This is found in Daniel 9:24-27: “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
Know and understand this: from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, it will b rebuilt with streets and a trench, built in times of trouble.
After the sixty-two ‘sevens’, the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’. In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him”.
We must first understand that this prophecy has to do with the Jews and the city of Jerusalem: Daniel’s people and their holy city of Jerusalem.
“Seventy sevens” means seventy unites, here it mean “seventy WEEKS”. It means week of years. Israel had a calendar week of SEVEN DAYS: “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work” (Exodus 23:12). And also a week of SEVEN YEARS: “For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather your crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the Lord” (Leviticus 25:3-4).
This is made clear in Scripture. In Genesis 29:26-28 we read: “Laban replied, ‘It is not our custom here to give our younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal WEEK. Then we will give you the younger one also, in return for ANOTHER SEVEN YEARS of work”. And Jacob did so. He finished the WEEK with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife”.
This is seen in the seventy-year captivity that was the result of Israel’s disobedience. They were to allow the land to remain idle every seventh year. But they disobeyed. After 490 years they had failed to keep 70 yearly Sabbaths, which lead to 70 years of captivity: “The land enjoyed its Sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested UNTIL THE SEVENTY YEARS were completed in fulfillment of the word spoken by Jeremiah” (II Chronicles 36:21).
Daniel would have been familiar with the “week of years” because of the seventy years of captivity that Israel was going through at the rime. Around 6oo B. C. Daniel himself was taken as one of the captives to Babylon. Daniel would have understood when he was told that it would be another period similar in length to the Babylonian exile.
This is the context that led to the seventy year Babylonian captivity. Israel had not kept the yearly Sabbaths for 490 years, which would equal 70 Sabbaths they had to make up for—thus the 70-year captivity.
This means that there were 490 years (70 years times 7 weeks) decreed for Daniel’s people. It must be kept in mind that these years are Jewish in context and are 360 days each rather that our years of 365 days.
Daniel 9:24 goes on to list 6 things that will be accomplished during this period concerning God’s program for Israel (“For your people and your holy city”).
- Finish the transgression.
- Make an end of sin.
- Make reconciliation for iniquity.
- Bring in everlasting righteousness.
- Seal up vision and prophesy.
- Anoint the Most Holy.
These last three will be fulfilled at Christ’s second coming
Verses 25-26 w are told that from the issuing the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One (Messiah) was to be 69 weeks (7 plus 62) sevens or 483 years). The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus who commissioned Ezra to return to Jerusalem in 457 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26). He commanded the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 445 B.C..
Using the Jewish year of 360 days, we can determine the exact time of Messiah” the Anointed One. We can therefore determine the total amount of days in 69 weeks. 69 weeks of years totals 483 years. Then multiply this number by 360 days for each year. This totals exactly 173, 880 until the coming Anointed Messiah. This brings us to Passover on April 6th 32 A.D.. The day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Zechariah wrote that the Messiah, the king would make Himself known to Israel by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, you King comes to you riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (9:9).
Today this is known as Palm Sunday. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Donkeys were ridden by kings of Israel. Jesus was publicly presenting Himself as Messiah with full knowledge that this would lead Him to the cross. The crowd shouted: “Blessed be the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9).
Hosanna means “save now”, while the terms “Son of David” and “He who comes in the name of the Lord” were both strong Messianic terms. This was a Jewish royal entry.
Luke 19:41-44 tells us, “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known ON THIS DAY what would bring you peace—but now it is hid from your eyes”. Then He went on to predict the destruction of Jerusalem. “They will not leave one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you. Here He refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., about 40 years after His crucifixion.
Daniel 9:26 states that after 69 weeks, the Messiah would be “cut off” or killed. This ties in with the preceding part of the prophecy concerning the “making reconciliation for iniquity”. That sin must be dealt with is the underlying reason for his being “cut off”. He was cut off for the sins of the world (Isaiah 53: 5-6).
Then we are told in Daniel 9:26, . .”The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary”, This happened 43 years later when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in putting down the Jewish revolt in 70 A.D.
The point of Daniel’s prophecy is that 490 years were determined to deal with the question of sin by the Messiah, who would be “cut off” (killed violently) after which Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed (70 A.D.). And the Jewish people were driven among the nations.
After the 69th week an interval between the 69th and 70th week of Israel’s history began, while Israel was out of the land. The 70 “sevens” that were determined on Daniel’s people were interrupted after the 69th ‘seven’ while Israel was out of the land and Israel was set aside, until the completion of the Church age, which began at Pentecost and will end at the rapture of the Christ, then God will again take up Israel and complete the 70th ‘seven’ which is also know as the tribulation period.
God is now working through the Church until the Church is taken out at the rapture, then God will begin again dealing with Israel during the tribulation period (“a time of trouble for Jacob” (Israel) which will culminate at Christ’s return to rescue Israel.