Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy – The Coming of Israel’s Chosen King – Part 1


By GF Herrin

Daniel 9:24 – 27

“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. 25 “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. 26 “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. 27 Then he 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.”


Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy is perhaps the best known of all prophetic Scripture regarding Israel and End Times. It also may very well be the most often misunderstood of all eschatological Bible passages. The prophetic passages in Dan. 9:24-27 give us a glimpse of key events that are to take place impacting Israel and its people. Understanding the Scripture properly influences greatly how one understands many other pieces of Scripture involving prophecy of things that to take place before the coming age. To properly understand the message of the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks is to understand God’s faithfulness and determination to bring forth Israel’s chosen King and Lord: Jesus Christ. Misunderstanding the Scripture is to underestimate God’s nature and faithfulness to His covenant people in respect to keeping the prophetic promises written of throughout the Old and New Testaments.

H.A. Ironside writes of the importance of understanding the Seventy Weeks prophecy:

For if the 70 weeks are to be misunderstood, then, an effort will necessarily be made to bend all the other prophetic Scripture passages into accord with that misinterpretation. But if we have a correct understanding of the teaching of this chapter, we can then see readily how all prophecy, without any forcing, falls right into place and is intimately linked with this the greatest of all-time prophecies (H. A. Ironside, Daniel, Kregel, 2005, 86).

A key to understanding the passages of the 70 Weeks in in understanding the context in which the revelation was given. It is clear from the passages in Daniel 9:1-19 that the revelation that Gabriel brought to Daniel was given to him in response to his fervent prayer. It is believed that the time period for the events described in chapter nine was approximately 70 years after Israel’s initial deportation to Babylon after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The text says that Daniel had been reading Jeremiah’s writings and understood that Jerusalem would remain desolate for seventy years.

Jeremiah’s prophecies clearly indicated a 70 year period in which Israel’s land would be left desolate:

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years (Jer. 25:8-11).

Jeremiah revealed what the Lord said would come after the 70 years in exile as well: “After seventy weeks are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word for you, and cause you to return to this place” (Jer. 29:10). When he came to understand Jeremiah’s prophecies regarding the seventy year exile that God had appointed, Daniel was prompted to pray for Israel’s forgiveness and for Jerusalem to be delivered from its time of desolation. As is evident in the words of 9:12, Daniel was familiar with the Law of Moses and the judgment that God would bring upon Israel if they were unfaithful to Him:

Moses writes, “I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them. They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also send against them the teeth of beasts, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within For the young man and virgin, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs” (Deut. 32:23-25).

He also would have known of the Scripture regarding the consequences of disobedience to God: “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Lev. 26:14-17).

But Daniel must have also understood the Scripture regarding God’s promised of faithfulness and mercy if only Israel would repent and turn away from its iniquities and call upon the name of Yahweh:

“But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt– then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes. Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord” (Lev. 26:40-45).

Daniel also understood from Jeremiah’s writings that God would never allow Israel to cease to exist as a people to Him. Jeremiah writes: “If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.” Thus says the Lord: “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord” (Jer. 31:36-37).

In Daniel 9:16, 18, Daniel appeals to God’s sense of righteousness and mercy in hope that He will turn away His anger from Jerusalem and His sanctuary. Daniel, in his sincere devotion to the Lord, is compelled to bring his humble petition to Him. There is nothing in the text to suggest that Daniel has excerpted words from prayers from people such as Nehemiah as some critical scholars have suggested (A. A. Bevan, A Short Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 1892, 150). It is Daniel’s familiarity with the Law, the writings of Jeremiah, and his intimate knowledge of the nature of God that enables him to compose such a humble prayer in chapter nine. This prayer serves as a great model for anyone needing to call upon the name of the Lord. Daniel, as a great man of faith, displays the kind of heart that God desires in His people. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18).

That his prayer is effective is evident in the swiftness with which Gabriel provides the answer to Daniel along with a revelation from God. Daniel pleadingly offers up a humble request on behalf of his nation, Israel, to be forgiven of sins and for Jerusalem to be restored back to its people. Understanding Daniel’s intended audience is a key to understanding the prophetic message that Gabriel brings to him. The revelation that Gabriel brings to Daniel directly addresses the remaining days for Israel. J. A. Seiss writes: “It is not the Jew and Jerusalem in one case, and Christians and the church in another. It is the Jew and Jerusalem first, last, and all the time, and nothing but the Jew and Jerusalem, and what pertains to them (J. A. Seiss, Voices from Babylon, 1879, 240). So, it is with the correct understanding of application that we must examine the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks in 9:24-27.

“When you Fast…”

By GF Herrin

In today’s world, more than ever before Christians are inundated with a culture that seeks and occupies its time with anything but God. Think of the distractions we must face: TV, movies, books, magazines, iPhones, the internet, sports, “higher” education, sex, food, money, work, physical fitness and many more. We are bombarded by distractions coming at us from all directions. With so much to distract us from God, how do we stay hungry for Him?

Well, one way to remove distractions from our relationship with the Lord is through the discipline of fasting. John Piper’s book, Hunger for God, is an excellent resource that points to fasting as a tool to eliminate worldly distractions and draw closer to God. He points out the many benefits of fasting and emphasizes that it is a biblical discipline that we are called to do.

Remember, Christ mentioned fasting as an activity that all believers should practice when he said, ”But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face” (Matt. 6:17). Notice, the Lord did not say if we fast, as if it may or may not be something that we partake in, but said, when we fast.

Also, we who are earnestly waiting for the return of the Bridegroom are in a sense mourning because He is not with us, right now. As hard as it may be to visualize, this time is only temporary. One day, we believers will live with Christ in the New Jerusalem. However, right now, we are called to fast since our King is not with us. And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast” (Matt. 9:15).

Fasting helps us to separate us from the temporary meaningless things that keep us away from prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship with God. Jesus emphasized that these types of things would distract people from God’s word and ultimately from a healthy relationship with Him: “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).

You may need to fast from food to get away from all of the distractions from this world. If you are like me, you have precious little time to spend with Lord. Communion with God, though, is a paramount activity for you to be fruitful for Christ. If you have a besetting sin, activity, or obsession that has become an idol in your life you need to get away from it. Get rid of it and strip away all of the things that are preventing you from drawing close to God.

Remember, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

Same Sex Marriage Laws Force Faithful State Magistrates to Resign their Posts

By GF Herrin

For years I have marveled at the faith of Christian missionaries at work in Muslim countries where they risk their lives to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As “infidels” they can be executed for violating oppressive laws that prohibit any faith other than Islam. Now, here in the United States, Christians, who endeavor to follow the Lord Jesus’ commandments (John 14:15), are coming under fire more than ever.

The recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that states should not have the right to set their own laws banning same sex marriage, has forced faithful Christian magistrates to make tough choices concerning their jobs. Shortly after same-sex marriages became legal in North Carolina on Oct. 10th, a memo sent to magistrates from the Administrative Office of the Courts said they could face criminal prosecution if they did not perform gay marriage ceremonies. Already, six state magistrates have resigned their posts

Imagine that! Christians in the state of North Carolina could now be prosecuted for being faithful to God’s Word, which prohibits homosexual acts. Marriage is clearly defined as being between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24) in the Bible. To force a magistrate to preside over a ceremony authorizing a same sex union goes against a citizen’s religious freedoms that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Considering the United States’ beginnings and its roots of being founded on Christian principles, persecution against Christians is inconceivable. It is evident more and more that America is now a post-Christian society. Now, more than ever, Christians are being forced to choose whether they will seek the praise of God or the praise of men (John 12:43). We should all pray for these Christian magistrates who have sacrificed their jobs to follow Christ.

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The Shroud of Turin


Archaeological Evidence for Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection

By GF Herrin

     One of the most widely debated pieces of biblical archaeology known to exist is the 14 `11 ” long by 3 ` 7 ” wide ancient linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud is historically purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus. On the cloth itself is the image of the full body (front and back) of a crucified man with details of wound marks, blood stains, and what appears to be ancient coins (issued by Pilate between AD 29 – 32) on each of his eyes (Kenneth E. Stevenson and Gary R. Habermas, Verdict on the Shroud (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1981), 134, 79, 64 – 65, 27). If authentic, the Shroud could be one of the most important historical pieces of evidence for the resurrection of Christ.

The history of the Shroud can be definitively traced back to 1357 when Jeanne de Virgy, the widow of Geoffrey de Charny, exhibited the Shroud as the burial cloth of Jesus in a small church in the town of Lirey, one hundred miles southeast of Paris (Stevenson and Habermas, 14). The Shroud’s history prior to 1357 is less clear. There is reason to believe, though, that the Shroud may have been known at various times as the “image of Edessa”, the “Edessan image”,and the “Holy Mandylion” (Stevenson and Habermas, 17). In 525, the Mandylion cloth was found inside a wall niche in the Turkish city of Edessa (now Urfa). The cloth was taken to Constantinople where it was known as “the true likeness of Christ” (Stevenson and Habermas, 17). In 1204, the cloth disappeared from Constantinople after the city was attacked by Crusaders.

Interestingly, after the time of the cloth’s discovery in the sixth century, Christian art shifted in its characterization of Christ. Prior to that time, there were few similarities among various paintings of Jesus. Christ was painted as being beardless and short haired. Beginning in the sixth century, though, the majority of art characterized Jesus as having a beard with facial features similar to the image found on the Shroud. Thus, there is a possibility that artists used the Shroud as a model for their representations of Christ (Stevenson and Habermas, 16-17).

Prior to 525, a legendary history exists of the cloth dating back to shortly after the time of Christ. The story goes that a disciple (perhaps Jude, one of the Twelve) came to Edessa to heal Abgar V, a first-century ruler of Edessa who was stricken by leprosy. The ruler had written to Jesus while He was still alive and the Lord had promised to send a disciple to him. According to the account, Abgar was healed after seeing the cloth of Christ’s image and Christianity spread in Edessa as a result of the miracle.

There are questions regarding the location of the Cloth between the Mandylion’s disappearance in 1204 and the appearance of the Shroud in 1357. One theory is that the cloth was in the possession of the Knights Templars, a religious order that was charged with defending the “crusader territories” in the Holy Land. The Knights Templars possessed the power, strength, and religious ferver to defend the burial cloth from attacks during that time. So, it is natural to believe that they would have been the ones who would have been responsible for guarding it. Also, as part of their ceremonial rites, an image of God was displayed to the Knights in order for them to pay homage to it. When the Knights were finally displaced by King Philip of France in 1307, one of the men who was burned at the stake for his refusal to surrender was Geoffrey de Charnay, who had the same last name (spelling often varied) of the first owners of the Shroud, Geoffrey of Lirey.

In 1453, the House of Savoy took possession of the Shroud. Eventually, the King of Italy came from this family. The exiled King of Italy, Umberto II owns the Shroud, now. The Shroud was kept in a special chapel in Chambery, France where it was damaged in a fire that broke out in 1532. In 1578, the Shroud was moved to Turin, Italy, where it has remained, except for a six year period during World War II.

In 1898, Italian photographer, Secondo Pia, photographed the Shroud during an exhibit. It was during the development of his pictures that the photographer discovered that the figure on the Shroud is actually a negative image that can be seen clearly when viewed on film. Through the examination of the film it can be clearly seen that the figure on the Shroud appears to be the front and back of a man’s body who was crucified. The man appears to be 5 feet 11 inches tall, Hebrew, and approximately 30 – 35 years of age. He appears to wear his hair in a pigtail which would have been consistent with the manner in which a first century Hebrew man would have worn his hair.

Three of the pierce wounds found on the image on the Shroud are consistent with those of a man who was crucified. One pierce mark is visible on the left wrist which covers the right hand. There appears to be blood on the cloth that must have flowed from the hand wounds. There are also pierce marks on each heel where it appears that a single spike was driven to nail them together. In addition, there are between ninety and one hundred scourge wounds on the body which seem to indicate that the man was flogged severely. There is also a pierce mark on his side that matches the size of a wound that would have been made by a Roman lancia (spear). There are also multiple deep wounds all over the scalp of the man on the Shroud.

In 1978, the Shroud of Turin Research Project gathered a team of scientists in Turin, Italy for an in depth examination and analysis of the Shroud. From this study, they were able to determine that the stains found on the linen cloth were in fact blood. Official spokesman for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Kenneth Stevenson, and Gary Habermas write:

Of particular interest is the fact that the wounds in their entirety exactly match the wounds Christ received as recorded in the gospels. More importantly, for scientific purposes, all of the wounds are anatomically correct to a surprising level of detail. They include such medically accurate facts as a characteristic “halo” around bloodstains suggesting the separation of blood and serum; flecking and rivulets true to blood flows in nature; and swelling of the abdomen that indicates asphyxiation, the usual cause of death in crucifixion. All of these medical facts, as well as others, were unknown in the fourteenth century.

In addition, the body seems to display indications that rigor mortis had set in but there are no signs of decay. This seems to indicate that the body exited the burial cloth shortly after being interred. What is additionally puzzling is that according to a scientific team pathologist, it does not appear that the body was unwrapped from the cloth since so many bloodstains were intact and un-wrapping it would have disrupted the bloodstains.

In addition, the scientists for the project found no evidence to support a conclusion that the image was the result of painting. There is no evidence to indicate that the image shows any form of pigmentation. In fact, the image on the linen is on the topmost part of the cloth. In other words, the image does not penetrate down through the thread of the cloth. An in depth analysis, in fact, confirmed the conclusions that Air Force scientists John Jackson and Eric Jumper reached in 1976 that the image is actually three dimensional.

In 1988, carbon dating testing was performed on a small piece of the shroud. After tests were analyzed for the material used, a carbon date of the middle-ages was determined. But in 2005, Raymond Rogers, a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist, determined that the shroud sample used could not have been from the original cloth because it contained cotton. The Shroud had in fact been damaged in the fire of 1532. As a result, repairs had been done to part of the cloth. The cloth sample used for the 1988 Carbon 14 dating was from the repaired area which contained cotton (Raymond N. Rogers, “Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin: A Review”. [Online] Available: <http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers2.pdf> [November 30, 2009]). Therefore, the Carbon 14 dating showed a later date for the Shroud than the cloth from the other areas might have shown.

In fact, there is reason to believe that the Shroud is of first century middle-eastern origin. Gilbert Raes, a professor at the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology in Belgium inspected threads taken from the cloth in 1973. He concluded that the thread used was a type commonly used in the middle-east in the first century (Stevenson and Habermas, 27). In addition, in 1973, Swiss criminologist, Max Frei, examined cloth taken from the Shroud. He found pollen spores from thirty-three different plants found in the middle-east and Turkey on the cloth sample. Since the Shroud has remained in Europe since 1357, it is likely that its history included a stay in Palestine and Turkey before 1357. Given that the Mandylion was apparently originated in Palestine, with some time spent in Turkey and given that the Shroud’s history must by necessity have included stays in the middle-east and Turkey, it seems reasonable to conclude the Mandylion and the Shroud are in fact one and the same.

Even with the findings that have indicated a pre-1300 origin, there have been fraud claims launched against the Shroud. In October of 2009, Italian researcher, Professor Luigi Garlaschelli, claimed that he had successfully reproduced the Shroud image using art techniques that would have been possible in the medieval times. In doing this, he has claimed that the Shroud was a 14th century fake (Luigi Garlaschelli, “Shroud Reproduction” [Online] Available: <http://sites.google.com/site/luigigarlaschelli/shroudreproduction> [November 30, 2009]). But, French Shroud researcher, Dr. Thibault Heimburger, analyzed the composition of the materials and the appearance of the reproduction in comparison to the actual Shroud. He states that Garlaschelli’s reproduction is the closest in appearance to the Shroud of any he has seen. But, Heimburger states that the materials used to reproduce the image are “very far from the fundamental properties of the Shroud image” (Thibault Heimburger, “Comments About the Recent Experiment of Professor Luigi Garlaschelli” [Online] Available: < http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/thibault-lg.pdf> [November 30, 2009]). He also states that the dry powder that was used to produce the image in the reproduction would have been lost in the process of all the rolling and folding of the Shroud over the years and there would not have been enough powder left to cause the chemical reactions between the acidic impurities and the cellulose that produced the color.

This recent attempt to reproduce the image on the Shroud artistically underscores some of the difficulties that must be overcome in claiming that it is the creation of an artist. First of all, the image on the cloth is in a negative form. Why would someone paint an image in a form that would show up better when viewed photographically? For that matter, how would someone in the first century or even the 14th century (when Jeanne de Virgy first exhibited “the Shroud”) possess the technology to paint it in a negative form? After all, the concept of negativity was not understood until photography was invented in the nineteenth century. As Habermas states: “It was almost ludicrous to suggest that a painter, depicting Jesus’ body as it might have appeared on his burial garment, would have chosen to do so with an artistry and detail that would have not been discovered for more than 500 years, until the invention of photographic process which his age knew nothing about.”

Also, there are some are basic things that the artist would not have known about. One is the location of the pierce mark on the wrist of the man on the Shroud. According to Habermas, if the artist had portrayed the wound location in the way that tradition and most artists illustrated, then it is more likely that he would have chosen the palm area instead of the wrist location for the pierce marks. In addition, it is unlikely that the artist would have known about the physical appearance of the extended abdomen which was caused by the medical condition of asphyxiation, the typical cause of death for the crucifixion victim.

Since the 1978 project, other scientists have closely examined the cloth samples to determine the origins of the image on the Shroud. The cause of the image on the Shroud is still unknown. There does not appear to be any indication that it was created by an artist, though. Both vermillion (a paint ingredient) and iron oxide are present on the cloth. But according to Dr. John Heller, Biophysicist and Professor of Internal Medicine at Yale, who examined the samples from the cloth, there is not enough of either to account for the image or the blood stains found on it (John H. Heller, Report on the Shroud of Turin (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983), 193 – 94). In addition, no foreign substance found on the Shroud can account for the image on the cloth (Stevenson and Habermas, 144). Analysis done on the blood stains have shown that there is strong evidence to indicate that the blood was on the cloth before the image was made (Heller, 202 – 03).

In all, the physical appearance of the man on the Shroud matches exactly what we would expect Jesus to have looked like after being struck with fists and staffs, mockingly crowned with thorns, scourged, crucified to death, and speared (Matt. 26:67; 27:26, 30, 35; John 19:31 – 32, 34). Being a first century Jew He would have had long hair and a beard, like the man on the Shroud. Having been struck in the face and crowned with thorns, he would have been bruised and bloodied in His face and scalp, like the man on the Shroud. Also, having been scourged, crucified and speared in the side He would have had multiple wound marks all over His body and pierce marks in His wrists, feet and side, like the man on the Shroud. We have no way of knowing for sure if the Shroud is authentic, but given the fact that it has been proclaimed historically to be the burial cloth of Jesus since 1357 and more than likely the first century, it certainly seems likely that it is so. If it is authentic, then it would seem that the Resurrection event itself was the cause of the image being radiated or scorched onto the burial cloth of Jesus. Regardless, the truth of the facts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection does not depend on the Shroud in any way. There is more than enough evidence already to say that it is reasonable to believe in Him.