Seventy Weeks of Years
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Daniel 9:24. To begin with, it’s imperative to grasp the meaning behind the term “weeks” in the above verse. Many times while studying God’s word we find our English words insufficient to allow a full explanation of the true meaning found in particular scripture verses. For example, in ancient Hebrew “weeks” refers to a heptadic structure we find throughout the Old and New Testament. Simply put, many times throughout His word God speaks in units of seven. The Hebrew word “shabuwa`” (weeks in English) is used to describe a period of time. Sometimes it serves to describe a seven day period, but in the text above it is a reference to a week of years.
“Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.” Daniel 9:21. This verse indicates that God sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel to give him understanding concerning the seventy weeks.
The angel Gabriel is speaking about the future of Israel, and when Gabriel says “seventy weeks are determined” what he means is seventy sets of seven years are determined on thy people and upon thy holy city. So a total of 490 years will culminate with the fulfillment of all that was spoken of by the angel Gabriel in the verse above. A portion of that verse has already been fulfilled along with 483 of those years.
Seventy weeks are determined. What God means by “determined” is that His decree to Daniel is indomitable, it is set in stone, and it won’t be changed or slighted. If we take God at His word, as we should, what the world is going to experience at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel has, in God’s view, already transpired. Which means these coming events can’t be altered – they must occur just as Gabriel proclaims.
Upon thy people and upon thy holy city. Here the angel Gabriel is referring to God’s possessions - the nation of Israel and His Holy City (Jerusalem). The seventy weeks are determined upon these two possessions of God. Conspicuous by its absence in verse 24 is any mention of the still to come Church age. Why? Everything in the verse above refers to Israel and the Holy City, Jerusalem, save one aspect. The one portion of the above verse already fulfilled today is the most important part of the whole verse. Hold on, the explanation is coming.
To finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins. Wow! Have we seen any evidence that an end of transgression and sins has occurred sometime in Israel’s past? Both transgression and sins continue today just as they have throughout the existence of mankind. Therefore, those who insist that all these prophecies have been fulfilled must live on some utopian planet somewhere apart from planet earth. Why? Because as we wake up from our night’s sleep to a new day there are always new transgression and sins to face. God says He will “finish”, put a stop to, all of this world’s transgression and sins, which as we all know has had a long and dismal effect on mankind. The end of all transgression and sins which currently plague us is a specific set date known only to God. What we do know is that elimination point will not come before the end of the prophesied seventy weeks. Sixty-nine of those weeks have passed into history, yet transgression and sins are still in full bloom. By all accounts we see the seventieth week is set to begin very shortly – that is as soon as the Church age, which began at the end of the sixty-ninth week, is brought to a close.
And to make reconciliation for iniquity. This portion of Daniel 9:24 should be fairly obvious to us all. It’s the only part of that verse that has been fulfilled. Of course we know that all of the prophecies stated by Gabriel in that one verse must be fulfilled. But one of God’s main goals which was formulated and determined before even one foundation stone was laid in the creation of planet earth, was to reconcile mankind to Him. Our God and Savior has done just that. That reconciliation occurred when Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, took His preordained position on that cross. Jesus fulfilled that particular prophecy about 2,000 years ago. Reconciliation for iniquity was made, not just for Israel but for the whole of mankind – and Jesus said “Τετέλεσται – Paid in Full.”
So what two important issues have we learned so far? 1) God has promised He will fulfill all the prophecy given to Daniel and that He is by no means through acting on Israel’s behalf. 2) The reconciliation event that occurred some 2,000 years ago has created a Way for all mankind to join the nation of Israel as partakers of the promised inheritance. Because of Israel’s rejection of her Messiah we, the Gentile Church, have been grafted into our very own relationship with the Messiah.
And to bring everlasting righteousness. Everlasting righteousness can’t be afforded to a world where transgression and sins reign supreme. But God’s promise will come to fruition at the end of Daniel’s seventieth week when the King of kings reigns supreme.
The mystery of the Church is specific and exclusive in nature. The nation Israel, on a whole, has rejected their Messiah, and that rejection is clearly laid out in Matthew chapter 12 where the Pharisees refer to their Messiah as Satan. That rejection began with Christ’s first advent when He came as a suffering servant culminating with His death on the cross. At His Second Advent, His return as a conquering Hero and the establishment of His Monarchy will be fulfilled at the end of the seventieth week spoken of above. At which point Jesus Christ, King of kings, will put into effect His concept of a perfect new world order. No matter what some theologians and Bible teachers teach to the contrary, Israel is still God’s chosen people. God is still very much involved in the affairs of the Nation of Israel. The seventieth week of Daniel, which is still on the horizon, is a period of time in which God will prove to the nations of the world just what the Nation of Israel means to Him. But His Church must be removed first.
“…and to seal up the vision and prophecy…” Daniel 9:24b. Then the angel Gabriel tells Daniel the vision and prophecy is to be sealed up. This again points to an end and fulfillment of all biblical prophecy. Currently there are a whole lot of people seeing visions and prophesying about what’s on the horizon; every day I receive at least one letter from someone who believes they’ve had a prophetic dream or vision that they believe is foretelling of coming events. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” Joel 2:28. We can now conclude that God is setting the stage for the finale of human history which will culminate in everlasting righteousness replacing transgression and sin as Jesus the Christ takes the helm of planet earth as her King. There will be no further need of visions or prophecy in the Kingdom to come as everything will have been fulfilled. Therefore at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel, God will seal up vision and prophecy and make an end of them. There will be no more false prophets or wannabe gods attempting to lead the masses astray.
And to anoint the most Holy. God’s Temple will be the most Holy place on earth. Again, all prophecy must be fulfilled just as the Bible teaches. God’s Holy Temple is not even built yet, therefore this portion of the prophecy is still a future event. God can’t anoint His most Holy place until it’s built. This is another point in a long line of scripture verses which are simply dismissed by the Amillennialist (Preterist) crowd. As God anoints His Holy Temple and puts an end to all forms of unrighteousness, all transgression, and all sins, what comes into perfect view here is not only the act of committing transgression which will be dealt that God-ordained final blow, but all guilt associated with any and all of those unholy and unrighteous rebellious acts will be eliminated.
It’s important to understand that there has been a gap period between the end of the sixty-ninth week of Daniel and the beginning of the seventieth week. This gap of time has now lasted for almost 2,000 years, and during this time God has been devoted to the establishment of His Church. This phenomenal Church growth witnessed by the world for the past 2,000 years will soon be coming to a screeching halt. The Church has been God’s focus, but all of that is about to change. Here in the 24th verse of Daniel chapter 9 we see that God’s focus is primarily on His people Israel and on His Holy City, Jerusalem.
As a nation Israel is still in rebellion to God, but that will change in the middle of the seventieth week as the abomination of desolation is revealed. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet…” Matthew 24:15a. The abomination of desolation will mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation (note I didn’t say the beginning of the seventieth week) in which the Nation of Israel will be fully engulfed. At this point Israel will come to realize the man they’ve been so enamored with for the previous three and one half years was actually Satan himself. Then they will begin to call on the Name that is above all names – the Name of their “mashiyach nagiyd”(Messiah the King) – which is Jesus the Christ.
Prior to Daniel’s seventieth week, at a specific God-ordained point on His established timeline, His Church will be complete. At that precise point in time, Jesus will remove every born again believer from the face of this planet. There will not be any remnant of Christ’s Church remaining on earth as God once again focuses specifically on His chosen people, Israel. God will still accomplish all of His goals presented to Daniel by the angel Gabriel according to His plan and for His glory. But we, the Church, can be fully assured that that final week will not involve the body of Christ, until the end when we will come back with our Lord in His glory. “…and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14b.
God bless you all,