Online Bible Commentary
Daniel 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." (NKJV)
Daniel had been brought into captivity by Babylon in 605 B.C., as a teenager. Assuming he was fifteen at the time, Daniel would now be 81 years old. In this passage, he prays for his people, the Israelites.
The time is during that first year after Babylon was overthrown by the Medo-Persian Empire in 539 B.C., but prior to the decree from King Cyrus to release the Jews in 538 B.C. Daniel remained in Babylon.
Daniel prays “let Your anger and Your fury be turned away” from Jerusalem, that city on the hill (9:16) and “cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate”, referring to the temple in Jerusalem that had been destroyed (9:17).While Daniel was still praying, God sent his angel, Gabriel, to answer Daniel’s prayer. This passage was God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer.
“Seventy weeks” would be needed “To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy” (v. 24). The term “seventy weeks” meant seventy seven year periods or 490 years. We know this because Daniel specifies “weeks of days” when he means a literal week (10:2-3, Hebrew text). So 490 years would be needed to “anoint the Most Holy”, a reference to Jesus establishing His kingdom at the second coming.
The 490 years would begin at “the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem” and last “Until Messiah the Prince” (v. 25a). The “command” was the decree of Artaxerxes in 444 B.C. authorizing Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the walls (Neh. 2:1-8).
“There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks” (v. 25b), according to Gabriel. The seventy weeks would be divided into three stages of seven “weeks”, followed by sixty-two “weeks”, followed by one final “week”.
During the first seven weeks “The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times” (v. 25c). This is a reference to Nehemiah rebuilding the walls, despite great opposition. The “seven weeks” is a forty-nine year period from 444-395 B.C. Rebuilding the essential parts of the walls took fifty-two days. Josephus states that it was not started until 440 B.C and was not fully completed until December 437 B.C.
Over the following years the infrastructure of Jerusalem was rebuilt. A forty-nine year period from 444 B.C. would end in the year 395 B.C., which was very near to the time of the completion of the reformation of Jerusalem by Ezra, according to some accounts. Bear in mind that the Jewish year is only 360 days, not our 365 days.
After the” sixty-two weeks” the “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” (v. 26a). This would seem to be a reference to the time surrounding the crucifixion. “The starting point of the prophecy would have begun on Nisan 1 (March 5), 444 B.C. followed by 360 day biblical/prophetic years of 173,880 days, and culminated on Nisan 10, (March 30) A.D. 33, the date of Jesus the Messiah’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem” (Michael Rydelnik, Moody Bible Institute).
The “prince”, the Antichrist, would destroy the “city and the sanctuary”, Jerusalem and the temple (v. 26b). This verse represents the beginning of the final week of seven years, the tribulation period. “In the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering” refers to what will be brought about by the Antichrist three and one-half years into the tribulation (v. 27a). The Antichrist’s “abominations” will be “poured out on the desolate”, the Jews and the other non Christians left behind during the tribulation period (v. 27b).
This prophecy contains an undetermined gap of time between the crucifixion and the tribulation, the final seven years of earth’s history. This would be in keeping with the mystery of when Jesus will return.
Just as this prophecy, and many more, has been proven correct by history up to this point, it will be proven by history at the time of the tribulation to come. Jesus Christ will come again as the Messiah. This time He will come with His people, Christians, to set up His Kingdom. Mark it down. The wheels have been set in motion. Get aboard the Christian train, or get left behind. It is your decision.