The Seventy Weeks (Part 3)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, August 19, 2012.
The Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) In the last few chapters of the Book of Daniel, God showed Daniel a number of events that would occur before God finished dealing with natural Israel. DAN 12:7. A. This season is called “...the latter days” (DAN 10:14; HOS 3:4-5; JER 23:20) and includes the historical events of the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. B. These latter days are the post-Babylon era of Israel which culminate in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, the desolating of Judea and the scattering of the Jews. C. They stand in contrast to “...the former days...” (ZEC 8:10-12) which preceded the Babylonian captivity during which former prophets warned them of the dire consequences of their sins but were disregarded. ZEC 1:4; 7:7, 12 c/w 2CH 36:15-16. D. The post-Babylon prophets to Israel include Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai and Malachi but also John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and some N.T. prophets. LUK 7:28 c/w JOH 1:31; MAT 15:24; 23:34. E. Mark the phrase, “...scatter the power of the holy people...” (DAN 12:7). 1. Israel was meant to be a holy nation, conditionally. EXO 19:5-6; DEU 26:18-19. 2. Collective national sin defiled her identity, pre-Babylon. ISA 1:21-23; JER 2:3. 3. Yet after her punishment in Babylon, her identity was graciously cleansed according to God's promise. ISA 1:24-26; ZEC 8:2-3. 4. But regaining their holy identity would not exempt them from God's judgments if they corrupted themselves in the post-Babylon era since their terms of survival were reinstated to “...as at the first” (JER 33:4-11), i.e., conditionally under promise of certain and irremediable cursing for gross, aggravating sin. DEU 28:15-68. The prophecy of the seventy weeks came in the waning days of the Babylonian captivity when the kingdom was taken from the Chaldeans by the Medo-Persians. DAN 5:31 c/w DAN 9:1. A. Daniel “...understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (DAN 9:2). c/w JER 25:11-12; 29:10. 1. Mind that the books from which Daniel got understanding about God's plan were obviously Scripture, not footnotes, fables or fantasies. 2. Mind that the understanding obviously came from reading. c/w EPH 3:4. 3. Jesus said of Daniel's prophecy, “...whoso readeth, let him understand...” (MAT 24:15). 4. Like some of Paul's writings, there are here “...some things hard to be understood...” (2PE 3:16): not ALL things, and not impossible---just hard. B. This knowledge prompted Daniel to fast and pray, confessing national sins and his own sins. DAN 9:3-19. C. In response, God dispatched the angel, Gabriel, to give Daniel skill and understanding. DAN 9:20-23. 1. Gabriel had previously been sent to make Daniel understand a troubling vision of future events. DAN 8:15-27. 2. The significance of Gabriel should not be overlooked. a. The only other times his name comes up are when he appeared to Mary and Zacharias. LUK 1:19, 26. b. The priest, Zacharias, as a teacher of the law (MAL 2:7) was likely familiar with the importance of Daniel's prophecy given uniquely by Gabriel. c. That the same Gabriel who clearly declared to Daniel the time of Messiah's The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 1 coming should appear again near the appointed season (c/w LUK 3:15) should have caught Zacharias' attention! Some observations about the prophecy: A. Messiah is central to the prophecy: it measures to Him, details His work and cutting off, and presents the awful aftermath of His cutting off. B. It is the only O.T. prophecy that provided a specific timeline to the Messiah of promise. 1. The timeline has a definite starting point, “...from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem...” (v. 25). 2. NOTE: the beginning of this divine timer is not from the beginning or the completion of any building, nor from any other mark; it is from the decree. C. The timeline is determined upon Daniel's people and holy city: Jews and Jerusalem. 1. determine: To put an end or limit to; to come to an end. 1. trans. To put an end to (in time); to bring to an end; to end, conclude, terminate. 2. This set the future extent of God's dealings with Israel: the end of this timeline of seventy weeks which is here called the consummation (v. 27). a. consummation: The action of completing, accomplishing, fulfilling, finishing, or ending. b. By comparing v. 26 with v. 27, the consummation is the end of the war. c. The end of the war during which Jerusalem was destroyed completed Gabriel's prophecy. 3. NOTE: Even if one assigns the 70th week to the Second Coming of Christ (as many do), the prophecy still demands a termination point. So how can there be a glorious Jewish millennium after that? D. The prophecy blends together four things in close proximity to each other at a future season: the arrival of the longed-for Messiah, the cutting off of Messiah, the cessation of (Mosaic) sacrifice and oblation, and a horrific destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in a desolating war. 1. That such things were so associated must have been enigmatic. 2. “...We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever...” (JOH 12:34). “What is this “cutting off” of Messiah?” 3. Did not Jeremiah say that in Messiah's days, “...Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem dwell safely...” (JER 33:15-16)? “What is this destruction and desolation?” 4. Did not Jeremiah also say of Messiah and His days, “Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually” (JER 33:18)? “What is this cessation of sacrifice and oblation?” 5. The concerned might well have been asking themselves things like, “What manner of time could Gabriel have been implying?” 1PE 1:11. E. The timeline has three divisions: seven weeks, threescore and two weeks, the last (70th) week. 1. Reason, chronology and comparative study demand that these are not weeks of seven solar days but weeks of years. a. Israel had long ago been familiarized with this principle. GEN 29:27-28; LEV 25:8; NUM 14:34. b. Considered lineally, the prophecy thus brackets 490 years of time. c. However, the unit of time under consideration here is a heptad of years, of which there are 70 required to fulfill the prophecy's details. The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 2 The divisions basically represent: a. Seven weeks for the rebuilding program during troublous times. b. Threescore and two weeks of history that culminate in the coming of Messiah. c. One week during which Messiah is cut off. Messiah is cut off “...AFTER threescore and two weeks...” This is very important. “The covenant” is confirmed with many for one week during which sacrifice and oblation is made to cease by the same person who confirms the covenant. v. 27. After Messiah is cut off, a prince brings destruction and desolation by war. v. 26. Overspreading of abominations make desolation. v. 27. 1. Jesus Christ made specific reference to this in the Olivet prophecy where He warned His disciples to therefore flee Judea. MAT 24:15-16. 2. The parallel account shows that this refers to armies compassing and hedging in Jerusalem. LUK 21:20-21 c/w LUK 19:42-44. Something (“that”) determined “...shall be poured upon the desolate” (v. 27). In review, the following must take place within the 70 weeks of this prophecy: 1. Jerusalem and its wall would be rebuilt. v. 25. 2. The temple would also be rebuilt, since there is a sanctuary destroyed. v. 26. 3. Messiah the Prince comes. v. 25. 4. The most Holy is anointed. v. 24. 5. Messiah is cut off. v. 26. 6. Transgression is finished. v. 24. 7. An end is made of sins. v. 24. 8. Reconciliation is made for iniquity. v. 24. 9. Everlasting righteousness is brought in. v. 24. 10. Vision and prophecy is sealed up. v. 24. 11. Sacrifice and oblation are made to cease. v. 27. 12. Messiah confirms the covenant with many for one week. v. 27. 13. A prince comes whose people destroy and desolate Jerusalem, etc. v. 26. 14. Something determined shall be poured upon the desolate. v. 27. NOTE: A straightforward, logical reading of DAN 9:24-27 leaves unbelieving Jews without excuse. 1. The destruction of the city and sanctuary and the desolating war (vs. 26-27) are plainly a prophecy of the devastation wrought by the armies of Rome under Titus in the latter part of the 1st Century. This is even acknowledged amongst the Jews. 2. But Messiah the Prince clearly comes before Jerusalem's fall in 70 A.D., so looking for some other Messiah subsequent to that is utterly vain and the product of unbelief. 2. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. Consider the starting point of the 70 prophetic weeks. A. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem...” (DAN 9:25). The clock started with the decree. B. The question is “Which decree?” Over the years at least four different decrees have been forwarded as the proper one: Cyrus,' Artaxerxes,' Ahasuerus,' Darius,' etc. 1. The diversity of opinion on this has largely been the result of a reliance upon unprovable pagan chronologies (preeminently that of Ptolemy, a 2nd C. A.D. heathen astronomer) which have been sometimes utilized (exploited?) to support a particular eschatological scheme. The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 3 However, as Martin Anstey demonstrated in his “Romance of Bible Chronology,” there exists within Scripture an unbroken chronology from Creation to Christ that accurately establishes the appropriate dates and also shows other chronologies to be in error. 3. Even Dr. C. I. Scofield (who originally had used Ptolemy's chronology as the basis for his system) later conceded after reading Anstey's work that Ptolemy's chronology was wrong. (C. I. Scofield, What Do the Prophets Say, p. 142) Scripture magnifies Cyrus as the man who would set the Jews free to rebuild their land. ISA 44:26-28; 45:13; EZR 1:1-4. 1. EZR 1:1-4 and 2CH 36:20-23 show that Cyrus definitely issued a proclamation to set the Jews free to return to their homeland and rebuild. This proclamation is called a commandment in EZR 6:14 which agrees with “...going forth of the commandment...” (DAN 9:25). 2. The Jewish historian, Josephus, stated that Cyrus had actually read the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him (which had been written about 200 years earlier) and concluded that God had given him a charge to send the Jews back to their land to restore Jerusalem and the temple. (Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11, 1:1-2 of the 1957 English version published by The John C. Whiston Company) 3. Some object that Cyrus' proclamation was only to rebuild the temple, not Jerusalem. a. Isaiah's prophecy clearly stated that Cyrus' decree would include Jerusalem: “...even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built...” (ISA 44:28). b. Of Cyrus, God also plainly said, “...he shall build my city...” (ISA 45:13). c. Unless God lied or Isaiah was a false prophet, Cyrus is the only one whose commandment should be considered in DAN 9:25. d. The implication of those who refuse to accept Cyrus' decree is that when the Jews returned to build the temple that they took no pains to build houses for themselves, etc. But this is refuted by HAG 1:1-6; EZR 9:9; 10:9 which are letter-satisfaction of DAN 9:25. e. Even the testimony of the enemies of the Jews shows that they had indeed been building the city and walls, not just the temple. EZR 4:12. 4. Subsequent decrees confirmed Cyrus. EZR 6:1-15. 5. The decree of Cyrus is significant in that it marked the end of the 70 years captivity and the beginning of the 70 weeks of DAN 9:24-27 that led to true liberty. The great importance of correctly identifying the starting point of the 70 weeks is that it aids in properly identifying the time of the appearance of Messiah in history: 1. Was it at Christ's birth, His baptism, His presentation at the temple, His triumphal entry to Jerusalem, some other event? 2. A chronology based upon a faulty beginning cannot be reconciled with the terms of the prophecy nor of obvious history and can logically demand grossly twisted conclusions. 2. C. D. An interpretation of DAN 9:24-27 that has gained great popularity amongst professing Christianity in the last 200 years is that significant portions of the prophecy have not been fulfilled. By contrast, a consistent reading of the text demands that all of prophecy was fulfilled in the 1st Century. A. The Fulfilled position may be summed up thus: 1. The 70 weeks are consecutive, sequential, uninterrupted, a determined time. The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 4 The restoring and building of v. 25 occurred in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Messiah the Prince came at the end of the 69th week (483 years from the decree). Messiah was anointed to begin His ministry and the 70th week. Messiah was the “he” (v. 27) Who did “...confirm the covenant with many for one week...,” that week being the 70th. 6. The covenant He confirmed was the New Testament. 7. Messiah's “cutting off” in the midst of the week was Christ's crucifixion. 8. Messiah's crucifixion finished the transgression, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, brought in everlasting righteousness, sealed up vision and prophecy (v. 24), and caused sacrifice and oblation to cease (v. 27). 9. The “...people of the prince that shall come...” (v. 26) were the Roman armies of the 1st C. 10. The abomination of desolation (per MAT 24:15) were the armies that compassed Jerusalem which Christ's disciples would see. LUK 21:20. 11. The city and the sanctuary destroyed were the then-existing Jerusalem and its temple (and that was the only temple under consideration in the prophecy). 12. The destruction and desolation refer to the annihilating war prosecuted by the Romans against the Jews of the 1st C. which Jesus Christ said would come upon the generation to whom He spoke (LUK 11:50-51; 21:29-32) and would be a tribulation unparalleled in past or future history. MAT 24:15-22; 1TH 2:14-16. The Futurist position may be summed up thus: 1. The 70 weeks were suspended after the 69th week; the 70th week is future and only occurs after a gap of indeterminate time elapses. 2. God withheld the existence of the gap from Daniel and the gap was a secret dispensation called “the church age,” a parenthesis of time until a future age when national Israel and its temple would be restored. 3. Much of the detail of the prophecy is not yet fulfilled, including v. 24 and v. 27. 4. The “he” of v. 27 is a future antichrist prince who makes a covenant with a restored national Israel and this is what begins the long-awaited 70th week. 5. The sanctuary is a future rebuilt temple in which animal sacrifices will be again offered until the antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel midway through the 70th week. 6. Antichrist causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease. 7. The abomination of desolation is an image of Antichrist placed in the temple. 8. Antichrist and his forces wreak terrible destruction and desolation upon restored national Israel and this is the “great tribulation” that Jesus spoke of in MAT 24:21. 9. This “great tribulation” will last 3-1/2 years until Messiah comes to complete the 70th week by overthrowing antichrist and setting up His Messianic world kingdom. 10. The horrors of 70 A.D. are marginalized. Some preliminary observations about the Futurist position: 1. Antichrist is nowhere mentioned in the passage. 2. Nothing is said about a covenant being made to allow animal sacrifices. 3. Nothing is said about a covenant being broken. 4. Why is an argument not made for a gap between the 7th and 8th week? a. A major proponent of the Futurist position, Dr. C. I. Scofield, had a thing for unwarranted gaps. b. He placed one between GEN 1:1 and GEN 1:2 during which he supposed a primeval order was destroyed by God's judgment for sin long before Adam 2. 3. 4. 5. B. C. The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 5 5. was created (“The Gap Theory” of long geologic ages). See his footnotes on GEN 1 in the Scofield Reference Bible (SRB). c. He implied a gap in the fourth division of Nebuchadnezzar's dreamed colossus that separates the contextually obvious association of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven with the days of the Roman empire at Christ's first advent. See the SRB footnotes on DAN 2. d. He placed a gap between the 69th and 70th week of DAN 9:24-27. e. He placed a gap between the deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of the wicked in his SRB footnote on MAT 13:30. f. He placed a gap between the resurrection of the just and the resurrection of the wicked in his SRB in-text note on JOH 5:28-29 and his SRB footnotes on 1CO 15:52, 1TH 4 and REV 20. The Futurist's parenthetical gap between the 69th and 70th week in which they insert the “not yet disclosed...mystery-form of the kingdom” church age (SRB footnote on MAT 4:17) must also include the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Messiah since that occurred AFTER the 69th (7 + 62) week! a. Since the Futurist deems the church age to be essentially just a “gap-filler,” it would seem that the sufferings of Christ should be similarly marginalized. b. Lest one think that the above statement is outrageous, it should be remembered that the Dispensationalist/Futurist's Christ is accounted a failure for not taking David's throne or setting up the Divine Kingdom or fully settling the sin debt forever of all God's elect at His first advent. That is a marginalized Christ! c. NOTE: Scripture does NOT teach that the church age is a parenthesis to be replaced by a Jewish kingdom doing business again under a Mosaic system of sacrifice. It teaches that the Mosaic system was a parenthesis to bring God's church as far as Christ Who reformed it into the gospel church for His praise forever! LUK 16:16; GAL 3:19, 24-25; HEB 9:10; EPH 3:21. d. Both the sufferings of Christ the King and the introduction of the church age were declared by the prophets: they were not secrets in that sense. LUK 18:31-33; 24:25-27; ROM 15:8-12; ACT 15:14-17; 26:22-23. e. As noted earlier, pushing the 70th week into the distant future from the 69th week does not help the Futurist's position since the end of the 70th week (whenever it occurs) is the determined END of the divine timer for Daniel's people (Israel) and his city (Jerusalem). And that forbids any notion of a Messianic/Jewish kingdom age ruled from Jerusalem. There are six specific things in DAN 9:24 that can be shown to pertain to Messiah and His mission. A. That they were intended to be associated with the first advent of Christ is evident from the language of the next verse. B. “Know therefore...” (v. 25) is a conjunctive adverb phrase which logically links the events of v. 24 with their intended end, “...unto the Messiah the Prince...” Christ is the focus of the prophecy. C. Obviously, the events of v. 24 did not occur in 69 weeks or the prophecy would have read, “Sixty-nine weeks are determined...” But the 69 weeks only reach to Messiah's arrival. D. All 70 weeks are required for the events of v. 24 and those events are tied to Messiah. If those things did not occur during that week, when did they occur? And what DID He do? The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 6 VIII. Contrary to the Futurist's interpretation of DAN 9:24-27, a historical interpretation can be plainly demonstrated from Scripture that: A. makes Jesus Christ at His first advent central to every aspect of the prophecy. B. shows Jesus Christ's crucifixion to be the signally important event in all history and that which accounts for all things of the 70th week. C. is a sensible continuity and completion of all 70 weeks. D. is in agreement with all other Scripture. E. is in keeping with sound grammatical principles. The following issues are vital to this prophecy: A. Who is “...Messiah the Prince...” (v. 25)? B. When did Messiah come? C. What or who is “...the most Holy...” (v. 24) that is anointed? D. Who are “...the people of the prince that shall come...” (v. 26)? E. Who is “...the prince that shall come...” (v. 26)? F. Who is the “he” that “...shall confirm the covenant with many...and...cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease...and...make it desolate...” (v. 27)? The 69 weeks bring us unto Messiah the Prince, no further. A. Messiah is from a Hebrew word which means anointed (and is translated as anointed in every other place other than DAN 9:25-26). B. The N.T. form of the same word is the Greek word Messias which equates to Christ which also means anointed. JOH 1:41; 4:25; PSA 2:2 c/w ACT 4:26. C. Jesus of Nazareth is obviously Messiah/Christ and the Prince of this prophecy. ISA 9:6; ACT 3:15; 5:31; REV 1:5. D. To deny that Jesus is the Christ is to declare oneself a liar and antichrist. 1JO 2:22. Since Messiah/Christ means anointed, the beginning of the 70th week can be established. A. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost at His baptism. LUK 3:21-22; 4:18; ACT 10:38. B. This was His manifestation to Israel as Messiah, not before. JOH 1:6-8, 31. C. Moses' Law required that firstborn males be called “...holy to the Lord” (LUK 2:23). 1. Jesus was “...that holy thing...” (LUK 1:35), Mary's firstborn child. 2. Being conceived without sin, Jesus was of all men ever born, “...the most Holy...” 3. He was anointed with the oil of gladness ABOVE His fellows. HEB 1:9. D. Christ's anointing marked the beginning of His Messianic ministry. LUK 4:18-21. 1. Paul refers to His being thus sent as being “...when the fulness of the time was come...” (GAL 4:4). 2. A timetable was being kept: the beginning of the 70th week! c/w MAR 1:15. 3. The beginning of Jesus Christ's ministry is even called His coming. ACT 13:24 c/w JOH 1:27-30. E. These facts establish that Jesus of Nazareth's baptism and Holy Spirit-anointing answer to the phrases, “...unto Messiah the Prince...” and “...anoint the most Holy...” (DAN 9:24-25). F. The rest of the events of DAN 9:24-27 subsequent to the beginning of this 70th week fall into that heptad of years. Messiah would be cut off in the 70th week (DAN 9:26) and His cutting off is inextricably tied to the other events of DAN 9:24. The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 7 A. B. C. D. E. F. Christ's being cut off “...but not for himself...” (v. 26) is a key phrase since it implies the great work of His atonement as “...the just for the unjust...” (1PE 3:18). 1. He “...was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken” (ISA 53:8). 2. According to the divine covenant, God made Him to be sin for us. 2CO 5:21. 3. His cutting off was not for himself; it rather was “...the sacrifice OF himself...” (HEB 9:26). to finish the transgression. 1. finish: To bring to an end; to come to the end of, go through the last period or stage of. Often with gerund (formerly with inf.) as object: To 'make an end of', cease (doing something). Also, rarely, To put an end to, cause to cease. 2. Recall that Daniel had been confessing of his own nation, “Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law...” (DAN 9:11). 3. Israel's history of rebellion against God's law (and especially their belligerence towards the messengers God sent to them) came to a head with the crucifixion of Christ. MAT 3:7-12; 21:33-45; ACT 7:52; 13:27. 4. This belligerent policy continued after Christ's crucifixion so as to fill up their iniquity (c/w GEN 15:16) and be cast out of that land as were the Canaanites many years before. MAT 23:29-38; 1TH 2:14-16. 5. By the time of Jerusalem's destruction, unbelieving Israel had gone through the last period or stage of (finished) the transgression, specifically her persecution of the righteous messengers of God and especially Christ. to make an end of sins. Christ was manifested to destroy sin (1JO 3:8) which He did by condemning it in His flesh (ROM 8:3) and putting it away. HEB 9:26. to make reconciliation for iniquity. Christ reconciled His people unto God by His death. ROM 5:10; COL 1:21-22; HEB 2:17. bring in everlasting righteousness. By His singular obedience unto death, Christ made many righteous forever. ROM 5:19-21; 1CO 1:30; 2CO 5:21. seal up vision and prophecy. 1. Sealing up can refer to the summum or great end of something. EZE 28:12. 2. Seal also refers to the action “To fasten (a folded letter or other document) with melted wax or some other plastic material and impress a seal upon this, so that opening is impossible unless the seal is broken.” This means that whatever is in that which is sealed is hidden from sight. 3. Christ (and Him crucified, 1CO 2:2) is the summum or great end of vision and prophecy. JOH 5:39; ACT 3:18; 10:43; ROM 10:4; GAL 3:16-17; REV 19:10. 4. Unbelieving Israel was blinded to the message of the Law and the Prophets; to them the book was sealed. ISA 29:11; 6:9-12; LUK 19:42. 5. Until “Christ crucified” is seen by faith as the sum of the O.T., that book remains sealed to the understanding. The opening of it is impossible unless the seal is broken. ROM 10:1-3; 2CO 3:14-16. XIII. DAN 9:26-27 sets forth other things that pertain to Jesus Christ and Him crucified. A. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week...” 1. “he” in this verse has only one proper subject for its antecedent: Messiah (v. 26). 2. “prince” in v. 26 is not an antecedent subject; it is part of an adjective phrase (“of the prince that shall come”) that is modifying the subject, “the people” who perform the action, “destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 8 Since the subject, “the people” is obviously not the “he” who confirms the covenant, then the pronoun “he” must be referring back to the only other proper subject in v. 26, i.e., Messiah. 4. Messiah, therefore, confirmed the covenant with many for one week, the 70th week. a. confirm: To make firm or more firm, to add strength to, to settle, establish firmly. b. The covenant that Messiah confirmed with many was the New Covenant/Testament. MAT 26:28; HEB 9:28. (1) He confirmed it by deed with His blood. HEB 13:20. (2) He confirmed it by declaration with His gospel. MAR 16:20; HEB 2:3. c. Recall that Gabriel's prophecy pertained to Daniel's people. DAN 9:24. d. Christ came as a minister to Israel/circumcision. MAT 15:24; ROM 15:8. e. He was “...set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel...” (LUK 2:34). f. The apostles' ministries were for a season limited to Israel. MAT 10:5-6. g. The gospel was first to the Jews. ACT 3:25-26; ROM 1:16. h. Many in Israel embraced Messiah's covenant. ACT 2:41; 4:4, 32; 5:14. The cutting off of Messiah (which put the New Covenant in force, HEB 9:15-17) is in complete accord with “...and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease...” (v. 27). 1. The gospel records show that Christ attended four passovers, which requires a minimum of three years. 2. It was at that last passover season when Christ was crucified “...in the midst of the week...” or roughly 3-1/2 years after His ministry began. 3. His once for all perfect sacrifice of Himself which fulfilled all the types and shadows of the Law sacrifices caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease. a. They ceased as a divine appointment. HEB 10:11-17. b. In testimony of this, God tore the veil in the temple (which by then was only THEIR house, per MAT 23:38) where animal blood was once taken into the Holiest of all for sin. MAT 27:51. c. Believers now enter into the Holiest of all in heaven by a new and living way through Christ. HEB 10:19-22. d. How ridiculous that some think that God will renew ineffectual, abandoned animal sacrifices in an earthly temple! The same “he” (Messiah) is the one who “...shall make it desolate, even until the consummation...” (v. 27). 3. B. C. Who is the “...prince that shall come...” whose people destroy the city and sanctuary of Daniel's people? v. 26. A. He certainly isn't some kind of future antichrist who has yet to appear; he had to have appeared in the first century to satisfy the terms of the 70 weeks. 1. So strained is the Futurist position on this point of “the prince that shall come” that although they may concede that v. 26 is talking about the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., they say that the prince of that people has not yet arrived! a. “When the Church-age will end, and the seventieth week begin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfillment. Verse 27 deals with the last week. The “he” of verse 27 is the “prince that shall come” of The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 9 verse 26, whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70.” (SRB footnote on DAN 9:24-27, boldface mine for emphasis) b. Thus, Dr. Scofield inserted another gap: hundreds or thousands of years between the people who destroyed the city and their prince! 2. The indifference that is sometimes shown by the Futurist interpretation to the horrors of the Jewish destruction in 66-73 A.D. is unjustified, unacceptable and capricious. 3. The destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, Judea, and the scattering of the Jews at the hands of the Romans are plainly the days of vengeance which fulfilled what was written in passages like DAN 9:24-27. See LUK 19:41-44; 21:20-24. 4. A frank reading of histories such as that of Josephus shows that those atrocities which the Jews suffered at one another's hands and then by the Romans and their allies confirms a letter-fulfillment of incomparable tribulation. 5. The Futurist interpretation implies that God meant to restore Israel to their land at a much later date after ages of dispersion only to bring upon them greater horrors than in 70 A.D. Some have conjectured that this prince is Messiah the prince from v. 25 Who calls the Gentile Roman armies “his armies” per MAT 22:7. 1. First, the language of v. 26 would be somewhat incongruous by this interpretation. 2. It is true that God has raised up wicked men for His purposes of judgment and called them His tools and servants. ISA 10:5-19; JER 25:9 et. al. 3. It is true that God committed all judgment into the Son's hand, particularly after the resurrection. JOH 5:22, 27; MAT 28:18; ACT 17:31. 4. It is also true that under the New Covenant, Gentiles are called God's people. ROM 9:25-26. 5. However, only God's called from amongst the Gentiles (His elect covenant children) are the ones that are properly called God's people. ROM 9:24; ACT 15:14-17. 6. Also, the king in MAT 22:7 would be the heavenly King, in which case the armies that He sends forth may be angels, as in PSA 68:17 c/w 2KI 6:17. The Book of Daniel sets forth a series of princes that represent great political powers which come to bear on Daniel's people. DAN 10:12-13, 20-21 c/w 8:20-21. 1. There is an accord between these princes and the four divisions of the colossus in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. DAN 2:31-45. 2. By the time of DAN 9:24-27, the golden head of Babylon had already fallen to the Medes and Persians (the breasts and arms of silver in the colossus). 3. Yet, “...the prince of Grecia shall come...” (DAN 10:20) which would be the Greek empire (the belly and thighs of brass in the colossus). 4. But what of the fourth division of the colossus? One need only ask what political power took over from Greece and which also was in power in 70 A.D. to get a bead on “the prince that shall come” of DAN 9:26 whose people destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. 5. Mind that these empires each had more than one earthly king. This means that the prince of each of these empires could be a spirit. a. Satan is such a prince. JOH 14:30; EPH 2:2. b. God's angels/princes have fought Satan and his angels. REV 12:7. c. The prince/king of Tyrus who had been in Eden and who was the anointed cherub was not simply the man on Tyrus' throne. EZE 28:2, 12-15. B. C. The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 10 6. d. Our wrestlings are with invisible princes. EPH 6:12. e. Was a man named Peter animated by a spirit prince once? MAT 16:23. f. Could a Roman general/prince named Titus be animated by a spirit prince? Whether Titus or Titus' animating spirit is the one spoken of as the prince that shall come is ancillary to the fact that “the people of the prince that shall come” were obviously the Romans of the first century. When did the 70th week end? A. Inasmuch as Messiah's cutting off was in the midst of the 70th week (or about 3-1/2 years after He was baptized), the chronological end of the 70th week would have been 3-1/2 years after that. B. It is evident that the following occurred before the chronological end of the 70th week since we have seen they had to be accomplished by the midst of the 70th week: 1. anoint the most Holy. 2. make an end of sins. 3. make reconciliation for iniquity. 4. bring in everlasting righteousness. 5. seal up vision and prophecy. 6. Messiah be cut off. 7. cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. C. The remainder of the 70th week after Christ's crucifixion (3-1/2 years) would have finished the confirming of the covenant with many in Israel (in a strict chronological sense). 1. Some have tried to establish this end of the 490th year at various points: the stoning of Stephen, the conversion of Cornelius, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, etc. 2. The identifying of an event, though, is not necessary. All that is necessary is faith to believe that the 70th week did come to an end, chronologically speaking. D. But what about Israel finishing the transgression? 1. Recall that the finishing of transgression was the filling of their iniquity which extended past the suffering of Christ into the N.T. church era. MAT 23:32-36; 1TH 2:14-16. 2. This went well past the chronological end of the 70th week. E. Also remember that the consummation (completing, accomplishing, fulfilling, finishing, or ending) of this prophecy determining time limits for Daniel's city and people was commensurate with the end of the desolating war. vs. 26-27. 1. God still suffered Jerusalem to exist after the chronological end of the 70th week and even used it to house Christ's N.T. church. 2. The temple/sanctuary still stood until the Romans destroyed it in 70 A.D. 3. The terms of Christ's covenant were still being presented to the Jews after the door of faith opened to the Gentiles, even all the way through the Book of Acts. ACT 17:1-12; 28:20-31. F. A clue to this has already been given: Christ caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease in one sense within the 70 chronological weeks but He did not stop it in another sense until He destroyed the temple in 70 A.D. 1. Something which comes to an end in one sense by God's order may not terminate in practice until a later date. 2. King Saul was dethroned by prophecy in 1SAM 15:26-28 but reigned in practice for the duration of his forty years (ACT 13:21) which ended in a Spirit-departed, The Seventy Weeks 8-5-12 Page 11 G. suicidal death. 1SAM 16:14; 18:12; 28:16; 31:4. 3. The parallel between this and first-century Israel should not escape the wise. When Messiah was being cut off, He prayed, “...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...” (LUK 23:34). 1. Here was a prayer for forgiveness in consideration of ignorance. 2. God always hears Christ's prayers. JOH 11:42. 3. This was evidently a prayer for the benefit of His elect for whom He shed His blood but who through ignorance were condemning Him. ACT 3:17; 13:27. 4. Many of those who called for His death were eventually brought to repentance and salvation. ACT 2:36-41; 21:20. 5. In answer to Christ's prayer, God stretched out the line of Israel's national existence to accommodate the elect's salvation from the destruction to come. a. Years earlier at the request of a godly king, God stretched out the timeline of Hezekiah's life and even rolled time back forty minutes as a sign for him. ISA 38:1-8. b. Years earlier, God stretched out a day for Joshua. JOS 10:12-13. (1) A day is a unit of time, as is a “week” (heptad) of years. (2) Therefore, the stretching out of the 70th week is not without precedent, nor is it unreasonable. (3) Mind how this differs from the insertion of an indeterminate gap BETWEEN the units of time under consideration. 6. Mind also how that the Holy Spirit accounted Israel's ancient exodus from Egypt as not having occurred until AFTER they had wandered in the wilderness for forty years. ACT 7:36. a. They had physically, geographically departed from Egypt when they crossed the Red Sea about forty years earlier. b. But it was not until they crossed Jordan into Canaan that the reproach of Egypt was rolled away from them. JOS 5:9. XVI. What was “...that determined...poured upon the desolate” (DAN 9:27)? A. The curse of Moses' Law for rebellion against God had long ago been determined that it should be poured out. LEV 26; DEU 27-29 c/w DAN 9:11-12. B. God's wrath for national irremediable sin was described as a pouring out. 2CH 34:24-25. C. Attending these things was the sealing up of vision and prophecy to unbelieving Israel by the pouring out of the spirit of deep sleep. ISA 29:10-11; ROM 11:7-10; PSA 69:22-24. D. By contrast, upon those whose hearts were touched by the cutting off of Messiah, something else was poured out. ZEC 12:10; ACT 2:16-21.