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You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Religious History arrow The Seventy Weeks of Daniel
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70 Weeks of Daniel
70 Weeks of Daniel
God's time measure in dealing with the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

God's time measure of four hundred and ninety years in dealing with the Southern Kingdom of Judah, ending in the Jewish rejection of the Messiah which resulted in the destruction of the City of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

While weeping over Jerusalem, Jesus said the reason for its destruction was "Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
Luke 19:44

Seventy Weeks of the Prophet Daniel

Daniel 9:20-27

Prophetic scale: 1 day equals 1 year "I have appointed thee each day for a year" Ezekiel 4:6

Each prophetic week equals 7 years

This was God's timeline for dealing with the Judah nation (not Israel of the Dispersion). These 70 weeks were the second time period of 490 years in which God dealt with the Judah nation. The first time resulted in a 70 year captivity, but the second period resulted in utter desolation.  II Chronicles 36:14-21, Matthew 23:37-38

As part of the Historicist interpretation of prophecy, the point of view expressed on this chart was believed and taught by many of the Protestant Reformers and Bible scholars dating back many centuries. Many stalwarts of the Christian faith such as John Wycliffe, John Knox, William Tyndale, John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Huss, Charles Spurgeon, John and Charles Wesley and Jonathan Edwards were strong proponents of the Historicist view and many suffered in defense of their belief. This interpretation stands in sharp contrast to the modern fallacious teaching of Futurism.

457 B.C. 4 B.C. 27 A.D. 31 A.D. 34 A.D. 70 A.D.

Commandment to restore and build Jerusalem

Daniel 9:25

  • Ezra 7:11-13 Birth of Jesus
  • Galatians 4:4  Baptism of Jesus in Jordan 30 years old 
  • Luke 3:22-23 "The time is fulfilled" 
  • Mark 1:14 "Shall Messiah be cut off" 
  • Daniel 9:26 Death of Stephen
  • Acts 7:51-59  Destruction of Jerusalem
  • Matthew 23:37-24:2 Gospel Expansion
  • Acts 8:5 Philip was now free to preach in Samaria
  • Acts 13:46 Paul goes to the "Gentiles"

 The Messianic Purpose

Daniel 9:24

  • To finish the transgression Isaiah 53:5; Hebrews 10:12-14
  • To make an end of sins Hebrews 9:26
  • To make reconciliation for iniquity Rom. 5:10; Heb. 10:17
  • To bring in everlasting righteousness II Cor. 5:21
  • To seal up the vision and prophecy Matthew 5:17
  • To anoint the Most Holy Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38 

The prophecy concerning the time measure of the 70 weeks or 490 years is completely fulfilled and is a matter of Biblical historical record.

The Babylonian Captivity

In reading the Biblical accounts of the history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, it is obvious that they became a very sinful and rebellious people toward the Lord their God. For 490 years from the time of their early history through the reign of King Zedekiah they rebelled against the laws of God and perverted their religion and culture by incorporating heathen practices into every area of their national life. They disregarded the law of the Sabbath, so therefore God based the length of their captivity upon the number of years of their violation. The 490 years of violation divided by every 7th year equals 70 years of captivity. II Chronicles 36:14-21; Jeremiah 25:11

The 490 Years of 70 Weeks

457 B.C. - 34 A.D.

The first sixty-nine weeks of this time measure (Daniel 9:25) contained an initial 'seven week' or 49 year period (457 B.C. to 408 B.C.). This period was a time of restoration and repairing of the walls and streets of the city of Jerusalem under the supervision of Ezra and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:8-17; 4:17). These were 'troublous times' because of extreme opposition from enemy neighbors (Nehemiah 4:7).

The sixty-two week period or 434 years extended from 408 B.C. to 27A.D. at the time of Jesus' water baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. This completed the first sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy which was a period of 483 years.

After the sixty-two weeks or "in the midst of" the 70th week Messiah was cut off and officially "caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease" (Daniel 9:26-27). This was none other than the crucifixion of Jesus when he 'confirmed' or ratified the new Covenant spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:8-13; Matthew 26:27-28; Romans 15:8. This took place in 31 A.D. The stoning of Stephen three and a half years later ended the period of the 70th week.

Jewish Rejection of Jesus the Messiah

In spite of the many witnesses that Jesus had concerning Himself as proof of His Deity, the Jewish leaders refused to accept Him as the Promised Messiah. He therefore uttered numerous statements of divine rejection which resulted in severe judgment upon the Jewish people until now. At the trial of Jesus they themselves said, "His blood be on us and our children" (Matthew 27:25).

Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 27:1-44
Matthew 27:62-66 Mark 12:1-12
Luke 19:11-14; 41:48
John 15:22-25
(see Tracts #16 & 17)

Jesus' Prophecies of the Destruction of Jerusalem

The destruction of Jerusalem was a result of the Jewish rejection of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death in fulfillment of the Old Testament law of sacrifice. The Jewish continuation of animal sacrifice after Calvary was therefore the "abomination of desolation" that resulted in the utter destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Prince Titus in 70 A.D. (Daniel 9:26).

Matthew 24:1-28; 21:17-22
Luke 21:5-33; 23:27-31
Luke 19:41-44

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