69 Weeks

October 7, 2020 

Daniel 9:24–25

24“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 

25Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

Gabriel now turns his attention to the timing of all these events. The seventy weeks of years are divided into 3 sections. The first week of years is 49 years, the second division is 62 weeks or 432 years and then the final week of 7 years will bring in the millennial kingdom. 

The 70 “sevens” would begin, Gabriel said, with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The Bible records 4 decrees, beginning with the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple, but the decree Gabriel speaks of will actually be the fourth decree. The first two decrees pertain to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the third relates to finances for animal sacrifices at the temple. These three say nothing about the rebuilding of the city itself. 

The fourth decree was also by Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued on March 5, 444 B.C. (Neh. 2:1–8). On that occasion Artaxerxes granted the Jews permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s city walls. This decree is the one referred to in Daniel 9:25. 

The end or goal of the prophecy is the appearance of the Anointed One, the Ruler. This refers to Christ Himself. God the Father anointed Christ with the Spirit at the time of His water baptism (Acts 10:38), but the anointing referred to here is the anointing of Christ as the Ruler in His kingdom (cf. comments on “anoint the Most Holy” in Dan. 9:24). 

This prophecy of the 70 sevens, then, ends not with the First Advent of Christ, as some suggest, but rather with the Second Advent and the establishing of the millennial kingdom. 

The first period of 49 years may refer to the time in which the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, permitted by Artexerxes’ decree, was completed (444–395 B.C.). Though Nehemiah’s wall construction project took only 52 days, many years may have been needed to remove the city’s debris (after being desolate for many decades), to build adequate housing, and to rebuild the streets and a trench. 

The 62 “sevens”. (434 years) extend up to the introduction of the Messiah to the nation Israel. 

This second period concluded on the day of the Triumphal Entry just before Christ was cut off, that is, crucified. In His Triumphal Entry, Christ, in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, officially presented Himself to the nation of Israel as the Messiah. 

Jesus was evidently familiar with Daniel’s prophecy when on that occasion He said, 

Luke 19:42.

“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” 

483 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, to the day, Jesus came into Jerusalem to the shouts of hosanna and praise. They welcomed him as messiah, but they rejected him. A week later he was crucified, cut off from the living. 69 weeks of years had been fulfilled.



Anointing Messiah

October 6, 2020

Daniel 9:24

24“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

The sixth event Gabriel predicts is “to anoint a most holy place.”

Most commentators see this as a reference to the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple, which was actually accomplished by Judas Maccabee late in 164 BC but which was still awaited when this passage was written. The idea that the rededication should involve anointing is inferred from the anointing of the tent of meeting and of the tabernacle in Exodus 30:26.

25 And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the basin and its stand.

But there is also a long-lived tradition that sees an allusion to the messiah here. The Jewish interpretation understands the messiah as the Holy of Holies. He was the mercy seat where the blood was sprinkled. Messianic interpretation was thought to be the central issue in the interpretation of Dan 9:24–27 but is today abandoned by all but the most conservative interpreters.

One of the things I have learned over the years is when you become confused as to the meaning of a scripture, you should always take a Christ centered approach to understanding God’s word. Jesus said to the teachers of the law,

John 5:39

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.

I believe this verse tells us something about the messiah Jesus Christ. If we follow the same rules of interpretation, the same pattern we followed for the other 5 events, we can see that this too was completed in the first 69 weeks with the ministry of Jesus. When Jesus began his ministry after his baptism by John, he went to his home town of Nazareth and read these words from the prophet Isaiah:

Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The people wanted to throw him off a nearby cliff because they understood this passage to be the anointing of the messiah, the most holy one of God. Little did they know that the prophesy of Isaiah and Daniel had just been fulfilled before their eyes and they had missed it.

Jesus was “the most holy place” he was the holy of holies, the place where we meet God and receive atonement for our sin. He alone was the mercy seat, the place where grace and truth come together in everlasting righteousness. Everything in the temple pointed to him, embraced him and told us something about his nature and his character.

People failed to see him for who he was when he appeared the first time, but when he returns at the end of the 70th week every eye will see him, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.



Sealing the Vision

October 5, 2020 

Daniel 9:24–27

24“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 

25Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

26And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 

27And 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. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” 

The fifth event Gabriel predicts is “to seal both vision and prophet.” The verb used here translated seal is the same verb used in the second event translated finish in “to finish the transgression.” If you remember, there was picture of sealing something up in view of a later judgement… not forgetting the transgression but putting off the judgement for a later date. In the case of vision and prophet something been put off that will be brought to pass. Gabriel is telling Daniel that his vision will indeed come to pass. 

All the visions and the prophets will who have spoken for God will have fulfillment. When God makes a promise, it will be fulfilled. As we saw last week, many of these events were fulfilled in the appearance of the messiah, Jesus Christ. The promise to Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent was accomplished when Jesus defeated death, hell and the grave. The promise to Abraham that God would provide himself a sacrifice was also completed with the death of Jesus. 

But many other promises and prophesies have not yet been fulfilled. Israel has never received the entire land that God described to Moses. David was told his son would sit on the throne of his father David and rule the earth in everlasting righteousness, but that has never been completely fulfilled. Gabriel is telling Daniel that because God has revealed it, because his prophets have spoken, it will come to pass. 

The understanding as to when this will take place is still up for debate. Because of the language used, because he used the word for seal rather than for fulfill, I believe it is referring again to the first coming of Jesus. Jesus was the fulfillment of prophesy and he was the last prophet. He made prophesies concerning the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem which found their fulfillment in 70AD. He appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos and gave him a vision of these end time events. 

The time of the prophets ended with Jesus. The time of visions ended with the disciple whom Jesus loved. With the death of the apostles both vision and prophet have been sealed up… waiting for their final fulfillment. No more visions, no more prophets, but the things they promised will surely come to pass. 

As we get into the 70 weeks, we will see that 69 weeks have already been accomplished, but there is one more week yet to come. The book of Revelation describes that week in vivid detail and it too will happen at the end of our current age. How close are we to this final 7 years? As we see the signs fulfilled, we understand these things to be close at hand. Israel became a nation again in 1948, that was a significant sign. Jerusalem was recaptured in 1967, that was another significant sign. Jerusalem became the recognized capital in 2017 and many Biblical scholars consider that event to be another significant sign. 

God has sealed up visions and prophesies and all will be revealed in the final week.




Daily Devotions 2020