Daniel's 70 Weeks

The Bible has different ways of representing time.

 

One day in prophecy can represent a year. (See our study on The Biblical Year)

Laban, speaking to Jacob, said that Jacob had to work another 7 years if he wanted to also marry Laban’s daughter Rachel.

Genesis 29:27   Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

 

Bible months are 30 days


Let us now prove that a month in Bible prophecy is 30 days.

Revelation Chapter 11  is speaking about the great Tribulation when two prophets take the Gospel back to the Jews to turn the 144 000 Jews to Jesus.

Revelation 11:2   But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

:3   And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

A score is 20.  Threescore is 60.  So this is  1260 days.   But it is also described as  42 months. Thus each month is 30 days, in prophecy.

We get confirmation of this in Genesis from the time that the ark of Noah was lifted up by the flood waters to the time that the ark again settled on solid ground. The time elapsed was 150 days, and is described as 5 months.

Genesis 7:24   And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 8:3   And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

Genesis 7:11   In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Genesis 8:4   And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

From the 17th of month 2  to the 17th of month 7 is 5 months.  This is also described as  150 days. So a month is  30 days in prophecy.

 

When did Daniel’s  prophecy concerning the 70 weeks start?


It began with a commandment from a Persian king.

There were basically 3 commandments.


  1. First, rebuild the Temple.
  2. Second, Ezra must take the treasure back to the temple.
  3. Third,  Nehemiah must rebuild the city of Jerusalem’s walls and build the gates where the streets met the walls.

The dates that are used come from agreement amongst many standard encyclopaedias. Church literature has been avoided as they often squeeze dates around to fit their preconceived point of view.

 

The first commandment was a proclamation by king Cyrus to rebuild the Temple in 536 BC.

Ezra 1:1  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

:2     Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

:3   Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

This announcement was made in 536 BC, according to historians and after many delays, the Temple was finally rebuilt by 515 BC under the inspiration of the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah.

Ezra 5:1   Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.

Ezra 6:15   And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

At this stage the Temple was rebuilt.

 

The second commandment was a letter to Ezra to take treasure to beautify the Temple that was now rebuilt in Jerusalem.

Ezra 7:11   Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.

Ezra 7:12   Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.

:15     And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,

:16   And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:

:17     That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.

:18     And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

:19     The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.

:20     And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure house.

:21     And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily,

:22     Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.

When was this letter given?

Ezra 7:8   And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.

Xerxes 1 was murdered in  465 BC  and his son Artaxerxes became king.

This date is rather controversial. Ordinary encyclopedias use the date  465 BC. Some Christian reference books, but not all, say that it is 464 BC. But some Christian scholars have strong personal views they want others to accept. So they want a date to come out in a way that suits their interpretation of a prophecy. So we will stay with the standard encyclopedias.

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So in 459 BC Ezra got his commandment to take treasure back to Jerusalem.

Ezra gives his final praise to God that the king had provided treasure to beautify the temple.

Ezra 7:27   Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:

 

There has been no mention of rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Nor of building streets that require gates where they meet the city wall.

Daniel’s prophecy said :

Daniel 9:25   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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

So only the third commandment given by a Persian king meets these conditions.

This was when the king allowed Nehemiah to go back to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 1:2     That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

:3     And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

The gates are where the streets pass through the wall that was built around the city.

Nehemiah 2:1   And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

Nehemiah 2:4     Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

:5     And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the broken down city.

Daniel 9:25   … from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem

Nehemiah 2:7   Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;

:8     And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

:9   Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

The king’s letters commanded the governors  to let Nehemiah start rebuilding Jerusalem. His main concern was for the outer protective wall.

Nehemiah 2:13    And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

The walls were his special concern. Without walls a city is defenceless.

Nehemiah 2:17    Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

This is what Daniel had said.

Daniel 9:25   the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

The walls and the gates that are needed for the streets will be built in troublesome times.

What evidence do we have of trouble makers? People who would attack the builders.

Nehemiah 4: 16   And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

:17     They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

:18     For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

One hand held a brick. The other hand held a weapon. They worked with their swords at their sides.  They even slept in their clothes in case they were attacked at night. There would be no time to get up and change clothes.

Nehemiah 4:23   So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.

This commandment given to Nehemiah resulted in him meeting all the conditions of Daniel’s prophecy.

When was he given permission?   In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.

Nehemiah 2:1   And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

 

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So in the year 446 BC  the commandment was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This is where we must start counting from.


Biblical years are 360 days


The next complication: If a month of prophecy is 30 days then a year of prophecy is 12 x 30  =   360 days, not 365.24 days as we know a year.

Speaking of the antichrist system, the prophet Daniel said

Daniel 7:25   And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The earth used to be straight on its axis and revolved regularly with each year being 360 days. At the time of the great Flood of Noah, God moved the earth further away from the sun for a while and there was the freezing effect of deep space on the fresh water that had rained down as well as coming up from the fountains of the great deep. This caused the last ice age with polar ice caps forming that could not completely melt when God brought the earth back to its present orbit which is fractionally bigger than the original orbit.

The south pole ice cap is about ten times bigger than the north pole ice cap because the south pole has land underneath it, the large continent of Antarctica. There is sea at the north pole.

This unequal mass distribution of all the ice helps to tilt the axis of the earth at 23½ᵒ.

Factors affecting the earth’s slightly bigger orbit now produce a longer year of 365.24 days.

This is a temporary measure. During the great Tribulation God will move the earth closer to the sun and the scorching heat will melt the ice caps so that the earth will again rotate around a vertical axis when Christ sets up his 1 000 year rule.

Revelation 16:8   And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

:9   And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

So God left it to the antichrist system to change the times of the year from 360 to 365.24 days. This was done at Rome. The Roman dictator, Julius Caesar, added  67 days to the year 46 BC which became 445 days long. The Romans changed the months to being 30 and 31 days except for February. Then in 1582 Pope Gregory 13 fine tuned the calendar by removing 10 days and only having a leap year if the century could be divided by 400 (like 1600 or 2000, but not 1900).

So we now hit a major problem. The Jews only obeyed the Old Testament. A changed calendar that came along 45 years before Messiah was born would never be used by them. Especially when it was produced by their hated enemies, the Romans.  Pompey, the Roman general had conquered Jerusalem in 63 AD by attacking on the Saturday Sabbath when Jews refused to fight.

So the Jews used prophetic years of 30 days to a month as was shown in Genesis in Noah’s day.

Our year of 365.24  is 5.24 days longer than a prophetic year of 360 years.

So in 70 of our years we have an extra   70 x 5.24 =  367 days which is basically an extra year. The rule is simple :  70 of our years  is equal to 71 prophetic Bible years.

So "seventy weeks"  means  70 x 7 =  490 days, or  490 prophetic  years.

But every 70 years we Gentiles  lose one year to the Bible years. So in 70 x 7 years there will be  7 years less of our longer years. So measured on our calendar, the “seventy weeks” will be equal to   490 ‒  7  =  483 years.

The last week of the seventy weeks (last seven years) belongs to the ministry of Messiah.

So how much time before Messiah arrives? 483  ‒  7  =  476 years.


When does Messiah appear?


The countdown, according to most encyclopedias, started in  446 BC.

So  how much time is left when the  446 years before Christ’s birth are subtracted.

476  ‒  446   =   30 years.     The age of Jesus when He began His ministry.

Luke 3:1   Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar…..

:2     Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Tiberius was declared emperor by the Roman senate in 14 AD when the emperor Augustus died.

Augustus adopted Tiberius as a son. Augustus  made him co-emperor in 12 AD, but that did not guarantee Tiberius his succession. Augustus ruled as a king, but played out a hypocritical farce that he was not a king, and thus his adopted son did not automatically become king. In addition Augustus had a grandson Agrippa Postumus who could also claim to be emperor when Augustus died. So in AD 14 when Augustus died, Agrippa Postumus was first killed, and then the senate offered Tiberius the position of emperor. At first he "refused" but after a long while he "reluctantly" agreed .

So his fifteenth year was in 14  +  15  =  29 AD.  That is when John the Baptist began his ministry.

Luke 3:23     And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,

"About 30". Not quite 30 years old. This happened towards the end of the year 29 AD.

This is how old Jesus was when He was baptized by John the Baptist and anointed by the Holy Spirit coming down and resting on Him.

The Holy Spirit never went into Him, it abode upon Him and remained on Him.

John 1:32   And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

:33     And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

That public anointing on Him identified Him as the "Anointed One", the Christ (in Greek) or the Messiah (in Hebrew).

Luke 3:22   And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Who was speaking? God the Father.

Matthew 1:20   But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Whoever places the seed of life in the womb of a woman is the father of that child. The Holy Ghost conceived the physical Body of Jesus. So the Holy Ghost is His Father.

It was the Holy Ghost, being His Father, Who could call Jesus the "beloved Son".

This emphasis on the Son, makes Him Messiah the Prince.

Daniel 9:25   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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Messiah the Prince refers to the start of His ministry in near the end of AD 29.

Near the end of His ministry, when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday, He was hailed as King. He was no longer a Prince.

Zechariah 9:9   Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.


How long was the ministry of Jesus?


The Jewish year was broken up into six two-month periods. Each period began and ended about the middle of the month.

Seed timeWinterSpringHarvestSummerExtreme heat
Oct, NovDec, JanFeb, MarchApril, MayJune, JulyAug, Sept


There were seven feasts that had to be celebrated each year.

The first feast was the Passover and then the Feast of unleavened bread that happened  in mid March (in the Spring).

The feast of First Fruits happened in April when the harvest started coming in.

In May was the Feast of Pentecost.

Three feasts in September or October -- Atonement, Trumpets, and Booths -- ended the year’s festivals.

John 2:13   And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

This is the first Passover after His water baptism which would be March AD 30, a few months after being baptized.

Some time after the Passover of AD 30 which is mentioned in the verse above, Jesus passes through the city of Sychar in Samaria.

He speaks to the Samaritans and tells them that their natural harvest will occur in four months time.

John 4:5   Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar,

John 4:35    Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?

Four months before the harvest in mid April would be mid December. So this would mean that it is now the end of the year AD 30. All the feasts of AD 30 were over.

John 5:1    After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem

This had to be in the next year AD 31, because there were no feasts between December and February.

In John Chapter 5 this feast, which came after His visit to Sychar, is either the Passover feast or it is one of the other feasts.  If it is another feast then a Passover feast had been celebrated before that feast. The Passover feast always came first. So there had to have been a Passover in that year.

So the verse above (John 5:1)  is either the Passover feast of 31 AD  or it is one of the other feasts that followed the Passover feast of 31 AD.  Either way, that meant that there had been an AD 31 Passover feast.

Now we come to the next Passover feast which has to be  32 AD.  There is only one Passover feast a year.

John 6:4    And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

Then we come to the last Passover feast of His ministry in 33 AD.

John 11:55    And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

30 AD31 AD32 AD33 AD


Each Passover was one year apart.  There are three gaps for three years in between the four Passovers.

So Jesus had a ministry of at least three years.

Then there was a 40 day temptation just after His baptism and He appeared to various people for 40 days after His resurrection. These 80 days are almost 3 months.

January and February and half of March before the first Passover of 30 AD gives Him another  two and a half months.  That adds up to  3  +  2½  =  5½ months

So all he needs is another half a month at the end of 29 AD to give him a  3½ year ministry.

So the ministry of Jesus was the first half of the last week.

 

The last half a week


The 3½ years of the final  7 years: The Jews got cut off at Calvary because they rejected their Messiah.  But they still have  3½ years owed to them.

 

The Jewish high priest wore a blue robe that had a reinforced hole for his head.

Aaron was the first high priest.

Exodus 28:30   And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

:31  And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.

:32     And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.

A habergeon is armour worn between the neck and the waist.

Caiaphas the high priest condemned Jesus and tore his robe.

Matthew 26:65   Then the high priest rent his clothes,

So the high priest broke the Law by renting his clothes, and God responded by tearing up the temple veil.

Matthew 27:51   And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;

At this moment, half way through the last week or seven years, the Jewish Law became null and void.

The animal sacrifices immediately became null and void. They had no further meaning. They were an empty pretence.

Daniel 9:27  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.

"and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate":  The Temple had ceased to have any meaning. Salvation now only came through the cross of Christ.

So in AD 70, the Romans who had crucified Christ, then destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem. Now there was not even a pretense of sacrifice. The temple site was a desolation. No stones were left on top of each other.

In AD 135 the Roman emperor Hadrian crushed the Jewish rebellion of Bar Kochba, desolated the city even further, banished all Jews from Jerusalem, and then committed a final abomination by erecting a pagan temple to Jupiter Capitolinus where Trajan himself was worshiped, and had a statue of himself on a horse in front of the temple.

In 325 the Roman emperor Constantine captured the church, tore down the temple of Jupiter, and built a Roman Catholic church on the temple mount. This denominational perversion of the Bible would also spread, making faith in the Bible desolate. It want you to believe what the church says, not what the Bible says.

In 700 AD the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock on that temple site. The desolation of Bible faith continues as they use the Koran to contradict the Bible.

"even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate": The Dome of the Rock still stands there 1 300 years later. The desolation will continue to the end as the world goes into the great Tribulation.

"that determined shall be poured upon the desolate":   The Jews have been desolate. They were exiled from Jerusalem by Hadrian. They have been endlessly persecuted by many nations, kicked out of many nations, forced into unhealthy ghettos, killed in numerous pogroms, and robbed and raped by "Christian" Crusaders. 1.1 million were killed by the Roman general Titus when he destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. 6 million were exterminated by Hitler’s industrialized death camps.

Clawing their way back into the promised land in 1948, they have fought four major wars, and numerous internal and external terrorist attacks. They are endlessly the target for Arab and Palestinian hatred.

God has predestined them to have this violence poured out on them. But it is only the amount that God has determined. No more. Thus the Jews will survive. Ultimately all this persecution will drive them back to their Messiah.

 

The great mystery was that Messiah would suffer during His first Coming to the Jews. Then the Jews would reject Him. So the "stopwatch" paused for Israel.

Then God will return to the Jews in the great Tribulation.

The "stopwatch" continues again for that last  three and a half years.

Revelation 11:1    And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

:2     But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

42 months is  3½  years.

Revelation 11:3    And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

1260 days is  3½  prophetic years of 360 days each.

Two prophets, Moses and Elijah, will return to Israel to lead the 144 000 Jews to Christ as their Messiah.

Then the 70 weeks will be complete.

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