By Jack Kinsella
The Hebrew prophet Daniel was given a complete outline of Israel’s future history, broken into subdivisions of time of seven years each. In Hebrew, “shabua”, translated as “week” in Daniel 9:26, is a ‘week of years’, in much the same way the Greek system is in use today. A ‘decade’ denotes ten years in the way a ‘shabua’ or ‘week’ denotes a period of seven years.
Daniel was told by the revealing angel that “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.” [Daniel 9:24]
In this verse, we see a six-fold purpose to be accomplished in Daniel’s “Seventy Weeks” or 490 years. First, to finish Israel’s sin – the rejection of the Messiah at the First Advent. Then there is a skip forward in time to His Second Advent, at which time, an end will be made of sin, reconciliation will be made for Israel’s iniquity, everlasting righteousness will introduced to Israel, Israel’s Scriptures will be vindicated by the fulfillment of all prophecy and finally, the return of Christ at the conclusion of the war of Armageddon, at which time He will be anointed and will take His seat at the Throne of David.
The angel went on to lock in the time. “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 . . . And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” [Daniel 9:25, 26].
Beginning at a specific point in history and moving forward in time from there, the angel said that after sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, the Messiah shall be cut off [killed] but not for Himself [He was blameless].
History records only one decree that authorized the rebuilding of the city. “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king . . . I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. [Nehemiah 2:1, 5]
According to modern dating research, the 20th year of the Persian king Xerxes would have been 444 BC. The reference to the ‘month of Nisan’ with no reference to the day indicates the first day of the month. Using the Hebrew calendar, the first day of Nisan, BC 444 corresponds to the modern date of March 5. Counting forward 483 years from 444 BC to AD 33 is 477 years. But BC 1 and AD 1 are the same year, so deducting that year leaves us with 476 years. Four hundred seventy-six years times 365.24219879 days is 173,855 days. Jesus was crucified on March 30, AD 33, so there are an extra 25 days to add to the equation, giving a grand total of 173,880 days. (Calculations courtesy of "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell)
So, from the going forth of the commandment on March 5, BC 444 until March 30, AD 33 was exactly 173,880 days divided by 360 day lunar equals exactly 483 years.
Daniel 9:26 goes on to say that after Messiah is ‘cut off but not for Himself’, “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city.”
Within a generation of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, General [and future Emperor] Titus of Rome led his legions into Jerusalem where the city was sacked and the Temple utterly destroyed.
The ‘people’ identified by the angel to Daniel are proved by history to be the Roman Empire, currently embodied by the European Union. The ‘prince’ of that ‘people’ is the antichrist.
As an aside, according to the Jewish historian [and eyewitness] Josephus, the Romans burned the Temple so completely its ornate gold fixtures melted and ran between the stones of the Temple.
To recover this rich booty, the soldiers dismantled the Temple, stone by stone, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy of a generation before; “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” [Matthew 24:2].
The coming prince of Daniel 9:26, the antichrist, kicks off the Tribulation Period – and starts the clock running -- with an event as historically definite as was Artexerxe’s Decree. According to Daniel 9:27, the antichrist ‘confirms a covenant’ between Israel and her enemies. This ‘covenant’, or treaty, is confirmed as an agreement of seven year’s duration. [Not coincidentally, the exact length of the Tribulation Period – Daniel’s 70th Week].
The Book of Daniel says that from the signing of that treaty until it is broken by the antichrist is three and one-half years [time, times and a half’ (Dan 12:7)]. To further confirm it, from the breaking of that treaty at the midpoint until the return of Christ is precisely 1260 days – three and one-half years.
We have already seen the precision with which God counted down sixty-nine weeks of years. One week remains. There is no reason to think God has fired His accountant.
So, logically, anyone familiar with the Scriptures who observes the breaking of the treaty with Israel by antichrist could know exactly, to the day, when Jesus was to return.
But wait! What about what Jesus Himself said of His coming? He said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” [Matthew 24:36].
Clearly, He could not have been speaking of the same event that could be so easily calculated. Is this a contradiction?
According to 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4, there is a secret return of Christ, the one of which Jesus spoke.
Paul writes, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
This secret Advent, in which the Lord comes for His Church in the air, is not the same event as the one in which He puts His foot upon the Mount of Olives, splitting it in two [Zechariah 14:4] Paul’s description of the Lord’s coming has Him coming in the air, not touching down to earth.
Paul is referring to what is commonly called the Rapture of the Church. Since this secret Advent’s timing cannot, according to Jesus, be calculated, it cannot be the same event as the Second Coming. That Triumphant Return can be calculated precisely one minute after the antichrist signs the 7-year treaty.
Since the Tribulation Period is the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ – Daniel’s 70th Week, it is a time reserved for Israel, not the Church. Remember, it is to make ‘reconciliation for sin’ and to ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’.
For the Church during the Church Age, those goals were already accomplished at the Cross.
But the Tribulation Period is the final week of the Age of the Law. The Temple will be in full operation and the Mosaic Law in full force. The Church Age is concluded with the antichrist’s treaty.
Given the current situation in the Middle East, some kind of confirmation of a seven year agreement [like Oslo] is an absolute necessity, either to prevent all out war or at the conclusion of any such war.
Bible prophecy says it will happen. The Bible also says it begins a time of judgment against Israel and the Gentile world. The Church was already judged at the Cross.
Here’s what it all means, boiled down into a single sentence. At some point before that treaty is signed, Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of an archangel, and all those living who placed their faith in Christ will be snatched away, to be forever with Christ.
That treaty could happen at almost any moment. And that means the Rapture of the Church is even closer.
What a time to be alive!
by Gary J. Hall
The Date of Christ’s Crucifixion
Daniel gives us two sets of “weeks” in verses 25-26 that total sixty-nine weeks, “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. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself”. “Week” means a unit of seven in prophetic language, therefore sixty-nine weeks becomes 483 years. Daniel is indicating that there would be 483 years between the commandment to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the crucifixion of Christ.
In 446 B.C. Artaxerxes decreed that Nehemiah should go and restore Jerusalem. Simply adding 483 years to 446 B.C. brings up a problem since it would mean that the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified in 37 A.D., four years after the actual date. Two factors have to be taken into consideration when determining the significance of Daniel’s 483 years. ...The change in calendar; Christ’s birth is recorded as 4 B.C. because of this. ...The Hebrew calendar was based upon a 360 day year rather than the Roman 365¼ day year. In view of these facts the problem regarding Daniel’s prophetic timetable is solved and we come to the exact date of the crucifixion, 33 A.D.
The Evil Prince
“...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” (:26).
This verse refers to Titus, the Roman General, later Emperor, who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Verse 27 appears to be speaking about the same person, “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”, but it is not possible to be the same person. Titus did not fulfill all aspects of this prophecy. What Daniel is revealing to us is that the same type of “prince” will arise in the Last Days who will determine to destroy Israel as did Titus - therefore the “evil prince” would be a Roman also.
Jesus made use of verse 27 when explaining the coming events leading up to the End, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place...” (Matthew 24:15). Though this verse also speaks directly of Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem and its temple we know that there was not a complete fulfillment. These verses may have been in Paul’s mind when he wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Also Revelation 13:14-15 tells us that the Antichrist will place his image in the temple, “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed”.
We learn from Daniel that the Last Days “evil prince” will be of the same stock as Titus, for he speaks of them both as though describing one person. Elsewhere Daniel reveals that the last great world empire will be a restored Roman Empire, therefore it is little wonder that the “prince” must be Roman also.
The Final Week
The “one week” of Daniel 9:27 must be part of the “seventy weeks” (:24). We know that the sixty-nine weeks (483 years) were fulfilled at the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, so there is an outstanding “week” to account for to make up the Daniel’s Seventy Weeks (490 years).
The seventieth week begins when the Antichrist (Beast, Man of Sin) establishes a peace treaty with Israel for seven years. Either before this or because of it a new temple will be built by the Jews in Jerusalem upon Temple Mount. Both Daniel and John speak of two periods of 3½ years that make up the last seven years prior to the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth.
It is likely that at the dedication of the temple, 3½ years into Antichrist’s reign, that he will be asked to officially open the building. This may be the reason why he is able to deceive the Jews by erecting his image their. He will be “revealed” for who he really is (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). The Jews will realize that this is not their Messiah, for the true Messiah would have nothing to do with idolatry. This temple will not be used for the worship of God but of Satan for the Beast will “in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27).
As the Roman Antichrist does this so will God begin to pour out His wrath for the final 3½ years. From the unveiling of the man of sin there will only be “a time, times, and half a time” (12:7) or a “thousand two hundred and ninety days” (12:11). John in Revelation 11:2 tells us that Jerusalem will be in the Antichrist’s hands for 42 months. Since the book of Revelation used the same two 3½ year periods during which the Antichrist reigns over the earth, the prophecy of Daniel must be interpreted in exactly the same way.
The Seventieth Week of Daniel is the final seven years before the Second Coming of Christ to earth and cannot find fulfillment until that time.
Share This Article