Seventy Weeks of Daniel
Liberty University On-Line
Daniel 9: 24-28 contains what many consider to be the most important prophetic scriptures in the entire bible. This passage details the prophetic chronology of Israel from the time of Daniel until the second coming of Christ. Much of Daniel’s vision of the seventy weeks can be seen in both historical and biblical events such as the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem by decree of Artaxerxes I in 445 B. C. (Miller 1994). the triumphant entry of Jesus on the 8th of Nisan (Strong 1995), and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD. It is interesting to note there is a gap in Daniel’s prophecy ...view middle of the document...
The higher criticism view within this viewpoint believes that Daniel is a forgery written in the second century B.C. to embellish the Jewish faith (Athos 2009). According to this viewpoint the pseudo-Daniel confuses the seventy years of Israel’s captivity with the seventy sevens of Gabriel’s vision. While this view is popular with some theological scholars it fails to take into account the Hebrew word shane, the context of Daniel’s writings, the nature of the captivity itself, the account given in Jerimiah, even the translations of the Mishna, all of which indicate the time frame is years, not weeks or months (Davies 1980).
In the second part of Daniel 9:24 the angel Gabriel declares a time had been set aside for the Jews and their holy city Jerusalem. This revelation is a direct response to Daniel’s prayer of concern for the Jewish people. Many scholars disagree with this claiming it refers to “spiritual Israel” or the church. However a careful reading of the text makes it clear Daniel’s prayer was for the nation of Israel and that the view of a “spiritual Israel” is not supported by the remainder of the text (III 1994). It is clear that both Gabriel and Daniel are talking about literal Israel in this passage.
Six goals yet to be fulfilled are listed in the last part of verse 24. These goals have to do with the sin of Israel as well as the restoration of Israel. There are two main views here concerning the fulfillment of these goals. The first view is that the first three goals were fulfilled with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The second view is that all of the prophecy in verse 24 will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ (Miller 1994). Athos makes a compelling argument on this point. He believes none of the prophecy of verse 24 will be fulfilled until the full 490 years is accomplished. He has translated the word transgression as rebellion, recognizing the nation of Israel will not repent of this rebellion until the very end as prophesied by Zechariah (Zechariah 12:10-13:1) (Athos 2009). Further in support of this Milner believes the “end of sin” relates to daily transgressions while the “the atonement for iniquity” occurred at Calvary but will not be extended to Israel until they recognize Jesus as Messiah (Milner 1877).
Others believe these goals were fulfilled by Christ at his first and second coming. The belief here is that the first three goals were fulfilled by Christ on the cross while the final three, the promise to bring everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision, and to anoint the most holy are yet to be fulfilled. Christians believe, and rightly so, that everlasting righteousness was accomplished on the cross when Christ made a way for sinners to be justified and sanctified with God. However the many messianic passages in scripture that view righteousness as being applied at Christ’s second coming may be the ultimate and final explanation (III 1994). For example Jeremiah said that the Lord will raise up...