By GF Herrin
Given the late dating of the book of Revelation, which correlates with prophecies in the book of Daniel, and also given that history lacks any single figure that has fulfilled the prophecies of Daniel 9:2-27, it is reasonable to expect a future fulfillment of Daniel’s predictions. Also, to fully understand the events of the Seventy Weeks revelation of Daniel, it must be fully understood for whom the prophecy was originally written: Daniel, his people, Israel, and their holy city, Jerusalem. The preterist view (which Mauro holds to) of the activities of God toward His covenant people, Israel, is one that is short sighted in scope. The preterist view seems to emphasize the judgment of Israel as the final decision of God, without any future chance for redemption or reconciliation for His chosen people. The preterists seem to underestimate God’s ability to forgive and woo Israel back to Him through the working of His ultimate plan for reconciliation.
The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks is manifestly an account, given beforehand of the second period of the national existence of the Jewish people. They were to last as a nation only long enough to fulfill the Scriptures, and to accomplish the supreme purpose of God, in bringing forth the Messiah, and putting Him to death. The time allotted for this was 490 years. This being accomplished, God had no further use for Israel (Mauro, 21).
Mauro’s statement is careless in that it seems to discard all of the promises of God that reveal His faithfulness to Israel and His intentions to deliver them for His name’s sake.
Ezekiel states the reason that God will deliver Israel from the enemy in the end times:
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sake. O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when I am hallowed in you before their eyes (Ezek. 36:22-23).
Gabriel’s revelation to Daniel is given as an answer to his fervent, longing, and pleading prayer. God esteemed Daniel and in His grace revealed His plan for Israel’s reconciliation to Him. God has a covenant relationship with Israel that is not dependent on Israel’s faithfulness, but His own faithfulness. His sovereign power to bring forth Israel’s chosen King is the great Guiding force through the ages. To summarize, the seventy weeks are about God working through the age of the Gentiles to bring about His desired purpose: The end of the rebellion and transgression of the nation of Israel, the sealing up of sin, reconciliation to Yahweh, the fulfillment of prophecies, and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness to Israel when Jesus is anointed as King at the beginning of His millennial reign in Jerusalem. His program for accomplishing these things occur inside and outside of the seventy weeks. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem, given by King Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. to Nehemiah, marks the beginning of the Seventy Weeks. The finishing of the first seven weeks marks the restoral of Jerusalem as a re-built city.
The entrance into Jerusalem of Messiah, King Jesus, on April 6th, A.D. 32 marks 483 prophetic years (each consisting of 360 days), or sixty-nine weeks, after the decree is given (Anderson, 128). Then, outside of the sixty-nine weeks, but before the seventieth week begins, the Messiah is cut off, the people of the Roman prince who will come in the future, destroy Jerusalem, and the temple and the beautiful land lie desolate from the onslaught of war. Then, in the final week, the Roman prince, who is the antichrist, makes a covenant with Israel, but in the middle of the seven year period stops sacrifices and grain offerings from taking place at the third temple. Finally, after the antichrist commits abominations that desecrate the holy temple and offend God, the Lord pours out destruction on him. It is understood from the text of Daniel 12:3 and 12:12 that the millennial reign will begin shortly after.
The truths of the Seventy Weeks prophecies of Daniel have a broad application today. They can be applied in leading a Bible study or delivered in a sermon to Christians anywhere. In knowing that many of the prophecies of Daniel 9:25-26 have been fulfilled as Gabriel’s message said they would be, we can stand firm on the promises of 9:27, which foretell the end of the Gentile age and the beginning of the Messianic kingdom. The message of Daniel focuses on the faithfulness and sovereign ability of God to work His plan and guide mankind to His desired conclusion. Specifically, God’s plan for Israel is in focus for the seventy weeks. The reader must remember that God’s promises remain in effect today. To conclude that God is finished with Israel and discard His covenant promises is to discard His sacred Word, itself.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27).
Christians everywhere should be encouraged by Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy to live holy lives in anticipation of living one day under the rein of the Lord Jesus Chris. Ultimately, God’s purposes will be fulfilled and the Messiah will come again to restore Israel and usher them into the millennial age in righteousness and faithfulness.