was crucified at the end of the 69th week, not in the middle of the 70th week. The 70th week did not end when Stephen was stoned, for the 6 events of point 5, above, were not fulfilled then, nor have they been fulfilled since then. They cannot be fulfilled with Israel and Jerusalem until the rapture of the church and the revelation of the future Antichrist (notes, 2 Thes. 2:7-8; Rev. 4:1).
8. The people of the prince that shall come (Daniel 9:26). This refers to the Romans who fulfilled this prophecy of the destruction of the city and temple and brought the desolations of Daniel 9:26. This was fulfilled in 70 A.D. (see notes, Luke 19:41-44; Luke 21:20).
9. The prince that shall come (Daniel 9:26). This refers to Antichrist who will come from the Roman Empire territory, that is, the Grecian portion, and from the people who destroyed the city and temple of Israel in A.D. 70 (Daniel 9:26; Luke 21:20-24). He will come from among the 10 kingdoms yet to be formed inside the old Roman Empire territory (Daniel 7:23-24).
10. The church age-the great interval between the 69th and 70th weeks (Daniel 9:26-27). This period was not seen by the prophets, but it is clear here that certain things were to happen between the crucifixion of the Messiah and the Antichrist who makes the 7-year covenant with Israel in the latter days (Daniel 9:26-27).
11. Twelve great events between the 69th and 70th weeks:
(1) Christ was to be crucified at the end of the 69th week (Daniel 9:26).
(2) The Romans were to destroy Jerusalem and the temple between the crucifixion at the end of the 69th week and the 70th week (Daniel 9:26-27).
(3) There was to be a war between the Romans and Israel between the 69th and 70th weeks (Daniel 9:26-27).
(4) Israel was to be defeated by the Romans between the 69th and 70th weeks, or their city and temple could not be destroyed (Daniel 9:26-27).
(6) Desolations of Israel and their city and temple were to follow the end of the war between Israel and the Romans (Daniel 9:26; Luke 21:20-24). When Christ comes to defend Israel from Antichrist, Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt, not destroyed (Zech.6:12-13; Zech.14:1-21; Matthew 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 19:11-21).
Historically, all the above events were fulfilled by the Romans. They crucified Christ about 31 A.D. and destroyed Jerusalem about 70 A.D. These events did not happen in either the 69th or the 70th week. Jerusalem was destroyed about 39 years after the crucifixion of Christ which ended the 69th week.
(7) “The prince that shall come” was to come after the destruction and desolations of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26-27). Since the Jews were led away captive among all nations in 70 A.D. “the prince that shall come” could not confirm a covenant with Jews to fulfill Daniel 9:27. This remains to be done in the future.
(8) Jerusalem must be restored as the capital of Israel and a temple rebuilt before Antichrist can come and confirm the 7-year covenant with many Jews to fulfill Daniel 9:27.
(9) The city and sanctuary were to be destroyed by the Romans, as in Daniel 9:26. They must be restored before the 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27 can be made, for the temple is to be made desolate again in the midst of the 7 years. If it was destroyed in 70 A.D. then it could not possibly be made desolate again until its restoration first. Since it has never been restored from 70 A.D. until now, the fulfillment of Daniel 9:27 must be future.
(10) Israel, being broken off because of unbelief at the crucifixion of Christ, must be restored again to their own land and get control of Jerusalem before the 6 events of point 5, above, can be fulfilled. Just before the crucifixion Jesus wept over Jerusalem saying, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate . . . . ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:43; Matthew 23:37-39; Matthew 24:2; Luke 21:20-24). This is the official rejection of Israel as a nation until the second coming of Christ. God could not have fulfilled the 70th week with them immediately following the crucifixion because of cutting them off at this time. The 70th week remains to be fulfilled when God deals with them as a nation again (Ezekiel 37). He cannot do this until the new nation of Israel gets control of Jerusalem again, for the whole 70 weeks concern Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24). Neither can the 70th week be fulfilled until the temple is built again in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26-27).
(11) The prince that shall come from the Roman Empire territory is the one referred to in Daniel 9:27 that shall confirm the covenant with many Jews for 7 years. He does not come until after the future 10 kingdoms are formed inside the old Roman Empire territory (Daniel 7:23-24), and until after the rapture of the church (see Rapture Before Antichrist, and Ten Proofs of the Rapture Taking Place in Rev. 4:1). Therefore, the 70th week is after these 2 events.
The 70th week will be the last 7 years of this age, between the rapture and the second coming (Daniel 9:27). It will be the future tribulation period ending with the second coming. All of Matthew 24-25; Rev. 4-19; Rev. 21; Daniel 7:19-27; Daniel 8:9-14,22-25; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36-45; and many other passages will be fulfilled during these 7 years. The great tribulation will be during the last 3 ½ years (Jeremiah 30:4-9; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:15-24; Rev. 11:1-19:21). The first 3 ½ years will be a lesser tribulation due to the fact that Antichrist will be only rising to power (Daniel 7:23-24; Matthew 24:4-14; Rev. 6:1-9:21). See Sixty-eight Post-Rapture Events, 62 of which will be fulfilled in the 70th week.
(12) The present church age rightfully comes in between the 69th and 70th weeks, during which time Israel is rejected by God and scattered among the nations. There is a postponement of the fulfillment of the 70th week immediately following the end of the 69th week due to Israel’s rejection and her house being left desolate until God restores it again in the days of the coming of Christ. “When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory” (Psalm 102:16).
12. The covenant between Antichrist and Israel (Daniel 9:27). The terms of this covenant are not listed, but it is clear it will be a non-aggression pact, perhaps even a military alliance that will enable the Antichrist to gain power over the 10 kingdoms during the first 3 ½ years of the 70th week (Daniel 7:23-24; Daniel 8:23-25; Rev. 17:8-17). It will include the protection of Israel in their national establishment and restoration and assure them at least temporary peace (Daniel 8:25; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36-45). The length of the covenant is to be 7 years (Daniel 9:27).
13. The middle of the week (Daniel 9:27). The Antichrist in 3 ½ years gets power over the 10 kingdoms (Daniel 7:23-24; Rev. 17:8-17). He then breaks his covenant with Israel, enters and takes over Palestine, and makes the Jewish temple his capital building (Daniel 7:21-25; Daniel 8:9-14,22-25; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36-45; Matthew 24:15-24; 2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 13:1-18; Rev. 17:8-17). He will then do away with all Jewish sacrifices in the temple and set himself and his image in the temple to be worshiped as God. This will continue 2,300 evenings and mornings, or 3 years, 2 months, and 10 days of the 1,260 days of the last 3 ½ years of the 70th week (Daniel 8:9-14; Daniel 9:27;11:45; Matthew 24:15-22; 2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 13:1-18). See 2,300 Days Not 2,300 Years.
14. The end of the 70th week (Daniel 9:27). The beast worship and the abomination will continue from the middle of the 70th week through the judgments that will be poured out upon the one making the temple desolate (Daniel 9:27). These judgments will consist of the plagues caused by the 2 witnesses (Rev. 11:3-11) and the vial judgments (Rev. 15-16), ending with Antichrist’s defeat and destruction at Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech.14).
9:24 Seventy weeks may also be translated seventy sevens. Many scholars agree that the “sevens” are years, as the seventy years of captivity addressed in v. 2 implies. Leviticus 25:8 speaks about “seven sabbaths of years”; Lev. 26:18, 21 implies that Israel’s punishment would be multiplied sevenfold. Therefore, a seventy “week” exile would be expected to last for seven times seventy years. Second Chronicles 36:21 suggests that the captivity was to last long enough to make up for seventy omissions of the sabbatical year, which occurred every seven years. This would amount to 490 years before God’s people would experience perfect reconciliation with their God. There are many different interpretations of how these years account for the eras of world history before the Second Coming of the Messiah. Some interpreters have suggested that the use of the number seven in this verse is symbolic representing completeness—that is, the completion of all of human history.
9:25 The command to restore and build Jerusalem may be a reference to (1) the decree of Cyrus in Ezra 1, (2) the decree of Darius in Ezra 6, (3) the decree of Artaxerxes in Ezra 7, or (4) the decree of Artaxerxes in Neh. 2.
9:26 One commonly held interpretation maintains that the sixty-two weeks can be added to the seven weeks of v. 25, resulting in a total of sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years. If these years are added to the date of the decree of Artaxerxes in Neh. 2, 445 b.c., with an adjustment to allow for the use of a 360–day year, the end of the sixty-nine weeks coincides with the date of the crucifixion of Jesus. Various other interpretations of the time periods indicated by the sixty-two weeks have been presented, including one that asserts that the Messiah in this verse refers to Cyrus, who was also called the Lord’s anointed (Is. 45:1). Messiah shall be cut off may be a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The phrase cut off means “to destroy, to kill.” The fact that Jesus Christ died not for Himself but for the sins of the world may support the view that the Messiah in this verse refers to Jesus Himself. The prince who is to come may be a reference to the Antichrist (v. 27).
9:27 He may be a reference to the Antichrist, who will confirm a covenant with Israel. In the middle of the week—that is, three and one-half years later—he will break the covenant. abominations … desolate: Antiochus committed an abomination of desolation by setting up an altar to the god Zeus in the temple in Jerusalem (11:31). The Antichrist will also commit an abomination of desolation against the living God (Matt. 24:15). the consummation … is poured out on the desolate: The fact that this abomination does not occur until the consummation suggests that this verse is describing the abomination of the Antichrist and not that of Antiochus.
3. The disclosure of the Seventy Weeks prophecy. 9:24–27.
24. Seventy weeks meant, literally, seventy units of seven, or seventy times seven. Almost all expositors, ancient and modern, have seen this as signifying seventy units, each composed of seven years, making a total of 490 years. Are determined indicates that these years of which God told Daniel were certain to transpire in the manner predicted. Upon thy people and upon thy holy city. This prophecy concerned Israel, the Hebrew nation descended through Jacob, and the city of Jerusalem. Six things dealing with sin and righteousness would be accomplished during the 490 years. The first three are negative, and the final three positive: (1) To finish the transgression has reference to rebellion against God; (2) To make an end of sins could quite naturally in this context refer to sin being put away during the Messiah’s reign; (3) To make reconciliation for iniquity speaks of an atonement for sin on the basis of some sacrifice. This was no doubt fulfilled in Christ’s own sacrificial death on the cross; (4) To bring in everlasting righteousness. With sin taken care of (in the first three statements), righteousness can now be a reality. This will be applied to Israel at Christ’s glorious second coming at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period and will usher in the predicted righteous government of the Messiah (Isa 9:7; 11:3–5; Jer. 23:5–6); (5) To seal up the vision and prophecy. There will come a time when all visions and prophecy will be fulfilled or consummated, and thus will no longer have a function. There are yet, of course, many prophecies that must still fulfilled; and (6) To anoint the most Holy. This phrase has been taken at various times to refer to Zerubbabel’s temple, Christ Himself, the Holy One, or the future millennial temple. The most natural usage would be a reference to the anointing of a future temple when Messiah’s reign will be inaugurated with righteousness. Such a temple is predicted in Ezekiel 40–48, together with actual animal sacrifices which will commemorate Christ’s death on the cross.
25. From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. These words indicate the beginning point, or terminus a quo, for the seventy weeks of years during which the six events specified in verse 24 are to be accomplished. It actually requires the completion of all seventy weeks, or the full 490 years, to accomplish all of the predicted events of verse 24. It is believed that this starting point can be readily identified from the Scriptures themselves. Three possibilities are found: (1) A date of 538 b.c. when Cyrus issued a command recorded in II Chronicles 36:22–23 and repeated in Ezra 1:1–4. However, this edict clearly referred only to rebuilding the Temple and not only mentioned nothing of rebuilding the city, but also accomplished nothing in that regard; (2) A date of 458 b.c. when Artaxerxes issued a decree to aid Ezra as he returned to Jerusalem. But this command, recorded in Ezra 7:11–26, also clearly had nothing to do with rebuilding the city. Ezra summarized the intent of the king’s edict as being “… to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem” (Ezr 7:27). (3) A date of 445 b.c. seems to be more credible, at the time when Artaxerxes gave permission to Nehemiah to go “… unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchers, that I may build it” (Neh 2:5). The edict even mentions materials to be gathered “… for the wall of the city …” (Neh 2:8).
Unto the Messiah the Prince defines the termination point, or terminus ad quem, of the first sixty-nine weeks of years, meaning 483 years, as expressed by the phrase shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks. The significance of the marking off of the initial seven weeks, or forty-nine years, is uncertain, though it may refer to the time Ezra and Nehemiah labored to firmly set up the new Jewish state in Jerusalem. Those days could certainly be described as troublous times.
26. The terminus of the first sixty-nine weeks was unto the Messiah the Prince (vs. 25), indicating some point in His life, not His birth, because of the chronology involved. This is usually seen as a reference to His baptism, earthly ministry, or, sometimes, Triumphal Entry. Sometime after the fulfillment of the 483-year period shall Messiah be cut off and “have nothing” (NASB, NIV). The crucifixion of Christ coincides with this prediction, as nearly all biblical scholars agree. The next event described is the destruction of the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary. This destruction occurred in a.d. 70 and was carried out by Vespasian, his son Titus, and the Roman legions. The people of the prince that shall come refers to the Romans, since this prince is to be distinguished from Messiah the Prince of verse 25. The prince of verse 26 is the Antichrist, and his people are the Roman people. It is important to note that these events happened after the first sixty-nine weeks of years, but still before the final week spoken of in verse 27. That final week is still future and awaits the fulfillment of the events of verse 27.
27. And he. He refers back to the prince that shall come of verse 26. It predicts the coming of the Roman Antichrist during the Tribulation Period. He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. The Antichrist will pledge protection of Israel for a seven-year period, but in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. After three and one half years, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel and defile their new Temple. The New Testament confirms this in II Thessalonians 2:4 where Paul declares that the Antichrist, the man of sin, will sit “… in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Up until that point the Antichrist will have seemed to be Israel’s protector. His true intentions will then be known. Revelation states that power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (Rev 13:5). He will have only one half of the seven-year period left after he breaks his compact with Israel. As a result, Israel will be forced to flee and to hide under God’s protection “… for a time, and times, and half a time …” (Rev 12:14), again a reference to the last three and one half years of Daniel’s final seventieth week of years. For a detailed treatment of this premillenarian view, see Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel, pp. 247–63, and John Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, pp. 216–37. Both adequately cover other viewpoints as well.