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Daniel's Seventy-Weeks

In Chapter 9 of the book of Daniel, there is a rather well-known passage of prophecy called Daniel's Seventy-Weeks. Each of the seventy weeks equals a year and, according to the Scriptures, sixty-nine of those weeks have already taken place.

"24Seventy 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. 25Know 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. 26And 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. 27And 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 9:24-27 KJV)

This is a complex prophecy to begin with and, in case you are not familiar with it, we will present the interpretation as it is currently expounded in the Fundamental and Pre-Millennial Christian Faith. Then, we will show you a second part of this prophecy that has been hidden and sealed in plain sight (Daniel 12:9).

But before we start, you must know that this prophecy is not about the Christian Church. The Church Age resides in a "Gap" in the Seventy-Weeks that has lasted about two-thousand-years now and is positioned between the sixty-ninth (69) and seventieth (70) week of this prophecy. This prophecy concerns Israel and the Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ) and Jerusalem. There are those who claim that God is finished with Israel and that the Church has replaced the Hebrew people. Nothing could be further from the truth as the Apostle Paul warned:

"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. 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. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
(Romans 11:25-29 KJV)

Let's examine Daniel's prophecy verse by verse:

"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 KJV)

There are three key qualifiers in the first verse that establish the explicit focus of the prophecy. The "thy people" are the Hebrews, "thy holy city" refers to Jerusalem and "anoint the most Holy" is when the returned Lord Jesus Christ is anointed King of Kings and begins to reign over the world in Jerusalem (Revelation 20). Notice that in the King James Bible the "H" in Holy is capitalized. This is because it is a reference to the Person of God:

"But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;"
(Acts 3:14 KJV
)

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
(1 John 5:7 KJV)

This shows the reader that this is not a reference to an object, which in the KJV is described in lower-case words:

"And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy."
(Exodus 40:10 KJV)

Let's now move on to the next verse:

"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."
(Daniel 9:25 KJV)

This "commandment" to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes of Persia c. 445 (see Ezra 7:11-26). This Persian King, Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued this commandment on March 14, 445 B.C. and sixty-nine weeks of years later (7+60+2=69), on April 6, 32 A.D., the "Prince" (Jesus) entered Jerusalem riding on an ass (Zechariah 9:9, Mark 11:7). If these calendar dates are correct, then is prophecy was accurate to the exact day.

Note: Bible years are 360 days as opposed to calendar years of 365 days (173,880 days divided by 360 = 483 years, divided by 7 = 69 weeks of years).

Notice that the word "Prince" in Daniel 9:25 is also capitalized, denoting this Prince as the Son of God:

"And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."
(Acts 3:15 KJV)

"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
(Acts 5:31 KJV)

So this part of the prophecy was fulfilled to the letter, but that is not the complete prophecy. Let's move on to the next verse:

"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 9:26 KJV)

It has long been assumed that Daniel 9:26 is speaking of the same thing that was prophesied in the previous verse, but that is not so. We can know this by two things that are different. First, there is no specific mention of the "seven weeks" before the "threescore and two weeks" in that verse (9:26), as compared to the previous verse (9:25). Notice also that the word "prince" (following the colon ":") is not capitalized. That is because it is a reference to a different "prince" - not the Lord Jesus Christ.

In verse 9:25, following the colon, the words, ":the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." is speaking about the Jerusalem of Jesus' first advent. In verse 9:26, following the colon, the words, ": 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." is speaking about the Jerusalem of the future near the time of the Great Tribulation (See: Revelation 17:16, 18:19 & Micah 1:7). And verse 9:27 goes on to speak about the antichrist and the abominations that triggers the final outpouring of the wrath of God (Revelation 15:1):

"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 9:27 KJV)

The "desolate" in that verse is a reference to the earthly Jerusalem (Isaiah 54:1, Daniel 11:31, Revelation 18:19) . This is strong meat of the word (Hebrews 5:14), so let's examine the matter in greater detail:

"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."
(Daniel 9:25 KJV
)

Although Jesus, the Messiah, the PRINCE came the first time, EXACTLY as prophesied in verse 9:25, the Holy Spirit tells us that He is coming again. And He is coming again as a PRINCE and he will do that before He is crowned King of Kings. Now think about it carefully. Although Jesus was, indeed, the "Prince" at His first coming, he was also a Prophet when he walked the Earth (Matthew 13:57). After the resurrection He ascended to the Third Heaven and became our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1, 4:14 & 6:20). And when He returns the second time, and calls up the Bride at the 'Rapture' (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), which happens BEFORE He actually steps foot again on the Earth (Zechariah 14:4) and before He is actually anointed the King of Kings in Jerusalem, up until that point He is still (technically) a Prince:

 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
(Revelation 1:5 KJV)

Therefore, if there are TWO comings of "Messiah the Prince" then there must also be TWO counts of prophetic weeks within Daniel's prophecy, and when we rightly-divide the entire prophecy we find that this, indeed, seems to be the case. This is found, not by adding to or subtracting from the word of God, but by gleaning truth from what is already written. It is illumination from the Holy Spirit. And verse Daniel 9:26 is the starting point for the second counting of seventy-weeks. The starting point of the second count of seventy-weeks begins with a period of "threescore and two weeks", not with a period of "seven-weeks" as in the previous verse.

"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 9:26 KJV)

That means that, in this second count, there remains a period of "seven weeks" still to be accomplished sometime after the crucifixion and must occur before the seventieth-week begins. That also will make the second count a total of sixty-nine weeks, exactly as the first count. And ONLY when both counts reach the end of sixty-nine weeks will both be synchronized and the final, seventieth-week begins. Confused? Let's recap:

The first count began with a period of "Jubile" (seven-weeks) that immediately followed King Artaxerxes' commandment. That seven-weeks was then followed by a period of "three-score and two weeks" that ended when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The first count paused at that point. After the Jews rejected their Prince at His first coming, that first count has remained on pause throughout the dispensation of Grace to the Gentiles.

The second count actually starts with "three-score and two weeks" (verse 9:26) then it goes on pause following the Lord's death and resurrection. It too has been on pause during the Church Age but starts again when God begins to directly deal again with the His people (the Hebrews) when they are back in their Holy City (Jerusalem). The second clock then starts counting again for a period of "seven weeks" which is then added to the already past period of "threescore and two weeks" and then BOTH counts lead up to the end of sixty-nine (69) weeks. The counts are completed synchronized at that point. Only then can the seventieth-week and the Great Tribulation period, begin.

But WHEN does this last "seven-weeks" begin, or has it already began? And what is the significance of a period of "seven-weeks" of years? Again, it is called a "Jubile" in the Law:

"And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family."
(Leviticus 25:8-10 KJV)

But at which "Jubile" does this last "seven-weeks" begin, seeing that the Jews are already back in the land of Israel and have been there for sometime now? Good question. Let's look some significant Jubilees in recent Jewish calendar history. The Jubilee period that began in 1917 saw the liberation of the Jewish Holy Land from Ottoman Turk rule and the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. In the Jubilee Year of 1967 the Jews liberated the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount area. The year 2016 was the beginning of the latest Jubilee period and, in 2017, the United States of America officially recognized Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. With Israel now back in his land, and in possession of the city and the Temple Mount, it is a possibility (not a certainty) that this current Jubilee may be where the last "seven-weeks" on the second time-clock begins. Or it could be the next Jubilee, or the next. Certainly, it will restart with a Jubilee.

The Jews are back in their ancestral, God-given land, they have reclaimed the city of Jerusalem, the only remaining thing missing is the rebuilding of the Temple. This is VERY important, as pointed out by the Apostle Paul to the Church:

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 KJV)

There are still many prophetic events described in Daniel chapters 10-11 that are yet to take place during the 'end-times' of the Hebrew people. And a careful and prayerful reading of the events described in Daniel 10-11 will reveal that the totality of these future events would require longer than just seven years (the last, or 70th prophetic week). They could, however, take place over an extended period of "seven-weeks" of years (49 years) prior, then spill-over into the final prophetic week.  I ask anyone reading this lesson to prayerfully study the book of Daniel and the whole Bible for that matter, especially where in the KJV Bible the phrase "latter days" appear (see:  Nu 24:14; De 4:30; De 31:29; Jer 23:20; Jer 30:24; Jer 48:47; Jer 49:39; Eze 38:8,16; Da 2:28; Da 10:14; Ho 3:5) and also the phrase "last days" (see: Ge 49:1; Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1; Ac 2:17; 2Ti 3:1; Heb 1:2; Jas 5:3; 2Pe 3:3) and let the Holy Spirit guide you in your preponderance of this matter.

Some would argue that this interpretation would falsify the doctrine of the "Immanency of the Rapture" of the Church. I disagree, because the prophecy deals with the Hebrew people and Jerusalem, not the Church. The Lord could call out the Bride anytime before the wrath of God is poured out on the world.

"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
(1 Thessalonians 1:10 KJV)

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