PP8: Daniel’s 70-Week Prophecy (Part 1)


This is now the eighth part in our series on “A Partial-Preterist Perspective on the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.” This is the same title as a term paper I recently submitted to Northwestern College. The first segment included the Title Page, Outline, Introduction, and a brief introduction to Partial-Preterism. The second segment consisted of the References page, and the third segment was a discussion of the external evidence for an early date for the writing of the book of Revelation. These segments can be found here:

[1] Part 1: Brief introduction to partial-preterism
[2] Part 2: Reference page
[3] Part 3: External evidence of Revelation’s early date

We then turned to a discussion of the internal evidence for an early date. In Part 4 we discussed the inclusion of Jerusalem, the temple, Babylon the Great, and “a great city” in the book of Revelation. Part 5 dealt with the seven kings mentioned in Revelation 17:9-10 and the identity of the beast of the book of Revelation. Part 6 addressed Nero’s persecution of the saints and his prophesied demise.  Part 7 spoke of the worship of Nero and the worship of his image even after his death. We also saw that the language used by John strongly indicates the relevance of the entire book of Revelation to the first-century Christians who were alive when he wrote this book. These posts can be found here: [Part 4], [Part 5], [Part 6], and [Part 7].

We will now examine the 70-Week Prophecy given to Daniel through the angel Gabriel, in two parts. In this first part, we will begin to discover that the historical view did not focus on a future Antichrist, but rather the focus was Jesus the Messiah.

Adam Maarschalk

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Daniel’s 70-Week Prophecy (Part 1)

Earlier we saw that Clement’s statement regarding John’s banishment to Patmos makes it difficult to determine when he believes the book of Revelation was written. However, there is no doubt that he saw in the events of the Roman/Jewish War the fulfillment of the final week of Daniel’s 70-Week prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27). Dispensationalist Futurists hold that this final week (seven years) is still unfulfilled, and that the book of Revelation foretells the events which will take place during those seven years. Clement saw it differently:

From the captivity at Babylon, which took place in the time of Jeremiah the prophet, was fulfilled what was spoken by Daniel the prophet as follows: [Here he quotes Daniel 9:24-27 in its entirety.] …And Christ our Lord, “the Holy of Holies,” having come and fulfilled the vision and the prophecy, was anointed in His flesh by the Holy Spirit of His Father. In those “sixty and two weeks,” as the prophet said, and “in the one week,” was He Lord. The half of the week Nero held sway, and in the holy city Jerusalem placed the abomination; and in the half of the week he was taken away, and Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius [were also taken away]. And Vespasian rose to the supreme power, and destroyed Jerusalem, and desolated the holy place. And that such are the facts of the case, is clear to him that is able to understand, as the prophet said (Puritan Lad, 2008).

In his mind, Clement may or may not have tied the final week of Daniel’s 70-Week prophecy to the book of Revelation, as is often done by Dispensationalists and non-Dispensationalists alike. If he did, though, then by definition he was an advocate for Revelation’s early authorship, i.e. before 70 AD, because he clearly taught that Daniel 9:24-27 was entirely fulfilled by the end of the Roman/Jewish War. In any case, his view of Daniel 9 was certainly Preterist and, as we will see, so also was his view of Matthew 24 and other passages thought by Futurists to be unfulfilled.

It can be noted that nowhere in the book of Revelation is a 7-year period indicated, but a period of 3.5 years can be seen. The basis for a future 7-year Tribulation period within Dispensational thought is taken only from Daniel’s 70-Weeks prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.  Sam Storms (2006) speaks of the importance of this passage to Dispensationalist and Futurist theology when he says, “One could conceivably make an argument that apart from the dispensational interpretation of Daniel 9, these and related prophetic doctrines would lack substantial biblical sanction.”

The final week (i.e. seven years) will be initiated, Dispensationalists say, when the Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel. This is the current popular interpretation of verse 27, which states: “And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering…”). For this to happen, we are also told, the Jerusalem temple must be rebuilt and the sacrifices and offerings resumed. John Hagee, Benny Hinn, and others are willing to raise millions of dollars to see this happen, despite the blasphemous nature of such a venture in light of Christ’s work on the cross and also what happened in 70 AD.

This viewpoint does not appear to be the historic one. A number of the early church writers (like Clement) and also some of the reformers, in fact, did not see the “he” of verse 27 as referring to the Antichrist, but they insisted that this was a reference to Jesus. The covenant in view, then, was the New Covenant, made with many (Matthew 26:28, Mark 10:45, Mark 14:24). The first half of the final week was fulfilled in Jesus’ 3.5 year earthly ministry. The “end to sacrifice and offering” was achieved by Christ’s work on the cross, which was the ultimate sacrifice. Philip Mauro, a brilliant lawyer who spent years on the bar of the US Supreme Court, spoke of the centrality of Christ’s work on the cross in Daniel’s 70-Weeks prophecy in his 1921 book, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation:

No one will dispute that, when Christ suffered and died on the Cross, thus offering “one sacrifice for sins forever,” he then and there caused the sacrifice, and oblations of the law to cease as a divine appointment… Neither can there be any question that the removal of those sacrifices (which could never take away sins) was a great thing in the eyes of God, a thing so great and well-pleasing to Him, to warrant its having a prominent place in this grand Messianic prophecy. In proof of this important point we direct the attention of our readers to Hebrews, chapters 8, 9 and 10… The great subject of this part of Hebrews, as of the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, is the Cross… And when we find, both in the prophecy (Daniel 9:27) and in Hebrews 10, that this setting aside of the sacrifices of the law is connected directly with the confirming of the New Covenant, we are compelled to conclude that the passage in Hebrews is the inspired record of the fulfillment of this Prophecy… This gives to the last week of the seventy the importance it should have, and which the prophecy as a whole demands, seeing that all the predictions of verse 24 depend upon the events of that last week. On the other hand, to make this last Week refer to a paltry bargain between Antichrist (or a supposed Roman prince) and some apostate Jews of the future, for the renewal (and that for a space of only seven years) of those sacrifices which God has long ago abolished forever, is to intrude into this great scripture a matter of trifling importance, utterly foreign to the subject in hand and to bring the entire prophecy to an absurdly lame and impotent conclusion (pages 30-32, emphasis added; Todd Dennis [21], 2009).

Ralph Woodrow in 1971 pointed out the significance of Christ’s ministry being 3.5 years long, in relation to the prophecy in Daniel 9:27a (Todd Dennis [22], 2009). He notes that Augustine and Eusebius recognized that Daniel had defined the exact length of Christ’s ministry, with Eusebius saying, “Now the whole period of our Saviour’s teaching and working of miracles is said to have been three-and-a-half years, which is half a week. John the evangelist, in his Gospel makes this clear to the attentive [by the mention of four Passovers during His ministry; John 2:13, 5:1, 6:4, 13:1].”

Understanding this, we can now see real significance in certain New Testament statements which also speak of a definite established time at which Jesus would die. For example, we read: “They sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come” (John 7:30). In John 2:4, Jesus said, “Mine hour is not yet come.” On another occasion, he said, “My time is not yet come” (John 7:6). Then just prior to his betrayal and death, he said, “My time is at hand” (Mt. 26:18), and finally, ‘”the hour is come” (John 17:1; Mt. 26:45).

These and other verses clearly show that there was a definite time in the plan of God when Jesus would die. He came to fulfill the scriptures, and there is only one Old Testament scripture which predicted the time of his death—the prophecy which stated that Messiah would be cut off in the midst of the 70th week—at the close of three and a half years of ministry! How perfectly the prophecy was fulfilled in Christ!

But those who say that the confirming of the covenant and causing sacrifices to cease in the midst of the 70th week refers to a future Antichrist, completely destroy this beautiful fulfillment and are at a complete loss to show where in the Old Testament the time of our Lord’s death was predicted.

The prophecy of Daniel 9 stated that Messiah would confirm the covenant (or would cause the covenant to prevail) with many of Daniel’s people for the “week” or seven years. We ask then, when Christ came, was his ministry directed in a special way to Daniel’s people —to “Israel ” (Dan. 9:20)? Yes!

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A good article on the subject of Daniel’s 70th Week, which I didn’t reference here, is this one by Peter Cohen of Messianic Good News. Cohen focuses on how this prophecy concerned Christ’s incarnational ministry and work on the cross during His first coming, and notes the implications of saying that what Daniel prophesied will yet be fulfilled through some means other than the cross.

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A chiasm is a literary structure long recognized as a way to emphasize ideas or concepts by placing them into a symmetric pattern, as they are recorded in a given literary work. Where they appear in the Bible, some have referred to them as the “fingerprints of God.” The chiastic structure of Daniel 9:25-27 is very interesting, as it makes clear that the Messiah is the “he” who confirms the covenant. William H. Shea, a historicist,  notes the following chiasm in Frank Holbrook’s work*, “The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy“:

Another helpful chiasm of this same passage, including verse 24, can be seen here. It is shown as follows:

Daniel 9:24-27

24 ” 7.) Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city,
6.) To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness,
5.) To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 4.) “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem
3.) Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
2.) The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 1.) “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
2.) And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
3.) The end of it shall be with a flood,
4.) And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 5.) Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
6.) And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
7.) Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

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RED –         The center of the chiasm , the apex of eternity , the cross.
GREEN –   Above – God uses gentiles (Cyrus) to liberate nation for rebuilding city
Below – God uses gentiles (Romans) to decimate nation and destroy city
VIOLET – Above – Announces arrival of Messiah in Blessing
Below – Announces departure of Messiah in Judgment
BLUE –     Above – Restoration commanded by God through man
Below – Desolation Determined by God through Messiah
PINK –      Above- Anoint the High Priest who would be the sacrifice and offering.
Below – End sacrifice and offering
ORANGE – Above – Christ brings in everlasting righteousness and reconciliation
Below – Christ makes the city of the abominable unrighteous, desolate.
DARK RED – Above- 70 weeks of years determined for rebuilding and life
Below – The consummation of judgments determined for rejection.

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In the following post, we will consider whether or not there was meant to be any gap at all between the 69th and 70th weeks in Daniel’s prophecy.

All parts belonging to this term paper on the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD can be found here.
*William H. Shea, “The Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27”, in Holbrook, Frank. ed., The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy, 1986, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, Vol. 3, Review and Herald Publishing Association; shown on Wikipedia in the following entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/70_weeks_prophecy

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11 thoughts on “PP8: Daniel’s 70-Week Prophecy (Part 1)

  1. Enjoyed reading your articles. I have one question about the translation of V.27. in the chiasms you use – specifically the last phrase of it “is poured out on the desolate” The chiasm translates it as ‘the desolate’ implying that this word is a noun, but isn’t it really a participle? Most English translations phrase it ‘the one who makes desolate’ which seems to be a more common translation of a participle. I’m wondering if you could give me the reasoning behind it being translated as a noun in the chiasms you use. IMHO it does seem to change the meaning somewhat – perhaps significantly

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    • Hi David,

      I was updating this post today with some source information given to me by a friend of mine, Nathan Ward, when I realized that I had never responded to your question. I’m not sure how I overlooked your comment, but I apologize for that.

      Thanks for your kind feedback, and you’ve asked a very good question. You’re right – the meaning of the last part of this verse is indeed changed significantly, depending on how it’s translated. I pulled up a link where one can see how this verse is translated in 15 different versions:

      http://bible.cc/daniel/9-27.htm

      In six (6) cases (in the NIV, NLT, ESV, NASB, God’s Word, and ERV), the desolation is said to be poured out on “the desolator.” This would seem to imply that it would come upon the Romans.

      In eight (8) cases (in the KJV – three variations, ASV, Darby’s, Webster’s, WEB, Young’s Literal Translation), the desolation is said to be poured out on “the desolate.” This would imply that it was to come upon Israel, which is what most definitely happened according to recorded history and a great deal of Bible prophecy. In my opinion, this translation is the correct one.

      In one case, the subject of the desolation is not clear at all (Douay-Rheims).

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      • A desolation happens 15 times. In every week, a desolation happens. Jesus on the cross is the ultimate desolation. It is mirrored 15 times. The word to best understand the meaning of the sacrifice is vicariously suffering. To have a 4th day, means time must have come on the scene. To have time, means that there is a period of life and then ultimately death.

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  2. What if the 70 weeks are not weeks that should be counted. If at all were to be counted, could it be a count for a time in the day.

    Simply put . . .
    I am getting this look.

    There are 15 weeks.
    There are 70 workers who work these 15 weeks.
    God has seven weeks and seven workers.
    Israel has seven weeks and 62 workers.
    The adopted have one week and one worker.

    11 weeks are completely done.
    4 weeks remain, the creation, the benjamin, the 2nd pentecost and the 1st resurrection week.
    All weeks mirror the passion week.
    Jesus works the passion week.
    The passion week is the paradigm, the passion paradigm.

    We are given three weeks, the creation week, the passion week and the seven year week which should be called the 1st resurrection.

    According to most of the running information of the fall of 70 AD, the only possible reality of this event is that it is a middle of the week event. The week begins at 28 AD and finds its middle at 70 AD. The week ends in 112 AD. It is a classic 42 to 42 week with an hour is equal to a year. This week is 5th week that Israel completes and the week is called Issachar. All seven weeks that Israel completes is best understood as “Jacob’s trouble”, seven times.

    This is all I will give you for the moment. See if you can see it. If you can see it, you will have to rethink all your information in terms of weeks. If you cannot see it, and you don’t want to see it, it will be impossible for me to walk you through it.

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      • Thank you for being honest and nice. I wish that you could. I have learning that if someone cannot see it. It is no use trying to force trying to see it.

        Today . . . I was thinking again about weeks.

        The main question most people ask about weeks is what is its practical application or what good is it. Actually, at this time, it is maybe the best way to build a systematic theology. I am not that far.

        I did think this and will use the Passion week as an example. I think when thinking this way, grace is a little bit overrated or overused.

        Here are people walking through the Passion Week.

        The most educated miss the whole week by a long shot.
        The apostles run off and only the women and one man, John, are at the cross.
        I believe Mark was at a distance. Maybe a stones throw from the cross. He is keeping time. John is not. It is not a good idea to figure out time in John’s Gospel. John begins from the go with Jesus in the beginning and then jumps to present time.

        Jesus is the only one who gets through the week, breaks out of darkness and into the 8th day.

        Can someone missing a week, miss a week?
        _____________________________________________________
        Noah probably took 50 years to build his boat. His neighbors must have seen the boat. Only Noah and his family walk into the middle of the week. Everyone else supposedly died according to the scriptures.

        Maybe weeks are important. Maybe interpreting the weeks correctly are important. I really cannot see how anyone can see more than 3 weeks with 70 AD as a marker time for Daniel’s prophecy. I cannot see how anyone can see any of the weeks except 3 weeks if they multiply 7 times 70. These numbers are a time period from the first temple to a discussion with a woman at a well. I have read most information on the subject from various perspectives and unfortunately, I have to shake my head. I am learning that I cannot force on someone to see 15 weeks and 70 workers. I wish that I could. I would like to speak on week from a different perspective rather than just identifying them.
        ____________________________________________________

        Thank you for you time. God bless you! Keep the peace.

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  3. 70 weeks in terms of 70 workers. Actually, there are more than 70 workers.
    God as God . . . the middle of the week is the 4th day
    God as the Father . . . the middle of the week is a passover
    God as the Father . . . the middle of the week is the fall of the temple actually, the dedication of the second temple
    God as son . . .. The middle of the week is the flood
    God as son . . . The middle of the week is the cross
    God as spirit . . . The middle of the week is the tear in the curtain
    God as Spirit . . . the temple has to fall / so the spirit leaves the temple.

    The question is who or where it the temple?

    Israel the eldest . . . Joseph . . . The baker dies (1 worker)
    Simeon . . . . The land dies (12 workers)
    Levi . . . A generation dies in the desert (12 workers)
    Judah . . . Babylon exile (12 workers)
    Issachar . . . Fall of the temple 70 AD (12 workers)
    Zebulun . . . Holocaust (12 workers)
    Benjamin . . . Death of Rachel’s children (the youngest- 1 worker) joshua 6:26

    Adopted . . . The temple falls. (1 worker)

    ___________________________

    You have the middle of the week events. Technically, all those things that daniels speaks of happen “literally in one case” and metaphorically in all other situations. The weeks mirror the passion week.
    _________________________________________________
    If you keep thinking tribulation week, you will continue to mix the 2nd pentecost week with the 1st resurrection week.

    The 2nd pentecost week is a 100 years long.
    The 1st resurrection week is 7 years plus one (8th day).

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  4. Great research, thank you for sharing this! Did you notice the apparent link between the 70 weeks (or 70×7/ 490 years) and the 7×7/49 years leading up to the “Year of Jubilee” after the Atonement? It’s introduced in Leviticus 25 and coincides with a “Long loud blast of a (special) Trumpet” or a “last trumpet”.

    I believe Daniel and Jesus both intentionally linked this 70 x7 as a kind of final and perfect fulfillment of the last 3 Feasts, which are all described in ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. I believe it could be argued that the Last 3 Feasts ~ Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles, are a central theme to Revelation.

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    • You’re welcome. I didn’t notice that connection myself, but I believe I’ve heard or seen that before somewhere. It may indeed be significant. I need to learn and study more about the feasts and how they found fulfillment in the first century (and some of them in the book of Revelation).

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    • Unfortunately, this is how I see it.

      There are two running weeks that are of the main focus in Revelations. The 2nd pentecost which is a 100 years long which should run from 1969 to 2019 to 2069. This all depends on the true year that the Jesus Movement began.

      There is also a seven year week which is called the 1st resurrection based on what John calls it, the 1st resurrection. It is seven years plus one, an 8th day.

      The best use (from my perspective on weeks) of 70 times 7 if that be the case is the building of the temple 967 BC to the dedication of the temple 467 BC to the woman at the well, around 28 to 33 AD. The hour is equal to 10 years.

      If an hour is equal to 10 years, a day is equal to 140 years. Now, this would be complicated trying to explain shavuot or pentecost being more than just 50. It is 50 to 50.

      First . . . the week enters with an 8th day. It is representative of eternity. The eternal always leaves behind something that shows the eternal entered time. In this case, Shekinah enter in with the temple. Jesus explains the real truth of the week being, true believers worship the father is Spirit and Truth.

      Spirit shows who Truth is.
      Truth points to Christ.

      The woman at the well saw it. A very good prophet.

      ________________________________________
      The week begins in 967 BC with the building of the temple.

      This week is a temple week. It is called Levi. It is God’s third week. The worker is the Father. The Sacrifice is the temple, but more so the Spirit although the Father is the worker. The Spirit enters the new temple when dedicated in 467 BC Ezra returns in a prophets dream. The spirit is actually dead if the spirit was dead.

      To understand it better, the temple falls in 586 BC. The day has 140 years. 586 to 446 AD. 486 would roughly put us at the 3rd hour. Keep in mind the hour is 10 years. The play room is vey large.

      If 467 is the middle, and the week has 490 days and then the 50th day. 23 AD is ends the 49 day or hour. The last hour or the 50th hour or day depending on how one wants to look at shavuot or pentecost, The week ends around 33 AD. There is a whole window of ten years for an hour for Jesus to speak to the woman at the well. This little discussion technically ends the week.

      For me, this is the only real use of 70 in terms of time. 70 multiplied to look for the future means these are the possibilities . . .

      Immanuel (Judah) week ends with the birth of Jesus.
      Temple week (Levi) ends with the woman at the well.
      Passion Week (Issachar) . . .
      Pentecost Week (Zebulun) . . .
      Issachar week (Issachar week) . . . from 28 AD to 112 AD
      Zebulun Week (Zebulun week) 1897 to 1981
      Benjamin Week (middle with death of Rachel’s children ends with birth of Israel should end around 2184 AD)
      2nd Pentecost Week (1969 to 2069)
      1st Resurrection Week (2015 to 2022) (8th day 2033???)

      If the multiplication only looked for one week, which one are you looking for in the book of revelations.
      2nd pentecost which is a 100 year week.
      1st resurrection which is a 7 year week plus one.

      These two weeks mirror in time to the pentecost and the passion week except for time.

      Pentecost is a 100 day week where a day is equal to an hour.
      2nd pentecost is a 100 year week where a year is equal to an hour.
      ______________________
      Passion week is a 7 day week plus one where an hour is equal to an hour.
      1st resurrection week is a year week plus one where an hour is equal to a month.

      _______________________________________________
      Most of the colorful language about the week in revelations is about 2nd pentecost which involves two realities of where the war is.

      The seven year plus one is cut and dry. It is about a seven year week which is called the 1st resurrection week. Again, this is what John calls the week.

      This probably does not help the math of 70 times 7 unless one understand the 70 is seventy workers.

      Like

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