Studying Prophecy

Prophecy Basics

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  • The 70th Week of Daniel

Prophecy Views in Church History

Herb’s Commentaries

The 70th Week of Daniel

You will see a lot on this site about something called the “70th Week of Daniel.” What is it?

It’s simply a biblical term for the last seven years of world history – when all the end-time prophecies will be fulfilled. It comes from the book of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27).

Background

In 605 B.C., the Jewish people were taken captive by the Babylonians, who, in turn, were conquered by the Medo-Persians. One day, the Jewish prophet Daniel, who was among the captives, was reading a prophecy given by the prophet Jeremiah and realized that his people’s captivity was about to end (Jeremiah 25:11-12). So, Daniel prayed to God about the future of Israel (Daniel 9:1-19). In response to his prayer, God sent the angel Gabriel to him with a message (9:20-23).

Gabriel told Daniel that “70 weeks” had been decreed for the Jewish people until their nation, Israel, was established as God’s final kingdom (verse 24). Gabriel then broke down the 70 weeks into time increments. He said that “69 weeks” would pass from the time the Jewish people were released from captivity and rebuilt Jerusalem until their Messiah came (verse 25). After 69 weeks, the Messiah would be “cut off” and Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed. This would be followed by a gap of time characterized by wars and desolations (verse 26).

Then the “prince who is to come” (the Antichrist) would strengthen a covenant with “many,” including Israel, for “one week” (the 70th week). But halfway through the week he would break the covenant and end Jewish sacrifices. He would cause great desolation until God destroyed him (verse 27).

Interpretation

Many Bible scholars interpret the “70 weeks” as symbolic language for 490 years, with each week symbolizing a period of seven years. So, according to the prophecy Daniel was given, 483 years (69 weeks) would pass from the time the Jewish people were released from captivity and rebuilt Jerusalem until the Messiah came. And that’s exactly what happened.

Then, in A.D. 33, Christ was crucified and, in A.D. 70, the temple was sacked by the Romans. Since then, we’ve entered the time gap. The 70th Week will begin when the Antichrist strengthens a covenant for seven years.

— Holly Pivec