The Prophecies of Daniel – Daniel 9

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Here we continue, again, to look at the prophecies of Daniel.

Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Daniel chapter 8
  3. Daniel chapter 7
  4. The little horns and Antiochus
  5. Daniel chapter 2
  6. Daniel chapter 9 (this post)
  7. Matthew 24 – The Olivet Prophecy

The prophecy

The prophecy is this:

  • 70 weeks until a messiah, or type of the Messiah, comes
  • From the command to restore and build Jerusalem till this messiah comes will be 7 weeks and 62 weeks
  • After 62 weeks this messiah will be cut off
  • The prince will destroy the sanctuary, and confirm his covenant for a week. Half way through the week he will cause the sacrifice to cease and, by means of abominations, make the sanctuary desolate.

My interpretation

First, we must look at Jeremiah’s 70 years, because Daniel is praying for them to end.

Antiochus Epiphanes coin

Antiochus Epiphanes coin

70 years of Jeremiah = from 605 till 535 BC
70 years cut short by 3.5 years due to the mercy of God, and in 538 BC, the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple and Jerusalem is issued

For those who claim that Cyrus’ decree only dealt with rebuilding the temple and NOT with rebuilding Jerusalem, Isaiah 44:28 says otherwise:

Isaiah 44:28 – That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

70 weeks = 7 weeks, 62 weeks, 1 week

70 weeks, if interpreted as literal weeks: 538 BC till the building of the temporary altar and foundation.

70 weeks, if interpreted as 70 sets of 7 years (490 years):

  • 7 weeks = 49 years = from the destruction of the temple (587 BC) till the decree to rebuild it (538 BC)
  • 7 weeks (alternative) = 49 years = the building of the temple (3 years foundations, 46 years building the temple), but exactly which temple, and which periods of building/reconstruction, is unclear in John 2:20
  • 62 weeks = 434 years = from 605, the start of Jeremiah’s 70 years, till 171 BC, the time of Antiochus Epiphanes
  • 1 week = 7 years. This starts with the death of the high priest Onias (171 BC); the half way mark is abomination of desolation (168 BC); the end is the death of Antiochus Epiphanes (164 BC)
Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy Chart

Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy Chart

Further reading

490 Year Prophecy … The Armchair Theologian
Prophecy of Seventy Weeks … Wikipedia
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament – Daniel 9:25

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