Seventy Weeks Determined

Gabriel comes swiftly to Daniel to give an answer to him concerning the vision, and with a message for Daniel's people to expect the cleansing of the sanctuary by Jesus Christ.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Dan ch9:v20-27
Dan 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and 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;
Dan 9:21 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.
Dan 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
Dan 9:23 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.
Dan 9:24 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.
Dan 9:25 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.
Dan 9:26 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.
Dan 9:27 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. (KJV)

Daniel's prayer was for both the people of Israel and the temple of God to come, to be built upon the holy mount in Jerusalem. Gabriel answers this prayer to give him "skill and understanding". Gabriel brings Daniel the news that from the throne of God "The commandment" was issued - an answer to Daniel's prayer. Daniel is to understand the vision which gave him such trouble.

Gabriel speaks of seventy weeks put before the people of Israel, (c.f. the giving of an open door to philadelphia) in order for them to put an end to the period of 2300 days of transgression by the host given Antiochus against the daily sacrifice (culminating in the coming of Christ). I.e. to either make the people Israel wholly under God , or for them to be scattered amongst the Greeks, and not of Israel.

To make an end of sins and reconciliation for iniquity refers to the future ministry of Christ preceded by John the baptist - to accept Christ and "bring in " everlasting righteousness and to seal up the vision (Write the scriptural canon preceding and of the NT, by their own account) and lastly to anoint the most holy.

This "anointing" of Christ is as the realisation that Christ is not the "Prince of the host" but is God "Most High" - In doing so the mystery is complete and the sanctuary cleansed. The temple is then spiritual and not physical.

Gabriel then delivers the prophecy of the 70 weeks. From the issuing of the commandment to restore and build the temple until the coming of the Messiah shall be seven weeks and then 62 weeks. Following this is one last week during which Messiah is "cut off" whereafter the land of Israel as a physical nation comes to an end. Messiah (Christ) confirms the covenant he mediates for one "week", causing the sacrifice to cease and for the offerings to become desolate after His own sacrifice once for all; even allowing the desolations to continue until the consummation found in the coming destruction - (the reward for the desolation) that is therefore justly determined - by time.

The question remains then,.. what is a "week"? It is commonly asserted that a week of seven days is a "week of seven years" and that from the moment the commandment went forth to rebuild Jerusalem there would be a minimum 483 years until the coming of Christ (as at some point in the last "week"). This would place the beginning of the period of seventy weeks (working in reverse from 33AD at the time of the cross) between 458 BC and 451 BC.

We know from the book of Ezra the verse where the commandment to build the second temple is issued;

Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
Ezr 1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. (KJV)

In the reign of Darius the temple was finished after opposition before the king, (which was later cleared up) - yet later in the reign of Artaxerxes the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem itself is issued, in the form of the king issuing a decree to fund the sending of a great company of Israelites back to Jerusalem with Ezra the scribe. The temple already finished, and the wall later to be built (in the book of Nehemiah). This was to be a period building the city itself - so funding it was part of the decree of Artaxerxes.

Artaxerxes decree (found in Ezra Chapter 7) was issued in 457 BC - Right bang on the period of the seventieth week!

It is plausible that the period between the commandment and the going forth to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem is given by Gabriel (from the account of Nehemiah, Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem in the 20th year of the king's reign, around 445 BC.) We my assume that the walls took some years to rebuild, possibly the separation could be as much as 49 years, the end of the initial period of "seven weeks" from Gabriel's answer to Daniel. That leaves 434 years after the period of rebuilding ceases until the arrival of Christ.

The 62 weeks end with one last "week" in which Messiah is cut off - (In being crucified alone - as the first-born of the resurrection to prove Himself blameless and the new covenant then in effect as truth to us - not for Himself.) The people of the prince to come are the Romans under Titus that ploughed flat the city of Jerusalem. Then end of the physical temple will be with a flood - a sudden destruction, (at the hands of Titus)

The attempts of Daniel's people to continue to sacrifice in their sins rather than anoint the Most High, are fruitless to prevent the end of the war - the daily sacrifice of the old covenant will have passed away. God will not hear them for their desolations of sacrifices.

There is no sense of the last half of the seventieth week being postponed into the future. Christ's work on the cross was completed and finished within the expected time period. The one episode that could be considered a further confirmation is when the spirit was poured out on the gentiles, after that there is nothing new except the compilation of the scriptural canon.

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