Daniel 9 records perhaps the most amazing prophetic passage in all the Bible. Who would ever dream of predicting an event 500 years into the future and naming a specific day on which it would occur? One man did just that. His name is Daniel; his prediction was the day Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. When Daniel the prophet knelt down in prayer after his time of Bible study his prayers received an incredible answer. God dispatched Gabriel to tell Daniel that Jesus Christ would enter Jerusalem as King 500 years in the future. The amazing detail of this prophecy is that God told him the very day of Christ’s entry!
Today, this morning the book you hold in your hands contains details of events that will happen from today through 1,007 plus years into the future. Those details are exact and accurate to the day. This morning turn to Daniel 9:2 and see what Daniel saw and how he understood God’s Word. The way he read and understood it is the same way we can this morning.
What was he reading? Lets turn to Jeremiah 29:4,10 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: v. 10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
So when Daniel’s study of God’s Word led him to see the plan, what is his reaction? He prays Thy will be done, in me, through me, by my life! And while he was praying, God showed him the plan laid out for Israel all the way to the end of the world.
How do we know that the Rapture and then the Tribulation are next on God’s prophetic roadmap? Well, God left an incredible roadmap for us to not lose our way – that map is twofold.
- Prophetic Panoramas
- Detailed descriptions.
In light of those two types of prophetic passages, let’s look at the most amazing prophecy of the whole panorama of the Tribulation. This comes in the Hebrew prophet, Daniel’s writings, Chapter 9. Turn there briefly, v.24-27.
Daniel is told about the future as Gabriel describes 70 prophetic “weeks” (490 years) as God’s timetable – key to remember – for the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem (9:25-27). Highlights of this period are:
- Christ’s death as a sacrifice for sin,
- bringing in righteousness as He establishes His kingdom,
- and the rebuilt millennial temple.
With the exception of Christ’s death, all these events will take place during Israel’s national repentance at Christ’ Second Coming.
The first 69 weeks (483 years) include
- the command to rebuild Jerusalem,
- the first coming of Messiah,
- Christ’s being “cut off” (crucified), and
- the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. This 69-week period ended at Christ’s triumphal entry. But Israel rejects the Messiah, interrupting the 70-week timetable.
First of all, biblical years are years of 360 days, not 365 days. We know this by comparing three different passages: Genesis 7:11,8:4, and 7:24. You say, “If we know that, now all we need to know is the day the period starts.” That’s right!
Outline of Daniel 9:20-27
The Power of a Word filled Life v. 20-23
- GOD HEARS HIS WORD FILLED SERVANT v. 20
- GOD RESPONDS TO HIS WORD FILLED SERVANT v. 21
- GOD TOUCHES HIS WORD FILLED SERVANT v. 22
- GOD LOVES HIS WORD FILLED SERVANT v. 23
The Confidence of a word filled life v. 24-27
- GOD HAS DECREED THE FUTURE SO WE SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM v. 24
- GOD HAS MADE KNOWN HIS WILL SO WE SHOULD FOLLOW HIM v. 25
- GOD HAS SPOKEN TO US SO WE SHOULD TRUST HIM v. 26-27
- His plan revolves around Israel v. 24b
- His plan is to cancel their sin v. 24c
- His plan is to confirm the Scriptures v. 24d
- His plan is to consecrate the Sanctuary v. 24e
- He said He would rebuild Jerusalem v. 25a
- He said He would send Jesus v. 25b
- Jesus would die as a sacrifice v. 26a
- Jerusalem would be destroyed v. 26b
- After this the last week will unfold v. 27
Why does Daniel make three divisions in his map of the future? The legendary head of Scotland Yard’s criminal detectives division Sir Robert Anderson spent a lifetime studying God’s Word. He worked with the Royal Observatory in London and gathered his work into a book called The Coming Prince. In this monumental work he records all the historical and Biblical evidences that point to the precision of Daniel’s prophecy. Here are the details for Daniel’s Map of the Future. God gave him three numbers, they were 49 + 434 + 7 = 490 years.
What Do the Three Numbers in Daniel Mean?
- The precise start of the 70 weeks(v. 25a) tells when the period of 490 years started: “Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to buildJerusalem….” We know exactly when this occurred – the date is set in history. HISTORICAL FACT – On 1st Nisan, 445 B. C., Artaxerxes gave the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This is a known date. So, Daniel’s seventy weeks (490 years) started on 1st Nisan, 445 B. C. inNehemiah 2:1-8 And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, (only one Persian ruler reigned long enough to have a 20th year Longimanus) . . . v. 7 Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah,8 “and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me. From 445 BC to 397 BC is 49 years. What happened in 397 BC? God stopped speaking through the last Old Testament writer Malachi. And was silent for 400 years! So Period #1 was from Nehemiah’s wall building through Malachi’s final words from God.
- The unique conclusion of the 69th week(v. 25) continues and reveals that from the going forth of Artaxerxes’ commandment “…unto the Messiah, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks…” That adds up to 69 weeks, leaving one week of seven years. In other words, from the decree of Artaxerxes to Messiah, the Prince, will be 483 years. Sir Robert Anderson, in his book “The Coming Prince” (pp. 121-128), took the number of days, and came up with the date of 10th Nisan, 30 A. D., as the end of the 69th week. And according to Sir Robert Anderson, this is the very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and announced Himself as King. You say, “What’s so significant about that?” Well, number one, it shows that God’s prophecy is exact in accuracy. Number two, it supports the fact that prophecy is to be taken literally. When people come to the Bible and mush up all the prophecy into figures, they are violating a principle that Daniel adhered to – literal interpretation. On the exact day of Daniel’s prophecy, the Messiah rode into the city as Prince.
- Christ’s death after the 69th week– Sometime after the 69 weeks mentioned in verse 25, verse 26 tells us that Messiah will be “cut off.” Did that happen? Yes. After Israel wouldn’t accept Him as their King, they killed Him. He was crucified, “…but not for Himself.” In other words, “When the Messiah dies, it won’t be because of Himself, He’ll be dying for you.” Daniel continues, “…and the people of the prince that shall come (the Romans) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolation’s are determined.” Do you know what happened in 70 A. D.? Jerusalem was destroyed. Messiah the Prince came, but they didn’t recognize Him as such, and they killed Him. And in 70 A. D., Jerusalem was destroyed. All this was prophesied by Daniel and took place at the end of the 69th week and thereafter. In fact, the Messiah being “cut off” and the destruction of Jerusalemoccurred after the end of the 69th week, and before the beginning of the 70th.
So, in panorama we see 490 years of history – 483, plus gap now nearly 2,000 years – 7 to go…The prophecy involves seventy weeks, and the Hebrew word “week” means “a week of years,” or seven years. Seventy sevens would equal 490 years.
The Period of 490 years Broken Into Three Parts:
(1) During seven weeks (49 years) the city of Jerusalemwould be rebuilt, the worship reestablished., and the Old Testament canon closed.
(2) After 62 more weeks (434 years) Messiah would come toJerusalem and die for the sins of the world.
(3) The prince will make an agreement with the Jews for one week (seven years) to protect them from their enemies.
Just how accurate is Bible prophecy? How sure can we be we’ve correctly understood a particular passage? The Book of Daniel gives unique evidence for Bible prophecy’s amazing accuracy in one specific prediction that does (unlike most other predictions) specify the time factor. In fact, the timing is so clear that this prophecy gives us a great insight into God’s overall plan as well as an explanation of why the promised destiny, the Messiah’s kingdom, has not yet arrived!
Daniel, originally deported as a teenager (now near the end of the Babylonian captivity), was reading in the Book of Jeremiah. He understood that the seventy years of servitude were almost over and he began to pray for his people. The Angel Gabriel interrupted Daniel’s prayer and gave him a four-verse prophecy that is unquestionably the most remarkable passage in the entire Bible:Daniel 9:24-27. These four verses include the following segments:
- 9:24 The Scope of the entire prophecy;
- 9:25 The 69 Weeks;
- 9:26 An Interval between the 69th and 70th Week;
- 9:27 The 70th Week.
THE PANORAMIC VIEW OF GOD’S PLAN
9:24: “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 Place.”
The idiom of a “week” of years was common in Israel as a “sabbath for the land,” in which the land was to lie fallow every seventh year.1 It was their failure to obey these laws that led to God sending them into captivity under the Babylonians2. When did the Messiah present Himself as a King? On one specific day, Jesus arranges it! Note that the focus of this passage is upon “thy people and upon thy holy city,” that is, upon Israel and Jerusalem. (It is not directed to the church.) The scope of this prophecy includes a broad list of things which clearly have yet to be completed.
GOD HAS A 69 WEEK PLAN FIRST
A very specific prediction occurs in 9:25: “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.” This includes a mathematical prophecy. The Jewish (and Babylonian) calendars used a 360-day year;3 69 weeks of 360-day years totals 173,880 days. In effect, Gabriel told Daniel that the interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the presentation of the Messiah as King would be 173,880 days. The “Messiah the Prince” in the King James translation is actually the Meshiach Nagid, “The Messiah the King.” (Nagid is first used of King Saul.)
GOD GIVES A PROPHETIC BULL’S EYE!
The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on the 1st of Nisan, 445 BC4. (The emphasis in the verse on “the street” and “the wall” was to avoid confusion with other earlier mandates confined to rebuilding the Temple.) But when did the Messiah present Himself as a King? During the ministry of Jesus Christ there were several occasions in which the people attempted to promote Him as king, but He carefully avoided it. “Mine hour is not yet come.” (John 6:15)
1 Leviticus 25; 26; Deut. 15.
2 II Chronicles 36:20-21 2 Chronicles 36:20 And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia,21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.
4 Sir Robert Anderson’s Coming Prince 1st noted this astounding number in 1894.
CHRIST JESUS FULFILLS
THE TIMELY TRIUMPHAL ENTRY
Then one day He meticulously arranges it. On this particular day he rode into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey, deliberately fulfilling a prophecy by Zechariah that the Messiah would present Himself as king in just that way:”Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9. Whenever we might easily miss the significance of what was going on, the Pharisees come to our rescue. They felt that the overzealous crowd was blaspheming, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah the King. (Luke 19:39) However, Jesus endorsed it! “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”Luke 19:40 This is the only occasion that Jesus presented Himself as King. It occurred on Palm Sunday, 30 AD5
WE CAN TRUST THE DIVINE PRECISION OF PROPHECY
When we examine the period between Nisan 1 (mid March) 445 BC. and Nisan 10 (early April) 30 AD, and correct for leap years, we discover that it is 173,880 days exactly, to the very day! How could Daniel have known this in advance? How could anyone have contrived to have this detailed prediction documented over three centuries in advance? But there’s more.
WE ARE LIVING IN THE INTERVAL
There appears to be a gap between the 69th week (verse 25) and the 70th week (verse 27): 9:26: “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.” The sixty-two “weeks” follow the initial seven, so verse 26 deals with events after 69th week, but before the 70th. These events include the Messiah being killed and the city and sanctuary being destroyed. There is a remaining seven-year period to be fulfilled. Revelation 6-19 is essentially a detailing of that climactic period. As Jesus approached the city on the donkey, He also predicted the destruction of Jerusalem: For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.Luke 19:43-44
The Messiah was, of course, executed at the Crucifixion. “But not for Himself.” The city and the sanctuary were destroyed 38 years later when the Roman legions under Titus Vespasian leveled the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD, precisely as Daniel and Jesus had predicted. In fact, as one carefully examines Jesus’ specific words, it appears that He held them accountable to know this astonishing prophecy in Daniel 9! “Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
WATCH OUT SEVEN HORRIBLE YEARS LIE AHEAD
So what’s the bottom line? There are seven years of history left forIsrael to complete in God’s program. Let’s save the specifics for our upcoming Sunday PM Series The Approaching Hoofbeats of the Tribulation – but to whet your appetite: It’s a time like never before – demonic creatures ravage the earth; one-half of the population is horribly murdured; earth is a wasteland; mankind fiercely fights against God and tries one last time to destroy Christ – and in that moment, He returns.
THE EVENTS OF THE 70TH WEEK – Israel has seven years left to fulfill this prophecy, and it just so happens that the Tribulation is seven years. Verse 27 gives us some of the details of this 70thweek: “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (here’s the last 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 (CF. Matt. 24:15), even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Beloved, the 70th week of Daniel is the Tribulation. And the gap between the 69th and 70th is an undefined period of time. Now, according to verse 27, at the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to make a covenant with Israel, and give them back their temple and their worship. But after three and one-half years, he will suddenly violate the covenant and violently persecute Israel.
See you tonight or on the way up if Christ comes!! Are you ready?
People today think in units of tens (e.g., decades), Daniel’s people thought in terms of sevens (heptads). Seven days are in one week. Every seventh year was a sabbath rest year (Lev. 25:1-7). Seven “sevens” brought them to the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12). Seventy “sevens,” then, is a span of 490 years. The 490 could not designate days (about 1 1/3 years) for that would not be enough time for the events prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27 to occur. The same is true of 490 weeks of seven days each (i.e., 3,430 days, about 9 1/2 years). Also if days were intended one would expect Daniel to have added “of days” after “70 sevens” for in 10:2-3 he wrote literally, “three sevens of days” (NIV, “three weeks”).
When the 490 Years Are Complete God Will Have Completed Six Things for Israel
This span of time was decreed for Daniel’s people (cf. “your people” in Dan. 10:14; 11:14) and the Holy City (cf. 9:16, 24). This prophecy, then, is concerned not with world history or church history, but with the history of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. By the time these 490 years run their course, God will have completed six things for Israel. The first three have to do with sin, and the second three with the kingdom. The basis for the first three was provided in the work of Christ on the cross, but all six will be realized by Israel at the Second Advent of Christ.
- At the end of the 490 years God will finish the transgression of Israel. The verb “to finish” means “to bring something to an end.” Israel’s sin of disobedience will be brought to an end at Christ’s second coming when she repents and turns to Him as her Messiah and Savior. Then she will be restored to the land and blessed, in answer to Daniel’s prayer. It was necessary that a sacrifice be offered God that would permanently remove all the accumulated sins. This sacrifice was offered by Jesus Christ who by His death made payment for all sins that had not been removed in the past (cf. Rom. 3:25). So His atoning work on the cross has made possible His future “finishing” of Israel’s transgression.
- God will put an end to sin. The verb has the idea of sealing up. Here the thought is sealing something up with a view to punishment (cf. Deut. 32:34; Job 14:17). This emphasized thatIsrael’s sin which had gone unpunished would be punished—in or through Jesus Christ, her substitute, who would bear the sins of the world on the cross. Then at Christ’s second coming he will removeIsrael’s sin (Ezek. 37:23; Rom. 11:20-27).
- God will atone for wickedness. The verb “to atone” means “to cover or expiate.” This too relates to God’s final atonement ofIsrael when she repents at Christ’s second coming, as the provision for that atonement has already been made at the cross.
- The second three accomplishments deal with positive aspects of God’s program. Being satisfied by the death of Christ, God will bring in everlasting righteousness. The form of the verb “bring in” here means “to cause to come in.” The word “everlasting” (here pl. in Heb.) means ages. Thus this phrase (lit., “to bring in righteousness of ages”) is a prophecy that God will establish an age characterized by righteousness. This is a reference to the Millennial kingdom (Isa. 60:21; Jer. 23:5-6).
- God will seal up vision and prophecy. All that God through the prophets said He would do in fulfilling His covenant with Israelwill be fully realized in the millennial kingdom. Until they are fulfilled, prophecies are “unsealed.” (“Seal” translates the same verb, used in the second of these six accomplishments.)
- God will anoint the most holy. This may refer to the dedication of the Most Holy place in the millennial temple, described in Ezekiel 41-46. Or it may refer not to a holy place, but to the Holy One, Christ. If so, this speaks of the enthronement of Christ, “the Anointed One” (Dan. 7:25-27) as King of kings and Lord of lords in the Millennium.
Important revelation was then given Daniel about the inception of this important time period and its divisions. The 70 “sevens” would begin, Gabriel said, with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This decree was the fourth of four decrees made by Persian rulers in reference to the Jews.
- The second was the decree of Darius I (522-486) in 520 B.C. (Ezra 6:1, 6-12). This decree actually was a confirmation of the first decree.
- The third was the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (464-424) in 457 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26). 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. Since an unwalled city was no threat to a military power, a religious temple could be rebuilt without jeopardizing the military authority of those granting permission to rebuild it. No one of these three decrees, then, was the decree that formed the beginning of the 70 sevens.
- The fourth, and only decree that was concerned with rebuilding Jerusalem itself was issued to Nehemiah’s request in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, 445 B.C. (Neh. 1:3; 2:1-8). What is more, we know the month! Anderson proceeds to assign a day:
The Persian edict which restored the autonomy of Judah was issued in the Jewish month of Nisan. It may in fact have been dated the 1st of Nisan, but no other day being named, the prophetic period must be reckoned, according to a practice common with the Jews, from the Jewish New Year’s Day. The seventy weeks are therefore to be computed from the 1st of Nisan, 445 B.C. (The Coming Prince,Kregel). Computing carefully, Sir Robert concluded that the 69 weeks of years would have ended on April 6 of A.D. 32—“that fateful day on which the Lord Jesus rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9; when, for the first and only occasion in all His earthly sojourn, He was acknowledged as ‘Messiah the Prince, the King, the Son of David’ ” (p. 122).
- to finish transgression
- to make an end of sin
- to make atonement for iniquity
- to bring in everlasting righteousness
- to seal up vision and prophecy (i.e., to fulfill it)
- to anoint the most holy place
Support for the Time Gap
- It is characteristic of Old Testament prophecy in general (e.g., Isa. 61, Luke 4).
- The language of Daniel 9:26—“After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off.”
- History: “The people of the ruler who will come” (not the enemy prince himself) “will destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Dan. 9:26). This happened in A.D. 70 when a Roman army under Titus destroyed Jerusalem.
- The New Testament (Matt. 24) expects that the events of the seventieth week are yet future.
The number seven has been stamped on Israel from the beginning. They had a Sabbath of days (Ex. 23:12), setting apart the seventh day for honoring God. They also had a sabbath of years (Lev. 25:1–7); they were to let the land lie fallow on the seventh year and give it rest. Because they broke this law, the Israelites went into captivity, one year for each sabbatical year they failed to obey God (2 Chron. 36:21; Lev. 26:33–34). They also had a “sabbath of sabbaths,” with every fiftieth year set apart as the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8–17). But now Daniel was to be introduced to a new series of Sabbaths—seventy “weeks” (seven-year periods), making a total of 490 years of prophetic time for the Jews. (The word “weeks” in v. 24 is actually “sevens”—seventy sevens are determined, making 490 years.) Please note that this 490–year period of time has to do with Jerusalem and the Jews: “your people…your holy city…” (v. 24, NKJV). And God has specific purposes to fulfill in this period: the removing of sin and the bringing in of righteousness. The result will be the anointing of the most holy place in the temple, that is, the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to reign in glory from His temple in Jerusalem.
This 490-year period is divided into three segments;
- 7 “sevens”(49 years), 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.
- 62 “sevens”(434 years), and in 9:26a. The 62 “sevens” (434 years) extend up to the introduction of the Messiah to the nationIsrael. 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. He was evidently familiar with Daniel’s prophecy when on that occasion He said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42).Thus the first two segments of the important time period—the 7 sevens (49 years) and the 62 sevens (434 years)—ran consecutively with no time between them. They totaled 483 years and extended from 445BC to AD30. According to Daniel 9:26 the Anointed One was not “cut off” in the 70th “seven”; He was cut off after the 7 and 62 “sevens” had run their course. This means that there is an interval between the 69th and 70th “sevens.” Christ’s crucifixion, then, was in that interval, right after His Triumphal Entry, which concluded the 69th “seven.” This interval was anticipated by Christ when He prophesied the establishing of the church (Matt. 16:18). This necessitated the setting aside of the nation Israel for a season in order that His new program for the church might be instituted. Christ predicted the setting aside of the nation (Matt. 21:42-43). 9:26b. The prophecy continues with a description of the judgment that would come on the generation that rejected the Messiah. The city which contains the sanctuary, that is,Jerusalem, would be destroyed by the people of the ruler who will come. The ruler who will come is that final head of the Roman Empire, the little horn of 7:8. It is significant that the people of the ruler, not the ruler himself, will destroy Jerusalem. Since he will be the final Roman ruler, the people of that ruler must be the Romans themselves. This, then, is a prophecy of the destruction ofJerusalem about which Christ spoke in His ministry. He also warned the nation that Jerusalem would be destroyed by Gentiles (Luke 21:24), that it would be desolate (Matt. 23:38), and that the destruction would be so complete that not one stone would be left on another (Matt. 24:2). This destruction was accomplished by Titus in A.D. 70 when he destroyed the city of Jerusalem and killed thousands of Jews. But that invasion, awesome as it was, did not end the nation’s sufferings, for war, Gabriel said, would continue until the end. Even though Israel was to be set aside, she would continue to suffer until the prophecies of the 70 “sevens” were completely fulfilled. Her sufferings span the entire period from the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 to Jerusalem’s deliverance from Gentile dominion at the Second Advent of Christ. The present Church Age is the interval between the 69th and 70th “sevens.”
- 1 “seven”(v. 27; 7 years). 9:27a. This verse unveils what will occur in the 70th seven years. This seven-year period will begin after the Rapture of the church (which will consummate God’s program in this present Age). The 70th “seven” will continue till the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. Because Jesus said this will be a time of “great distress” (Matt. 24:21), this period is often called the Tribulation. A significant event that will mark the beginning of this seven-year period is the confirming of a covenant. This covenant will be made with many, that is, with Daniel’s people, the nationIsrael. “The ruler who will come” (Dan. 9:26) will be this covenant-maker, for that person is the antecedent of the word he in verse 27. As a yet-future ruler he will be the final head of the fourth empire (the little horn of the fourth beast, 7:8). The covenant he will make will evidently be a peace covenant, in which he will guaranteeIsrael’s safety in the land. This suggests that Israel will be in her land but will be unable to defend herself for she will have lost any support she may have had previously. Therefore she will need and welcome the peacemaking role of this head of the confederation of 10 European (Roman) nations. In offering this covenant, this ruler will pose as a prince of peace, and Israel will accept his authority. But then in the middle of that “seven, ” after three and one-half years, he will break the covenant. Accordingto 11:45, he will then move from Europe into the land of Israel. This ruler will end . . . sacrifice and offering. This expression refers to the entire Levitical system, which suggests that Israel will have restored that system in the first half of the 70th “seven.” After this ruler gains worldwide political power, he will assume power in the religious realm as well and will cause the world to worship him (2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 13:8). To receive such worship, he will terminate all organized religions. Posing as the world’s rightful king and god and as Israel’s prince of peace, he will then turn against Israel and become her destroyer and defiler. 9:27b. Daniel was told that “the ruler who will come” (v. 26) will place abominations on a wing of the temple. Christ referred to this incident: “You [will] see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation” (Matt. 24:15). John wrote that the false prophet will set up an image to this ruler and that the world will be compelled to worship it (Rev. 13:14-15). But then his end will come (the end that is decreed is poured out on him). With his false prophet he will be cast into the lake of fire when Christ returns to the earth (Rev. 19:20; cf. Dan. 7:11, 26).