Daniel’s “Prophecy of 70 Weeks” is the key to understanding many other prophecies, including those outlined in the book of Revelation. It was given to Daniel to reveal Israel’s future from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the crowning of their Messiah. Let’s break down this amazing prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.

Verse 24 reads, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place” (NASB). What is meant by “70 weeks?” It is literally “70 sevens,” or “70 weeks of years,” which adds up to 490 years. At the end of 490 years the sins of Israel would be pardoned and their Messiah would come and establish a kingdom of righteousness and peace, not only for Israel, but for the whole world.

Verses 25-26 state, “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.” The first 69 weeks, or 483 years, are divided into two periods. The first 49 years involve the rebuilding of Jerusalem and then 434 years after its completion, the Lord Jesus, who had presented Himself to Israel as their Messiah, was “cut off.” This refers to His death on the cross. From that point on the prophetic time clock stopped ticking, for God has set Israel aside because of their rejection of His Son. God then allowed the city and temple to be destroyed by the Romans and they have experienced war and destruction ever since.

Verse 27 says, “And he will make a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” As we said earlier, the prophetic time clock stopped ticking when Israel had their Messiah crucified and thus there is still one week, or 7 years, left to complete the prophecy. Between the 69th and 70th week the present “church age” is taking place. It started on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 and it will end when the Rapture of the church takes place. After the Rapture, the 70th week will begin. How does it begin? It begins with the signing of a SEVEN YEAR PEACE TREATY! Our verse states, “he will make a covenant with the many for one week.” Who is the “he” in this verse?” We believe “he” is referring to “the prince” of the Roman people mentioned in verse 26. He will be a great, charismatic leader who will head up the Revived Roman Empire. He will help mediate a treaty between Israel and her Arab nations, guaranteeing Israel protection from their neighbors if they need it. Yet in the middle of the seven years he will break the covenant and in Revelation 13:12-15 we learn that he will pollute Israel’s temple by having an image of himself placed in the temple and will demand that people worship it. This is the “abomination of desolation” spoken of in Daniel 12:11 and Matthew 24:15. This abomination will result in God judging Israel by bringing a desolator to destroy the city once again. You can read of this “desolator” and the destruction his armies bring in Daniel 8:23; 11:40-41; Joel 2:1-9; and Zechariah 12:2 & 14:2. This “time of tribulation” for Israel will cause many to repent and at that time the desolator will be destroyed by God, as seen in Daniel 8:25 and 11:45.

We could fill many pages in expounding this great prophecy but we trust this very brief summary will whet your appetite to study it in more detail. Again, it is the key that will help unlock the door that will open up your understanding of other great prophecies found in the Word of God. (163.5) (DO)