SEVENTY WEEKS OF YEARS
(The Daniel Time Table)
Dan 9:24-27 -- Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth 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. 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. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.
This short passage in Daniel defines the sequence and timing of events to unfold during the last half of the Millennium.
Literally, in Hebrew, "seventy weeks of years"
is "seventy sevens," where the "sevens" is a heptad, recognized as an expression
for either days or years. The word "years" does not occur in the text.
"Seventy sevens" is understood as seventy weeks of years, 490 years. The
context clearly shows a long period, suitable to half a millennium; it
cannot be confused with a literal seventy weeks.
The notions of modern godless minds concerning
the Book of Daniel were well summarized by the introduction in the
Oxford Annotated Bible published by Oxford University Press in 1973.
The six stories and four dream-visions of the book of Daniel make up the first great work of apocalyptic; later examples of which are I Enoch, Syriac Baruch, and the New Testament book of Revelation. These apocalypses come from times of national or community tribulation, and are not actual history, but, through symbols and signs, are interpretations of current history with its background and predictions of a future where tribulations and sorrows will give place to triumph and peace.
How unfortunate such minds cannot pay heed
to the text, and to the great promises it makes for the future of our world.
To Finish The Transgression
The Hebrew word pasha means "to break away," trespass and rebel. Although it denotes transgression, here it more properly represents rebellion. This was the great sin of the fallen Prince; he rebelled against his Creator.
The actions of Gog in marshalling the nations
at the four corners of the earth show that the rebellion is not yet finished.
Although the fallen Prince is now bound in human form, he makes one final
effort to disrupt God's plans for this world.
To Put an End to Sin
The Hebrew word kattawth means "an offense." Sin is an act of
offense against God, against the right way of doings things. The right
way of doing things is righteousness. When a created being departs from
the right way he becomes unrighteous. He engages in offense, therefore
When the fallen Prince is no more forever, there will come a final end
to offense, to sin. This does not mean an end to natural human error, but
an end to deliberate rebellion against God.
To Atone for Iniquity
The word "atone" literally means "to cover." Figuratively it means "to
expiate," "to cancel," or "to purge." No longer will iniquity rule our
world. God will cancel it. He will purge it from our planet. The word also
means "to make reconciliation." Now God, in one final act, will reconcile
this wandering, wayward planet to himself.
To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness
As long as conscious rebellion exists there can be no righteousness
for the world. The word also means "justice," or "rightness," the right
way of doing things. Now, after the many millennia of trouble and woe,
after all the unrighteousness, the rebel Prince will no longer stand in
the way of everlasting righteousness.
To Seal Both Vision and Prophet
To seal both vision and prophet means that no longer will the visions of the future be hidden in the mysteries of prophecy. The prophets will have completed their purpose. Neither will men contest over the meaning of the mysteries. That method of revelation will no longer be used. Henceforth forecasts of the future will be done without the mystery, for no longer will there be a danger of betrayal and rebellion.
Notice that some prophecies still hold for the duration of the Millennium.
Although many portions will then be outdated, having been fulfilled in
the imminent world events, other portions will not reach fruition until
the planet enters the ages of Light and Life.
To Anoint a Most Holy Place
Now the geographical areas set aside for dedication to God will finally
be defined. That glorious temple described in Revelation 21:9-27
will come down to earth. Unfortunately, the Revelation text is corrupt.
There is no practical structure that would measure 1500 miles square and
1500 miles high. Neither is it a city. As revealed in The Urantia Papers:
Page 622: The presence of a morontia temple at the capital of an inhabited world is the certificate of the admission of such a sphere to the settled ages of light and life. Before the Teacher Sons leave a world at the conclusion of their terminal mission, they inaugurate this final epoch of evolutionary attainment; they preside on that day when the "holy temple comes down upon earth." This event, signalizing the dawn of the era of light and life, is always honored by the personal presence of the Paradise bestowal Son of that planet, who comes to witness this great day. There in this temple of unparalleled beauty, this bestowal Son of Paradise proclaims the long-time Planetary Prince as the new Planetary Sovereign and invests such a faithful Lanonandek Son with new powers and extended authority over planetary affairs. The System Sovereign is also present and speaks in confirmation of these pronouncements.
Such an event cannot take place until the world has been properly prepared. There may be some lag between the geophysical preparation of the planet, and the spiritual readiness.
The foregoing list of conditions specifies the end of the seventy weeks of years, the termination of the Millennium. Since the final battles with Gog and Magog do not occur until the end of the Millennium these conditions cannot hold until after those final battles.
This brief discussion then permits us to place that half of the Millennium into proper schedule. It also permits us to understand other remarks concerning the appearances of personalities in that final contest.
The Restoration of Jerusalem
Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah, a Prince, there shall be seven weeks.
In this statement and the following I use the word "Messiah," from the Hebrew meshiach, which is so translated by KJV, but RSV and most modern versions use the phrase "anointed one."
This passage was a major support for Jewish belief in the coming of the Messiah, and offered support for their view that Jesus failed to fulfill the promises.
We have no revelation on how the word goes forth to restore and build Jerusalem. Most probably it is decided by the planetary citizens, our descendants, under their own initiative. Between that time, and the coming of the Anointed One, the Prince, the Messiah, shall be seven weeks, or about fifty years, one jubilee.
Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
Thus we see again that the latter half of the Millennium is troubled. The planet has not yet settled down. The city will be built with squares, (spacious areas), and with a moat. Although we do not know the purpose behind the "moat," (also translated as "ditch"), we do know that the great geological changes cause an immense river to pour forth from this site.
This period is about 430 years. When added
to the previous period of approximately 50 years, the total span is now
nearly five hundred years.
And after the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah shall be cut off, and shall have nothing.
This statement is striking for two reasons. First, it suggests that the Prince, the Messiah, will live for several centuries, utterly contrary to our experience, or to our present understanding of biological mechanisms. By using the phrase "anointed one" the modern versions tend to obscure the fact that the same word is used, as a title, both at the beginning and end of the sixty-two weeks. Nevertheless, we cannot fail to recognize that "David, their Prince," used in Ezekiel, and the "Messiah, a Prince" must denote the same personality. Although the word for "Prince" is different in the two books his presence is similar. In Ezekiel the Hebrew word is nasi, the same word as is used for the Prince of Gog; it means an exalted one. In Daniel the word is nagyd, a commander or ruler, with the sense of a personality who is conspicuous or who stands out above the crowd.
Second, the statement is puzzling because it
suggests the Messiah, living as a mortal of the realm, and leading his
people for several centuries, somehow, is removed from the scene. The Hebrew
word karath means to cut off, cut down, be killed, or eliminated.
In Exod 12:15, 19, Num 9:13, and Ps 37:28, 38 the word is used for those
who are cut off from the body of Israel, or from inheritance among the
children of Israel. Note that this use is not necessarily intended to mean
death, as many commentators believe, but merely removal from the social
group. The Hebrew word also signifies "covenant" (as in cutting a deal),
but the modifying phrase shows that the event is dramatic. This phrase
has variously been interpreted as "there is nothing to him," "he shall
have no one," and "he shall cease to be." The Septuagint renders it as
"and shall be no more." It seems reasonable to assume that he sees his
mortal death at this time, to be returned to his celestial status, although
not killed by military action. It may be also that he is translated directly
without death to resume his celestial status.
And the people of the Prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
This is the rebel prince, now living also as
a mortal of the realm. This is Gog leading the hordes of Magog, and all
the nations at the four corners of the earth. They shall destroy the city
and the sanctuary, the earthly temple built by men. The heavenly temple
has not yet come down upon earth.
Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed.
These are the final destructions described
in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The war is the final battle when the hordes
of Gog and Magog are destroyed.
Thus we can see that the people of Israel are
protected by God. He does not permit that rebel Prince to be victorious,
but consumes him and his hordes in a rain of fire. Floods come with the
new geological upheavals; desolations are decreed to the final end.
THE EZEKIEL PERIODS
The preceding discussions provide surprising
detail on events to take place during the latter half of the Millennium.
Ezekiel provided other information to show the period that will elapse
between the transition from the old planetary age until the word goes forth
to rebuild Jerusalem.
Ezek 4:1-6 -- And you, O son of man, take a brick and lay it before you, and portray upon it a city, even Jerusalem; and put siegeworks against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a mound against it; set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it round about. And take an iron plate, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; and set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel. Then lie upon your left side, and I will lay the punishment of the house of Israel upon you; for the number of the days that you lie upon it, you shall bear their punishment. For I assign to you a number of days, three hundred and ninety days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment; so long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah; forty days I assign you, a day for each year.
We can see that a portion of the whole house of Israel, simply described as "Israel," shall bear punishment for 390 years. Judah shall bear punishment 40 years. This forty-year period marks the time from the great planetary transition until the lands become inhabitable again, and the time when those who identify themselves of the house of Judah return to that reformed land. This forty-year period is also described elsewhere.
In Ezekiel 29:10-16 we are told that Egypt will be an utter waste and desolation; it shall be uninhabited forty years. At the end of forty years God will gather the Egyptians and restore the fortunes of Egypt, and bring them back to that land.
The numbers do not add to one thousand years. Forty for the return of the Jews to the renovated land and the return of the Egyptians to their land, 390 until the command goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, 50 between that event and the appearance of the Messiah, and 420 until the final events, add to 920 years. However, we should not expect an exact one thousand. Also, there may be short periods between these episodes which are not specified but add to the total.