Book of Daniel Bible Study Chapter 9 Part 2
Daniel’s 70 Weeks
By I Gordon
We saw in the last study that Daniel had been reading the prophecies of Jeremiah when he saw that Israel would be in exile for 70 years. Daniel also noticed that at the end of that time it was important for the Israelites to seek God and confess their sinful ways in order for God to restore them to the land of Israel. Well, that is exactly what Daniel did on behalf of his nation. In this study we shall see God’s response. And what a response it is! Before looking at this wonderful prophecy and answer to Daniel’s prayer, let’s just start with a passage in the New Testament and the words of our Lord.
Let the reader understand…
When the disciples questioned Jesus about the signs of His return, one of the things He pointed to was something called the ‘abomination of desolation’. Whatever that is! What Jesus did tell us is that it is something significant that is spoken by the prophet Daniel. Well, as we shall soon see, the abomination of desolation that Jesus quoted is from the chapter we are looking at in this study – Daniel chapter 9. But before we begin I want to draw your attention to something else in the passage above. Four little words in fact that Mathew decided to put into the text as he wrote it – “Let the reader understand”. So did you just read that? Well, you are now told, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to understand this prophecy in Daniel 9! So with no less an authority that God Himself telling us to understand Daniel chapter 9, let’s have a look at this remarkable prophecy!
Ever had an angel answer your prayer?
So we see that while Daniel is still praying an answer arrives. Quite literally actually, as the angel Gabriel turns up with an announcement for Daniel and his people. Note also that Gabriel tells Daniel that he is ‘highly esteemed’. For Heaven to feel that way about any man is pretty amazing. The word literally means ‘precious’ and just as Abraham is called the ‘friend of God’ and John ‘the beloved’ so Daniel is the one ‘highly esteemed’ or ‘precious’. Daniel is then told that he needs to understand this answer that Gabriel is about to declare. And so do we! This revelation that Daniel would receive is critical to a true understanding of Bible prophecy.
An answer greater than the prayer…
away you kind of get the impression that God is thinking about much higher and
greater things than those that were in Daniel’s mind! Daniel had been concerned
with the sin of
So the message from God is given… “70
‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city…’ The word decreed
literally means determined or ‘cut off’. God is saying that He has assigned a
period of 70 X 7
(or 490 years)
for Daniel’s people
The six accomplishments of Daniel 9
Gabriel outlines 6 things that will have been fulfilled by the end of the 490 years.
The timeline until Messiah!
Again Daniel, (and you!) are told to ‘know and understand this’. Just as Gabriel has said earlier and just as Mathew has instructed his readers, so the command goes out again to understand this prophecy! And we see here a remarkable statement – an exact time for when the Messiah (the Anointed one) will come! The 70 sevens of the previous statement has now been divided into 7 sevens, 62 sevens and 1 remaining seven which will be discussed in the next study. The first 7 sevens involved the time period where the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt. The 7 sevens and the 62 sevens combined constitute the time period until the Messiah comes. We are told explicitly that from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah will be 7 + 62 sevens, or 69 X 7 = 483 years. This decree was given by king Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2 in 444 B.C. and the 483 prophetic years conclude on Nisan 10, 33 A.D.
The spotless Lamb of God
Nisan 10? Is
that significant? Yeah, according to God’s decree in Exodus 12:1-3, it was on
the 10th Nisan that all of
Exodus 12:1-3 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month (Nisan) is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.
The end point of this 483 year period is the very day that Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem (in fulfilment of Zech 9:9) and allowed the people to worship Him as the kings of the Jews – the Messiah! And yet knowing their heart and what would transpire in just four short days, Jesus said to them on that day:
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)
William Newell writes "There was only one occasion in our Lord's earthly ministry on which He is depicted as presenting Himself openly as Zion's King, the so-called 'Triumphal Entry,' recorded in each one of the Gospels and fulfilling Zech 9:9 and Psalm 118:26."
This remarkable prophecy gives us an exact date that the nation of
|Bible Studies in the Daniel Series|
Daniel Bible Study
Chapter 1: Stranded in Babylon
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 2: Faith under pressure and the God of the impossible
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 2 p2: A vision of things to come
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 3: When things get hot
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 4: Nebuchadnezzar and the tree of doom!
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 4 p2: Nebuchadnezzar - Lessons from a loon!
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 5: Ichabod and the writing is on the wall
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 5 p2: The Precarious Position of the Unbeliever
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 6: Lunch with Lions
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 7: The Times of the Gentiles - The Earthly Scene
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 7 p2: The Times of the Gentiles - The Heavenly Scene
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 8: Gods Declaration of the End... From the Beginning
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 9: Daniel - Lessons from a Legend
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 9 p2: Daniel's 70 Weeks P1
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 9 p3: Daniel's 70 Weeks P2
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 10: Lifting the Veil
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 11: A Tale of Three Madmen
Daniel Bible Study Chapter 12: How to Shine like the Stars
 Chuck Missler calls it ‘the most pivotal chapter in Bible prophecy’. Others have called it ‘the backbone of Bible prophecy’. It is certainly a remarkable prophecy.
 It is totally unique as far as I know for one of the gospel writers
to interject their own little instruction into the text. As Mathew wrote the
gospel he believed that this sign of the coming of Jesus was so important that
he should write something directly to the readers of his gospel and tell them
that they needed to understand this! Note also what Mathew wrote – He didn’t
write ‘Let the teacher understand’ or ‘Let the scholar understand’ or ‘Let the
end times prophecy buff understand’… No, the Bible says let the reader
understand. And that, my dear friend, means you!
 Gabriel is
not said to be an archangel but is one of the highest ranking in the angelic
realm. Michael, who is an archangel, is always seen in a warrior/protector role
in connection with the nation of
 This is obviously
an example of a couple of scriptures that we should remember when praying:
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Eph 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
 Daniel had seen
from the prophecies of Jeremiah that
‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit. If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve…”
So the question is,
It seems to me that Israel as a nation didn’t repent but actually got quite comfortable living down in Babylon and while God would fulfil the prophecies of Jeremiah to bring them back after the 70 years, the entire punishment and restoration for that nation was not going to be 70 years but 70 X 7 years – 490 years!
 Some Bibles use the word ‘weeks’ instead of ‘sevens’ which is
Jewish believer and Hebrew Scholar Arnold Fructenbaum writes concerning Daniel
"One of the greatest tragedies in biblical interpretation is that the word has been translated here as 'weeks'. This would require the Hebrew word shavuot. But the word used here is shavuim which does not mean weeks, but simply means 'sevens'. As such it could refer to seven of anything just as the English word "dozen" simply means twelve and can be twelve of anything... In it's context it obviously must be seven of years because Daniel has been dealing with years. He has been counting up the seventy years of Babylonian captivity... Daniel is told that it is not seventy years but that "seventy sevens of years" must pass before the introduction of the Kingdom"
 Aggh, that’s Fructembaum, not Schwarzenegger. As mentioned above
the former is a Messianic Hebrew Scholar where as the later is a previous Mr
Universe, “Govenator” for California, and slightly aging Hollywood action star.
 How many holy feasts did the nation of
 David Guzik
writes concerning this decree:
“The Bible presents four possible decrees that might fulfill this description:
- Cyrus made a decree giving Ezra and the Babylonian captives the right to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple in 538 b.c. (Ezra in 1:1-4 and 5:13-17)
- Darius made a decree giving Ezra the right to rebuild the temple in 517 b.c. (Ezr_6:6-12)
- Artaxerxes made a decree giving Ezra permission, safe passage, and supplies to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple in 458 b.c. (Ezr_7:11-26)
- Artaxerxes made a decree giving Nehemiah permission, safe passage and supplies to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the walls in 445 b.c. (Neh_2:1-8)
Only the last of these four decrees was a command to restore and build Jerusalem. The first three each focused on the temple, not on the street or on the wall.”
 It is beyond the scope of this study to go into the specific
details like why the Neh 2 passage is the best starting point for the 490 year
prophecy, why use a 360 day year or how to calculate the exact end point. But I
would draw your attention to the following studies of Dr. Thomas Ice for more
information if you are interested:
On where to start the 490 years from:
On where the 483 years ends:
On the division of the 7 sevens and 62 sevens:
 When Jesus rode