Daniel's '70 Weeks' Prophecy Was Fulfilled by AD 70

The Prophet Daniel, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
The Prophet Daniel, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) | Source
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Introduction

A series on eschatology would be incomplete without Daniel’s '70 Weeks' Prophecy.

I will endeavour to explain why Daniel's prophecy is the most fascinating and controversial in the Old Testament, and why I believe its fulfilment was AD 70.

Psa 137:1-4

Psa 137:1-4 KJV By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 4 How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?

Till there was no Remedy

  • 2Ch 36:14-16 KJV Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. 15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

The Reasons for the 70 Years of Babylonian Captivity

The kingdom of Judah had forsaken the Lord; their transgressions had degenerated to such an extent ‘till there was no remedy’. Not only had they maltreated the prophets, they neglected their stewardship of the land.

  • Lev 25:4 KJV But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

To continue in the blessing of the Lord the Children of Israel had to obey the Old Covenant Law, which included allowing the land to rest for a year every seventh year.

  • 2Ch 36:21 KJV To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

On at least 70 occasions, Old Covenant Israel worked the land on the Sabbath year with total disregard for the Law. The 70 years of Babylonian captivity was the result of their disobedience.

A Quote from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

2 Chronicles 36:21 'Sabbaths - …Many a time had they ploughed and sowed their land in the seventh year, when it should have rested: and now it lay unploughed and unsown for ten times seven years. Yet even this might encourage them to hope, that they should in due time return to it again. Had others come and taken possession of it, they might have despaired of ever recovering it. But while it lay desolate, it, as it were, waited for them, and refused to acknowledge any other owners.’

2 Chronicles 36:21 'Until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths - Between the time of Moses and the commencement of the captivity, there had been (about) 70 occasions on which the Law of the sabbatical year had been violated…Leviticus 25:4-7.’

— Albert Barnes, Notes on the Bible

Artaxerxes Granting Liberty to the Jews

Artaxerxes Granting Liberty to the Jews, Gustave Dore (1832-1883)
Artaxerxes Granting Liberty to the Jews, Gustave Dore (1832-1883) | Source

The Return from the Babylonian Captivity

  • Isa 44:28 KJV That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

Isaiah prophesied during 745-695 BC and proclaimed that a man by the name of Cyrus would allow the Jews to return to their land.

This prophecy was approximately 150 years before Cyrus ascended to the throne.

  • Jer 25:11-12 KJV And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

  • Jer 29:10 KJV For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

Jeremiah lived approximately 100 years after Isaiah and prophesied from 626 BC, he predicted the captivity would last for 70 years. The destruction of Jerusalem took place during 606-586 BC and the first decree to return was in 536 BC.

Daniel's '70 Weeks Prophecy'

  • Dan 9:22 KJV And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Daniel sought the Lord on behalf of his people and the angel Gabriel explained what the future held for them.

  • Dan 9:24 KJV 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.

The 70 weeks was literally 70 sevens, generally understood to mean 490 years. The captivity had been 70 years, the period between the return from captivity and the time of the Messiah would be 70 times seven...Leviticus 26:18.

A Quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 9:24 'Gabriel shows him that there are seventy weeks determined relative to a redemption from another sort of captivity, which shall commence with the going forth of the edict to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and shall terminate with the death of Messiah the Prince, and the total abolition of the Jewish sacrifices…….Seventy weeks are determined -The Jews had Sabbatic years, Lev 25:8, by which their years were divided into weeks of years, as in this important prophecy, each week containing seven years. The seventy weeks therefore here spoken of amount to four hundred and ninety years…'

The Commission of the Messiah …Daniel 9:24

Jesus the Saviour Dealt With Sin

'to finish the transgression' The seventy years exile was punishment, but not full atonement for the sin of the people. Only the Messiah could pay that debt.

'to make an end of sins' Perhaps a reference to sin-offerings, Jesus accomplished this when He offered Himself on the cross.

'to make reconciliation for iniquity' Through His suffering and death the Law of God was fully satisfied and the sinner reconciled.

'to bring in everlasting righteousness' Christ brought everlasting righteousness whereby the saints of all the ages would be justified by faith.

Jesus the King Is on His Throne

'to seal up the vision and prophecy' Christ fulfilled all prophecy.

'to anoint the most Holy' Christ was consecrated Prophet, Priest, and King.

The Messiah accomplished all required of Him by AD 70.

The Prince

  • Dan 10:14 KJV Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

  • Dan 9:25-27 KJV 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. 26 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. 27 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.

'Messiah the Prince' In the KJV, it is interesting to note that the word ‘Prince’ in Daniel 9:25, which is emphasised by a capital ‘P’, is the same Hebrew word ‘nagid’ used in Daniel 9:26, but with a lowercase ‘p’.

Dispensationalism takes this opportunity to propose that the 'inferior' prince is the future 'antichrist'. However, the KJV 1611 has a capital ‘P’ on both occasions, and in Young’s Literal Translation ‘Prince’ is translated ‘Leader’ with a capital ‘L’ on both occasions.

In my opinion, 'the Prince' in both verses referred to the Messiah, there was no justification for the substitution of a lower case ‘p’ in Daniel 9:26.

Numerous commentators agree the timeline was AD 70, although some believe 'the prince' was Titus.

A Quote from gotquestions.org

Daniel 9:26 'The people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.' This speaks of the Roman Empire destroying Jerusalem and the temple, which occurred in A.D. 70. It should be noted that the prince was yet to come; only the people of the prince were the ones who destroyed Jerusalem. This also tells us that the antichrist/beast will come from a future revived Roman Empire.'

There was a time when I would have accepted this answer. However, I never cease to be amazed at my naivety. 'Got Questions' dissected this verse and inserted a 2000 years gap without explanation or scriptural support.

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown provides a balanced view of the text:

A Quote from Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

Daniel 9:26 'the people of the prince — the Romans, led by Titus, the representative of the world power, ultimately to be transferred to Messiah, and so called by Messiah’s title, “the Prince”; as also because sent by Him, as His instrument of judgment (Matt 22:7).'

'The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary’ The Messiah the Prince used the Roman Army commanded by Titus to carry out His judgement upon Jerusalem at His parousia. On certain occasions, the Lord used Gentile nations to fulfil His 'Day of the Lord' prophecies, for example:

  • Isa 13:10 KJV For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Isaiah prophesied God’s judgement on Babylon and described it metaphorically...Isaiah 13:10-16.

  • Isa 13:17 KJV Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

He then explained how God would perform it ‘I will stir up the Medes against them’...Isaiah 13:17.

The Fulfillment of Daniel's '70 Weeks Prophecy'

There were three decrees issued by the Persian kings, 536 BC, 457 BC, and 444 BC. Many scholars contend that the principle one was 457 BC.

The first 49 years (seven weeks) added to 457 BC equates to 408 BC when the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt.

The next 434 years (62 Weeks) added to 408 BC, brings the timeline to AD 26 when Jesus began His public ministry.

The final 7 years (one Week) added to AD 26, corresponds to AD 33.

Some scholars teach that the prophecy ended in AD 33 when the Gospel was extended to the Gentiles, and that does have merit.

In my opinion, Christ's ministry ended at the cross half way through, and the final three and a half years of the 70th week was the duration of the Jewish/Roman war from AD 66 to AD 70. My premise is that Daniel's prophecy included the dispersion of the Jews in AD 70.

Christ reigned from heaven over Old Covenant Israel during the intervening 40 years, the transition period from the Old Covenant to the New. Subsequently, the elect was gathered and delivered from judgement prior to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.

It is interesting that Old Covenant Israel began with 40 years in the wilderness, while that unbelieving generation passed away, and ended with Christ reigning with a rod of iron for 40 years, until His unbelieving generation passed away.

  • Act 2:33-37 KJV Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

A Quote from Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Acts 2:36 'Both Lord and Christ - Not only the Messiah, but the supreme Governor of all things and all persons, Jews and Gentiles, angels and men. In the preceding discourse, Peter assumes a fact which none would attempt to deny, viz. that Jesus had been lately crucified by them. He then,
1. Proves his resurrection.
2. His ascension.
3. His exaltation to the right hand of God.
4. The effusion of the Holy Spirit, which was the fruit of his glorification, and which had not only been promised by himself, but foretold by their own prophets: in consequence of which,
5. It was indisputably proved that this same Jesus, whom they had crucified, was the promised Messiah; and if so,
6. The Governor of the universe, from whose power and justice they had every thing to dread, as they refused to receive his proffered mercy and kindness.'

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Conclusion

All was fulfilled by AD 70, and Daniel’s ‘70 Weeks Prophecy' was consigned to history! Jesus kept His promises, just as He said He would.

  • Luk 21:32 KJV Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

What do you think?

Alexander Gibb

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Comments 6 comments

Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 5 years ago from Wales, UK

A very good hub.

However there appears to be an inconsistency which perhaps you can resolve. In Dan 9:25 we have seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks = 69weeks or 483 years. In v26 we have threescore and two weeks = 62 weeks. Why do you suggest this is only a further 3.5 years rather than 434 years?


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 5 years ago from UK Author

Disappearinghead

Thank you for your comment.

Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy is a real 'Brain-Teaser' for those who study Eschatology.

I am open to other points of view, but this Hub describes the way I understand it at this point in time.

The first period of seven weeks (49 years) was from 457 BC to 408 BC; the time of the restoration of Jerusalem.

The second period of sixty-two weeks (434 years) was from 408 BC to AD 26; the commencement of Jesus’ ministry.

The third period of one week (7 years):

The first three and a half years was during AD 26 to AD 30 the years of Jesus’ ministry to the crucifixion.

The second three and a half years was during AD 66 to AD 70 the years of the Jewish/Roman war that ended with the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews, bringing to an end the Old Covenant Age.

The total number of 490 years.


Jerami profile image

Jerami 2 years ago from Houston tx

I can't imagine a single reason we should not believe each of these seventy weeks have an equal value.

Gabriel came and told Daniel , " I have come to give you skill and understanding; "When you started making prayer and supplication The Commandment came forth"

What commandment do you suppose this to be? I believe Gabriel was talking about the same commandment he refers to later in this same conversation. From the time the command goes forty (went forth) to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, It shall be 69 weeks until Messiah the Prince, but it shall be 62 weeks until they kill the Messiah.

It is my opinion that upon his death and his accention into heaven, he became "Messiah The Prince"

The 62 weeks began in 538 BC when Gabriel said the commandment has gone forth when Daniel began making prayer and supplication.

That same year is when Cyrus the Great proclaimed "The God of heaven has charged me (Commanded me) to build him a house in Jerusalem.

(Ezra !)Cyrus at that time commanded the Babylonians to allow all Hebrews who wished to go to allow them to retunn to Jerusalem, and also to give them materials to rebuild the city.

The commandment to build the city and temple went forth as Isiah foretold, in 538 BC. The 62 weeks began in 538 BC. and 62 weeks were completed in either 26, 30, or 33 AD.

62 weeks equals either 564, 568, or 571 years IF WE are going to believe what is written in the book of Daniel, Isiah and Ezra.

Using this equation, the 69 weeks would have been completed around 96 AD. when Jesus visited John on the Isle of Pat mos. And Jesus confirmed the covenant for another week.

The 70 weeks would then have been completed in 105 AD ... 40 years prior to Hadrian beginning to deport every single Hebrew from the promised land.

The 1260 days the woman was carried into the wilderness began in 135 AD.

Using the equation mentioned above, the 1260 days were finished around 1800. Masses of Hebrews began migrating back to the promised land as never before. the 1290 days were completed when the Caliphate decree in 1844 allowed Jews to enter the cities in the promised land.

at some time after this, the 1000 years ended and Satan is released from the pit. He is given a short season. A season is 13 weeks.

Each of these 13 weeks are of equal value as the 62 weeks

A week in prophesy is equal to approx 9.16 of our years.

A Time in prophesy is equal to just over 52 weeks in prophesy.

I can't see what I have read in scriptures to mean any thing else, or ... it don't make any sense at all to me.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Jerami

Thank you for your comment.

I have edited slightly the section entitled 'The Fulfilment of Daniel's '70 Weeks Prophecy', in an attempt to clarify my understanding of the 70 weeks.

This may be of interest to you.


Jerami profile image

Jerami 2 years ago from Houston tx

It just seems to me that each and every week as described in Daniel would have to be of equal value in order for it to be giving Daniel wisdom.

From Gabriel's perspective, The children of Daniels people would be talking about the descendants of those people that made up the Hebrew Nation to whom the 70 weeks were being given to.

Those people were told they had 70 weeks to quit sinning and anoint the Messiah. When the time came, they didn't; they killed him instead.

That Nation of Israel ceased to exist in 135 AD when every single inhabitant was carried off into the wilderness. Before 150 AD there wasn't a single living Hebrew to be found in the Promised land. They had all been sold into slavery through out the rest of the Roman Empire.

I believe the 70 weeks given must have been fulfilled before that time. If the 62 weeks began in 138 BC and ended in 30 AD as I believe it did. 62 weeks in prophesy would be equal to 568 of our years.

If 62 weeks ended in 30 AD, 69 weeks would have ended in 96 AD when it is believed that Jesus apeared to John on the Isle of Patmos.

The Prince confirms the covenant for one more week or until approx 105 AD. 30 years later Hadrian (the 14 emperor of Rome began scattering that Hebrew Peoples through out the rest of the world.

In my opinion, the 70 weeks had to have come and gone before that Hebrew Nation was scattered to the four winds.

If we notice, In the book of Rev.; as soon as Jesus apears in heaven all bloody and looking like a lamb looking as if it had just been slain, immediately upon his arrival, opens the first four seals.

The four horsemen were released in 30 AD The 7th seal was opened before 150 AD.

AND then at some point after this, the Beast rises up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns.

The And then's And Then's ... and Then's through out the book of Rev. should not be ignored. They are there for a very important reason.


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searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Jerami

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    Alexander Gibb (searchinsany)87 Followers
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    Alexander has been a Christian for 46 years. Over the past decade he has studied 'the end times’ from a Preterist's perspective.



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