Questions and Answers


QUESTION:

Could you explain this phrase in Daniel chapter 9, “Seventy ‘weeks’ are decreed for your people…”

Daniel 9:24-27 (NASB) 24“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”


ANSWER:

Daniel’s prophecies of the “seventy ‘weeks’” is one of the most intently studied in the entire Scripture. Taking each “week” as a cluster of 7 years, the prediction identifies 490 years, at the end of which God’s program of the ages will be complete.

24“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 

The countdown commenced with a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. This was issued to Ezra by Artaxerxes in 458 B.C. But the seventy “weeks” are further broken up. A first group of 7 “weeks” (49 years) takes us to 409 B.C., and the repopulation of Jerusalem under Nehemiah and Ezra. The next group of 62 “weeks” takes us to A.D. 26, which according to some calculations marks the baptism of Jesus, Daniel’s “anointing of the Most Holy” (One). Others calculate it to Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

There remains only one group of years until the end. Yet verse 26 says that after the 62, “the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing.” Clearly there is a gap between the end of the 62 “weeks” and the last group of seven years—a gap that has stretched from the time of Messiah Jesus up to our own day.

26“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

Many students of prophecy believe that one day God’s countdown will resume. Then the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecies, which most of the visions in the last three chapters concern, will also be fulfilled, and history will have come to God’s intended—and predicted—end.

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