Daniel’s 70 Weeks

Question from a Site Viewer
I don’t quite understand the timing in Daniel 9:24. When I read on, it sounds like the coming of the Lord in the last days of the earth, yet it speaks of his sacrifice which has already occurred. So what are they talking about there?

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.
Daniel 9:24

Tim’s Answer
Daniel’s 70 weeks was determined for Israel (Daniel’s people) and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24). During this time God said that the end of sins would be made, reconciliation would be made, and everlasting righteousness would be brought in (Daniel 9:24). Thus, the 70 weeks should be seen to cover the coming of the Lord in the end days of the earth, as well as His sacrifice at His first coming. This is a significant amount of time. Should we see the 70 weeks as stretching from the command to rebuild Jerusalem until Christ returns?

I think the answer is “no.” Rather, I think we should see a gap occurring so that today we are not in the 70 weeks, but are between the 69th and the 70th week. Daniel tells us that the 70 weeks are divided into three periods. From the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah would be 7 weeks and 62 weeks (Daniel 9:25). If I understand this correctly, the 7 weeks represent 49 years from the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. I speculate that this represents the time to rebuild the city. The 62 weeks follows which together with the 7 weeks means that there would be 69 weeks (483 years) until the coming of the Messiah. After this 62 week period, but before the start of the last week, the Messiah would be cut off and the city and the temple would be destroyed (Daniel 9:26). The Messiah was cut off around 33 A.D. and the city and the temple were destroyed in 70 A.D. From that time, the Jews were scattered and the main work of God shifted to the church (Romans 11). But there remains one final week in the prophecy that will again focus on Israel and Jerusalem. Thus, in Daniel 9:27, we learn that there will be a covenant for one week and in the midst of that week the sacrifice and offering will end and there will be the abomination that makes desolate. Jesus picks up on this statement and speaks of the abomination that makes desolate spoken by Daniel the prophet (Matthew 24:15). Thus, the last week is linked to the final period of great tribulation on this earth that ends with the second coming of Christ.

Because both the death of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem are said to occur after the 62 week period, but are not included in the 70th week, I believe that Daniel is foreseeing a gap in the weeks during which the focus of God will not be on Israel and Jerusalem. I believe we are living in that gap at the present. But I also believe that the 70th week of Daniel will yet happen, when the events of the book of Revelation will unfold.

I hope this helps.

a pilgrim


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