Daniel 9:1-3 These verses show studied Scripture and flowing from that was led and guided in prayer. He saw the prophecies of Jeremiah as inspired Scripture, even though Jeremiah had died only a few decades earlier. As Daniel studied Jeremiah 25:11-13, he saw that God had appointed a period of seventy years for the captivity of Israel (Daniel 9:2). In Jeremiah 29:10: the seventy years are spoken of again.
Daniel wondered when the seventy years began, and when they would they end. Daniel 9:1 took place in 539 or 538 B.C (“the first year of Darius son of Xerxes), Jerusalem fell a little less than fifty years earlier in 587 B.C. and the destruction of the temple in 586. Daniel’s captivity began in 604 B.C.. So Daniel to begins praying (Daniel 9:3). In view of the recent collapse of the Chaldean Empire and the benevolent attitude of Cyrus claiming the promise of seventy years in the Jeremiah passages he had just read.
So he asks the Lord God to reckon those years from the year of his own exile and to seek God for restoration of Israel to the Land. Daniel knew of the prophecies regarding King Cyrus that were revealed to Isaiah during Manasseh’s reign, in Isaiah 44:28, 45:1-2. It had to have stunned Daniel when he learned of Cyrus’ rise to power and conquest of Babylon and seeing the prophecy being fulfilled. In light of that Daniel sought the Lord to move Cyrus’ heart to let the Jewish people to return to the Land.
Daniel 9:4-6 Daniel prepared for his ministry of intercession in much the same way that Nehemiah did when he led the children of Israel back to the Land in a few years from these events: both fasted, mourned, but Daniel also donned sackcloth (Daniel 9:3). Daniel knew as did Nehemiah that Israel did not deserve God’s blessing or even his mercy. They had time and time again committed spiritual adultery and though first God in His mercy separated Himself from Israel, because of their consistent rebellion and unfaithfulness, he divorced them.
By their persistent disobedience to the covenant with God, through their idolatry immorality, and killing the prophets sent to them (2 Chronicles 36:16) they forced God to bring them the curses spoken of in the covenant (Leviticus 26:39-45; Deuteronomy 28:45-63; 30:1-5). The only hope for Daniel and his kinsmen was seeking to appeal to God that He might be glorified through the riches of his mercy and grace in forgiving people through his acknowledgment of his and Israel’s sin and praying that God might fulfill his promise to restore His repentant people to the land of his promise in Jeremiah 25 and 29.
Daniel appeals to His Word as the focus of his prayers of intercession. Daniel prays God’s Word to Him by calling Him the “great and awesome God” and as the faithful, promise-keeping God who never forsakes those who love and obey him. Daniel was certain of God’s love and His care for his people.
It was only because they had forced his hand by their sin that His righteous judgment had come upon them. “We have sinned and done wrong, we have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.” He confesses that he and his people had rejected the Lord and His Word.
Daniel 9:7-11 – Daniel acknowledges God’s righteous judgment on His people and their humiliation before the nations. When Israel came out of Egypt the Nations praised the God of Israel and the people whose God was the Lord in Deuteronomy 7:6. We see this shame echoed in the words of Ezekiel 36:16ff. God promised them military success so long as they remained faithful to him (Deuteronomy 28:7). They would experience the respect of all the nations around them (Deuteronomy 28:10).
But now the maledictions of Deuteronomy 28 came upon them. From the time when King Josiah died at Megiddo (609 b.c.) described in 2 Chronicles 35:20, the nation met with defeat by the Egyptians and then the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city, and all its inhabitants were killed or exiled as slaves.
What made their Israel’s disgrace even more dishonorable was their ingratitude toward their compassionate, forgiving God (Daniel 9:9), whose pardon and mercy they ridiculed and rejected (Daniel 9:10-11a). But God also in Deuteronomy speaks of the promise of a restoration after the sin and judgment. When his people repented of their sins, the Lord would gather them again to the land (Deuteronomy 30:2-3), which was Daniel’s hope and prayer.
Daniel 9:12-14 To Daniel it was more important for God to retain his integrity and uphold his requirements for His holy people than for them to escape the consequences of their unfaithfulness. If God did not fulfill his word of judgment, how could there be any hope in His promises of grace to those who would repent and turn back to Him. If a nation like Israel who had been the recipients of God’s truth could fall into idolatry and immorality and think that they were above His discipline, why should anyone obey the Lord or believe in him?
The Fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, and the removal of the nation from the Land all served to vindicate the holiness and righteousness of God and to demonstrate to all the world that God kept His Word. As Israel’s spokesman and intercessor, Daniel did not offer to God either defense or excuse for the guilt of his people. He freely admitted that they had only been punished, as they deserved. He did not plea for an acquittal of Israel’s guilt nor did he seek to God to remove their collective shame.
Daniel 9:15-19 Daniel went on to appeal to God’s mercy for Israel and the place where God dwelt as a testimony, Jerusalem (Daniel 9:16). He based his appeal on God’s honor and glory. “For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary” (Daniel 9:17).
Like Moses in his prayer after the golden calf incident (Exodus 32:12-13), Daniel was main concern was for God’s reputation in the eyes of the world (Daniel 9:18-19). If the Lord allowed his sanctuary and holy city to lie permanently in ruins and his people forever in exile, then who among the nations would believe that the God of the Bible was the true and holy Lord over all the universe?
That, in Daniel’s mind, was the worst thing about Jerusalem’s fall and the captivity of the Jewish people the nations would conclude that it was because of God’s inability to protect his people against the gods of Babylon that Israel had fallen and been driven out of the Land.
With God’s promise to pardon and restore his repentant people, Daniel appealed to press the Lord as hard as he could for an early return of the Jews to the Land so that a revived people of God might restore a testimony to the one true God of the universe. It was on that basis that Daniel was heard and soon received his answer through Gabriel who came to him earlier.
Daniel 9:20-23 Gabriel comes to Daniel again to reveal God’s will to him even before he had finished praying. The angel appears as a man similar to the appearance of angels in Luke 24:4 and again in Acts 1:10. Incredible things such as this happens to those who seek the Lord and faithfully serve Him.
Gabriel responded to his prayer at the time of the evening sacrifice which was at sundown (Daniel 9:21). Since their was no Temple Daniel could not offer the sacrifice but God was Evidently Daniel had protracted his prayer till late afternoon. Of course, demonstrating and preparing Israel for the time that He would do something new among His people without a Temple.
The sacrifices of God would be what Daniel and King David understood: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:17). The remnant of Israel continued to pray at the times of the morning and evening sacrifices. So in response God sent Gabriel to Daniel to encourage him.
Daniel 9:24 Through Gabriel God reveals that over a period of “seventy ‘sevens’ ” of years God would accomplish his plan of national and spiritual redemption for Israel. The seventy “weeks” are 490 years divided into three sections. During that period six great things would be accomplished by God concerning the Holy City and for God’s covenant people. The first three relate to the removal of sin; the second three to the restoration of righteousness.
1. “to finish transgression.” At the end of this period man’s “transgression” or “rebellion” against God would end. This would be brought about by the formation of a new realm on earth. This is the answer to the Lord’s prayer of God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus initiated the church age through which righteousness would be possible to the nations apart from the Law. His atonement did not bring in everlasting righteousness but set the stage for His second coming to earth when He will righteously judge the earth who have rejected the simple message of the Gospel. Then after judging the world the millennial kingdom of Messiah will begin.
2. The second thing will be “to put an end to sin.” This will be accomplished by God’s Spirit transforming the hearts of men who will be left after the judgment as Isaiah 11:9-10 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.
3. The third achievement is “to atone for wickedness,” which certainly points to the Crucifixion, an event that ushered in the final stage of human history before the establishment of the fifth kingdom (Revelation 2:35, 44). As Peter affirmed at Pentecost, “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people’ ” (Acts 2:16-17).
This implies that the “last days” began at the inauguration of the NT church at Pentecost. The Feast of Pentecost occurred just seven weeks after the Resurrection, which followed the Crucifixion by three days. The Crucifixion was the atonement that made possible the establishment of the new order, the church of the redeemed, and the establishment of the coming millennial kingdom.
4. The fourth achievement is “to bring in everlasting righteousness” (ṣeḏeq ʿōlāmîm, “righteousness of ages”). This clearly indicates an order of society in which righteousness, justice, and conformity to the standards of Scripture will prevail on earth, rather than the temporary periods of upright government that have occasionally occurred in world history till now.
5. The fifth achievement will be the fulfillment of the vision and “the prophecy,” which serves as the grand and central goal of God’s plan for the ages—that final stage of human history when the Son of Man receives “authority, glory and sovereign power” (Daniel 7:14) so that all nations and races will serve him. This fulfillment surely goes beyond the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus; it includes his enthronement on the throne of David as supreme Ruler over all the earth.
6. The final goal to be achieved at the end of the seventy weeks is the anointing of “the most holy” (kadosh kadoshim). This is not likely a reference to the anointing of Jesus (as some writers have suggested) because kadosh kadoshim occurs nowhere else in Scripture where it refers to a person. Here the anointing of the “most holy” refers to the consecration of the temple of the Lord, a reference to the millennial temple, which is spoken of in great detail in Ezekiel 40-44.
These six goals of Daniel 9:24 is to understand the purpose of the seventy weeks If all six goals were in fact attained by the death burial and resurrection of Jesus and the establishment of the early church seven years after his death, then it might be fair to assume that the entire 490 years of the seventy weeks were to be understood as running consecutively and coming to a close in A.D. 37. But since all or most of the six goals has yet to be fulfilled, it follows that the seventieth week will find its fulfillment in the last seven years before Jesus’s return to earth as the millennial King.
Daniel 9:25-26 “From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One (messiah), the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ ” The first 69 sevens are listed and broken into two sections. The first section is seven weeks of years or 49 years. It is during this time that the city of Jerusalem will be “rebuilt with squares and a moat, but in a time of trouble.” Daniel 9:26 tells us that at the end of 69 weeks the Messiah will appear, be cut off and have nothing. This lines up with the three years of ministry by Yeshua.
This decree was the fourth of four decrees made by the Persian kings who ruled the Jews in their captivity. The first was Cyrus’ decree in 538 b.c. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13). The second was by Darius I in 520 b.c. (Ezra 6:1, 6-12). His decree confirmed the first by Cyrus. The third was the decree of Artaxerxes in 457 b.c. (Ezra 7:11-26).
The first two had to do with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the third had to do with providing the resources for animal sacrifices at the temple. None of these had anything to do with the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Walls speak of defense and protection and would be considered a sign of independence to Israel’s overseers. So none of these decrees fulfill the requirement to begin the prophetic clock for the coming of Messiah.
The fourth decree was also issued by Artaxerxes, on March 5, 444 b.c. (Nehemiah 2:1-8). On that occasion Artaxerxes granted the Jews permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. This is the decree referred to in Daniel 9:25. This was the decree that would begin the timing for the anointed prince which is the prophecy concerning the first coming of Yeshua.
Messiah means anointed and it was God the Father who anointed Jesus with the Spirit at His water baptism (Acts 10:38), but the anointing referred to here is the anointing of Yeshua as the Ruler in His kingdom. This prophecy of the 70 sevens, then, does not with the First coming of Yeshua but with His second when he establishes His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
This 490-year period is divided into three sections; 1) 7 “sevens” (49 years), 2) 62 “sevens” (434 years), and 3) 1 “seven” (Daniel 9:27; 7 years). The first period of 49 years may refer to the time in which the rebuilding of Jerusalem was completed (444-395 b.c.). While Nehemiah’s building of the wall took only 52 days, many more were needed to remove the debris after being destroyed by the Babylonians and having been desolate for over 70 years. Time was also needed to build housing, and to rebuild the streets and a moat.
The 62 “sevens” (434 years) bring us forward to the time of Yeshua. This second period ended on the day Yeshua rode into Jerusalem just prior to His being “cut off. That entrance was the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, when He presented Himself to the nation of Israel as their Messiah.
If Israel would have accepted Him perhaps the Kingdom could have come, but God knew they wouldn’t and so his rejection and death set the stage for His second coming. So the first two parts ran 483 years beginning on March 5, 444 b.c. to March 30, a.d. 33. (For details see Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Messiah and Alva J. McClain, Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.)
Jesus was not “cut off” in the 70th “seven”, but instead at the end of the 69th week. When He died the clock stopped and it began a long pause called the church age. Which officially began at Pentecost and will continue until the rapture of the church. God has been dealing with a heavenly Israel which is made up of Jews and Gentiles who are a people not of this world, in the world but not of the world.
This work is primarily a time when God is working to call out a people from the nations. But when the times of the Gentiles is complete God will once again begin dealing with Israel and that time will begin with the rapture of the church and which will be the beginning of the time of Jacob’s troubles (Jeremiah 30:7).
Those who are amillennial teach that when Jesus came his ministry was in the 70th “week,” and that there was no interval between the 69th and 70th “sevens,” and that the six actions predicted in Daniel 9:24 are being fulfilled today in the church. This view ignores that Daniel 9:26 says “after the 62 weeks, ‘ “not ”in the 70th week”. Jesus’ ministry on earth was 3 ½ half years in length, not seven, and further that the six actions relate to Daniel’s “people” (Israel) and His “Holy City” (Jerusalem), not the church.
Daniel was told, he (the Messiah) would be cut off and have nothing. The word in translated “cut off” is used to describe someone being executed as a criminal pointing to the crucifixion. He had nothing in the sense that Israel had rejected Him and the kingdom would not come to His people until his second coming.
Daniel 9:27 This verse reveals a portion of the events unveils what will occur in the 70th seven years. This 7 year period begins after the Rapture. This week will culminate with the return of Jesus back to the earth to redeem Israel, judge the nations, and to receive His earthly throne. This period is known as the “Great Tribulation” from Jesus’ prophetic word in Matthew 24:21.
The great tribulation will end with the the confirming of the covenant God made with Israel. This covenant is described as being with many, that is, with Daniel’s people, the nation Israel. “The ruler who will come” mentioned in Daniel 9:26 is the “he” mentioned in Daniel 9:27 who is the future ruler who will be the will be the head of the fourth empire called the “little horn” of the fourth beast, in Daniel 7:8. This “little horn” is the Antichrist.
The covenant he will make will be a covenant guaranteeing peace and safety to Israel. Israel in our generation has made repeated deals with the Palestinians and through them, the entire Arab world, in order to secure peace. Israel will be intimidated into making a deal with the head of the revived Roman Empire which will be a commonwealth of European nations. In brokering this covenant, this ruler will pose as a prince of peace, and Israel will accept his authority.
But then in the middle of the seven years, he will break the covenant. According to Daniel 11:45, he will move his rule from Europe to Israel. He will then end sacrifices and offerings. This suggests that Israel will have rebuilt the Temple and instituted sacrifices and offerings as part of the covenant it made with the “little horn”.
After the covenant is signed that ruler will gain worldwide political power, and will cause the world to worship him (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:8). To do this he will bring a modified John Lennon solution by slowly eliminating all organized religions, the last being Judaism. He will declare himself to be Israel’s messiah and king, which Israel will reject. At that point he will then turn against Israel and become her destroyer. Jesus referred to this incident in Matthew 24:15. In Revelation 13:14-15 we learn that the false prophet will set up an image to this ruler and that Israel and the nations will be forced to worship it.
But then his end will come “the decreed end is poured out on the desolator”. The Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire when Jesus finishes His work of establishing His rule and reign on earth (Revelation 19:20; Daniel 7:11, 26). This covenant could not have been made or confirmed by Jesus at His first coming, as taught by those who don’t believe in a future millennium, because first of all His ministry did not last seven years secondly when He died on the cross God eliminated the ministry of the Temple for atonement which is the subject of the Book of Hebrew and finally His death and resurrection did not set up “the abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15).
The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel at the beginning of the second half of the 70th “seven,” this is what is being referred to in words of Daniel and Revelation “a time, times, and half a time” (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:14). The fact that this is the same as the three and one-half years, which in equated with the 1,260 days of Revelation 11:3; 12:6 and with 42 months in Revelation 11:2; 13:5. In the Jewish calendar each month has 30 days and each year 360 days to account for this there is a leap month when needed for more info see http://www.jewishmag.com/121mag/jewish_month/jewish_month.htm