Lesson 12: The 70 Weeks of Daniel
This is copied from a former website authored by Darrell Lockridge in 2011 entitled the-latter-rain.com. The diagrams referenced in the article could not be copied here but I will try to post the summary diagram of the timeline as it relates to the 70 weeks of Daniel elsewhere on this site. Obviously references within the study in parenthesis are no longer available).
The First Seven Sevens
Remember that “weeks” could be translated as “sevens.” The phrase “seven sevens” can be identified with a Jubilee period:
“And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.” (Leviticus 27:8)
Every seventh year is a Sabbath year:
“But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.” (Leviticus 25:4)
Every fiftieth year is a Jubilee year:
“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” (Leviticus 25:10)
Therefore, the year before a Jubilee year is a Sabbath year because it is the 49th year. The year 457 BC was a Jubilee year and so the year 458 BC, when the commandment went out, was a Sabbath year.
Seven sevens identifies with a Jubilee period. The Jubilee period that followed 458 BC was 457-407 BC.
Seven sevens is actually 49 rather than 50, so initially this doesn’t appear to harmonize. We will address this when we look at the next 62 sevens. Our findings thus far are charted on the diagram below in red text (timeline not to scale):
The Next Sixty-Two Sevens
We read that the end of the 62 sevens brings us to Christ:
“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, and threescore and two weeks” (Daniel 9:25)
If the Jubilee period ended with 407 BC, then the 62 sevens that follow begin with the next year: 406 BC. Sixty-two sevens is 434 (62 x 7 = 434). If we count 434 years from 406 BC we arrive at the year 29 AD.
Jesus was announced as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world on September 26 in the year 29 AD (see Study on Christ).
So the above verse speaks of 69 sevens that bring us from the commandment to reestablish the law in 458 BC to the announcement of Christ in 29 AD. Why didn’t God just say 69 sevens then? Why did He break it up into 7 sevens and 62 sevens? Nothing particularly important happened after the 7 sevens. I believe it was to bring the Jubilee period into focus so that we will connect it with a 50-year timeframe instead of 49 years. If He had not done this, then 69 sevens would not bring us to 29 AD.
Our diagram now looks like this:
The Last Seven
The last two verses of Daniel chapter 9 speak of the final seven. Verse 26 is easier to understand if we first examine verse 27:
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)
We read that in the “midst” of the last seven the Prince shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. The word “oblation” is translated from the Hebrew word minchah which is usually translated as “offering.” The sacrifice and offering came to an end when Christ went to the cross. The blood sacrifices and burnt offerings that were offered throughout the Old Testament were a foreshadowing of Christ who would become the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
The Hebrew word translated as “midst” is chetsiy, which is found 121 times in the Bible and is translated as “half” 108 of those times. Therefore, we are being taught that the sacrifices and offerings came to an end halfway through the final seven.
Recall that the previous 62 sevens came to an end on September 26 in the year 29 AD when Christ was announced, so that is where the final seven begins. On March 28 in 33 AD Christ rode into Jerusalem. This was the tenth day of the first month, which identifies with the Lamb being selected for the sacrifice:
“Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house” (Exodus 12:3)
Christ is that Lamb and His entrance into Jerusalem identifies with His being prepared for the sacrifice.
If we count the days from September 26 in 29 AD to March 28 in 33 AD we discover that it includes a timeframe of exactly 3.5 years to the very day.
The covenant in view is the covenant of the Gospel. Christ’s ministry, which began on September 26 in 29 AD when the final seven began, had everything to do with salvation:
“And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47)
Incidentally, this verse isn’t teaching that Christ will never judge the unsaved but just that His first coming was focused on bringing salvation. Judgment is a guaranteed part of His overall plan for the world at the end.
So the first half of the final seven relates to the 3.5 years of Christ’s ministry:
However, we must understand the second half of the final seven as a non-literal reference because Christ did not confirm the covenant of the Gospel for only 3.5 years beyond the cross.
Recall that the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 prophesy for 1,260 days and that that timeframe is a figurative one that identifies with the Early Rain (see Study on The Two Witnesses). The Early Rain ends when the Great Tribulation begins (see Study on The Latter Rain). On a 30-day calendar, 1,260 days is exactly 3.5 years. In all likelihood, the second half of the final seven identifies with the Early Rain.
This conclusion also agrees with numerous other passages that identify the time from Christ’s announcement in 29 AD to the beginning of the Great Tribulation with the number 7 (see Study on Plenty And Famine).
Next in verse 27 we read that Christ will bring desolation as a result of abomination. We have learned that this statement identifies with the time when God brings judgment on the churches for their apostasy and allows Satan to rule within them, which takes place at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (see Study on The Antichrist):
Now that we understand verse 27 we can go back and more readily understand verse 26:
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:26)
The Messiah being “cut off” is language to indicate that He has come under the wrath of God (see Study on Hell). Notice it says “but not for himself.” It was not because of Christ’s sins that He had come under God’s wrath; it was because of those He came to save. He endured the wrath of God in their place.
The “people of the Prince” are those who claim to be followers of Christ. They destroy the city and the sanctuary in that they have polluted the Gospel and set up their own doctrines (see Study on The Seven Churches and The Falling Away).
“The end thereof shall be with a flood” is a reminder of what we read in Matthew chapter 24:
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Most of those in the churches during the Great Tribulation will continue to believe that all is well within the church. They will be blind to the fact that Satan is ruling there. They will not recognize that the end is so near:
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)