Understanding The Prophecy Of Daniel's 70 Weeks
Daniel Is The Key That Unlocks The Timeline Of Revelation
The prophecy of the seventy weeks given to Daniel about the End Times
"At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 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.
Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 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. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. " Daniel 9: 23-27
The key that unlocks the book of Revelation
So much of what is talked about in the book of the Revelation has it's roots in the Old Testament. And of the Old Testament
prophets, there is one that stands out from among the rest. The prophet Daniel was given many direct visions and revelations
by God through the angel Gabriel that pertain to the End Times. In fact, he was given so much information that Jesus Himself
recommends that we study and understand what Daniel had to say.
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" Matthew 24: 15
It's quite telling to note that in all of Matthew 24, the only Old Testament prophet that Jesus quotes in is Daniel. So perhaps
there are more nuggets of truth pertaining to the End Times in Daniel's book.
Click image to see the chart of Daniel's 70 weeks full size
The above-mentioned chart of Daniel's 70 weeks is very useful because it lays it all out in sequence to make it easier to
understand. Drawn by Clarence Larkin, a devout man of God and bible scholar from the 19th century, we can glean much
insight from the 'fruits of his labors'. Clicking on the chart will expand it to twice it's size for easy reading. So open up the
chart and let's begin to unravel Daniel's end times prophecy.
Jeremiah gets Daniel rolling with an important prophecy
The explosive 9th chapter of Daniel starts with Daniel doing what we are doing - studying the bible, looking for clues. And that
sets up another very important building block of understanding prophecy. We are all 'looking for answers', and where does
God say the answers are? In His Word, the bible. Because that's where he put them. It was true for Daniel and it's just as true
for us today. So Daniel was studying the book of the prophet Jeremiah when he see this clue -
"In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Daniel 9:2
By reading, believing and then understanding the prophecy of Jeremiah, Daniel was rightly able to determine that he was living
in the time that Jeremiah foresaw. (An interesting side note here is as many 'dreams and visions' that Daniel was given by God,
he still needed to read and study the bible.) Daniel, upon reading and realizing that he was living out Jeremiah's prophecy, "sets
his face unto the Lord my God" in deep and reverent prayer. The very first thing that he does in prayer is to repent, which is
always the biblical model for getting right with God, and he passionately pouts out his heart to God for not only himslef, but for
all his fellow Jews who are being held captive in Babylon at the time. His prayer is both personal and national for Israel. And then
right in the middle of his prayer, the angel Gabriel shows up and blows him away -
"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. And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth,
and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."
Understanding what period of time is covered by the 70 weeks.
The angel Gabriel tells him that he has a special message for him, one that will show him the immediate future of Israel, as well
as the future of Israel in the end times. Gabriel continues -
"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. Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 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. " Daniel 9
Before we continue, we must clarify the meaning of the term '70 weeks'. It was not 70 calendar weeks, but rather it was 70
'weeks of years', figuring each day of the 70 weeks as one year. We know this for a variety of reasons. First, the word that was
translated as 'weeks' is the word 'heptad', which means a 'group of sevens'. By the context that was given, we come to see that indeed it was meant as years and not days, as we shall soon see. Also note that Gabriel divides up the 70 weeks into 7 weeks,
62 weeks, and one week. If you miss that distinction, then you have missed the boat entirely.
This is how the 70 weeks break down:
|The 7 weeks - This 49 year period is the time where the 'commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem' was given. It would take 49 years to accomplish this, and it began in 445 BC.
|The 62 weeks - From the end point on the rebuilding of the walls, until Messiah was to be revealed, it would be 62 weeks, or 434 years.
|The last week - This 7 year period is yet future because God stopped the timeclock when Israel rejected the Messiah and He went to the cross.
Adding the 7 weeks, or 49 years, to the 62 weeks, or 434 years, brings us to a total of exactly 483 from the time that the
commandment went forth to rebuild the walls unto the very day, April 2, 30 AD, that Jesus was paraded through the streets of Jerusalem just prior to going to the cross. Note: due to the differences in the calendars, you cannot do the math on the years
without first taking into account the different calendars that were used in the past 2,500 years. For an exhaustive breakdown
of the 70 weeks, please refer to the left sidebar entitled, The 70 Weeks Explained. Bible scholar Clarence Larkin, who by trade
was a mechanical engineer, gives you all the facts and figures you could ever ask for.
The last week, 7 years, is paused and deferred to a point in the future
Amazingly, everything happened precisely as Gabriel had told Daniel that it world. The streets and the walls of Jerusalem were
rebuilt in exactly 49 years. And from that day to the day that "Messiah was cut off", a reference to Jesus rejection by His own
people and then execution on the cross, was exactly 434 years. Then, after 483 years of exacting bible prophecy come true,
God stops the clock and began the time of 'the great pause'. All through the bible we read where, because of the rejection
of Jesus as Messiah, God turned to the gentiles. In the Old Testament this was a great mystery, but in the New Testament
that mystery is revealed as the Church. The bible then goes on to say that this is called the 'times of the gentiles' which will
end with the Rapture of the Church. At which point, with the Church taken out of the way, God again turns His attention to
the Jews and Israel, and restarts the clock to begin the final week of Daniel's prophecy. Before we continue, allow me to show
bible verses which demonstrates the points I just made -
|Jesus rejected by His own people -
||"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53: 3,4
||"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not." John 1: 10.11
|God turns to the Gentiles -
||"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." Romans 11: 25
||"But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by [them that are] no people, [and] by a foolish nation I will anger you." Romans 10: 19
||"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." Acts 13: 46
|God turns His attention back to the Jews -
||"For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead?" Romans 11: 15
||"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. " Romans 11: 26
||"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
Revelation 7: 3,4
||And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. " Zechariah 12: 9-11
They are many, many more verses I could quote to prove my point, but these verses hit the nail right on the head regarding
what God said He would and what would happen in the end times. So why all this attention to a week that hasn't even
happened yet? Because if you fail to grasp this "missing" or paused week, then every conclusion you come to after that
will by necessity be off base. Gabriel was telling Daniel very clearly that there would be 3 divisions of time within the 70 weeks,
or 490 years. Paul, in Romans 11: 25, gives us a great clue. He says that the "blindness" of Israel, or the "paused week" would
not end until all the gentiles whom God would have to be saved were saved, or "come in" as he puts it. And that it would
be after this "time of the gentiles" that God would restart the timeclock on the last week. At the risk of repeating myself, the
times of the gentiles happen during the as yet undetermined period of time that Daniel's 70th week is paused. So far this
time period has lasted roughly 2,000 years, but is about to come to an end. What will end the "times of the gentiles" is
There is a time period for the Jews, and for the Gentiles, but they are not the same
Shortly after Jesus went to the cross, and before the New Testament was finished, the event known as the Great Dispersion
happened in Israel, when the Romans set fire to Jerusalem and drove the Jews out to live in the "four corners of the earth."
This occured in the year 70 AD. And all during this time, the period known as the 'time of the gentiles' is taking place, with
the Jews in exile. But Jesus, when asked by His disciples in Matthew 24 about the time of the end days, gave an amazing
prophecy of a time in the future when Israel would be restored as a nation, and the true End Times would begin -
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Matthew 24: 32-34
Jesus was saying that when you would see Israel regathered, an event prophesied in dozens of places in the Bible, then you
would know that that generation would not pass off the scene until all the things He talked about in Matthew 24 were fufilled.
The end times could not of started before May 14, 1948, the day that Israel officially became a nation. Click here to read more
on the amazing Fig Tree Prophecy.
Are the Jews still God's chosen people?
Lately, many well-meaning (at least I think they were) Christians have told me that the Jews are no longer God's chosen people
because Paul said that we are 'one in Christ'. After making that error in interpretation, they quickly proceed to their next point,
namely that since the Jews rejected Jesus, then the Church has become the 'Israel of God', and inherits all the promises made
to the Jews and national Israel. This heresy is known as Replacement Theology, the idea that believing Christians 'replace" the
Jews in God's sight. This is more than error, it is heresey and very anti-semetic. Click here to read more on the evils and errors
of Replacement Theology.
The last week of Daniel's prophecy will happen soon
To recap: So far we have gotten a good handle on the 70 weeks of Daniel's prophecy. Events that it predicted have unfolded
and occured with uncanny accuracy, as what you would expect with God-given bible prophecy. We know that Daniel's last week,
when it happens will, as Paul says, open the eyes of the Jews and they will finally see, as a nation and not just as a remnant,
that Jesus - Yeshua Ha'Maschaich - is indeed the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. And we also know through Scripture
that the "times of the Gentiles" must end before the last paused week of Daniel's prophecy can start. There are things that
God has promised to the Jews and Israel - namely an eternal homeland in Israel - and there are things that God has promised
to the Church - namely an Heavenly eternal existence. If you don't see that the two are seperate, that God has two different
plans to work out, then the timing of when the Rapture happens - Pre, Mid or Post Tribulation - will remain a mystery to you,
or worse, you will wind up placing it in the wrong time slot. I cannot stress more strongly that a careful study of Romans 9-12
will go a long way towards getting your mind set to see that the "times of the Gentiles", the Church, must end before the last week of Daniel's prophecy can begin.
When you understand that the Church has to be taken out of the way before God can start the last week of Daniel's prophecy,
everything starts to make sense. Else, how could the Antichrist rise to power and fool everyone if the world is filled with bible-
believing Jesus followers? It couldn't happen. But if you imagine the utter devastation that would be caused by removing all
bible-believers at the same time, you can clearly see that in the ensuing chaos it would create the perfect time and space for
a great deceiver to rise and fool the people as to the true nature of what happened, and explain away the Rapture. Remember
that from the moment that God raptures out the church, there will not be one bible believer left on the face of the earth. Not
a single one. It's at this point that God starts the timeclock again, raises up 144,000 Jews in Israel to take the Gospel around the
world one more time, and in perfect poetic harmony the bible ends where it began - with the Jews in Israel. The Pre-Tribulation
Rapture is the only one of the three positions that allows for this to happen. In a Mid-Trib situation, the church is still on the
earth, and therefore the Antichrist cannot rise, and if he did he wouldn't fool anyone. The Left Behind book series sold nearly
70,000,000 copies, and at a minimum that is far too many people left on the earth for the Antichrist to fool. Besides, the
prophecies call for a 7 year Tribulation, not a 3.5 year Tribulation. The Church needs to be gone for the entire 7 years. You
see the Rapture occur in Revelation 4 -
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne." Revelation 4: 1,2
In a Post-Trib scenario, there is no real Rapture because at the end of the Tribulation Jesus returns to the earth. Any time for people to have been raptured out would have passed. So people who hold to the Post-Trib position really do not allow for a Rapture to occur at all.
So what we are left with is the end of the Church age, and the start of Daniel's last week, which is meant for the Jews and not the Church. When you understand that, then when you read Jesus' prophecy of the end times in Matthew 24, you see clearly that He is talking primarily about the Jews in the Tribulation, and not the Church.