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Wednesday, October 17 2012
The Prophet Daniel: The Seventy Weeks
"Cause Thy Face to shine upon Thy Sanctuary that is desolate, for the LORD's sake"
Daniel was one of the greatest prophets of all time, but only as a matter of faithfully and accurately speaking the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?). As such, Daniel also looked to earlier prophets who had prophesied the situation that Daniel was then himself living, as an exile in Babylon (see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile). Daniel knew that Judah's time in Babylon would be seventy years, as the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Who Is The LORD?) had declared to Jeremiah before the exile began.
"9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem [see Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon]. 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes" (Daniel 9:1-3 KJV)
With the historic knowledge of why and how the people of Judah had brought the wrath of the LORD upon themselves, along with the prophetic knowledge that the exile would continue for a prescribed time of seven decades, one day Daniel prayed a very specific request. The prayer began with a confession of Judah's guilt: "We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments."
"9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God [i.e. Daniel was a Christian - see Who Is The LORD?], and made my confession, and said,
With the awareness of how Judah got to Babylon, and of the prophecy that the kingdom of Judah would be restored seventy years later, Daniel prayed for another "exodus" out of a land of captivity.
"9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 9:16 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.
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city"
For those who seek to "interpret" a meaning for themselves, "Daniel's seventy weeks prophecy" (as it is commonly known) has long been one of the most debated and disputed prophecies of the Holy Bible - variously used to calculate the year of the Messiah's first coming after the Babylonian exile, to the yet-future time of His Return, to specific Messianic events. Amazingly, even the true Church of God has held differing views of Daniel's vision, which was given to him, and then explained to him, by Gabriel: "I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." The "seventy weeks prophecy" was an answer to Daniel's prayer, as we read above, for an "exodus" out of "Babylon."
"9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." (Daniel 9:20-23 KJV)
Note carefully that the next sentence speaks to Daniel personally.
"9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." (Daniel 9:24 KJV)
Keeping in mind that the people of Judah were returning to Jerusalem solely for the purpose of the coming Messiah, the prophecy then becomes entirely Messianic ("to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah") and dynamic. Just as Daniel was also given prophecies about the multi-fulfillment "abomination of desolation" (see the Fact Finder question below), so too the "weeks" of prophecy apply to the restoration of Jerusalem from the exile (a necessary fulfillment for the others to happen), the abomination of desolations (plural), including the 42-month (3 ½ years) infestation by the antichrist, the "cutting off" of the Messiah and the ultimate restoration of the His Sacrifice (see the Fact Finder question below).
"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. 9:26 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. 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." (Daniel 9:25-27 KJV)
Fact Finder: What are the elements of the fulfillments (plural) of "the seventy weeks" prophecy?
This Day In History, October 17
456: Western Roman emperor Avitus was forced by Ricimer (a Roman general of German birth; see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!) to abdicate and to become bishop of Placentia.
1244: The Sixth Crusade ended when the army of Franks was defeated by the Egyptians at Gaza (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1346: David II of Scotland, in attempting a military diversion on behalf of Philip VI to relieve the siege of Calais, was wounded and captured by Edward III.
1448: The Second Battle of Kosovo. The Hungarian army led by John Hunyadi was defeated by Ottoman forces led by Sultan Murad II.
1456: The University of Greifswald was established, making it the second-oldest university in northern Europe.
1483: Pope Sixtus IV began the Spanish Inquisition, placing it under joint direction of the Church and state. Tomas de Torquemada, 63, was appointed Grand Inquisitor in charge of removing Jews and Muslims from Spain.
1529: King Henry VIII of England removed Thomas Wolsey from office for failing to secure an annulment of his marriage.
1797: The Treaty of Campo Formio, a peace accord between France and Austria, was signed.
1868: Laura Secord died at age 93. A Canadian heroine of the War of 1812, she warned British forces of an impending U.S. attack on southern Ontario that led to the British victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams on June 24 1813. 500 U.S. invaders, including their wounded commander, were taken prisoner.
1907: Guglielmo Marconi's company began the first commercial transatlantic wireless service, between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.
1910: The first battleship of the Royal Canadian Navy was commissioned at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1933: German-born Albert Einstein arrived in the U.S. as a Jewish refugee from the growing Nazi threat in Europe.
1941: A German submarine torpedoed the U.S. destroyer Kearney off the coast of Iceland, killing 11 of the crew.
1956: Queen Elizabeth officially opened the Britain's first nuclear power station at Calder Hall in Cumbria. Calder Hall was the first nuclear station to supply an appreciable amount of power into a civilian network.
1970: President Anwar Sadat was sworn in as President of Egypt in succession to Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1970: Pierre Laporte, a Quebec cabinet minister, was kidnapped and murdered by Quebec separation terrorists.
1973: Arab oil producers increased oil prices and cut back production in response to U.S. support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
1989: The biennial conference of the 103 nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species settled on a world-wide ban on ivory trading.
1989: An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale struck the San Francisco area. 66 people were killed in the area, and damage was estimated at $10 billion.
1994: Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty, formally ending their 46-year state of war.
1997: Cuba re-buried the remains of leftist guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara, as a national hero, 30 years after his execution in Bolivia.