The Last Week of Daniel’s Vision

time

What is the purpose of this blog post? Because the post got so long, a lot was edited out, including “why”. That may be covered in a different post. This is simply to cover a topic that may be of interest to some.

Let’s focus on Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks. Daniel had been taken into captivity. He was trained and used in administrative purposes of (what we could call) several changing administrations of captors. Daniel knew the prophecies and knew that something was going to happen after 70 years of captivity. By this time, he is an old man. If he was captured and began his training and service, say around 15 years old, that would now make him around 85 years old, more or less. Daniel is praying, and has been praying and fasting for three weeks, and an angel was sent to him with a message from God.

There are people, who because of the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecies in predicting the rise and fall of kingdoms, who try to say that Daniel was written “after the fact” by some unknown author who used the name of Daniel. But Jesus referred to the book of Daniel. Jesus considered it authentic.

Prophets of the Old Testament were inspired of God and had the ability to foresee events even hundreds of years down the timeline of history.  They were that accurate in hearing God. Daniel was one of them.

Daniel 9:20 While I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening offering. 22 He instructed me and talked with me, and said, “Daniel, I have now come to give you wisdom and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your petitions the commandment went out, and I have come to tell you; for you are greatly beloved. Therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.

24 “Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

25 “Know therefore and discern that from the going out of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times. 26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing. The people of the prince who come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will be with a flood, and war will be even to the end. Desolations are determined. 27 He will make a firm covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. On the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, wrath will be poured out on the desolate.”

 

In prophetic time, the general consensus is that a week is considered to be a “week of years”. So one week of 7 days represents 7 years in prophetic time.

The angel describes this time period in a certain way. It is 7 weeks. It is threescore and two weeks (in the King James Version). Since a “score” is 20, three score would be (3X20) or 60 plus two weeks is 62 weeks.

So we have 7 weeks + 62 weeks which equals 69 weeks.

That leaves one week unaccounted for.

Seventy years earlier, the Jewish nation had been captured by Babylon. The Jewish temple had been destroyed. While a few Jews were left in the land, most were taken to Babylon.

So the message from the angel talks about “to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks”

There are two divisions of activities; time is divided into two corresponding sections.

To restore and build Jerusalem will be seven weeks.

To the Anointed One, the prince, will be sixty-two weeks from the end of the seven weeks.

There has to be a start date for the beginning of the rebuilding of the temple, for the beginning of the seven weeks.

What is the start date?

The rebuilding project took place through several administrations.

It was stopped. It was restarted.

It is like the wall at the southern border of the United States (this is being written in 2021). The wall was started and then stopped. The same type of thing happened with this Jerusalem rebuilding project, so the initial decree to build was reinstated or refreshed and continued in other administrations.

There are multiple scriptures regarding this. Only a few will be quoted to keep the length of this post from becoming excessive.

II Chronicles 36:23  “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, Yahweh his God be with him, and let him go up.'”

Isaiah 44:28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure,’
even saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built;’
and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”

Ezra 1:2  “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Ezra 6:14 The elders of the Jews built and prospered, through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

 

 

What were those dates of Cyrus, Darius, Artaxerxes? Let’s go to history.

Before we start, a few technicalities

Sometimes there is a year difference in dates. This may be because when the calendar was made 1 BC…0…1 AD a year was skipped in moving from 1 BC to 1 AD.

BC is Before Christ
AD is Anno Domino, The Year of Our Lord
BCE is used by some people as “before common era” to replace BC

BC operates like a negative timeline in math, the numbers get smaller as you move to 0.
When you get to AD the numbers get bigger, moving from Christ’s birth to today. So when you do the math, you have to do it to “0” and then reverse the timeline to the positive. It will be done for you below, so don’t worry if you have never done that type of math, just reading this explanation will help you understand what is happening.

Also in this consideration, when you get deep into prophetic things, are varying calendars which have changed over the years, lunar, Gregorian, sabbatical. These are different considerations those who get deep into prophetic details use. We are not attempting to go that deeply into it because the point can be made more simply.

Also, remember, news traveled slowly then, it might take months to travel by foot or horse or mule, for news to be delivered. It was not as easy to record everything as there were no computers. This was done on scrolls or perhaps pieces of pottery so you would not as easily record every detail as we do today. Things were not date time stamped like they are in some places today. All this is part of the consideration.

If you ask a 3 1/2 year old child how old he is, he or she is unlikely to say 3 years, 5 months, and 2 days. He will probably say 3 years old.

All these types of things are considerations.

0 is traditionally thought of as Christ’s birth, but it has since been realized that this is a few years off.  This, of course, affects the timing of the last seven years which affects the 7 years.  This will be discussed a few paragraphs down.

The Timeline

With that background, let’s go onto the dates of when the temple was built.

Decree of Cyrus 538 B.C. 
Decree of Darius about 518 BC 
Decree of Artaxerxes 457 BC

If the date extends from the decree, to the time of Christ, which date will make sense?

If you do the math, only one date fits the criteria.  The other dates fall outside of the time slot that we know makes sense for the life of Jesus.

7X7 = 49 years

457 BC – 49 years = 408 BC

7X62 = 434 years

408 BC – 434 years  To subtract this you need to consider the negative and positive time line, BC and AD, as discussed above.  We’ll do this two ways to make it easy to understand.

408 BC – 408 years takes you to 0.

That leaves 34-8 years = 26  The reason you subtract the 8 years  out of the remaining 34 is because they were already subtracted above.   That may not be easily understandable so let’s do it a second way.

This time the math will be split up a little.

434 years = 400 years + 34 years

434 BC – 400 years= 8   BC or eight years before 0

8 BC (8 years to reach)…..0…… (26 years from 0 to reach)26  BC

brings you to a total of 34 years as 8 + 26 = 34.

Remember, you are dealing with both sides of a timeline, one before zero, and one after zero, but the total number of years are added from each side of the timeline.

That brings you to 26 AD.

What happened in 26 AD?

Dr. D. James Kenndy, in his book, Messiah, Prophecies Fulfilled, writes this on p. 31.

“Tiberius Caesare began his rule in 11 A.D. and therefore the fifteeth year of his reign would be 26 A.D.”

This fifteenth year is mentioned in the book of Luke.

The beginning of the book written by Luke says this.

Luke 1:1 Since many have undertaken to set in order a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us, 2 even as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 that you might know the certainty concerning the things in which you were instructed.

 

Luke was writing an ordered account of Jesus’s life. In chapter 3, Luke wrote about Jesus’s baptism. He mentions this fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar.

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3 He came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord.
Make his paths straight.
5 Every valley will be filled.
Every mountain and hill will be brought low.
The crooked will become straight,
and the rough ways smooth.
6 All flesh will see God’s salvation.’”

Luke 3: 21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying “You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.”

23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old,

 

If Jesus was about 30 years old in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, and that year was 26 AD, then Jesus had to have been born around 4 BC, or earlier.

Another thing to consider is that Herod decreed what is historically called the Massacre of the Innocents. He slew all the babes two years old and younger in an attempt to slay the babe Jesus the Wise Men came to visit. So if Jesus was born around 4 BC, and here is an extra 2 years, it could have been as early as 6 BC. The whole point is simply to show that the 0 date was miscalculated, and this of course, affects the theory of the last seven years.

Jesus was anointed at his baptism when he was baptized by John the Baptist.

John 1:26 John answered them, “I baptize in water, but among you stands one whom you don’t know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, who is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to loosen.” 28 These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me.’ 31 I didn’t know him, but for this reason I came baptizing in water: that he would be revealed to Israel.” 32 John testified, saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on him. 33 I didn’t recognize him, but he who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘On whomever you will see the Spirit descending and remaining on him is he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Let’s review some of the verses already given.

Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

25 “Know therefore and discern that from the going out of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times. 26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing. The people of the prince who come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will be with a flood, and war will be even to the end. Desolations are determined. 27 He will make a firm covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. On the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, wrath will be poured out on the desolate.”

 

Up until now the focus has been on the 7 weeks and sixty-two weeks in verse 25.

Daniel 9:25  “Know therefore and discern that from the going out of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times.

 

Let’s go back to verse 24.

Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

 

Who finished disobedience, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, brought in everlasting righteousness, sealed up the vision and prophecy (in other words, fulfilled it), and was anointed as the most holy?  Jesus the Christ.

Who fulfills that? Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The work of Christ was finished at the cross. Jesus said, “It is finished.”

II Corinthians 5:21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

Here is another verse.

Daniel 9:26  After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing.

 

62 weeks is AD 26 as shown above.  So after AD 26, the Anointed One will be killed.  It is sometime after AD 26.  When?

Daniel 9:27a  He will make a firm covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease….

 

Verse 27. He will make a firm covenant with many for one week. Jesus came with the New Covenant.

Jesus came bringing the New Covenant.  This is general theology that is agreed upon.
In the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease.

For Daniel, that was in future time so it says, “he will”.  We look back at the cross and understand now what that meant.  Jesus as the last Lamb slain from the foundation of the world made the sacrifice and the offering of the temple no longer necessary. Jesus’s crucifixion where his Blood was shed for the redemption of mankind made the sacrifice and the offering to cease.  Until Jesus’s work on the cross the temple sacrifices (set up sovereignly by God and given to Moses) were a temporary measure (until Jesus came as promised in Genesis 3:15) to deal with the problem of sinful man approaching a Holy God.  After Jesus, a physical lamb no longer needed to be brought to the temple; Jesus as the last Lamb slain for redemption seeks for people to believe and ask Him into their hearts to apply his Blood and his redemptive work instead of the blood of bulls and goats.

Jesus was about 30 years in the scripture in Luke.

Luke 3:23  Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old,

 

The middle of the week would be 1/2 of 7 or in prophetic time, 3 1/2 years.  There is general consensus that Jesus was crucified around 33 years of age.

In the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. Jesus was the last sacrifice. Jesus was the last Lamb to be slain for the sin of mankind. Jesus was the final sacrifice. The temple sacrifices were no longer needed.

Daniel 9:26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing. The people of the prince who come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will be with a flood, and war will be even to the end. Desolations are determined.

 

After the Anointed One (Jesus) is cut off (crucified) the prince of the people who will come (Romans) will destroy the city and sanctuary.  This happened in 70 AD.  I take the word “flood” to mean an “overflowing” invasion and war will be even to the end.  There was war until Jerusalem was destroyed.  Desolations are determined.  The historian, Josepheus, wrote of the desolations and suffering of that time.

Daniel 9:27  He will make a firm covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. On the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, wrath will be poured out on the desolate.”

 

We’ve already talked about how Jesus caused the sacrifice to cease.  Now let’s talk about this part of the verse.

Daniel 9:27b  On the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, wrath will be poured out on the desolate.”

 

In the Bible, symbolism is used, sometimes animals or parts of animals represent kingdoms.  So this wing is an extension of abominations.  I’m going to try to rephrase this.  I don’t dispute that there may be other interpretations.  It is well known that there are types and shadows in the Bible, such as Abraham and Isaac being a type of the cross or Joseph in Egypt  being a type of Jesus.  I’m not trying to say that is the only way to read this.  Many struggle with this, so there is no “one” definitive answer at this point.

On the wing of abominations…all the rejection and persecution of Jesus during his lifetime, and this rejection and persecution was ultimately inspired by satan who fought Christ through men who had not yet yielded to Christ

will come one who makes desolate…satan who sought Christ’s crucifixion ultimately inspired it

and even to the full end, and that determined,…the cross was God’s idea (Genesis 3:15), it was determined that there would be a full end, Jesus prayed, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt, it was determined by God, Jesus laid down his life and said that no man taketh it from me, I lay it down of myself, he said he could have called 12 legions of angels, but then how would scripture be fulfilled?

wrath will be poured out on the desolate.”  The wrath of God for the sin of mankind was poured out on the sinless Lamb  of God, but he was made desolate for our sins, Jesus said, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Young’s Literal Translation  Daniel 9:27  And he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week, and in the midst of the week he causeth sacrifice and present to cease, and by the wing of abominations he is making desolate, even till the consummation, and that which is determined is poured on the desolate one.’

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for our iniquities.
The punishment that brought our peace was on him;
and by his wounds we are healed.

Have you received Jesus?

 

The Last 1/2 of the Week

So what about the last 1/2 of the week?

The apostles went to the Upper Room as Jesus had directed them. They waited. They received the Holy Spirit. The church began. Persecution began. Stephen was stoned as the first martyr. Paul persecuted the church.

I believe the last  3 1/2 years may have ended with the martyrdom of Stephen.

And I would like to be able to stop there because my only purpose was to talk about that last week.

But I know there are some who will ask this question, so I will continue on a little for them.

Daniel 12:11 and from the time of the turning aside of the perpetual [sacrifice], and to the giving out of the desolating abomination, [are] days a thousand, two hundred, and ninety.

12 O the blessedness of him who is waiting earnestly, and doth come to the days, a thousand, three hundred, thirty and five.

 

What does that mean in relation to the 3 1/2 weeks?  As I have said before, the Bible has types, shadows and sometimes repeats meaning in more than one way.  But here is one.  I don’t dispute there may be other interpretations.

1,290 divided by 360 is 3.583  (lunar months and year)
1,290 divided by 365 (days in a year, our month and year counting with leap year ignored) is 3.53

Both are close to 3 1/2 in reference to the last 3 1/2 years.  It is just slightly longer.

Here’s a little potential story line.

The church is in its infancy.  It is expanding.  Then, you have things beginning to go badly. Stephen is martyred. Saul (whose name is was changed to Paul and is now known as the Apostle Paul) is persecuting Christians and he is getting very serious about persecuting them.

Acts 7:57   But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears, then rushed at him with one accord. 58 They threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 8:1   Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and lamented greatly over him. But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house and dragged both men and women off to prison.

.

It is like a football game that is going badly.  Things started out well, but now your team is losing. There are few minutes left. So you turn off the TV because you don’t want to watch the bitter end.

The next day at work your co-worker tells you how your team had an incredible comeback and won in the last few seconds of the game. And you wish you had waited and watched.

12 O the blessedness of him who is waiting earnestly, and doth come to the days, a thousand, three hundred, thirty and five.

 

And while there may yet be a future fulfillment as well, I believe that for that particular time,  when all was going badly, and Paul was persecuting the church, he was knocked off his horse by Jesus, converted, and went on to become an apostle and write a lot of the New Testament.

Blessed is he who waits till the end of the game and sees how it turns out.

Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing of threatening and slaughter to the disciples of the Lord, having gone to the chief priest,

2 did ask from him letters to Damascus, unto the synagogues, that if he may find any being of the way, both men and women, he may bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 And in the going, he came nigh to Damascus, and suddenly there shone round about him a light from the heaven,

4 and having fallen upon the earth, he heard a voice saying to him, `Saul, Saul, why me dost thou persecute?’

5 And he said, `Who art thou, Lord?’ and the Lord said, `I am Jesus whom thou dost persecute; hard for thee at the pricks to kick;’

6 trembling also, and astonished, he said, `Lord, what dost thou wish me to do?’ and the Lord [said] unto him, `Arise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what it behoveth thee to do.’

7 And the men who are journeying with him stood speechless, hearing indeed the voice but seeing no one,

8 and Saul arose from the earth, and his eyes having been opened, he beheld no one, and leading him by the hand they brought him to Damascus,

9 and he was three days without seeing, and he did neither eat nor drink.

10 And there was a certain disciple in Damascus, by name Ananias, and the Lord said unto him in a vision, `Ananias;’ and he said, `Behold me, Lord;’

11 and the Lord [saith] unto him, `Having risen, go on unto the street that is called Straight, and seek in the house of Judas, [one] by name Saul of Tarsus, for, lo, he doth pray,

12 and he saw in a vision a man, by name Ananias, coming in, and putting a hand on him, that he may see again.’

13 And Ananias answered, `Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how many evils he did to Thy saints in Jerusalem,

14 and here he hath authority from the chief priests, to bind all those calling on Thy name.’

15 And the Lord said unto him, `Be going on, because a choice vessel to Me is this one, to bear My name before nations and kings — the sons also of Israel;

16 for I will shew him how many things it behoveth him for My name to suffer.’

17 And Ananias went away, and did enter into the house, and having put upon him [his] hands, said, `Saul, brother, the Lord hath sent me — Jesus who did appear to thee in the way in which thou wast coming — that thou mayest see again, and mayest be filled with the Holy Spirit.’

18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, he saw again also presently, and having risen, was baptized,

19 and having received nourishment, was strengthened, and Saul was with the disciples in Damascus certain days,

20 and immediately in the synagogues he was preaching the Christ, that he is the Son of God.

21 And all those hearing were amazed, and said, `Is not this he who laid waist in Jerusalem those calling on this name, and hither to this intent had come, that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?’

22 And Saul was still more strengthened, and he was confounding the Jews dwelling in Damascus, proving that this is the Christ.


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