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3 - 69 WEEKS
« on: May 04, 2010, 01:33:44 PM »

3 - 69 WEEKS

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Remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is none else;
I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
and from ancient times
the things that are not yet done.

ISAIAH 46:9-10

DURING the last two thousand years, many schools of prophetic
thought have been proposed, but the Jews returning to the Holy
Land in 1948, and Jerusalem being freed of Gentile domination in
1967, open the door to a new understanding of the prophetic
Scriptures  that  was  hidden  from  the  Church  throughout  the
Christian Era. Since Daniel wasn't opened until the end-times,
every one of those earlier views are at best, questionable. The
popular view, that a great tribulation will come at the end of this
age began with an 18th Century Jesuit priest's studies in Daniel. He
based his conclusions on the prophecies in Daniel 9 and 12 that
contain time frames of weeks and days.

But the question is this: Are the prophetic  "days" in Daniel
and Revelation actually 24-hour days, as some suppose, or do they
represent some totally different duration of time? There are sound
reasons to believe those "days" and "weeks" actually symbolize
Hebrew years. We can  find out for sure from the 70 Weeks of
Daniel 9, where both the starting point  of a prophecy, and  its
fulfillment, are events that have already happened - Events that
we can read about in history.

 30  The False Prophet


Darius the Mede conquered Babylon in 536BC. By that time,
Daniel and his people had been captive in Babylon for 70 years.
Daniel knew from a prophecy in the book of Jeremiah that their
time of captivity should be over:

Jeremiah 29:10  For thus saith the LORD, "That after seventy years
be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my
good  word  toward  you,  in  causing  you  to  return  to  this

The night Babylon fell must have been some kind of night.
Earlier that evening, Daniel had interpreted the handwriting on
the wall and King Belshazzar promoted him to the post of third
ruler of the empire.1 What did it matter that Darius' army was
right outside the walls? The walls of Babylon were impregnable
and there was plenty of food in store. The Babylonians couldn't
run out  of water because the whole Euphrates River ran  right
through the city, under the city walls. They were so confident in
their defenses that they never even imagined the possibility of an
invasion. The Babylonians were feasting and drinking and having
a fabulous revel, or so they thought (Dan 5:1-4).

But upriver from the city, Darius dug a canal that diverted the
whole Euphrates River and he marched his army into the city on
the dry riverbed. It was an easy victory and King Belshazzar was
slain (Dan 5:30).

In this new Medo-Persian Empire, Daniel was again just an
ordinary citizen.  So what would happen to his people under this
new  regime?  They  had  now  been  captives  in  Babylon  for  70
years. Daniel's night in the lions' den and his promotion to the
post of chief satrap were still some time in the future.

1 Belshazzar, son of Nabonidus, reigned as co-regent of the Babylonian Empire
under his father (552-536BC). During the Medo-Persian invasion, Nabonidus was
traveling in Arabia and Belshazzar was ruling the city during his absence. So "third
ruler of the land" was the highest post to which Daniel could be elevated as long
as both Belshazzar and Nabonidus were alive.

 69 Weeks  31

Daniel went home to read Scripture and pray. That prayer of
Daniel's wasn't some little routine kind of prayer like: "Oh Lord,
thank you for our food, in Your Name we pray, Amen." He fasted
and sat in sackcloth and ashes, probably for days (Dan 9:3). He
must have thought for a long time about what he was going to
say, and then written down his prayer, for surely, this is one of the
most eloquent prayers in all Scripture. Here is part of what Daniel

Daniel 9:16-19  O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I
beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away
from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain. Because for our
sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy
people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now
therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his
supplications, and cause thy  face to shine upon thy sanc-
tuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline
thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desola-
tions, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do
not present our supplications before thee for our righteous-
nesses,  but  for  thy  great  mercies.  O  Lord,  hear;  O  Lord,
forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own
sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy

Daniel  confessed  his  sins  and  the  sins  of  his  people.  This
elderly  man  of  God  knew  that  he  and  the  rest  of  the  Jews
deserved  nothing  from  God,  any  more  than  we  do.  But
considering  the  Lord's  great  mercy,  and  because  of  His  word
through Jeremiah, weren't the 70 years of captivity over?

While  Daniel  was  praying,  God  sent  the  angel  Gabriel  to
comfort him, and because the 70 years of captivity were indeed
over, to tell him of a new and different 70: a future seventy of
sevens. Here is what Gabriel told him:

Daniel 9:24-26  Seventy weeks [or sevens] are determined upon
thy  people  and  upon  thy  holy  city,  to  finish  the
transgression, and to make an end of sins,  and to make

 32  The False Prophet

reconciliation  for  iniquity,  and  to  bring  in  everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and
to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand,
that from the going forth of the commandment to  restore
and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be
seven weeks
[or sevens], and threescore and two weeks [or
sevens]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in
troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks
sevens] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.

The Bible is a historic book. Each book within it was written
at a specific time and records events that took place in history. In
the  same  way,  Bible  prophecy  was  written  at  a  given  time  in
history, to be fulfilled at a specific time in the future. Those points
in  time are usually  stated  in Scripture, as they were  in the 70
Weeks.  "From  the  going  forth  of  the  commandment"  is  the
definite starting time for that prophecy, and "and after the three
score and two weeks" is the definite fulfillment time. If we wish to
understand  how  long  those  weeks  are,  we  need  to  see  if  the
events prophesied have taken place, and measure the time that
passed between the issuing of the prophecy and its fulfillment.

The 70 Weeks is divided into three sections: Seven Weeks,
Sixty-two Weeks and One Week. Let's look at the 69 weeks first.
To whom are they addressed and what are they about? They are
to the Jews, and about Jerusalem. What does v. 24 tell us will be
accomplished in those 69 sevens?

1. "Finish transgression."
2. "Make an end of sin."
3. "Make reconciliation for iniquity."
4. "Bring in everlasting righteousness."
5. "Seal up vision and prophecy."
6. "To anoint the most Holy."

 69 Weeks  33

When will they take place, and what is the time frame? We are
told to start counting time after a decree is sent out to restore
Jerusalem, and that it will be a time of trouble.

There were  four  restoration decrees granted by the Medo-
Persian Empire. But almost 100 years after Gabriel spoke to
Daniel, a special decree was granted by Artaxerxes I to Nehemiah
(444-445BC). This is the ONLY decree recorded in the Bible that
gave the Jews permission to "restore Jerusalem and rebuild its
walls," and since Scripture relates to Scripture, we should start
counting time from that biblical decree. Just as Daniel predicted,
Nehemiah had a terrible time wall-building.1 The people living
around Jerusalem tried to stop him every way they could (Neh
4:1-23). They even tried to get the government to come down on
him, just as the unsaved and pseudo-Christians try to come down
on true Christians today. The Messiah is Jesus, of course, and He
was crucified in 32 or 33AD. He didn't die for Himself, but for the
sins  of the whole world  (1Jo 2:2), but  are  those 69 weeks 69
sevens of years? If so, then we have 69 x 7 or 483 Hebrew years.

The Lord usually spoke to His prophets in a language they
could understand. Daniel was a Jew, probably of the royal family
(2Ki 20:18), and the Jews had their own 360-day Levitical year.
Since our history is recorded in solar years of 365.24 days, we
need to convert 483 Hebrew years to solar years:

483 x .9857 = 476 solar years. 2

1  The whole book of Nehemiah is about events following the Artaxerxes I decree.
Furthermore, the events recorded in Nehemiah perfectly match Daniel's prophecy
of them. The dating of this decree is firm at 445-444BC.
2 From I Maccabees and the Book of Jubilees (circa 150BC), the Jews of inter-
testamental times generally considered a month to have 30 days, and a year to
have12 months. So a year of 360 days was probably the  calendar with which
Daniel was familiar. That is why a year of 360 days should be used when calcu-
lating O.T. prophecies.
The moon circuits the earth in about 29.12 days, forcing a vacillation between
a 30-day and a 29-day month. Twelve of these lunar months equal 354.14 days, or
about  eleven days  short  of  the  solar  year.  From  the Babylonians  the Hebrews
learned to add an extra month every two or three years. In rabbinical times this
"intercalary" month was inserted seven times in nineteen years. From Calendar,
(Holman's Bible Dictionary).

 34  The False Prophet


 69 Weeks  35

Artaxerxes' decree, 444BC + 476 years = 32AD, the cross
right to the year!

The cross, right to the year. But what about those six points that
were supposed to be fulfilled during these 70 weeks? Aa-ha! All
but one were fulfilled at the cross. Did not Jesus (1) finish trans-
gression eternally, (2) make an end of sin, (3) make reconciliation
for iniquity, (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, and (6) anoint
the Most holy with His own precious blood.1 Of course, praise the
Lord!  Point  (5),  however,  was  left  out:  "Seal  up  vision  and
prophecy." This is where those peculiar 7 weeks and 62 weeks
come in:

7 x 7 Hebrew years = 48.3 Solar years. 444BC  - 48.3  is
395.7BC, Malachi written.

Malachi  was  inspired  to  write  the  last  book  of  the  Old
Testament in about 396BC. The Scripture to the  Jews was
complete, and no more was written until the New Testament era!
So Old Testament vision and prophecy were indeed "sealed up."
As one dear Rabbi lamented in about 200BC, "The Holy Spirit has
departed  from  Israel,"  and  until  this  very  day,  the  Jews,  as  a
nation, have not been permitted to see any further. The Lord has
blinded  their  eyes  so  they  could  not  recognize  Jesus  as  their
Messiah (Rom 11:8, 2Co 3:15).

 36  The False Prophet


So what have we learned so far? Not only that 69 Weeks were
fulfilled  at  the  cross,  but  also  that  those  "weeks"  were  not
ordinary weeks of days at all, but weeks of years. Every single day
of those 69 weeks represented a Hebrew year, and we can prove
it through known historical events. There are even three verses in
Scripture that back up the day=year interpretation.

Captive with Daniel in the province of Babylon was a priest
named Ezekiel. He was the prophet inspired by the Lord to write
the canonical book that bears his name. We can see that Daniel
read Scripture in his devotions (Dan 9:2). He studied Jeremiah, so
no doubt he also studied the other Scriptures that were available
to him, including the books of Numbers and Ezekiel. Within those
two books are three verses that gave him the insight he needed to
understand prophetic day=years:

Numbers 14:34  After the number of the days in which ye
searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year.

Ezekiel 4:5-6  For I have laid upon thee the years... according to
the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days ... so
shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel ... and thou
shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I
have appointed thee each day for a year.

A day for a year. Here, in the only two places it appears in the
Bible, the Lord showed Daniel that one prophetic day was equal
to  one  of  our  earthly  years.  ONE  DAY  =  ONE  YEAR!  Using  this
day=year  unit  of  measure  to  interpret  his  prophecies,  Daniel
could not only understand the 69 weeks of Dan 9, but also the
1290 and 1335 days of Dan 12. If we use the same unit of measure
that Daniel did, we should be able to understand those day=years
as well.

 69 Weeks  37


The moon circuits the earth in about 29.12 days, forcing a vacillation between a
30-day and a 29-day month. Twelve of these lunar months equal 354.14 days, or
about eleven days short of the solar  year.  From  the Babylonians  the Hebrews
learned to add an extra month every two or three years. In rabbinical times this
"intercalary" month was inserted seven times in nineteen years. From Calendar,
(Holman's Bible Dictionary).

From I Maccabees and the Book of the Jubilees  it  appears that Jews of
intertestimental times generally considered a month to be 30 days, and a year to
be 360 days. Consequently, this was probably the calendar with which Daniel was
familiar so it is the one we use to interpret O.T. day=years.

Solar Year = 365.24 days: ONLY for interpreting New Testament
prophecy. John was under Roman rule and used the solar calendar.

In the interest of simplicity, the zero year or lack thereof is ignored. Computations
fall within the one to three year ambiguity in dates prior to the 1st Century.

 38  The False Prophet

This is not a new concept in the Church. In 1569, the great
Anabaptist theologian, Thieleman van Braght, wrote the following
in Martyrs Mirror, pages 21-24:
"a  thousand  two  hundred  and  threescore  days,  which,
reckoned  according  to  prophetic  language  means  as
many years
... let it be reckoned as it may, say we, as a
very long period of time."
Two hundred years later, Matthew Henry, in his Commentary on
the Whole Bible, came to the same conclusion (Vol VI, page 1157,
column 1, para. 2):
"... if the beginning of that interval could be ascertained,
this number of prophetic days, taking a day for a year,
would give us a prospect of when the end might be."

So we can now understand the day=year, but the concept is
so important that it should be more fully explained. Daniel was
raised under the Levitical code and the Jews had a twelve-month
calendar, each of thirty days, for 360 day year. Consequently, it is
correct to  use  a 360-day year to interpret Old Testament
prophecies like his.1 But since our records of ancient history are all
in Solar Years of 365.24 days,  we do need to convert those
Hebrew 360 day=years to fit our records.2

The Apostle John, however, lived his whole life during the
Christian Era, under a Gentile Roman government, and his book
is primarily to the Gentile church. Consequently, it is proper to
use the Gentile solar calendar of 365.24 days to interpret John's

1 Footnote on pp 33-34 gives further details on the Jewish calender.
2  There is a generally accepted one to three year ambiguity in Babylonian empire
dates. The interpretations of Daniel's prophecies proposed in this book fit within
that window and are in fact the conservative dates for those events. Conservative
church scholars date the 70 year Babylonian captivity from the beginning of the
Jewish exile (606-605BC) to their return to the Holy Land (536BC), while orthodox
rabbinical scholars date the Babylonian captivity from the destruction of the temple
(586BC) to the building of the 2nd Temple (516BC). Both were periods of 70 years.
However, the starting times of Daniel's day=year and "time, times" prophecies are
tied to neither view of the captivity, but to the accession years of Nebuchadnezzar
and Belshazzar as kings of Babylon (606BC and 552BC), and to the 3rd year that
Cyrus reigned over that city (533BC).