No prophecy in all of Scripture is more critical to our understanding of the end times than Daniel 9:24-27. It provides us with a framework to understand the precise timing of the First Coming of Christ and the End Times.
The first interpretive challenge in understanding this passage is the term, “weeks.” The Hebrew word translated weeks (or sevens) refers to a period of 7 years, as the English word decade refers to a period of 10 years. It literally means “a week of years.” So 70 weeks is 70 x 7 years or 490 total years. This period is then divided into three parts, 7 weeks or 49 years, 62 weeks or 434 years, and 1 week or 7 years. These are 360-day lunar years, not solar years!
According to Gabriel, the starting point of the first period would be a decree giving the Jews permission to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which presently lay in ruins. According to Nehemiah 2, the decree to rebuild was given by King Artaxerxes of Persia about 90 years later in March of 445 B.C. and the rebuilding project took…49 years!
The second period of 434 years takes us exactly to the day that Jesus rode in Jerusalem on a donkey to shouts of “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38). Just one week later He was “cut off,” by crucifixion.
So, first came 7 sevens (49 years) and then 62 sevens (434 years) for a total of 69 sevens or (483 years/173,880 days). What about the last week of seven years to complete the prophecy? The answer is, God stopped the clock! The events of Daniel 9:27 simply have not happened and are yet future.
Understanding Bible prophecy helps to see that God has a plan and is ordering the events of this world with incredible precision.
Remember, all of history is…HIS STORY! The remarkable part of the plan is that it includes sinners like us! God has a plan for all the days and years of your life too! Are you living in light of His return? If He came back today would He find you obedient, actively serving, and ready?
Pastor Brian Richard