For some reasons, I have taken a keen interest in eschatology and End Times prophecies in recent months.
This post is my personal interpretation on Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy. It is formulated based on my own reading of the Bible, my pastor’s sermons on the subject, input from a theologian friend and a little online research. (I am aware I may not be 100% right, so it is fine if you have a different opinion.)
Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.
A “week” here means 7 years ( some versions translate “week” as “sevens”, but it means the same thing). So this prophecy tells us what is to come over a period of 490 years (it goes without saying that all the events prophesied are in the future for Daniel, but most of them are past events for our generation).
Most people agree that at the end of the 70 weeks, Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem from the clouds to gather His elect and establish the Millennium Kingdom aka the Second Coming.
Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
The restoration of Jerusalem in the first “seven weeks” is described in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The next “sixty-two weeks” consist of all the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, including His birth and His earthly ministry.
And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
The second line is an obvious reference to Jesus’ death on the cross and the first line states that it will happen at the end of the 69th Week (7 weeks + 62 weeks).
(Yes, I know the text reads “after sixty-two weeks”, ie on the 70th week. But there is no mention of the crucifixion in that week, so it should happen at the end and not after the 69th week.)
From the third line onward, it talks about a group of people who will destroy Jerusalem (the city) and the Temple (the sanctuary).
I am inclined to believe it is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple under the hands of the Romans in AD 70, and not the war with Antichrist in Revelation as some believed, because it is the people “of a prince who is to come” who are doing the destroying and not the prince as he has yet to appear.
(My theologian friend disagree with me on this though. He thinks this is referring to the time of the Antichrist. He might be right. I am still open on this.)
Some people opined that this future prince will lead a modern day “Roman empire” against Israel in the last days, since it says the Romans were “his people”. It is certainly possible. Or it could be any group of unbelievers of God (including atheists).
Then he (the prince) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.
Most people agree there is a gap between the 69th week and the 70th week, meaning 69th is not immediately followed by 70th. Some believe it is the so-called “Age of the Church” where the Church is established and the Gospel is preached to the Gentiles. I agree with this view.
Now, this final week clearly describe the scenes of the Great Tribulation where the aforementioned future prince will cut off the daily sacrifices and set up an “abomination of desolation” in the Temple (see also Daniel 11:31 and 12:11).
With regards to the 1-week covenant the prince will make with “many”, some (including me) believe it to be some kind of a peace treaty which will be torn up after 3.5 years (middle of the week) and he will muster his forces to attack Israel (check out Daniel 11:29, the “Northern King’s Blasphemies”).
For those who have studied eschatology, you would know my view is pretty conventional and I thought it is what most people would reasonably conclude as well.
That is… till I read the interpretation of our dear friend, Robert.
For reasons beyond me, he thinks the final week is talking about the 3.5 years (1 half of the week) of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and in the middle of the week, Jesus is the “prince” who put an end to daily sacrifices, with the last 3.5 years (second half of the week) being the ministry of the Apostles, ending with Cornelius being saved. And he calls it “the timeline (given by God) for Israel to repent and return to the Law of Moses”………….. huh???
Frankly, it doesn’t even take a half-baked theologian to see the glaring and very obvious errors.
Firstly, where in the Bible can one find Jesus making a 7-year covenant “with many”?
Secondly, in the context of the prophecy, cutting off the sacrifices is not a good thing. It is clearly a blasphemous deed done by the future prince aka Northern King (Daniel 11 and 12).
Thirdly, as I have written earlier, it says the Messiah will be cut off at the end of the 69th week, So how can Jesus still go around preaching for another half a week in the 70th (there is no mention of Him being cut off in the last week)?
Lastly, can anybody who can read English tell me with a straight face that whatever is described in the final week fit the happenings in the Gospels and the Book of Acts?
While he loves to accuse other preachers of it, Robert is in fact the one who would twist verses beyond recognition to fit his misguided theology or conveniently read his preconceived ideas into the verses, without regard for the context and the contents.
So much for urging his FB followers to “read the plain meaning of the texts”…