The prophecy of Daniel chapter 9:24-27 outlines Israel’s history and future. In this prophecy, God declares 70 weeks of punishment on the nation of Israel for disobeying the commandments of the Mosaic Law. The first 69 weeks have been fulfilled. The last seven years are synonymous with the tribulation period and are yet future. Alva J. McClain, in his book, “Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks,” breaks down this prophecy into nine important factors that help us better understand the events behind God’s plan for Israel.
1. The entire prophecy has to do with Daniels ‘people’ and his ‘city,’ that s the Nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. ” This is evident from verse 24 of Daniel 9 which says “Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and for your holy city. ” It is clear that this prophecy was not meant for the church, and God is specifically dealing with Israel.
2. “Two different princes are mentioned, who should not be confused: the first is named Messiah the Prince (25); and the second is described as the Prince that shall come (26). A critical distinction must be made of these two because one is speaking of the Messiah of Israel, known in modern time as Yeshua. The latter is speaking of the antichrist who will be the influential power on earth during the time of the tribulation period.
3. “The entire time-period involved is exactly specified as Seventy Weeks (24); and these Seventy Weeks are further divided into three lesser periods; first, a period of seven weeks; after that a period of three-score and two weeks; and finally a period of one week. The Jewish calendar during the time of Daniel was broken down into weeks of days and also weeks of years. Thus, a week in this sense is equal to seven years. Seventy weeks then would be equal to 490 years. Israel has experienced 483 of these God ordained years; however, the last seven are still future.
4. “The beginning of the whole period of the Seventy Weeks is definitely fixed at ‘the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (25). ” We know from Ezra 7:12-26 this was given by King Artaxerxes Longimanus. It was this decree that started the time clock of this prophecy. This is said to have happened on march 14th 445 B. C. 5. “The end of the seven weeks and threescore and sixty two weeks (69weeks) will be marked by the appearance of Messiah as the prince of Israel. ” Many scholars, such as Dr. Chuck Missler, recognize April 4th 32 A. D as the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey declaring himself the Messiah of Israel. We can see that the first 483 years are consecutive by converting the 483 years to 173,880 days (Because the Jewish calendar had 360 day years as opposed to our current 365 day years, and to allow for the transition from B. C to A. D). If we start day one on March 14, 445 B. C, the day King Artaxerxes issued his decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem, and count 173,880 we land exactly on April 4, 32 A. D. which is the day of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
5. “At a later time, ‘after the three score and two weeks’ which follows the first seven weeks (that is, after 69 weeks) Messiah the prince shall be ‘cut off,’ and Jerusalem will again be destroyed by the people of another ‘prince’ who is yet to come. ” We can apply the term “Messiah the Prince” to Jesus. He was “cut off” when He was crucified on the cross. The term “the prince who is yet to come” refers to the coming world leader, or antichrist. It is generally accepted that the Romans conquered and destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A. D. If the Romans were the people of the prince who is yet to come, it ould be safe to conclude that the antichrist will emerge out of a revised Roman empire.
7. “After these two important events, we come to the last, or Seventieth Week, the beginning of which will be marked by the establishment of a firm covenant or treaty between the Coming Prince and the Jewish nation for a period of ‘one week’ (25). This part of the prophecy divides many scholars today. An argument for one who holds to a post- tribulation rapture doctrine will say that Daniel 9:24-27 has already been fulfilled in its entirety; however, pre-tribulation rapture advocates hold to a pre-millennial view that this part of he prophecy is still yet future.
One problem with the post- tribulation rapture doctrine is it doesn’t account for the outcome the seventieth week. One of the outcomes of this period is, “to make an end of sins. If this prophecy has already been fulfilled in its entirety, then it should have culminated in the fulfillment of this promise of God. By simply picking up a newspaper or watching the evening news station we can Garcia Page 4 see that sin is prevalent in this world and has not ended. We must conclude, then, that this part of prophecy is still future.
8. “In the ‘midst’ of the Seventieth Week, evidently breaking his reaty, the coming prince will suddenly cause the Jewish sacrifice to cease and precipitate upon this people a time of wrath and desolation lasting to the ‘full end of the week (27). Whether it will be his plan all along or a prompting from Satan himself, this world leader will interfere with the Jewish tradition of sacrifice in the middle of the tribulation period. Matthew 24: 15-21 describes this event and calls it the “abomination of desolation,” then warns the reader to understand what’s about to happen. A command is given to the readers to flee to the mountains and in erse 21 ” For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been seen since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. From this passage in Mathew, we can conclude that the wrath will be poured out quickly once the Jewish sacrifices are stopped by this coming world leader.
9. “With the full completion of the whole period of the Seventy Weeks, there will be ushered in a time of great and unparalleled blessings for the nation of Israel (24). ” Daniel 9:24 tells us what these blessings will be for the nation of Israel, “To finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for niquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
The prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 gives the outline for God’s plan for Israel. A simple study of the various parts of this prophecy will show that it is not entirely fulfilled as we are still waiting for the start of the Seventieth Week. If we hold to a historical and grammatical interpretation of scripture, it is clear that this prophecy is for the nation of Israel and a Christ rejecting world. By the grace of God, the church will be taken away prior to the start of this period of wrath.