BEGINNING OF THE 70TH WEEK: “Know therefore and understand, that…
BEGINNING OF THE 70TH WEEK:
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks ” (Daniel 9:25)
Simple addition tells us the Messiah was scheduled to arrive after 69 weeks. Therefore, the coming of the Messiah marks the start of the 70th week.
After Daniel died in Babylon, Artaxerxes finally gave “the command to restore and build Jerusalem” in “the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.” (Ezra 7:7)
Look up the reign of Artaxerxes I in any source like Wikipedia. The king’s “seventh year” was 457 BC.
So, did “Messiah the Prince” appear on the scene 483 years (sixty-nine weeks) later?
According to Daniel’s prediction something big was to happen on 27AD.
This is what happened on that very year…
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him…When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)
And so began the ministry of Jesus as “Messiah the Prince” at the age of 30!
And what was the first thing Jesus said?
“The TIME is FULFILLED, and the kingdom of God is at hand…” (Mark 1:15)
No wonder Jesus referred to Daniel as “Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15). Daniel had foretold the beginning of the ministry of Jesus to the exact year!
MIDDLE OF THE 70TH WEEK:
Now, Daniel clearly states that it is a 70 “weeks” prophecy (for a total of 490 years), and so far we have only addressed the first 69 “weeks” (or 483 years).
The prophecy goes on to tell us that Someone will put an end to sacrifice and offerings in the middle of the last 7 years.
Moving forward in time to the middle of the last 7 years would place us 3 1/2 years after the baptism of Jesus. We all know that lands us right at His crucifixion.
Is there a connection between the crucifixion of Jesus, and Daniel’s prophecy of the sacrificial system coming to an end?
Of course. Up to this point God’s method of salvation was to place your hand on a lamb’s head, confess your sins, and sacrifice the lamb. Did the crucifixion mark the end of this system, when the true “Lamb of God” (John 1:36) was sacrificed on the cross?
Yes, and this is why God tore the massive thick veil in the temple from top to bottom at the instant of the crucifixion. (Matthew 27:50,51)
Like tearing a document in two God made it clear the system of temple sacrifices was over.
Now of course we know the rebellious Jews at the time continued to sacrifice until God allowed their temple to be destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
This adds further proof that the crucifixion was in 31 AD. Because just before this, in 30 AD, Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem in one generation or 40 years later. As we just mentioned it happened in 70 AD.
In summary, the 490 year prophecy is primarily about the One:
“To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,” (Daniel 9:24)
“Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.” (Daniel 9:26)
All these are references to the sacrificial death of our Lord and Saviour in the middle of the 70th week.
END OF THE 70TH WEEK:
Now let’s travel through time another 3 1/2 years and see what happened at the conclusion of this incredible prophecy.
First let’s consider a seemingly strange statement from Jesus. If the gospel was to go to the whole world why did He tell His disciples to go only to the lost sheep of Israel?
“These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'” (Matthew 10:5-7)
The key is in the very first statement of Daniel’s prophecy… “Seventy weeks are determined for YOUR PEOPLE and your holy city.” (Daniel 9:24)
So when Jesus sent out His disciples, He knew the 490 years had not run out yet and had them focus only on Israel.
Sadly, as a nation they officially rejected Jesus at the stoning of Steven in 34 AD. (read Acts 7)
And this prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled…”the kingdom of God will be TAKEN from you and GIVEN to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43)
So on the 490th year after the prophecy started with Artaxerxes command, the following events began to happen:
Acts 8 – The church in Jerusalem was scattered, and Philip preached in Samaria, and to the Ethiopian.
Acts 9 – Paul sees a great light and becomes the apostle to the Gentiles.
Acts 10 – Peter sees a vision of unclean animals on a sheet and learns…”God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (vs. 28) and preaches to the Gentiles.
In conclusion, God wants all to be saved, both Jew and Gentile, who make up the true people of God.
Beware of the Futurist’s who do not recognize past fulfillments, but create a false future scenario.
Beware of Preterist’s who do not recognize the future prophecies the Antichrist and the Second Coming.
Avoid these two extremes that manipulate the timelines of God.
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