Daniel's 70th Week
by Gary J. Hall
The Date of Christ’s Crucifixion
Photo to Right: A woman riding a beast is displayed outside the headquarters of the European Union (Revelation 17:3).
Daniel gives us two sets of “weeks” in verses 25-26 that total sixty-nine weeks, “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. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself.”
“Week” means a unit of seven in prophetic language, therefore sixty-nine weeks becomes 483 years. Daniel is indicating that there would be 483 years between the commandment to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the crucifixion of Christ.
In 446 B.C. Artaxerxes decreed that Nehemiah should go and restore Jerusalem. Simply adding 483 years to 446 B.C. brings up a problem since it would mean that the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified in 37 A.D., four years after the actual date. Two factors have to be taken into consideration when determining the significance of Daniel’s 483 years. ... The change in calendar; Christ’s birth is recorded as 4 B.C. because of this. ... The Hebrew calendar was based upon a 360 day year rather than the Roman 365¼ day year. In view of these facts the problem regarding Daniel’s prophetic timetable is solved and we come to the exact date of the crucifixion, 33 A.D.
The Evil Prince
“...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” (Daniel 9:26).
This verse refers to Titus, the Roman General, later Emperor, who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Verse 27 appears to be speaking about the same person, “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”, but it is not possible to be the same person. Titus did not fulfill all aspects of this prophecy. What Daniel is revealing to us is that the same type of “prince” will arise in the Last Days who will determine to destroy Israel as did Titus - therefore the “evil prince” would be a Roman also.
Jesus made use of verse 27 when explaining the coming events leading up to the End, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place...” (Matthew 24:15). Though this verse also speaks directly of Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem and its temple we know that there was not a complete fulfillment. These verses may have been in Paul’s mind when he wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4). Also Revelation 13:14-15 tells us that the Antichrist will place his image in the temple, “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
We learn from Daniel that the Last Days “evil prince” will be of the same stock as Titus, for he speaks of them both as though describing one person. Elsewhere Daniel reveals that the last great world empire will be a restored Roman Empire, therefore it is little wonder that the “prince” must be Roman also.
The Final Week
The “one week” of Daniel 9:27 must be part of the “seventy weeks” (9:24). We know that the sixty-nine weeks (483 years) were fulfilled at the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, so there is an outstanding “week” to account for to make up the Daniel’s Seventy Weeks (490 years).
The seventieth week begins when the Antichrist (Beast, Man of Sin) establishes a peace treaty with Israel for seven years. Either before this or because of it a new temple will be built by the Jews in Jerusalem upon Temple Mount. Both Daniel and John speak of two periods of 3½ years that make up the last seven years prior to the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth.
It is likely that at the dedication of the temple, 3½ years into Antichrist’s reign, that he will be asked to officially open the building. This may be the reason why he is able to deceive the Jews by erecting his image there. He will be “revealed” for who he really is (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4). The Jews will realize that this is not their Messiah, for the true Messiah would have nothing to do with idolatry. This temple will not be used for the worship of God but of Satan for the Beast will “in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Daniel 9:27).
As the Roman Antichrist does this so will God begin to pour out His wrath for the final 3½ years. From the unveiling of the man of sin there will only be “a time, times, and half a time” (12:7) or a “thousand two hundred and ninety days” (12:11). John in Revelation 11:2 tells us that Jerusalem will be in the Antichrist’s hands for 42 months. Since the book of Revelation used the same two 3½ year periods during which the Antichrist reigns over the earth, the prophecy of Daniel must be interpreted in exactly the same way. The Seventieth Week of Daniel is the final seven years before the Second Coming of Christ to earth and cannot find fulfillment until that time.