The First Sixty-Nine Weeks

(Dan 9:24-26 NASB)  “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.  “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.  “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

 

The first 69 weeks of Daniel reveal the truth and timing of the appearance of Messiah the Prince.  This finding was popularly exposed in a book by the late Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, Sir Robert Anderson called The Coming Prince in the early part of the twentieth century.  In that book he lays out a convincing case that Daniel 9:24-26 is an amazing piece of prophecy that foretold the precise day that Yeshua Messiah rode into Jerusalem on a colt and accepted the proclamation as Messiah from the people.  Yeshua even said that if the people do not do so, the rocks themselves would cry out.  Yeshua also stated that they should have known “the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:40-44).

In his book, Anderson made the case that the “weeks” in that prophecy were the Hebrew word shabua which simply means “a seven” or “to be sevened.”  He also points out that a year is Scripturally 360 days long, not 365.2422 days long as is our solar year.  This is revealed in parts of Scripture such as in Genesis regarding the time the waters covered the earth.  This passage tells us that 5 months equal 150 days:

(Gen 7:11 NASB)  In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

(Gen 8:4 NASB)  And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.

(Gen 7:24 NASB)  And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

We also see that in the Revelation that a “time, times, and a half a time” (three and one-half years) equals 1260 days:

(Rev 12:6 NASB)  And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

(Rev 12:14 NASB)  And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

These passages adequately make the case for his claims on the length of a year being 360 days in Scripture.  This is a basis for determining much of prophecy where timeframes are an issue.

 

The Seventieth Week (Traditional Interpretation)

While the first three verses of this prophecy have been sufficiently dealt with, the proceeding verse has been an anomaly.  Verse 27 does not fit with the previous three verses and it has led Christianity to many strange and wild interpretations.

(Dan 9:27 NASB)  “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

The most popular interpretation of this passage is that “he” (the antichrist), will sign a treaty with the Jewish people for a seven year period.  Then he will break the treaty halfway through its timeframe and eliminate the Jewish sacrifices which will start up again sometime before this treaty is signed.  Either before or after the signing of this treaty, the “church” will be taken out of this world and into heaven by God in what is called “the rapture.”  After this treaty is broken, the antichrist will set up an idol of himself in the Temple, make war with the Jews, and attempt to annihilate them.  But Messiah will rescue them sometime before their inevitable demise at the end of this seven year period.

For one thing, “He” in verse 27 cannot be a reference to any kind of “antichrist.”  The thought that this is an antichrist comes from the previous verse:

(Dan 9:26 NASB)  “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

The claim that “He” is referencing “the prince who is to come” is not logical and does not follow simple rules of linguistics.  “The prince who is to come” is a descriptor of “the people,” not a reference to a person.  “The people of the prince who is to come” is clearly a reference to armies of the Roman Empire and their destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Using the term “prince” in this passage follows the pattern used by Daniel to describe the spiritual entities that lead pagan world powers (See also Daniel 10:13-21).  The “prince who is to come” is the spiritual entity behind the Roman Empire.

Much of this fanciful scenario (especially the part about a seven year treaty between the antichrist and the Jews) is inferred from the one verse, Daniel 9:27.  While it takes a lot of imagination to make that presumption, it fits the story line outlined by fundamentalist theologians who preach the alleged “pretribulation rapture.”  Although the last phrase in the Daniel 9:27 passage, “and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate” is essentially ignored

 

The Seventieth Week (A New Interpretation)

This verse should be interpreted from a different perspective.  It should have practical significance by associating it with evidence instead of a standpoint which relies upon theological fiction and imagination.

The entire passage speaks of seventy “sevens” determined for Israel and the Holy City (see Daniel 9:24).  The first sixty-nine sevens speak of Messiah and how He will (if He hasn’t already) finish the transgression, make an end to sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness.  This first part of the passage addresses Israel directly and addresses the Holy City of Jerusalem.  Those two things are also the primary subject of this last “seven.”

 

The Seventieth Week (The Scriptural Evidence)

The firm covenant with many for one “seven” is spoken of elsewhere in Scripture.  The Hebrew term for “firm” is the word gabar.  According to Strong’s Concordance, it’s meaning is as follows: H1396. gabar,  [149c]; a prim. root; to be strong, mighty:– become(1), conducts arrogantly(1), exert(1), great(2), magnified(1), make firm(1), prevail(5), prevailed(9), strengthen(2), stronger(1), surpassed(1). The covenant can be called “strong” or “mighty” according to this descriptive.  If the traditional interpretation is considered, how can a covenant be considered “strong” or “mighty” if it is broken halfway through its timeframe?

Other translations say that “He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven (week):”

(Dan 9:27 KJV)  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:

(Dan 9:27 NKJV)  Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;

(Dan 9:27 NIV)  He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’

According to most translations, this is a covenant that will be “confirmed.”  It is a covenant that Elohim makes with Israel for one “seven.”  It is not a pleasant covenant, but it is one that He promises to make if Israel continues in their disobedience.  It is spoken of in Leviticus 26:

(Lev 26:14-18 NASB)  ‘But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up.  ‘And I will set My face against you so that you shall be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one is pursuing you.  ‘If also after these things, you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

Elohim informs Israel that if they do not obey Him after He has punished them, He will punish them seven times over for their sins.  This same warning is repeated three more times in this passage:

(Lev 26:19-21 NASB)  ‘And I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze.  ‘And your strength shall be spent uselessly, for your land shall not yield its produce and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.  ‘If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.

(Lev 26:22-24 NASB)  ‘And I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted.  ‘And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.

(Lev 26:25-28 NASB)  ‘I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands.  ‘When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied.  ‘Yet if in spite of this, you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you; and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins.

 

This promise of Elohim multiplying the punishment of Israel by “seven” is the “firm covenant for one seven with the “many” spoken of in Daniel 9:27.  As mentioned previously, the Hebrew word for “seven” is shabua which can mean to be “sevened” or multiplied by seven.  That is exactly what is spoken of in this passage.  Earlier in chapter 9 of Daniel, Daniel is praying for his people.  In that prayer, he points to the fact that the punishment they were enduring was indeed the punishment spoken of in Torah:

(Dan 9:12-14 NASB)  “Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.  “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Thy truth. “Therefore, the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

 

These comments by Daniel are undoubtedly a direct reference to the Leviticus 26:14-28 passage above.  As a matter of fact, the passage describing the punishment of Israel being multiplied by “seven” ends with the promise of bringing Israel back to their land:

(Lev 26:40-46 NASB)  ‘If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me– I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies– or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. ‘For the land shall be abandoned by them, and shall make up for its sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, shall be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes.  ‘Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.  ‘But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD.’” These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the LORD established between Himself and the sons of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai.

 

We have definite ties to the punishment of Israel being multiplied by seven and the return of Israel to their land.  But what is the punishment of Israel?  We are told of their punishment in Ezekiel 4:1-8:

(Ezek 4:1-3 NASB)  “Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you, and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem. “Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, raise up a ramp, pitch camps, and place battering rams against it all around.  “Then get yourself an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.

 

Ezekiel is told to act out a parable of sorts.  He is to inscribe the city of Jerusalem on a brick and build a siege wall around it.  Then he is to get an iron plate between his face and the brick.  This is to signify that Elohim has “set His face” against Jerusalem.   Notice that this punishment specifically involves the Holy City (Jerusalem) and the people of Israel.

(Ezek 4:4-8 NASB)  “As for you, lie down on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it.  “For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. “When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year. “Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it.  “Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, until you have completed the days of your siege.

This passage is speaking of two separate punishments: one for the house of Israel and one for the house of Judah.  The punishment for Judah is a separate issue which speaks of the return of the people also.  But for the purpose of the Seventieth Week of Daniel 9:27, we will focus on that issue another time.

The punishment for the House of Israel was apparently not fulfilled within the allotted time frame.  According to the Prophet Ezekiel, they were punished for 390 years.  We are not told of the repentance of Israel 390 years after they were besieged and captured by the Assyrians.  Since that is the case, the punishment of Israel was to be multiplied by seven as promised in Leviticus and as mentioned in Daniel 9:27.  The punishment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel started in 724 BCE when their armies were defeated, the king was taken captive, and the last city of Samaria was held in siege for three years.

 

“Hoshea (732-724) and the end

Hoshea immediately surrendered the Northern Kingdom to Shalmeneser V (some think this was Shalmaneser IV), the new king of Assyria, and paid tribute (2 Kings 17:1-3). This action probably saved Samaria from destruction, at least for a while, but only put the Northern Kingdom more firmly in the grasp of the Assyrians.

There was no doubt still a faction within Israel that wanted independence. While Hoshea had acted to save what remained of the nation, he eventually saw what he thought was an opportunity to break free of Assyrian control. He made an alliance with Egypt, thinking he could rely on them for military assistance, and withheld tribute from Assyria (2 Kings 17:4). But Egypt at this time was weak and was worthless as a military ally. Shalmeneser’s army attacked the reduced Israelite Kingdom in 724, captured most of the land, and took Hoshea prisoner. Only Samaria remained. It was besieged for 3 years, and was finally taken in 721 (2 Kings 17:5-6). The city was destroyed, the northern Kingdom transformed into a province of the Assyrian Empire, a number of the people taken as prisoners or exiles to Assyria, and other people resettled in the captured territory (2 Kings 17:24-34).

The Northern Kingdom had ceased to exist. Even though there were continued prophetic dreams of a restored and unified Kingdom (e.g., Ezek 37:18-22) it would forever disappear from history. The writer of 2 Kings gives a long theological evaluation of the fall of the Northern Kingdom, attributing their demise to faithlessness to their covenant with Yahweh in worshipping other gods (2 Kings 17:7-18).”

Old Testament History – Assyrian Dominance (745 BC – 640 BC)

Dennis Bratcher

 

While the lone city of Samaria remained after 724 BCE, they were besieged the whole time and suffered miserably at the hands of Shalmeneser until 721 BCE.  Regardless, the end of the government for the Northern Kingdom was in 724 BCE when the King was taken captive.  Therefore, the logical point of beginning for the punishment of Israel is 724 BCE.  Without repentance, this punishment was “sevened” or multiplied by seven as promised in Torah.  That makes the length of the time of the punishment of Israel to be 7 x 390 = 2730 Biblical years.

 

As discussed earlier, biblical years are 360 days in length.  In order to realize the appropriate timeframe, we must convert 2730 years into solar years:

2730 biblical yrs. x (360 days per biblical yr. / 365.2422 days per solar yr.) = 2690.82 solar yrs.

If we start sometime during the year 724 BCE and add one year since there is no year “0,” we come up with the following:

2690.82 yrs – 724.?? BCE + 1 = 1967.82 CE.

Considering that the defeat of the Northern kingdom was not likely to have happened precisely on the last day of the year in 724 BCE, we can assume that the ending of the punishment against Israel occurred sometime approximately midway in the year 1967.  This is the time of the Six Day War where Israel fought Muslim armies from three different fronts and took Jerusalem back after many centuries of Gentile occupation.

It appears that this somewhat miraculous victory for the small Israeli army was foretold in Scripture in Ezekiel 4 and Leviticus 26.  So how does it apply to Daniel’s seventieth Week?  Let’s look at the passage again:

(Dan 9:27 NASB)  “And he (Elohim) will make a firm covenant with the many (Israel) for one week (multiplied seven times), but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

What happened in the middle of the week?  The Scriptures state that sacrifices were stopped several times during this time period of 724 BCE to 1967 CE.  The captivity of Judah and destruction of the Temple by Babylon 587 BCE, the laws forbidding offerings by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BCE, and the destruction of the Temple by Titus in 70 AD.  Sacrifices continued at that site even after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

 

When did Jews stop offering sacrifices, and why?

For the most part, the practice of sacrifice stopped in the year 70 C.E., when the Roman army destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the place where sacrifices were offered. The practice was briefly resumed during the Jewish War of 132-135 C.E., but was ended permanently after that war was lost. There were also a few communities that continued sacrifices for a while after that time.

http://www.eruvim.net/advanced/qorbanot.htm

Even after this time, we see that the Rabbis instituted the reading of the laws of the sacrifices on the Temple Mount as a substitute for the sacrifices.  It wasn’t until Muslim occupation of the area that sacrifices were finally and totally stopped.

“Upon the destruction of the Temple, the Rabbis revised prayers, and introduced new ones to request the speedy rebuilding of the temple. They also instituted the saying of the portions of the Torah commanding the bringing of the sacrifices in place of the sacrifices themselves.

After the Muslim conquest of this region, the Temple Mount became known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary); it is traditionally regarded by Muslims as the third most important Islamic holy site, after Mecca and Medina. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount#History_and_Traditions_of_the_Site

The offerings (sacrifices) of Judah were not totally stopped until Muslim occupation of the area prohibited them.  This fits well with the account in Daniel 9:27 which described the “middle of the week” as the time that sacrifices cease and “upon the wing of abominations comes one who makes desolate.”  This is a perfect description of the Muslim Empire.

 

The Seventieth Week (The Historical Evidence)

Exactly when does “the middle of the week” occur?  This is not difficult to calculate.  If we start at 1967.5 (the approximate time of the Six Days War) and subtract half of Daniels Seventieth Week, we see the following:

1967.5 CE – (2690.817 solar yrs. / 2) = 622.1 CE

What happened in 622 CE that would put an end to sacrifices and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate?  This happens to be the precise year that Mohammed started the Muslim religion and hence, the Muslim Empire:

 

“The Beginning of Islam

The present form of Islam began in Arabia in 622 CE (the year zero of the Islamic calendar).

It is based on the ministry of a man named Muhammad, and on the words that Allah gave to the world through Muhammad .”

http://www.geocities.com/muslimtruthaqsa/Islam_The_Beginning_of_Islam.html

This prophecy of Daniel tells us that in 622 CE, “on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate.”  With the Abomination of Desolation being identified as the Mosque of Omar (the Dome of the Rock) in Daniel 12:11, we can surely see the Muslim Empire being identified in this passage.

How is it that the Muslim Empire is “on the wing of abominations one who makes desolate?”  History tells us that even in its infancy the Muslim Empire engaged in eighty battles within it’s first ten years of existence:

“1- In Medina (Arabia):

In the Beginning, the Prophet Muhammad (622-632):

In Medina (Arabia), the Prophet Muhammad himself combined both the religious and political power:

– He was Allah’s Prophet (or Messenger) and thus exercised religious and spiritual authority as Allah’s direct representative.
– At the same time he served as a governor and the highest civil authority of his expanding community. This included not merely governing the town and the surrounding area, but also mustering an army and leading it in battle about 80  times in 10 years.”

http://www.biblia.com/islam/history.htm

The desolations by Muslim Empire continued after Mohammed’s death.  The “Caliphs” (successors) who took over after Mohammed died were just as ruthless.  They spread their religious beliefs by using the sword as their evangelistic tool.  They took control of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and all of Mesopotamia.  They captured Damascus in 635, Jerusalem in 638, Cairo in 641, Alexandria in 642…Iraq and Persia 640-644, North Africa 647, Cypress 649 and many more.  Their desolations continue today:

Muslims Wars are going on Today:

The Iraq war just finished.
The Aphganistan War just finished.
The Muslims Palestinians have a continuous war of terrorism against Israel.
In Sudan, Africa, the Muslim government of the north have already killed over one million Christians in the south.
Algeria is wracked by bitter fighting between Islamic Fundamentalists and the military.
Nigeria is in the midst of a civil war between Moslems and Christians.
In Kenya the Islamic Party has declared Holy War on the government.
Colonel Khaddafy and his Libyan army have carried out numerous military excursions into neighboring Chad, and, like Afghanistan and Iran, is the basis for terrorism plots.
In Turkey the secular Muslim government is being challenged by militant Refah Islamic Party.
A war also rages between Christian Ethiopia and Muslim Eritrea.
The fight between Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijans ( 35,000 casualties), after which tiny Armenia was shrunk further because of territory “gained” by the “breeding-with-a-vengeance” Muslims population.
A war between the Christian Serbs and the Muslim Albanians could spark at any moment.
Muslims in Chechnya, Daghestan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have ignited  insurrection against the pro-Russian regimes.
Two articles in the L.A. Times wrote about Muslims in Indonesia forcing Christians of all denominations to convert to Islam or get their throats slit.  Thousands upon thousands of Christians have been first converted, and then sexually mutilated with kitchen knives and razor blades to make them conform to Muslim standards.  Afterwards, they are enslaved to their local Muslim chieftain.  This was not some aberration of Islam, but rather business as usual for all but the moderate factions.  They have a history of murder, terror, lies and brainwashing to advance their cause of global conversion and subjugation…  Their Jihad!

iblia.com/islam/history.htm

 

We can see that this Muslim Empire is the Empire of the last days spoken of by the Prophet Daniel and by the Apostle John in his prophecy of the Revelation.  The Seventieth Week of Daniel gives us an explicit look at the Muslim Empire and the fact that it will be in power over that part of the world until all desolations have been determined by the return of Yeshua Messiah on the Day of Yahweh.

(Dan 9:27 NASB)  “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

This explanation of the Seventieth Week of Daniel destroys the theology of many eschatological churches.  However, the interpretation given in this paper is based solely upon Scripture, historical evidence, and the faith that says the Word of Elohim is Truth:

(Isa 46:9-10 NASB)  “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

If we stay true to His Word and “remember the former things long past,” (Torah) we see that His purpose will be established and He will accomplish all His good pleasure.  Just as he said He would.

 

Patrick D. McGuire

Copyright 2014
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
All rights reserved, no portion of this Article may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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