Hardly had Daniel completed his prayer when an answer was sent to him. His request was not only granted, but also extended to revealing things that were to happen in the years to follow—the divine timetable. Daniel. 9:20-27 is sequel to the first 19 verses. You can think of it as divine response to the prayer of a legend.
He was given a vision of 70 ‘sevens’ or 70 weeks as it is rendered in some versions. Daniel’s 70 sevens has been called the backbone of Bible prophecy.
In Matt 24:15-16, Jesus Christ referred to this prophecy when he said: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ as spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
It is the desire of Christ that we understand this prophecy. However, there have been many conflicting interpretations to this prophecy so that it becomes imperative for us to carefully and prayerfully consider what Daniel saw. Please note that whatever interpretation we come up with must be consistent with what other non-figurative passages of the scriptures say.
Vss. 20-23: Gabriel, an angel is sent to answer Daniel’s prayer. He describes Daniel as ‘highly esteemed.’ How glorious would it be for heaven to consider you and I ‘highly esteemed’ before God. Moses, Abraham, Joseph, David, Mary, Job et cetera are among the list of people who received divine endorsement. What stops you from joining that throng?
Vss. 24 Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, (1.)to finish transgression, and (2) to make an end of sins, and (3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, and (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, and (5) to seal up vision and prophecy, and (6) to anoint the most holy.
“Seventy ‘sevens’” (heptads) is a symbolic number which means 70 × 7 years = 490 years. The six highlighted events will happen within that period.
- 1. Finish the transgression – The Hebrew word for transgression is a very strong word for sin and literally means ‘to rebel’. If used with a definite article in the Hebrew meaning it is a specific act of rebellion. In context, the specific act of rebellion is the rejection of the Messiah-ship of Jesus. Matt.23:32
- 2. Make an end of sins - The Hebrew for sins means to ‘miss the mark’. The power of sin will no longer hold sway. Jesus Christ took away that power when He died on the cross.
- 3. Make reconciliation for wickedness – This is the means by which the first two purposes are accomplished. This was achieved at the cross when Jesus made atonement for sin. Rom.1:16-17. Every child of God is therefore, an ambassador of Christ and is saddled with the responsibility of reconciling men to God. 2Cor. 5:19-20
- 4. Bring in everlasting righteousness – This is the age of righteousness that characterizes the Messianic Kingdom – the reign of Jesus on this earth. This will be set up at the end of the 490 year period. Therefore, could the 490 years refer to the end of the world or to the time when Christ brought divine righteousness into our lives.
- 5. Seal up vision and prophecy – The word seal up means to ‘cause a cessation’ or ‘to bring completely to fulfillment’. The Hebrew prophets saw as far forward as the Messianic kingdom. When this is setup at the end of the 490 years, their prophecy will have been fulfilled. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Everything centered around Him
- 6. Anoint the most holy – From the Hebrew this should read ‘anoint a most holy place’. Daniel had been thinking of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple which lay in ruins. The Messianic Kingdom will have a temple built by the Lord Himself (Zech 6:12-15). This would happen after all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Jesus Christ. Matt.28:18a.
Vs. 25 explains the chronology of these events. First, the temple is rebuilt 49 years later i.e. Seven ‘sevens’. Next, is 62×7=434 years and this brings the cumulative to 483 years leaving us with just one ‘seven’ to complete the time i.e. 1×7=7years. All these add up to 490 years. We are told explicitly that from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah will be 7 + 62 sevens, or 69 × 7 = 483 years. This decree was given by king Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2 in 444 B.C. and the 483 prophetic years conclude on Nisan 10, 33 A.D. Exo.12:1-3; Zech. 9:9; Luke 19:41-44 (The Triumphal Entry of Jesus to Jerusalem)
Vs. 26: “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”
The anointed one appears only here and in Psalm 2:2. This is the word for Christ (Messiah) that appears in the New Testament.
After the second block of time, the Messiah is to be cut off speaks of violent death. Isaiah 53:8. The people of the prince that shall come (General Titus) shall destroy the rebuilt city and the rebuilt temple. There will be a great war, but the outcome has been settled in heaven. Luke 21:20; 23:28; A flood in figurative language is an army. Isaiah 8:7-8. Jesus referred to this verse in Matthew 24:15. These are events that are to occur AFTER, not before or during, 69 sevens.
Vs. 27: “Then for one seven, he will forge many and strong alliances, but halfway through the seven he will banish worship and prayers. At the place of worship, a desecrating obscenity will be set up and remain until finally the desecrator himself is destroyed.”(The Message Translation) This speaks of the evils the Roman Emperor would do to the Jerusalem temple which culminated in AD. 70.
Note that the Jerusalem temple and Judaism as a whole lost its divine backing the moment Jesus Christ said on the cross: “It is finished.” Christianity was borne out of Judaism and what was left of Judaism was at best, a façade.
In conclusion, when Christianity is practiced in its pure form, it liberates one from every yoke of slavery and installs the love of God in our hearts. Finally, God’s eternal plan is fulfilled. Man can and will again be in the image and likeness of His Creator. God lives again in us by His Holy Spirit. The truth will set you free. Hallelujah!
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The Holy Bible. New International Version.
The Holy Bible. The Message Translation.