The Prophet Daniel, and other “nobles” were taken exile into Babylon during the 1st siege of Jerusalem in about 605 BC. Daniel was only about 15 or 16 years old at this time. He and his young friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah determined very early in their hearts to follow only YHWH, and not walk in the ways of the Babylonians. They were resolute in their desire to follow God.
Interestingly, one would have thought that not conforming to the ways of Babylon would have gotten them into trouble and likely killed; however, the opposite was true. They did indeed get into trouble (Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den); however, YHWH rescued them from their troubles and even provided that they would have a prominent place in the King of Babylon’s “court”. Whenever we see God “granting favor” we know that something amazing is about to follow. The best definition of the word favor is “demonstrated delight.” The favor of God can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord.”
Daniel 1:9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,
After living almost 70 years in the Babylonian exile, Daniel, now an old man in his eighties, was again looking at the Prophecies of Jeremiah. About a year after Persia conquered Babylon, Daniel went back to the writings of the Prophet Jeremiah expecting that it was the time for them to return to Jerusalem. Daniel believed Jeremiah’s prophecies that the Jewish people would be released to return to Jerusalem when the 70 years were COMPLETE.
Daniel 9:1: In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
It was at this time that Daniel went deep into prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord’s wisdom and guidance, along with petitioning YHWH to forgive the sins of the Jewish people so that they could return to Jerusalem as prophesied by Jeremiah. Daniel delivers a beautiful and heart-felt prayer in Daniel Chapter 9, ending his prayer with …
Daniel 9:19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
Then the most remarkable thing happened! After weeks of fasting, prayer, and seeking the Lord, Daniel receives a very tangible response from YHWH! Daniel was to have what can only be described as a supernatural encounter with one of YHWH’s highest ranking angels, the Archangel Gabriel! In this encounter, Daniel would not only discover the IMMEDIATE future of the Jewish people, that they would be returning to Jerusalem, but he was also about to receive FAR more than he could have ever imagined.
Daniel 9:20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
What followed was nothing short of remarkable. Daniel was about to receive PROPHETIC information from his day all the way up until the 2nd coming of Messiah! Keep in mind that this Angelic visitation occurred around 538BC, or around 500 years before Jesus the Christ. The Prophecy that Daniel received is known as “Daniel’s 70 week prophecy”.
The word for “week” that appears in the Hebrew text is shavuim, which means “sevens.” Biblical scholars have determined that the word “week” or “seven” is referring to seven year time periods. Daniel’s 70 “week” prophecy is about a period of 70 “sevens” or a period of 70 X 7 years, or 490 years.
The prophecy, hand delivered by the Archangel Gabriel, a messenger from YHWH, begins with Daniel 9: 24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city,” (seventy X 7 years, or a period of 490 years have been decreed for the Jewish people and the Holy City of Jerusalem.)
What was decreed for the Jewish people and the Holy City Jerusalem over a period of 490 years total? What was YHWH promising to do? (Dan.9:24)
- to finish the transgression,
- to make and end of sin….
- to make atonement for iniquity….
- to bring in everlasting righteousness …
- to seal up vision and prophecy…
- to anoint the most holy place….
Notice that these results concern the total eradication of sin and the establishing of righteousness. The prophecy of the 70 weeks summarizes what happens before Jesus sets up His millenial Kingdom Of special note is the third in the list of results: “to atone for wickedness.” Jesus accomplished the atonement for sin by His death on the cross (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17).
Then, the Angel Gabriel gets even more specific.
Daniel 9: 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until 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. 26 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. 27 And he will make a firm 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.”
Gabriel said the prophetic clock would start at the time that a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem. From the date of that decree to the time of the Messiah would be 483 years. We know from history that the command to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem” was given by King Artaxerxes of Persia c. 457 B.C. Ezra 7:11-26
The first unit of 49 years (seven “sevens”) covers the time that it took to rebuild Jerusalem, “with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble” (Daniel 9:25). This rebuilding is chronicled in the book of Nehemiah.
Using the Jewish custom of a 360-day year, 483 years after 457 B.C. places us at A.D. 27, which would coincide with the official beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and His Baptism by John the Baptist. (Matthew 3:13-17. The prophecy in Daniel 9:26 specifies that after the completion of the 483 years, “the Anointed One will be cut off”. This was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified 3.5 years later in 31AD.
Daniel 9:26 continues with a prediction that, after the Messiah is killed, “the people of the “ruler who will come” will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” This was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The “ruler who will come” is a reference to the Antichrist, who, it seems, will have some connection with Rome, since it was the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem.
The Final Week of the 70 Weeks
Of the 70 “sevens,” 69 have been fulfilled in HIS STORY. This leaves one more “seven” yet to be fulfilled. We are now living in a huge gap between the 69th week and the 70th week. This “gap” was put here purposely by YHWH to complete “the mystery of the Church”.
The prophetic clock has been paused for 2000 years!
The final “seven” or “week” of Daniel’s 70 “week” prophecy is known as the 7 year TRIBULATION.
Some of the actions of the Antichrist, the “ruler who will come.” are revealed in Daniel 9:27: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’” This means that there will be some type of Proposal (likely in ISRAEL because ISRAEL is God’s “timepiece”) that will be “confirmed”, lasting for a total of seven years. Many people EXPECT that the antichrist will literally SIGN a 7 year peace treaty in ISRAEL, but that’s not really what the scripture says.
However, “in the middle of the ‘seven,’ . . . he will set up an abomination that causes desolation” in the temple. Jesus warned of this event in Matthew 24:15. After the Antichrist breaks the covenant with Israel, a time of “great tribulation” begins (Matthew 24:21)
The Church age (age of grace) is complete at the Rapture of the Church. After the Church is removed, the final 7 year Tribulation period is the time when God turns His face back to the Jewish people, who rejected their Messiah. YHWH is not finished with them yet! He will bring them through the “final indignation” (Daniel 8:19), and He will rescue Israel and save as many Jewish people as can be saved, a Jewish remnant. Although we cannot yet be sure, Zechariah 13 makes it appear that 1/3 of the Jewish people will be saved. However, that number could be a lot higher, we will just have to wait and see. I would love to see that amount way higher!!! Prayer is important!
Zechariah 13: 6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
And against the man, My Associate,”
Declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered;
And I will turn My hand against the little ones.
8 “It will come about in all the land,”
Declares the Lord,
“That two parts in it will be cut off and perish;
But the third will be left in it.
9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”❤