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DANIEL’S SEVENTIETH WEEK
(LECTURE NUMBER 3 ON BIBLE PROPHECY)
by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
A lesson given at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
“ 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.  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.  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.  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 9:24-27).
What is a “week” here? See the material below (all material in small type is from Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Here’s Life Publishers, 1979 edition, pp. 171-173). A “week” is seven years in these verses.
1. The Hebrew word for “week” is shabua and literally means a “seven”…
Then, in Hebrew, the idea of 70 weeks is “seventy sevens”.
2. The Jews were familiar with a “seven” of both days and years.
3. Leviticus 25:2-4 illustrates the above fact. Leviticus 25:8 shows that there
was a multiple of a week of years.
1. Daniel had been thinking in terms of years and multiples of seven earlier
in the chapter (Dan. 9:1-2).
2. Daniel knew that the Babylonian captivity was based on violation of the
Sabbatic year, and since they were in captivity for 70 years, evidently the
Sabbatic year was violated 490 years (Lev. 26:32-35, II Chr. 36:21, and
3. Shabua is found in Daniel 10:2-3. Context demands it to mean “weeks”
of days. It is literally “three sevens of days”. If Daniel meant days
in 9:24-27, why don’t we find the same form of expression as that in
chapter ten? Obviously, years are meant in chapter nine.
Verse 24: There are 70 weeks (490 years) determined. It is directed to “thy people” and “thy holy city” (the Jewish people and Jerusalem). During that time, the problem of transgression, sin and iniquity will be dealt with and everlasting righteousness will be brought in.
Verse 25: From the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (made by King Artaxerxes of Persia, Nehemiah 2:1-8) to Messiah’s coming shall be 69 weeks (seven weeks plus threescore and two weeks), or 483 years. The timing points exactly to Jesus.
1. “In the month Nisan (March), in the 20th year of Artaxerxes the king”.
2. Artaxerxes’ accession was in 465 B.C., therefore Nehemiah 2:1 is
definitely fixed at 445 B.C.
3. There is no date specified, so according to the Jewish custom,
the date is understood as the first day of the month.
4. March 14, 445 B.C. is our corresponding calendar date.
A prophetic year is 360 days long (see Revelation 12:6 and 12:13 where 1260 days is called a time, times, and half a time, or three and a half years). When did the 69 weeks end?
1. 69 weeks x 7 years x 360 days = 173,880 days
2. 173,880 days from March 14, 445 B.C. give the date of April 6, 32 A.D.
The exact and final date, according to many calculations by Sir Robert Anderson in The Coming Prince (p. 127), was April 6, 32 A.D. He states, “The Julian date of the 10th Nisan was Sunday the 6th of April, A.D. 32. What then was the length of the period intervening between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the public advent of ‘Messiah the Prince,’ – Between the 14th B.C. 445, and the 6th of April, A.D. 32? The interval contained exactly and to the very day 173,880 days, or seven times sixty-nine prophetic years of 360 days, the first sixty-nine weeks of Gabriel’s prophecy.”
At the end of the 69th week, Messiah (Jesus) rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Verse 26: Messiah shall be cut off (killed) but not for himself (He died for others, having no sin of his own). This was fulfilled in the crucifixion. He dealt with transgression, sin and iniquity – but everlasting righteousness did not take over the earth; the Kingdom did not begin. Note that the 70th week had not begun yet.
Verse 26: “The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. “The prince that shall come” is not Jesus Christ but rather the Antichrist, who will be of Roman heritage and unify Europe in a successor to the Roman Empire. Again, the 70th week has not begun yet.
Then comes the Church age – “the great parenthesis” as some would say it, between the 69th and 70th weeks. The length of this age is not specified.
Verse 27: And he [the prince that shall come, the Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years]. The 70th week, the Tribulation period, will begin when the Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel (and with others) for one week, seven years. The Greek word (thlipsis) translated “tribulation” (Matthew 24:21) means “pressure.” It also means “affliction, anguish, burdened...trouble” (Strong 2347).
Verse 27: In the middle of the Tribulation, three and a half years from its start, the Antichrist will break the treaty, and desecrate the rebuilt temple:
“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” (Daniel 9:27).
This is the “abomination of desolation” in Matthew 24:15.
The Antichrist will sit in the Temple of God, in the holy of holies, claiming to be God and demanding worship, II Thessalonians 2:4. Of course the Temple must be rebuilt for this to happen.
Since the Antichrist himself will not be in the Temple all the time, there will be an image of him placed there, and all who will not worship that image will be killed (Revelation 13:15).
This is the dividing point, the midpoint of the Tribulation.
After this comes the terrible second half of the Tribulation, called the “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:21. This is by far the worst time of human history.
If God did not intervene, no one would be left alive (there should no flesh be saved, Matthew 24:22).
Persecution unto death of those who will not worship the beast; those who will not take his mark will not be able to buy or sell, Revelation 13:15-18; the number 666 simply means man’s number repeated three times, “man, man, man.”
Persecuted Israel hides for “a time, and times, and half a time” (Revelation 12:14).
We believe that during this second half of the Tribulation at the sounding of the last trumpet (Revelation 11:15) the dead Christians will be resurrected and the remaining Christians will be raptured (I Thessalonians 4:13-17; I Corinthians 15:51-52). There are various views of the time of the Rapture. The most popular view is that it happens at the very beginning of the seven years of Tribulation. Others say it happens halfway through the Tribulation. Our view has been called the “pre-wrath Rapture.” We believe it occurs shortly before the “Bowl Judgments” of Revelation 16. Obviously the time of the Rapture is not crystal clear, because good Christians hold all three views.
Then the terrible bowl judgments of Revelation 16 will be poured out. There is no evidence of Christians on the earth in chapter 16, and the unbelievers do not repent (Revelation 16:11, 21). This is simply an outpouring of judgment.
At the end of this period Christ returns from Heaven (Revelation 19:11-16) with His saints, who have already been raptured (Zechariah 14:5) to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). At this time (or shortly before) God will send grace to the remaining Jews, giving them conviction and salvation (Zechariah 12:10 to 13:1). The Antichrist and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). Satan will be bound in the pit and the saints will reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6); this is the Millennial Kingdom.
Christ brings in “everlasting righteousness” (back to Daniel 9:24, fulfilling that part of the verse).
Daniel 12:11 gives the time period from the desecration of the Temple to the end as 1,290 days:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11).
This is three and a half years (1,260 days) plus another 30 days. In verse 12 there is another 45 days given for a total of 1,335 days. The extra days represent a transitional period, probably including the marriage supper of the Lamb, when Jesus drinks of the fruit of the vine with the believers in His Father’s Kingdom; and likely include the giving out of rewards, and a few weeks of “setting up” time.
But certainly this is three and a half years plus a little more – the second half of the Tribulation. Daniel’s 70th week comes to an end with the Second Coming of Christ.
Daniel’s 70th week (the Tribulation period) begins with the Antichrist signing a peace treaty with Israel, and ends seven years later with the return of Christ to the Mount of Olives.
(END OF LESSON)
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