Daniel's Seventy Weeks

Question:

Can you explain to me the meaning of Daniel chapeter 9 verse 24. What is seventy sevens and also verse 9:26, seven sevens and sixty two sevens?

Thank you.

Response:

Most scholars who believe in a future literal Tribulation hold that sixty-nine sevens (7x7 + 62x7) refer to sixty-nine sevens of years and were the time leading up to the coming of the Messiah. After this time Messiah was cut off (v. 26) or killed. Since the prophecy began describing a period of 70 sevens then that still leaves one seven year period to be fulfilled. This has been understood to be the Great Tribulation. At the beginning of the seven year period, the Antichrist will establish (or confirm) a covenant with many, but in the middle of this period he will renege and break his covenant, causing sacrifice to stop (v. 27). Since this prophecy was given to Israel (v. 24), "the many" has been understood to refer to Israel. When we look at other prophecies about the Antichrist, it seems that he will begin on good terms with Israel and will even allow them to have sacrifices once again. But after 3½ years he will take them away and declare himself to be God and require everyone to worship him instead. This is what is called the "Abomination of Desolation."

Concerning the first 483 years (69x7) some scholars have calculated the fulfillment of this to the very day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Revelation speaks of the second 3½ years of the Tribulation as 1,260 days and as 42 months (Rev. 11:2,3; 13:5). This would give us a 360 day year instead of our 365¼ day solar year. If the 483 years in Daniel 9 are to be understood the same way then that would come out to 173,880 days (483x360). To convert this into our solar years, we divide by 365.25 and get 476.05 (173,880 / 365.25). According to my Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, the commandment of Artaxerxes I to Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25) was in 444 BC. (This is also recorded in Nehemiah 2) 476 years - 444 BC = 32 + 1 (because 1 BC to 1 AD is one year, there is no year 0) brings us to 33 AD which is the year many scholars date the crucifixion (for various other reasons). The triumphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem was just a few days before the crucifixion. However, even if we are not positive on some of these dates, the time frame is close enough that it is obvious that Jesus fulfilled the prediction.