Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy

 

 

Continuation of Part 1

By
Lee Y. Martin, Ph.D., ©2008

 

 
 

When you look at the book of Revelation, you will notice that it speaks about there being eight kings or empires, while Daniel lists only four. Two empires in John’s group of eight, Egypt and Assyria, are listed in Revelation because that list looks backward and includes all empires which have persecuted and/or oppressed Israel. When Daniel received the interpretation about the dream image of Nebuchadnezzar, those two empires were decimated and would never again be ruling giants among nations. Thus they are omitted from his list.

There are two endtime empires listed by John that fall at the end of the times of the Gentiles, the seventh one will become the REVIVED Roman Empire corresponding to the toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s image and the eighth and last one being a REVIVED Grecian Empire headed up by the Antichrist that lasts only three and one-half years. The Antichrist man of sin has Grecian roots.

Since we are in the last days, the prophetic visions of Daniel’s book are no longer sealed. Anyone taking the time can correlate the book of Revelation with the book of Daniel and see that we are about to enter the last period of time known as the tribulation that will usher in the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is because God gave His timetable for history inside prophetic utterances in the Old Testament, especially the book of Daniel, as well as in the rituals pertaining to the set feasts of Jehovah of Leviticus 23, that we are able to know what God’s agenda is for the world. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets [Amos 3:7].

Therefore, serious Bible students have learned that the prophecy given in Daniel 9:24-27 as denoted in our opening text, is the key to knowing where we are in time. It is foundational to being able to accurately divide the Word of God and discern the times. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes of His day for not discerning that He was the Messiah that should come. He asked them, why is it that …ye can discern the face of the sky, but ye can not discern the signs of the times [Matthew 16:3]?

The Jews are God’s time piece because they are His chosen people through whom He determined to reveal Himself to a lost world constrained by time whose end is destruction. Therefore, whatever is spelled out in the Bible that relates to understanding man in the context of history is filtered through that little nation of Israel in the Middle East.

Daniel’s prophecy is the key to all prophecy whereas Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24 and 25 is the spine of prophecy. Jesus never told us ‘when’, but Daniel does. Jesus, however, as the prophet of prophets gave us a descriptive panorama of what the signs would be. We need Jesus’ prophecy to bring together all the isolated prophetic utterances of the Old and New Testaments so that they make sense and form a unity. Just like all the members of a person’s body are attached to the spinal column and extend outward from it, so too do all the pieces of information given through the dark speeches of prophets need to be properly placed in what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse. Whereas other prophets could only see in part, Jesus clearly saw it all and came to reveal to us what would come to pass.

 
Jewish
ewish Biblical Calendar And The Prophetic Year
 

In order to understand Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy, one must be aware that the Jewish Biblical calendar is a lunisolar one having 360 days as opposed to the Gregorian solar calendar with 365 days 5 hours 49 minutes and 12 seconds (365.25 days) used around the world today. The lunisolar calendar has 12 months of 30 days each. It is beyond the scope of this discussion to explain about the evolvement of calendars over time. There are many books available that provide an accurate account of things pertaining to the calendars of various nations and when changes were made. My purpose for bringing up the days in a year is to show that Daniel’s prophecy is accurate to the exact day when the King Messiah of Daniel’s prophecy would be cut off or rejected as the Jews’ King for whom they were looking.

One point worth noting is that the Gregorian calendar adds one day every four years called a leap year to correct for the actual yearly course of the earth around the sun. The precise revolution of the earth around the sun is called the solar year. The Jews add an extra leap month every so often to bring their calendar into proper alignment with the solar year.

Daniel’s prophecy must be examined using the lunisolar calendar of the Bible because that is what God uses to measure time with. A look at the great flood of Noah’s day will prove God used a 360 day calendar of twelve 30 day months. Genesis 7:11 says that the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened on the 17th day of the 2nd month. We learn in Genesis 8:4 that the ark rested on the 17th day of the 7th month on Mt. Ararat – five months later. According to Genesis 7:24, the waters prevailed upon the earth 150 days. Therefore, 150 days divided by 5 months equals a 30 day month.


Coming down to more recent times, let me quote Sir Isaac Newton the highly acclaimed English mathematician and scientist of the 17th century regarding calendars.

Nasa: Solar System Exploration
All nations, before the just length of the solar year was known, reckoned months by the course of the moon, and years by the return of winter and summer, spring and autumn; and in making calendars for their festivals, they reckoned thirty days to a lunar month, and twelve lunar months to a year, taking the nearest round numbers, whence came the division of the ecliptic into 360 degrees.

Groups of people all over the world used a 360 day calendar until around the seventh and eighth centuries B.C.E. at which time it has been found that all groups of people made calendar adjustments for some unknown reason. It is evident that something happened to change the length of the day because without exception all calendars all over the world changed at about the same time.

It is only speculation as to what caused all nations to change their calendars about the same time, but there is evidence revealing that the orbit of the planet Mars was modified from an elliptical one to a more circular one in consonance with earth’s orbit. Some scientists have theorized that the alteration was caused by a near passby of Earth with Mars whereby gravitational energy was exchanged between the two causing Earth to change her tilt slightly and Mars to readjust her orbital pattern around the sun. When this happened, Earth’s and Mars’ near flybys stopped.

According to planetary movements computed by computer software programs, this event happened around the time of the Assyrian Empire’s invasion and subjugation of Israel’s Northern Kingdom in 721 B.C.E. Having carried away the Northern Kingdom into oblivion, the Assyrians were moving south to conquer the Southern Kingdom when miraculously, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were killed in one night [Isaiah 37:36] sparing the Southern Kingdom from being conquered and enslaved.

It is speculated that the deaths of such a huge number of 185,000 soldiers in short order was the result of heavenly lightning bolts issuing from the strong gravitational sparring of Mars with Earth as they passed by each other, and that these thunderbolts were attracted to the metallic armour worn by the soldiers. The epicenter of the assault on earth instigated by the angel of the Lord was in the southern part of Israel. Hence, Hezekiah’s kingdom was spared capture by the Assyrians.

It is not strange that the Bible says that the angel of the Lord did this because God uses His angels to accomplish His objectives by manipulating physical matter to perform His will. All the judgments in the book of Revelation will be dispensed by super angels. Moreover, we know from the book of Job that natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados can be precipitated by the work of evil angels [Job 1:19]. It is only through prayer and the mercies of God that we are not consumed daily [Lamentations 3:22,23].

This catastrophe for the Assyrian army was not the same event as Joshua’s long day when he commanded the sun and moon to stand still so he could finish annihilating the amassed army arrayed against him. Both planetary events could be associated with Mars’ old elliptical orbital pattern, however, which caused Mars to have close flybys to Earth on a regular cyclical basis every 54 and 108 years. In fact, all the notable significant deliverances of Israel, as well as her catastrophes, can be correlated with near passbys of Earth with Mars when Mars was in its old elliptical orbit.

 

The
he
Prophetic Year
 

One of the ordinances of Jewish law was the prophetic year. Every seven years the land was to lie fallow so it could rest and rejuvenate for optimal production in like manner that man needs the seventh day to rest and rejuvenate for optimal work output each week. If the Hebrews did not comply with this commandment of a sabbatical year rest, God established a curse upon the people as follows:

Leviticus 26:27, 33
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
33 …I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.

From the above, we find the reason Israel was in captivity 70 years in Babylon. It was because of her contrariness in keeping God’s laws. The Scriptures clearly tell us she never repented of idolatry in the face of repeated warnings by God’s servants the prophets. On top of this, she never did keep the sabbatic year during all the 490 years she was in the land from the day she entered under Joshua’s leadership until the day of her slavery dispersion to Babylon. Does God keep accurate records? You bet He does. For the Bible says that the Hebrews were in captivity in Babylon…

2 Chronicles 36:21
21 To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years (70 years).

Israel’s disobedience came to the full after God punished her by slavery one year for each sabbatic year she did not keep. Through reading the book of Jeremiah, Daniel understood by books the number of the years…(concerning) the desolations of Jerusalem [Daniel 9:2]. He learned that Jerusalem would be desolate for 70 years as per Jeremiah …

Jeremiah 29:10
10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

 

There
here
Is Meaning In Numbers
 

It is helpful to realize that God laced His plan for His creation with numerical signs. For instance, we know that seven is His number for completion and three is His divine number of perfection. Six is His number for man and four is the number for His physical creation. Five is His number for grace, nine is His number of judgment, and eight is His number for new beginnings.

Every time you see groupings of seven in the Bible, if you look deeper into what is being revealed you will find something in the passage having to do with completion. The book of Revelation is loaded with groupings of seven. Using frequent numerical patterns is one way God reveals His authorship of the Bible. When sixty-six books written over a period of approximately 1500 years come together to weave an integrated intricate picture of the beautiful redemption of God’s creation, you know the Bible had to have been written by someone outside of time. Men could not have done this no matter how ingenious.

As we unlock the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks, you will discover God used numerical patterns in determining how to program the times of the Gentiles. In order to understand Daniel’s prophetic timetable given in the 70 weeks prophecy, one must be clear about when the 70 weeks started. Because there are differences of opinion among scholars as to the precise dates that Babylon captured Judah thus stripping her of her full national privileges and political rank as a nation, I will use the most commonly held dates from religious sources, as well as secular sources, to show how accurate Daniel’s prophecy is. (The prophecy proves the dates!)

 
Judah's
udah’s Servitude To Babylon
 

 

 

Babylon invaded Judah three times incurring three deportations of people, the first being in 606 B.C.E. After the first incursion into the nation, Israel was allowed partial freedom as a tribute nation. However, Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah better known by their Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were taken hostage as young boys (children of the king’s seed along with others) to the court of Babylon in order to be trained in Chaldean ways so that they could in due time stand before the king as royal advisors [Daniel 1:3-6]. This was typical procedure for conquered peoples.

Very soon thereafter, Israel rebelled against serving Babylon which instigated a second invasion and deportation. At this siege, all but the least able people were either killed or taken back as captives to Babylon including the prophet Ezekiel and Mordecai of the book of Esther. Jeremiah was shown favor by King Nebuchadnezzar and was permitted to remain in Jerusalem to aid the infirm people left behind. After a few years, in spite of Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s warnings the remaining people rebelled again in 586 B.C.E causing a more devastating attack on Israel that wiped out everything including the Temple and the city itself. The era of desolations began.

So the two dates of 606 B.C.E. and 586 B.C.E. are the dates from which counting starts for the times of the Gentiles. On these two dates, Israel lost her national sovereignty which lasted until 1948 when she arose to become a nation with political and civil privileges and full responsibilities as a people. Even so, she is still not restored to her elitist position as a nation among nations from which the King of the Kingdom of Heaven will rule the world as Solomon did.

Strange as it may seem, she is still proud and defiant against the covenant she has with God. The Bible repeatedly calls her a ‘stiffnecked’ people [Exodus 33:3,9; Deuteronomy 9:6,13] because she is so unteachable and hard to rein train – an equine term relating to horse training. Listen to Stephen’s reproach of the Sanhedrin and High Priest immediately preceding his martyrdom:

Acts 7:51
51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist (unteachability) the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Even today the Jews are preparing their own bed of devastation for the time of Jacob’s trouble in the holocaust tribulation [Jeremiah 30:7] by appeasing their Islamic enemies with land for peace because the Bible clearly teaches that they are deceived by always wanting…Peace, peace, when there is no peace [Jeremiah 6:14]. Instead of trusting in God, they trust in the arm of flesh [Jeremiah 17:5].

Sadly, not only do the Jews reject Jesus and the New Testament’s gracious offer of the Spirit of life through Him promised to their father Abraham [Galatians 3:13,14], but they also refuse to accept the Old Testament any more as their rule for living. A large number of their populace are atheistic and the ruling irreligious political leaders do not believe there ever was nor ever will be any Messiah to come. This is a flat out rejection of their covenant with God and His protection. How blinded and confused they are when they reject even Moses!

The reason God has brought them back to the land of their forefathers today is because we are near to the time of the fullness of the Gentiles and the Jews have to be back in the land to fulfill the promissory notes of God’s unconditional Covenants to Abraham and David. God tells us through the prophet Ezekiel that He is bringing them back for His own name’s sake, meaning that He is not going to allow the promises of His unconditional covenants to be broken and thus have His name trashed by satan who would love to see Him caught in lies.

Ezekiel 36:22
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

Because of Israel’s worsening political stand among the nations today, there is an increasing number of Israelites turning to the Scriptures, and some of these people have become Messianic Jews who have accepted the historical Jesus as their promised Messiah. Having received salvation in the Church Age, however, they will be raptured out if they have purified themselves [1 John 3:2,3]. Even though it will be small, there will be a remnant of Israeli believers saved during the tribulation who make it through the holocaust with supernatural protection.

 

Era
ra Of The Desolations Of Jerusalem
 

Since the key to understanding the 70 weeks prophecy resides in the words Jesus used in Matthew 24:15 – when…ye see the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel…stand in the holy place, we must discern the difference in eras of time when reckoning Israel’s captivity. She came into servitude under the Babylonians in 606 B.C.E. at the first invasion when Daniel was taken hostage back to the capital. This began her era of servitude since she began paying tribute to a foreign conquering overseer nation. Contrasting this, she went into total slavery in 586 B.C.E. at which time the entire land became desolate by the destruction of the Temple and the city. This began her era of desolations. Ever since that date, Israel is reckoned as being desolate for 70 weeks of years to fulfill Israel’s discipline by God. This includes her dispersion in 586 B.C.E. to Babylon and in 70 C.E. throughout the world.

Weeks of Time

For ease of communicating, men have coined words to denote groups of years such as a ‘decade’ that stands for ten years (deka being Greek for the number ten), and a ‘heptad’ that stands for a week or seven days (hepta being Greek for the number seven). Therefore, a heptad is a group of seven or a series of sevens like as in Hebrew a week is a group of sevens. ‘Week’ can be nomenclature for a group of seven weeks or seven years or seven millennia. We have already seen that the prophetic year is the seventh year, the last in a week of years in Hebrew culture. It is often called the sabbatical year. This was the year the people were to let the land lay rest.

At the end of seven weeks of years (7 x 7 years = 49 years) the Jews celebrated the year of Jubilee, which was the next year – the 50th year – , when all debts were cancelled, land was redeemed to its original owner, and slaves were freed. So we have…

- 1
week of days = the Sabbath day (the 7th day) (1 heptad of days)
- 1 week of years = the Prophetic or Sabbatic year (the 7th year) (1 heptad of years)
- 7 weeks of years = the Jubilee year (the year after 49 years or the 50th year) (7 heptads of years)
- 1 week of millenniums = the Millennium of rest (the 7th millennium) (1 heptad of millenniums)

In the next part, I will use the ‘heptad’ term more frequently than the ‘week’ term in talking about Daniel’s prophecy because it seems easier, at least to me, to conceptualize the compartmentalization of time. The word ‘week’ is so locked in to meaning seven days that it is difficult to think about a week of years or anything else. Let’s now look at the details of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy in Part 2.

Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy Continued in Part 2

 

 

 
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Thursday, August 15, 2013 12:39 PM