As my daughter would say, “Good golly!”
Are you still tracking with me on this Revelation journey? I hope that I have not lost you on one of these rabbit trails we are taking. I am a Bible study nerd, so digging around in the Bible brings me great joy, especially when there is a mystery involved. And, good golly, there is some mystery in this journey, isn’t there?
In case you are just jumping on the Revelation train, let me bring you up to speed a bit. We have been studying Revelation since January, beginning at the beginning and studying forward, chapter by chapter. We have completed 7 chapters, and every single post in the series is linked HERE in the order in which we studied them.
I felt led to take some excursions into other books of the Bible in order to give you a better understanding of some of the events noted in Revelation. So, for a few weeks we are going down some rabbit trails. We have visited in Nehemiah and Daniel chapter 2. These excursions build on each other, so it would be important for you to review the Nehemiah and Daniel 2 teachings in order to get the full picture. You may click on the links in this paragraph to do that.
Today, we stay in Daniel, but move to chapter 9 to begin connecting some of our dots. Let’s read the passage, then we will move into the teaching.
Daniel 9:24-27 (ESV)
24 Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for the iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.
There is enough in these verses to occupy my teaching bent for at least a month, but alas, I am allotting one week and one post. At least that is my plan. I do promise that we will refer back to this passage in the future, so highlight it in your Bible.
The items we want to observe in this teaching session are two: a decree (remember Nehemiah?), and seventy weeks. I think the most concise way for me to teach this segment is to break it down into a few lists, so let’s have at it, as my Mom would have said.
MAIN CHARACTERS IN THIS PASSAGE
“Your people” – Gabriel is speaking to Daniel, so the Jewish people are the ‘your people’
Messiah the Prince – Jesus – ‘cut off after 62 weeks’= crucified
The prince who is to come and the one who makes desolate – Antichrist, the beast
People of the prince who is to come – those who follow antichrist/beast
DECREE or ‘THE GOING OUT OF THE WORD TO RESTORE AND BUILD JERUSALEM – Nehemiah!!
Now, I will tell you that some believe the decree that is being referenced is the decree of King Cyrus in 538 BC as told about in Ezra 1. Others believe the decree to be a different one from King Artaxerxes spoken in 458 BC and referenced in Ezra 7.
This is the first dot that we will connect…the decree that we studied last week is prophesied by Gabriel to Daniel!
SEVENTY WEEKS – events that take place in this period
Finish the transgression
Make an end of sin
Make atonement for iniquity
Bring in everlasting righteousness
Seal up vision and prophet/prophecy
Anoint the Most Holy Place
At the end of the seventy weeks is when Satan and the antichrist will be forever banished to the lake of fire and Jesus will set up His everlasting kingdom in the New Jerusalem.
Now let’s break down these 70 weeks.
AFTER SIXTY-TWO WEEKS – events that will happen
Messiah will be cut off – happened in approximately AD 30-33
Jerusalem and the temple destroyed – happened the first time in AD 70
Flood – is it a literal flood or speaking figuratively?
War to the end
ONE WEEK – tribulation period
Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel – middle of the 7-year period
Sacrifices are stopped in the middle of the week when antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel
One who makes desolate appears and is subsequently destroyed – antichrist and satan
Scholars (of which I am NOT one) have varied opinions on all of this. As I told you at the beginning, I am offering my thoughts based on my study of Scripture. God is not obliged to make history happen the way I think it should. That is where I am obliged to bend my knee to His sovereignty if it doesn’t work out the way I think it might.
This passage is chock full of what scholars call near-far prophecy. Many of the events took place hundreds of years ago, but are also symbolic of something that will take place in the future. In fact, all of the events of Daniel 9:25-26a have been fulfilled up to our time in history. Hence, the near portion of the prophecy would occur during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175 BC – 164 BC), while the far prophecy points toward end times events.
I would like to leave you with a quote from Kay Arthur in the Precept Upon Precept Revelation 3 study.
“History does not confirm the event described in Daniel 9:27. Some believe there is an undetermined gap of time between the destruction of the city and sanctuary in AD 70 when Titus besieged Jerusalem and the remainder of the prophecy in verse 27. This gap of time could be the ‘times of the Gentiles,’ leaving the last seven years of the 490 unfulfilled. Some believe this unfulfilled seven-year period is the (great) tribulation (others only the last 3 ½).”
Friends, if all this does not have your head spinning, you are taking better medication than I. What questions have I created in your mind? There is more info to come and more dots to connect. Stay tuned, but feel free to ask questions.