The Book of Daniel has often been described as the Book of Revelation of the Old Testament. In this podcast we study the 70 Weeks of Daniel and will learn the accuracy of God's prophetic Word. Every student of Bible prophecy should be familiar with the Book of Daniel and especially chapter 9 in which God reveals the time of the first coming of Jesus Christ. Have pen and paper in hand as we go to the 70 Weeks of Daniel,
70 weeks of Daniel 9: 20-27
Hello once again and welcome to Bible Prophecy!
The lesson today is one of the most important subjects that every student of Bible prophecy should understand or at least be familiar with it. The subject is the 70 Weeks of Daniel. It is too large to be done in one podcast so I will attempt to do it in two parts. I would suggest that you have your Bible handy and have a pen and paper for notes. I would suggest you listen at least two times to this podcast.
As I said, the first part today is a study on what is commonly known as the 70 Weeks of Daniel, which is found in Daniel, chapter 9.
Let’s begin by turning to the book of Daniel, Chapter 9, and read verses one & two.
Reading from the New King James, Daniel 9, verses 1- 2,
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made King over the realm of the Chaldeans - in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books (meaning the Bible of his time) the number of the year specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the Prophet, that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
Just who is Daniel and why is it so important to know what he has written?
Daniel’s story begins in Jerusalem where he lived at the time the Babylonian army destroyed the walls, the city, and the temple, and took prisoners back to Babylon. Daniel was a young man between 15 and 17 and he was among the captives taken to Babylon.
Later, the Babylon Empire was conquered by the Persians and it became known as the Medo-Persian Empire. Daniel and the others came under the authority of the king of Persia.
Daniel lived in Babylon for many years and now was an old man. He was devoted to God and he prayed three times a day.
One day Daniel was reading from the Book of Jeremiah and discovered that it prophesied how long the Jews would be held captive in Babylon. It is found in Jeremiah, chapter 25, verse 11 which says:
“And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
The year that Daniel read this was about 537 B.C. The people had been taken captive in about the year of 606 B.C. so they had been in Babylon for close to 70 years. Daniel realized their time was about up and they would soon be returning to the land.
The reason for their captivity in the first place was because they disobeyed God. According to the Law of Moses, the Land of Promise was supposed to lie fallow, or left unplowed, every seventh year. The Jews could plant and harvest each year but after six years they were to let the land rest for one year.
The seventh-year is what they called the Sabbatical year. You can read about it sometime in Leviticus chapter 25, verses 1 through 7. Also Leviticus 26, verses 34 and 35.
So, here is what happened. After the Children of Israel took the land of Canaan they went about planting and harvesting year after year, but they never let the land rest as God had told them to do.
There was a price to be paid for not letting the land rest.
2 Chronicles chapter 36, verses 20 and 21 explains the punishment of the Jews. It says,
“And those who escaped from the sword he (meaning Nebuchadnezzar) carried away to Babylon, where they (the children of Israel) became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”
Remember, God demanded the land was to enjoy a rest every 7th year and that was called the Sabbatical year. The people of Israel had neglected to let the land rest for 490 years. 490 years is equal to 70 Sabbatical years.
Their disobedience resulted in the Babylonian Empire conquering them and taking them out of the land for 70 years. God saw to it that the land would get the time of rest that it needed.
Think about that for a moment. God cared so much for the land that He punished His people, the Children of Israel, to be conquered and taken out of the land. Should that not make us think about the 4th Commandment, which says:
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work . . .” verse 11, For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. ” (Exodus 20:9-11)
Our bodies were made to work six days and rest one day. If we neglect rest for our body, there will be consequences. Our immune system is needed to fight off sickness and disease. Without enough rest, the immune system is weakened making us more susceptible to illness. And while we rest, our minds should be on God which serves to give our minds peace and a much-needed rest, especially in these times.
God cares so much more for you and me than He does any land. So, it’s important to take a day of rest. According to tradition, that day is Sunday. Some will argue that it should be Saturday because Sunday is the first day of the week. But I believe what is important is that we keep one day out of the 7 to rest, pray, and worship God, whether it’s Saturday, Sunday, or any other day of the week. The important thing is for one day out of 7 should be a day of rest and dedicated to the Lord.
In Mark chapter 2, verse 27, Jesus said,
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
Jesus made it clear that it’s for our benefit to rest one day out of the week.
Well, back to Daniel. Once Daniel understood that the captivity in Babylon would be 70 years and it was about to end, he repented of his sins and then he asked forgiveness for the sins of all his people.
So, at this point, Daniel is deep into prayer and confession.
Now, in chapter 9 of Daniel let’s read verses 20 through to 23:
“Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God (that means the temple and the temple mount in Jerusalem), 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. 23 At the beginning of your supplications ( or prayers) the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision: ”
Let’s stop here for a minute. Gabriel appeared about the time of the evening offering. In those days the Jews kept time differently than we do today. By our way of keeping time a 24 hour day begins and ends at midnight. But the Jewish daytime hours began with dawn and ended with sundown, which began the next day. The hours were seasonal, so the length of the daylight hours varied with the season of the year. Knowing this will help us to understand what we will be reading later.
Before the temple was destroyed in Jerusalem, every afternoon the priests in the temple would offer up sacrifices on the Altar. This would have been about 3 p.m. our time and it lasted about an hour. Because a new day started at sundown or about 6:30 p.m., they considered 3 p.m. to be in the evening. So it was called the Evening Sacrifice. This time was also known as the ninth hour in scriptures.
Does the “ninth hour” sound familiar to you? In Matthew 27:45-46, it says,
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
The sixth hour would have been noon in our time. The ninth hour would have been 3 p.m.
At the same time, Jesus was dying on the cross, a sheep was being offered in the Temple as the evening sacrifice. The sheep that was sacrificed was innocent, or as scripture says, “without blemish” just Jesus Christ was perfect and without sin.
From the time the Law was given to Moses until the time of Jesus, every lamb that was sacrificed at the ninth hour had been a symbol of Jesus Christ.
Let’s continue with Daniel 9. Gabriel continues to talk to Daniel in verse 24:
“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.”
It says, “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city”.
We should take note that this prophecy is referring to Daniel’s people, the Jews, the Temple, and the city of Jerusalem. It does not refer to Gentiles or the Church of Jesus Christ.
The expression “seventy weeks” sounds like a short time. However, the Hebrew word for “week” is “shebua” and simply means, “seven”. So when Gabriel said 70 Weeks he meant, “seventy-sevens” as the number determined by God for the Jews and Jerusalem.
So, now we know that seventy-weeks is seventy-sevens. 70 times 7 is 490. But it’s not 490 weeks as in a 7 day week. Gabriel is referring to a week of years so 490 years were determined by God for the Jews and Jerusalem.
What was determined? In verse 24 Gabriel tells Daniel that God had planned 490 years to accomplish some goals. Then, he listed the goals.
The first goal: To finish the transgression or sins.
This is talking about the sins of Israel in their disobedience to the commandments of God. In a greater sense, the cure for their sins took place on Calvary when Christ was crucified but that did not cover the national sins of Israel because they rejected Jesus as the Messiah when He came the first time.
At His second coming there will be an end to their sins when they see Jesus and repent. Then they will accept Him as their Messiah.
This is told in Zechariah chapter 12, verse 10:
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
And in Zechariah 13, verse 1:
“In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.”
The second goal: To make an end of sins.
Again, this is talking about the sins of Israel. The sins of the nation will come to an end at the Second Coming of Jesus.
Romans chapter 11, verses 26 and 27:
“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (meaning Israel); 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."
Goal No. 3: To make reconciliation for iniquity.
The definition of iniquity is, “The absence of moral or spiritual values”.
I looked up some facts and according to Wikipedia on the internet, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Israel have generally been seen as some of the most advanced in the Middle East and Asia. Tel Aviv has been referred to as “the gay capital of the Middle East”.
Organized crime has increased dramatically in Israel since the 1990s and is described by the BBC and the Israeli Police as a "booming industry".
Israel was supposed to be a light to the world but time and again they have fallen into sin and idolatry. Reconciliation between man and God was taken care of on the Cross but as a nation, Israel has not taken advantage of it.
In Second Corinthians chapter 5, verses 18 and 20:
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.”
When Jesus returns, Israel will be fully reconciled to God.
Goal No. 4: And to bring in everlasting righteousness.
This is talking about the return of Jesus when He will set up His kingdom on earth and rule from Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 23, verses 5-6,
"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Goal No. 5: To seal up the vision and prophecy.
This means that when the sins of Israel have ended and that nation is in the presence of our Lord, there will be no more visions or prophecies because they will have all been fulfilled. They will be sealed up and needed no more.
Goal No. 6: And to anoint the most holy.
In chapters 41 through 46, the prophet Ezekiel describes a new temple that will be built when Jesus has returned to set up His 1000-year reign. The temple will have to be anointed with oil.
In Exodus 40, verse 9 it says,
“And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy.
In Exodus 30:23-24, it gives instruction how to make the anointing oil. In fact, in many places in Israel today souvenir shops sell anointing oil.
Now let’s turn to Daniel 9, verse 25, and read it:
“Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.”
As I said earlier, the Hebrew word for week is “shebua” and simply means, “seven” and Strong’s Concordance says it is speaking “specifically of years”.
So in verse 25, it is talking about two periods of time. One is “seven weeks” and the other is “sixty-two weeks”.
The first period is seven weeks. 7 times 7 is 49.
The second period is 62 weeks. 62 times 7 is 434.
The total of these two periods of time is the number of years it will be from the time the command is given to restore Jerusalem until the Messiah, Jesus.
434 plus 49 is 483 years.
The last part of verse 25 says, “The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.”
In other words, while they are still in captivity in Babylon, a king will give a decree for the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and there will be some problems trying to get it done.
From the time of that particular decree until the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, Gabriel said it would be 7 weeks and 62-weeks, or 69 weeks.
So when was the decree given in “troublous times”? Well, there were 4 decrees given by three kings.
The first one was given by the Persian King Cyrus in 536 B.C. The reference scripture is in Ezra chapter 1, verses 1 thru 4. I won’t read all of the scripture references to save time. But in that decree, Cyrus permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. There was no mention of building the city.
A second decree was given 17 years later by King Darius in 519 B.C. It was a decree confirming the first decree about building the temple. (The reference is Ezra 6:1-2) Still no mention of the city.
A third decree was given in 457 B.C. by King Artaxerxes. The reference scripture is Ezra chapter 7, verses 11 thru 26. That decree dealt with the temple worship, etc., and continuation of the right of the Jews to live in the land of Israel. But still no mention of rebuilding the city.
The fourth and last decree was also by Artaxerxes during his 20th year which gave authorization to Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem as governor to rebuild the walls. The scripture references are Nehemiah 2 verses 4 to 6.
According to Nehemiah chapter 6, verse 15, it took 52 days to build the walls of Jerusalem but it wasn’t easy. Some of the people from surrounding areas were not happy to see the wall being built up again so they would attack the workers physically and verbally. Nehemiah commanded every worker to have his sword and shield handy in case of an attack. A man with a ram’s horn was stationed every 500 feet to give a warning if he saw the enemy coming. So these were very troubled times.
This last decree given to Nehemiah by King Artaxerxes is the only one given that records the work being done in troublous times. And so it is the one used to countdown to the first coming of Jesus.
Now let’s read Daniel 9, verse 26:
“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.”
Now, remember, this is the angel Gabriel talking to Daniel and he is revealing the time of the arrival of Messiah, Jesus.
Gabriel also said in verse 25 there would be two periods of time until the Messiah came and both periods added up to 483 years.
Now in verse 26, Gabriel is saying after this period of 483 years the Messiah will be “cut off”, or killed. That was the crucifixion of Jesus.
Here is something that must be considered at this point. God always deals with Israel in periods of 490 years.
From the time God called Abraham to leave the Ur of Chaldees until the time when Joshua took the promised land was 490 years.
From the time they took possession of the land until the time of their first king was 490 years.
From the time of kings until the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and took the people captive was 490 years.
From the time of the restoration of Jerusalem until Jesus was crucified should also be 490 years but Gabriel said it would be 483 years. We are lacking 7 years to make 490 years in God’s dealing with the people of Israel.
Those 7 years will be made up during 7 years of Tribulation that will come on the earth. The Tribulation will be God’s punishment upon Israel for its many sins of the past but mostly for rejecting Jesus at His first coming.
In the meantime, God raised up the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church has continued from the day of Pentecost and it will end at the Rapture.
Now let’s read verse 26 again:
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.”
It says, “And after the 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself”
No, Jesus didn’t die for any sins of His own. He died for the sins of the world. He died for my sins and He died for your sins.
This teaching has already exceeded the regular time so this will be part 1. Next time we will do an overview and a little more study of Daniel 9.
Before I close, I would like to add this: You know, sometimes it’s hard to admit being a sinner but that is one of the most important things to be done to go to Heaven.
The 2nd most important thing is to ask forgiveness for sins and be sincere about it. When we sincerely ask God to forgive our sins, God never fails to forgive us. Then all He asks us to do is to believe in His Son, Jesus. Have you done that? Have you asked forgiveness of your sins and believed in the work Jesus did when He died for you on Calvary’s cross?
Say this prayer after me, “Jesus, I am a sinner. I ask You today to forgive me of my sins. I believe you died for me, that You are the Son of God and now sit at the Right Hand of God. Please forgive me and help me to live the life you would have me to live from this day forward. Amen”
Well, until next time, may God’s richest blessings be yours.