Daniel 9:24-27 bears a prophetic message concerning seventy weeks. It is divided into seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and a week. Through this revelation, Daniel realized the significance of the times he was living in, and even about the end time.
What did God reveal to Daniel?
These seventy weeks would be a time to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, and to atone for iniquity. It is also the time for the fulfilment of God’s will. In our context, this refers to the second coming of Christ.
The original text literally says ‘sevens’ as a week, and it does not specifically mean ‘seven days.’ The seventy sevens are first accomplished as sixty-nine weeks (Dan. 9:25). The end of the last week is the coming of the Messiah. As such, let us calculate the times to discover the significance of sixty-nine weeks (69 x 7 = 483).
Ezra 1:1-3 describes the Israelites’ first return from exile in 537BC. 483 years later would have been 54BC.
The second return took place in 458BC under King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7-9). 483 years after 458BC would have been 26AD, when Jesus was 30 years old (Lk. 3:23).
The third return took place in 444BC during the 20th year of King Artaxerxes (Neh. 2:11). 483 years after this was 40AD.
Therefore, we can conclude that the beginning of the 69 weeks begins from the second return in 458BC. Daniel 9:26 talks about the Messiah being cut off. This refers to the crucifixion of Jesus. However, it also talks about a people of a prince/king coming to destroy the city and sanctuary. In 70AD, the Roman soldiers under General Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem.
The Final Seven
Daniel 9:27 prophesies about the final one week. What is going to happen during this week? The covenant is going to be made firm. The original Hebrew verb is ‘to make strong,’ ‘to accomplish,’ or ‘to bind up with power.’ In the middle of the week, however, the sacrifices and grain offerings are put to a stop. Further, on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, and the one who makes desolate will be destroyed. This coincides with the seven-year tribulation in Revelation, which is divided in a first 3.5 years, and final 3.5 years. We do not know how long the final tribulation will be, but we need to consider what it might mean.
Where does ‘seven’ appear in the bible? We see it in the creation story in Genesis. Further, Gen. 7:4 records Noah knowing the flood’s arrival seven days before. Jesus also describes the end time as the times of Noah (Matt. 24:35-37). Joseph talked about two periods of seven years concerning the bumper harvest and famine seasons. The walls of Jericho came down after seven trumpets and two spies, and after seven days. Revelation has seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls.
3.5 years was significant in the time of Elijah (1 Kgs. 18:1). Jesus talks about this also in Luke 4:25-26. James 5:15-18 also talks about the 3.5 years of drought during the time of Elijah. Finally, we see two periods of 3.5 years in the book of Revelation. The first is in Rev. 11:1-2, which describes 42 months (3.5 years). Elsewhere in Revelation, 3.5 years is calculated as 1260 days (Rev. 11:3-4; 12:6). These occurrences refer to the first 3.5 years, during which there is a time of nourishment, hiding, and nurturing (Rev. 12:14). The first 3.5 years is a time when the Word is proclaimed, when God’s people are nurtured, and are commanded to proclaim the Word of God (Rev. 12:6).
Elsewhere in Revelation, we see what happens in the last 3.5 years, during which the beast blasphemes (Rev. 13:5). The last 3.5 years describe a period in which all those who are not in God’s presence will fall away. Isaiah 1:12 describes people who come to God’s court, but who do not enter into the presence of God. The Apostle John is commanded not to measure the court of the temple (Rev. 11:1-2). This shows that we must go deeper into God’s presence than simply being at the temple court.
There will be a beast coming from the sea (Rev. 13:1), and another beast coming from the earth (Rev. 13:11). These refer to Satan. The first beast comes from the world, and the second beast will gather the hearts of the people and lead them to worship the first beast. Before this physical phenomenon takes place, however, there will be a spiritual warfare first (Rev. 12:7-12). This is happening now. We need to gain victory in the spiritual war before having victory in the physical war.
Daniel 12:11-12 describes the time of destruction and suffering. It is 1290 days long, and describes the last 3.5 years. What is the meaning of this? The suffering time is divided into two parts: the first lasts for 1290 days, and the second lasts until 1335 days. This talks about perseverance and waiting. Jesus describes this time period in Matt. 24:15 and Matt. 24:21-22. There will come a time when our strength will fail to persevere and persist, but God will cut those days short for our sakes. The final seven years signifies the end time before the final judgement and the second coming of Christ.
Noah’s flood was a type of the end time. There was a time for building the ark, for bringing in the animals, for the judgement, and for the waters to abate. Elijah’s journey of transfiguration also follows a similar pattern. Elijah is nourished at Brook Cherith. He also nourishes the widow of Zarepheth. Elijah then battles the false prophets, and finally experiences a time of waiting and refuge from Jezebel. Finally, Apostle John also experiences this same pattern. He first is given the Little Book to eat. In the vision of the two witnesses, John prophesies for 1260 days. The two witnesses are then killed by the beast, and they lay dead for 3.5 days before rising and going up to heaven. This pattern is the pattern of the ones who will gain victory in the end (Rev. 7:14; 17:14). They overcome through the blood of the Lamb, the one who gives us victory (Rev. 12:11).