Seventy times Seven
The bible, despite all sorts of nefarious attempts to mangle and mistranslate has by the grace of Heaven still managed to get faithfully revealed to each incoming generation no matter what. Scripture has been right all along, despite individuals throughout time having twisted words and injected agendas, knowing that their willful and profitable errors would go largely undetected. Yet the Lord, makes certain that knowledge of such errors is made public. Following is a brief essay addressing several un-biblical errors that have been fed to millions of evangelicals for well over a hundred years.
These errors, really agendas, such as pushing the lie that the endtime antichrist will offer world inhabitants a
"seven year covenant" enjoy widespread attention and will continue to play a pivotal role in endtime deception.
background followed by scriptural evidence
The prophet Daniel, now an old man retired from his duties in the Babylonian government, was living to see the day when the citizens of the southern kingdom (of Judah) would soon return to Jerusalem and rebuild. Daniel was reading a prophecy from his predecessor the prophet Jeremiah re: the seventy years of Babylonian captivity that would end within four years. Daniel asked the Lord to help him make sense of what future lay in store for the Judeans. He was then given a new prophecy =>
Dan 9:24 ”Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon the holy city, to finish
the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and
to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint
the most Holy.”
These were goals leading up to the coming Messiah's first advent - to be completed within 490 years:
1- “Finish” the transgression, i.e. withhold, forbid it, shut up, held back from Strong's # 3607 OT
2- Atone for sin thereby ending the automatic spiritual condemnation for those who repent
3- Reconcile people to God because of the sin that separated us from Him
4- Bring in the way of righteousness - everlasting - beyond our dimension where He's prepared a place for us
5- Establish the anointed Messiah's authority - recall He said that His kingdom was not of this world (dimension)
6- Seal up the vision and prophecies that would commence at the time appointed
Weeks in v. 24 is understood as “sevened” or seven in the Hebrew concordance - that is each
"week" is prophetically symbolic of seven years. This passage having been translated by scholars as representing 490 years total from the time that the decree went out for the wall of Jerusalem to begin construction.
Under Cyrus the Great a decree had gone out to allow the Judeans to return and rebuild,
but the monies and wall construction didn't materialize until ARtaxerxes had the prophet Nehemiah begin wall construction in * ~457 b.c. (the time from which the clock started the 490 years).
Dan 9:25 “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 troubled times.”
Verse 25 is divided up into 62 "weeks" of 434 years, Plus => another 7 “weeks” (49 years).
These two figures in verse 25 add up to 483 years, i.e. 69 of the 70 weeks. The first 49 years (7 weeks) refers to the start of the wall repair surrounding Jerusalem after Nehemiah returned to Judea (Neh chapter 2). This 49 years included rebuilding the city proper and its streets as the wall alone was quickly constructed. Note that the second temple had long before been consecrated (~516 b.c.). This Jerusalem rebuild was followed by another 434 years to total 483 years.
This would leave only one prophetic week of 7 years to fulfill once Messiah arrived. At the end of that prophetic week the entire 490 years would be completed as prophesied. V. 26 introduces the final week when Messiah shows up:
Dan 9:26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: 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.”
=> 49 years of 7 prophetic weeks followed Jerusalem's wall rebuild
=> 62 prophetic weeks totalling 483 years later and halfway through the final prophetic "week"
of 7 years, Messiah would be cut-off (Strong's OT #3772, karath).
This phrase cut-off can mean to form a covenant (which He did); however, since the phrase “but not for himself” follows the phrase "cut-off" this verifies what the Lord told His disciples many times - that He would be killed. Obviously then, the Messiah's mission was for Him to arrive in the flesh and offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice (Isaiah 53, Psalms 22). This same verse prophesied also that the people of the prince” (Titus and his Romans) would destroy Jerusalem. It would take another 40 years to achieve the final blow to Jerusalem in 70 a.d.
Where playing "church" led to a verse getting twisted 180 degrees
Dan 9:27 comes into play. This is the verse that launched an entire doctrine
begun by *Darby in the 1830's - quickly adopted by later dispensationalists and rapturists. Darby and company decided that the man in v. 27 is antichrist and that the "week" referred to there would be held off for nearly two millennia and fulfilled in a "seven year covenant" offered by the endtime antichrist. But he (and they) were wrong.
After reading the verse, consider the following:
1) v.27 foretold that Messiah would cause the daily temple sacrifices to cease - not to be "taken away"
2) The man in v.27 confirming a covenant is not the endtime antichrist or any antichrist.
3) The one week confirmed by the Messiah's covenant is the final week of Daniel's prophecy where
one week is equated to seven years. Except that it was completed by Christ Jesus - not delayed to be
completed as part of some endtime scenario. Those goals listed above from v.24? He did bring in
everlasting righteousness - His kingdom and reign is spiritual - not here on earth. When He does return,
earth's present physical dimension will be replaced with His dimension, kingdom and a new
Jerusalem. Recall all the massive destruction as detailed from Revelation contrasted with the peace and
order of the millennial age to come. No flesh is meant for a millennium where Christ rules.
Also, Paul's words reflect a spiritual dimension:
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump...we shall be changed...For the
perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.…" 1Cor 15:51-53.
4) The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. occurred ~40 years after the 490 years prophecy was
complete. There is nothing in v.27 to suggest that Jerusalem's end was the culmination of 490 years
- only that it follows the end of the last prophetic week in which time the Messiah completed His
5) The word "for" in the phrase "for one week" was inserted by English translaters; it does not
exist in the manuscripts. Check the interlinear text in Hebrew. The word according to context
and fit might be * "in" as in one week - given that those words are followed by -"in the midst of"
(that same week).
Dan 9:27 “And He shall confirm the covenant with many *in* one week: and in the midst of the week
He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for (because of) the overspreading of
abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be
poured upon the desolate.”
note: Hebrew law required a morning & evening animal sacrifice (sin offering)
on the temple altar in Jerusalem; the sacrifice and oblation aka "the daily sacrifice"
Three reasons we know that v.27 refers to Christ and not to antichrist:
#1 "Cease" is unrelated to the phrase "taken away"
This word cease in Hebrew is Strong's OT # 7673 Shabat meaning to repose, i.e. desist from exertion;
( figurative or specific): KJV - cease, sit still, loss of time. Same word used for Sabbath. This Shabat or sabbath is
an entirely different word apart from Dan 8, and Dan 12 where antichrists of all sorts have “taken away” the daily sacrifice. Sabbath i.e. rest is used as a function of the Messiah causing the old animal sacrifices to cease - such a phrase was never found in association with any antichrist.
#2 Three and one-half years into Christ's ministry, He was killed...
as described in v.27...
... "In the midst of the week." This was the first half of that prophetic "week" of seven years. His death and
resurrection curtailed the remaining “week” to a mere 3 1/2 days. And as if to emphasize His point, He indeed was killed on preparation day midway through the week (when the lambs are slaughtered) just before Passover. He then completed the week by being in "the belly of the earth" for 3 1/2 days only to rise just before sunrise of the new week. The term Three and one-half is prophetically significant all throughout the bible but especially in the gospels and in Revelation. Recall in Rev 11:3-12, the Two Witnesses will prophesize one thousand two-hundred and three score days (3 1/2 years), are then killed and resurrect in 3 1/2 days...akin to the Lord's timeframe and mission.
"HE” the Lord that is, confirmed the covenant with many (us) . His covenant was sealed & completed as prophesied after fulfilling two essential tasks:
a) Offered a sacrifice (Himself) to fufill the Law (mid-week)
b) Resurrection; proving His authority to transform to all who trust in Him (end of week)
#3 verse 27 in context and using grammatical rules refers to verse 26
“He” confirms the covenant with many *in* one week. He in this verse is the Christ (Messiah) - not the
prince of the Romans - since this verse parallels v.26 and continues with the antecedant, i.e. the Messiah is
the subject in v.26. and of v.27. The “people of the prince” was the secondary actor in the verse. Further, the
prince didn't have either the primary or secondary role there. The people held the secondary role. Jerusalem
became desolate because of Titus' soldiers streaming over Jerusalem's walls until its end was determined by
YHVH, our Lord.
In contrast - these are the antichrist passages =>
That word for “taken away” in Dan 12:11 is Strong's OT #5494 cuwr (soor); turned off, i.e. deteriorated:
degenerate, (think carefully on degenerate) :
- Dan 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination
that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
- Dan 8:11 the word for “taken away” is Strong's OT #7311 ruwm to bring up, exalt (self), extol, give, haughty,
heave (up), (be, lift up on, make on, set up on, too), take (away, off, up), breed worms. This “taken away” is
defined as heaved up and thrown down because verses 11, 12 and 13 speak of the altar being destroyed,
the daily sacrifice and the sanctuary as trodden down and the truth stomped on:
- Dan 8:11 “Yea, he (antichrist) magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the
daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.”
The crux of all this "taken away" documentation:
Ask yourself - how can antichrist cause the daily sacrifice to become something quite different or to become degenerate if Christ's sacrifice has already laid to rest these daily animal sacrifices? We know at the time of the Maccabean revolt in ~167 to 160 b.c. the "old testament " antichrist, Antiochus IV Epiphanes had pigs slaughtered on the altar to defile the temple, (abomination that desolates) but what of the FINAL antichrist? Here's an idea:
If Christians along with Jews and other faiths participate in performing animal sacrifices on an altar - perhaps in a synagogue or a church or even a mosque - is THAT not a slap in the face of Christ's own sacrifice and therefore the very perversion and abomination that desolates?
Where it all went wrong in the 1830's
As to the Dan 9:24-27 passages, it's now clear that John Nelson Darby, other dispensationalists beyond him and the whole of evangelical Christianity did a 180 twist on these verses to support their bogus
“7 year antichrist covenant with the world” doctrine. Is there a 7 year period in Revelation? No there is not. Verse 27 was twisted to make it look like it's an “antichrist verse” when in fact it speaks of our Lord's sacrifice laying to rest (shabat) all other sacrifices. The verse was changed in deference to the Jewish rejection of Jesus of Nazareth (Darby was a zionist). By twisting v. 27 Darby and company robbed Christians of seeing an absolute timeline that only Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled AND, Darby robbed the Jews of seeing an inconvenient truth which would have led some to actually embrace the true Christ. Once again, religion has superceded Elohim YHVH (God) just as the Lord said it would when He lamented that "traditions of men have made the Word of God of no effect..." Mark 7:13
(Why the date 457 b.c. is correct as the start of the 490 years prophesized in Daniel).
(Brief, scholarly essay on the genesis of Darby's dispensationalist theology which includes rapture)
If Christ was crucified in ~30 a.d. then wouldn't it be fitting that a 40 year probationary period precede Jerusalem's destruction? You've read in scripture of "forty year" periods (or forty days for that matter), then this
this punishment put to Jerusalem after the Lord's completion of the covenant and ascension makes sense.