- Contact Us
The 70-Week Prophecy
Publish date: Apr 21, 2009
Summary: The ancient 70-week prophecy of Daniel proves without a doubt that Jesus was the Messiah.
|Share with others:||
May the bones of the hands and the bones of the fingers decay and decompose, of him who turns the pages of the book of Daniel, to find out the time of Daniel 9:24-27, and may his memory rot from off the face of the earth forever.i
The 70-week prophecy, the greatest proof of Jesus as the Messiah, is found in these verses. They predict the time of the Messiah's anointing, putting the issue beyond doubt.
Let us unravel the prophecy by allowing Scripture to be its own expositor.
The Day-Year Principle
Prophecies are couched in symbolic language that needs to be unraveled before the meaning of the words can be understood. Prophetic time is used as a symbol to be interpreted in the light of Scripture.
According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years (Numbers 14:34 NKJV).
I have appointed thee each day for a year (Ezekiel 4:6).
These two texts provide the key—the day-year principle. This principle takes prophetic days and converts them to actual years. Applying this principle to the 70-week prophecy will show that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.
Six Messianic Tasks
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy (Daniel 9:24).
“Thy people” were God’s chosen people Israel. Seventy weeks resolves into 490 days. Applying the day-year principle, 490 days become 490 years.
The 490 years were appointed to the Jewish nation for these six reasons found in Daniel 9:24:
1. to finish the transgression
2. to make an end of sins
3. to make reconciliation for iniquity
4. to bring in everlasting righteousness
5. to seal up vision and prophecy
6. to anoint the most Holy
These six issues could only be fulfilled in and through the Messiah. Who else could make reconciliation for iniquity or bring in everlasting righteousness?
Jesus Fulfills the Prophecy
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (Daniel 9:25-27).
The angel gives a breakdown of the 70 weeks as follows:
7 weeks of years for rebuilding of Jerusalem (verse 25)
62 weeks of years to the Messiah (verses 25-26)
1 week of years to the close of the period (verse 27)
The calculations are shown in the graph below:
The 2300-day prophecy, of which the 70-week prophecy is a small part, was to begin at the command that effected the restoration of Jerusalem. This command went forth under King Artaxerxes Longimanus in the year 457 BC (Ezra 7:12-13).ii
From this starting point, we can determine all the other time markers of the prophecy. Seven weeks were allotted for the restoration of Jerusalem. True to the prophecy, Jerusalem was rebuilt 49 years after 457 BC, which was 408 BC.
Seven weeks (49 day-years) for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and another threescore and two weeks (62 weeks or 434 day-years) brings us to "the Messiah the Prince." Beginning in 457 BC and applying the day-year principle, we can determine the passing of 483 years from 457 BC which brings us to 27 AD (allowing for the conversion from BC to AD being one extra year).
In 27 AD, Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit on the occasion of His baptism which marked the beginning of His ministry (Luke 3:21-23). This baptism marked the event in Daniel’s prophecy “unto the Messiah the Prince.” When Christ proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15), He was referring to this part of the prophecy.iiiThe end of the prophecy is 34 AD, 7 day-years after the baptism:
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease (Daniel 9:27).
Christ would confirm the covenant made with Israel for one prophetic week (7 years), but oblation (offerings) would cease in the middle of the week (3 ½ years after 27 AD). This mid-point brings us to 31 AD—the year Christ was crucified. It was at His death that he put an end to the system of offerings practiced by Israel for so many years.
Some modern interpretations confuse the 70-week prophecy by applying it to the Antichrist, who (according to this interpretation) would arrive at the end of the Christian dispensation some time in the future.
However, the prophecy in Daniel 9:26-27 has a chiastic structure, and if this is taken into account, the apparent confusion in its literary style is eliminated:
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The chiastic structure is as follows:
* a. Messiah destroyed
* b. Sanctuary destroyed
* b1. Sacrifice terminated
* a1. Ruler destroyed
Verse 27 has an additional chiasm: “he—week—week—he,” again emphasizing the role of the Messiah. It can thus be said that the destruction of the Messiah caused "the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." The Messiah would also confirm His covenant with God’s people by His sacrificial death “in the midst of the week.”
John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, and Isaac Newton all connect the 70th week with the Messiah. When Christ cried “It is finished,” the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice, and as the Passover lamb representing Christ was about to be slain, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51).
After Christ died, rose again, and ascended to heaven, there were still 3 ½ day-years remaining in the prophecy. These ended in 34 AD with the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:59-8:4). At that time the Gospel was given to the Gentiles by individual ambassadors from every nation. Paul, the very one who consented to the stoning of Stephen, became the apostle to the Gentile world. Israel ceased to be the recipient and channel of God’s truth.
Updated April 2009.
i. Talmudic Law, p.978, Section 2, Line 28. We have, as yet, been unable locate this specific source for the reader. We have however found other sources with similar sentiments. See These Rabbinic Curse Examples.
ii. Rev. Stanley Leathes, Old Testament Prophecy—Its Witness as a Record of Divine Foreknowledge (1880).
iii. Rev. Joseph Tanner, Daniel and the Revelation.
This article is adapted from Truth Matters by Professor Walter J. Veith, an international speaker who has studied Biblical issues in-depth in his quest for truth. His popular series Genesis Conflict brings the debate between Creation and evolution to a new climax as he dissects the arguments with a scientific eye. His highly-acclaimed series Total Onslaught sheds light on the state of the world today as we move to a one-world government and an anticipated apocalypse.
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."
This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
If archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true, then why is it a point of so much controversy?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life with author Wendy Goubej.
Did God create sin? If not, where did it come from?
Have you taken a day to recreate lately?
Since the beginning of time, God has communicated timely messages to the inhabitants of planet Earth. It all started in Eden, with the first Gospel announcement.
Are miraculous signs the best way to be sure that God exists?
Dive into prophecy and history in this chapter-by-chapter commentary of the book of Daniel.
Join us on a journey through the pages of this letter from Christ to His people.
The greatest deceptions are still being formed in society today. Secret international alliances, the mark of the Beast, the New Age, and other issues are discussed.
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Learn about the Bible's prophecies on God's judgment, deliverance, Armageddon, and the earth made new.
Learn from Paul as he teaches the Corinthian Church about spiritual gifts.
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life?
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction. Learn about the main types of exitotoxins and what can be done to avoid them.
Reports show that red wine may be beneficial to heart health. Is that a good enough reason to start drinking alcohol?
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
Today's meat and dairy industries are focused on profit rather than health.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year. Can you beat the nicotine?
From mammograms to prescription drugs, the modern medical industry is always presenting a new way to diagnose and solve health issues. But are these new treatments really healing anything?
There isn't one person I have ever met who knew anything about cosmetics, and that is because the chemistry of cosmetics has always been cloaked in secrecy.
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
We are surrounded by unhealthy foods, unwise practices, and even harmful medical advice. Learn how to overcome these obstacles and choose a healthy lifestyle.
These graphs and tables can help you jumpstart your health routine.