Daniel Chapter 9
| 457 BC
|| 408 BC
|| 27 AD
|| 31 AD
|| 34 AD
|| 70 AD
From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem
|Seven weeks (49 years) the street and the wall shall be built in troublous times
||Seven weeks and threescore and two weeks (69 weeks) (483 years)
||Midst of the week He shall cause sacrifice and oblation to cease
||Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon thy people
||And the people of the prince..shall destroy the city and the sanctuary
The timeline above is for the times mentioned in Daniel 9:24-27.
We will examine only Daniel 9:24-27 of Daniel 9. Because each segment of Daniel and Revelation is just one piece of the puzzle, the piece will not likely be fully understood until it is assembled with the other parts of the puzzle. What may appear to be contradictory and challenging to your previously held views will be made clear as the puzzle comes together. There are three points to be carefully considered in Daniel 9:24-27.
Initially, there had been another plan for the salvation of humanity than the one we saw fulfilled.
The timeline in Daniel 9:24-27 was not broken into different segments of time to be fulfilled in different periods of this earth's history. It was to be one continuous timeline of seventy weeks (490 years), which was divided into separate segments for specific reasons mentioned in the context of Daniel 9:24-27. Many have taken the final week (seven years) out of its context and have placed it at the end of time and have associated it with the false doctrine of the secret rapture.
The nation of Israel was given a certain length of time (490 years) to complete Elohim's plan for them as a nation. After that time, the nation of Israel, but not individuals from that nation, would be set aside should they fail of meeting those specifications mentioned.
This is all shown in Daniel 9:24-27.
In 1437 BC, after dwelling in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years (Ex. 12:40-41), the children of Israel came out of Egypt through the providential workings of the power of Elohim. But because of their unbelief, the children of Israel eventually wandered in the wilderness for forty years before being permitted by Elohim to enter the Promised Land (Num. 32:13). As the spies spent forty days in spying out the Land of Promise, so the Israelites were destined to wander in the wilderness forty years because of their unbelief, a year for each day that the twelve spies had been searching out the land. "And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know My breach of promise" (Num. 14:33-34, emphasis added).
In Ezekiel 4:5-6, Ezekiel was told to lie on one side, and then upon his other side, for a total of four hundred thirty days. Elohim said in Ezekiel 4:6: "I have appointed thee each day for a year" (emphasis added). So we see from these two Biblical references, Elohim, on occasions, appoints a day for a year. This is referred to as prophetic time in which a day equals a year. Many, when studying the prophecies, see "time" only in this way, but there are literal times to be reckoned with as well. We must not confuse the two, prophetic and literal, and where they are used. Here in Daniel 9, prophetic time is used where a day equals or stands for a year.
In Daniel 9:24, the angel told Daniel that "seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city" ["have been decreed for your people and your holy city" NAS]. This vision was given in approximately 538 BC when Israel was captive in Babylon. Elohim had been longsuffering and patient with the nation of Israel for around nine hundred years at the time Daniel received this vision. Israel had been chosen to be Elohim's peculiar people (Ex. 19:5, Deut. 14:2) just as today the followers of Messiah are to be a peculiar people (Tit. 2:14, 1 Pet. 2:9). The nation of Israel had reached a point where Elohim was giving them their final ultimatum: shape up, or I am done with you as My chosen nation! We see Yahushua verified this in Matthew 21:33-45.
But what about the promises Elohim had made to the nation of Israel? The original covenant made with the nation of Israel was recorded in Deuteronomy 28. There were promises made to the nation of Israel if they obeyed the terms of the covenant, and there were promises made to the nation of Israel should they choose not to follow the conditions of the agreement. The promises were all conditional, and Israel had never kept any of those conditions to remain under Yahuwah's blessing and protection. By the time Daniel had received this vision, Elohim had tolerated their immorality, idolatry, disobedience, and so on for nine hundred years. Now He was giving them four hundred and ninety additional years. Elohim, the heavenly Father, hoped His children would turn from their wicked ways and come back to Him with all their hearts. If it has been a while since you have read the Old Testament, refresh yourself on how the nation of Israel treated the high honor that Elohim had bestowed upon them. May we learn the lessons the nations of Israel and Judah failed to learn so that we do not repeat those failures and suffer similar results.
Was Yahushua trying to direct the people of His day to this prophecy of Daniel 9 when He asked Peter how many times we should be willing to forgive someone? "Yahushua said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven [four hundred ninety]" (Matt. 18:22, Dan. 9:24-27).
More than once, Elohim had referred to the nation of Israel as stiff-necked or stubborn, and numerous times as rebellious (Deut. 31:27, Isa. 30:9). Elohim had given the nation of Israel instruction regarding the treatment of a rebellious child. "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place: and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice: he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear and fear" (Deut. 21:18-21).
Unfortunately, the nation of Israel never took this instruction to heart, but essentially challenged Elohim to see what He would do if His children (the nation of Israel) continued in their stubborn unbelief and rebellion. Just as strong-minded children will test the authority of their parents, so the nations of Israel and Judah challenged Elohim. What parent would have put up with a stubborn and rebellious child for nine hundred years? Elohim, our loving, patient, heavenly Father, was willing to give the nation of Judah four hundred and ninety years more to reconsider and become reconciled to Him and become the nation that Elohim could pour out His blessings through to the world. Elohim had already had the nation of Israel taken out of the Promised Land permanently, and He hoped that the nation of Judah would learn the lesson and understand that Elohim meant what He had promised them when He had made the covenant with them.
"For as the girdle cleaves to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith Yahuwah; that they might be unto Me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear" (Jer. 13:11, emphasis added). Instead, the nation of Israel was told by Elohim what would happen to them because "they would not hear." "For thus saith Yahuwah of hosts, the Elohim of Israel; as Mine anger and My fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall My fury be poured forth upon you, when you shall enter into Egypt: and you shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and you shall see this place no more" (Jer. 42:18, emphasis added). See Jeremiah 24:9; 25:18; and 29:18 for what else the nation of Judah would become because of their rebellious behavior. Elohim had very high hopes for both the nations of Israel and Judah!
Elohim had previously chastened them numerous times. The fact they were in captivity in Babylon was the last time, as recorded in the Bible, He was going to discipline them. In AD 70, Elohim left the nation of Judah to reap what they had been sowing for over fifteen hundred years.
During the four hundred and ninety years, Israel was to accomplish certain things, or Elohim was through with them as His chosen nation. He would still work with individuals of the nation of Israel if they would turn to Him and show their faithfulness to Him, but as a nation, it would reach the limits of Elohim's forbearance. After the apostles of Yahushua received the power of the Spirit of Elohim, the Jewish people responded by the thousands, as recorded in the book of Acts, to the apostles' calls to repentance and were reconciled to Elohim and were then persecuted by the nation of Israel.
By AD 34, the nation of Israel (Judah) was 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" (Dan. 9:24). They were to "bring in everlasting righteousness."
This is what Elohim had initially intended to be done nine hundred years earlier when He took the nation of Israel out of the land of Egypt in 1437 BC. Israel was to be to a “holy nation.” "And you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel" (Ex. 19:6).
Elohim had not given up on them when He gave Daniel this vision. He had always intended to use the Hebrew people to reach the world with the message of salvation, but because of their disobedience and unbelief, He was forced to turn away from them. "The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to Yahuwah, to serve Him, and to love the name of Yahuwah, to be His servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called an house of prayer for all people" (Isa. 56:6-7, emphasis added).
Elohim’s plan was to be inclusive for all the people of the world. The Israelites had developed a haughty, exclusive attitude because they thought they were Elohim's chosen people; favored by Elohim above all the other nations of the earth. Instead of sharing the light given them with the people of all the nations, they hoarded it, thinking they had Elohim's favor because of some exceptional merit in themselves. They should have realized Elohim had favored them not because of who they were at that time, but because Elohim was being faithful to His promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their forefathers, who had proved faithful and obedient to Him. "And Yahuwah said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever" (Gen. 13:14-15). "And, behold, Yahuwah stood above it, and said, I am Yahuwah Elohim of Abraham thy father, and the Elohim of Isaac: the land whereon thou [Jacob] liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed" (Gen. 28:13). "And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land" (Gen. 35:12). The nation of Israel would continue to possess that land forever only if they proved themselves faithful as their forefathers had, which they did not.
Satan has made it appear that Elohim has brought suffering and sorrow on the Jewish people over the centuries in retaliation for their misdeeds in general, including for the death of His Son, Yahushua. But in fact, it has been Satan who has been using human instruments to bring this impression upon humanity to misrepresent the character of Elohim; to have us look upon Elohim as cruel, vindictive, and arbitrary. Many are the ways by which Satan has sought to misrepresent the character of Elohim to humanity.
The Holocaust was not Elohim's punishment of Israel. Elohim's special protection of the Jewish people had ended in AD 34 (Daniel 9:24), and they were left to their own choices. The leaders of Israel had told Pontius Pilate, "We have no king, but Caesar" (John 19:15). They had declared to Pilate, "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matt. 27:25). They had turned their back on Elohim, and Elohim did not overrule the choice they had made, just as He will not overrule the choices we make. Israel had "sown the wind," and they were to "reap the whirlwind" (Hos. 8:7). They had brought these things upon themselves. “Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken Yahuwah thy Elohim?” (Jer. 2:17).
Revelation 1:6 tells us, "And hath made us kings and priests unto Elohim and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." What Elohim had initially intended but was unable to accomplish through the nation of Israel because of their unbelief and rebellion, He will achieve through His loyal and obedient people during the last days before Yahushua returns. Elohim's original intent was to reveal Himself through the nation of Israel. He will accomplish this through His chosen people, especially the 144,000, and the “great multitude” (Rev.7:9) who will prove faithful and obedient to Him in the last days.
Elohim had wanted to establish the nation of Israel in the Land of Promise and the city of Jerusalem forever. "As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of Yahuwah of hosts, in the city [Jerusalem] of our Elohim: Elohim will establish it forever. Selah" (Ps. 48:8). Unfortunately, the Jews' unbelief and disobedience prevented this from happening. "Yea, they turned back and tempted Elohim, and limited the Holy One of Israel" (Ps. 78:41, emphasis added).
But when Elohim gave Daniel this vision, as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27, He had not yet given up all hope for the nation of Israel. If they complied with the conditions set forth, He would continue to bless and be with them and protect them. Instead, they crucified Yahushua Messiah, the only-begotten Son of Elohim, and divorced themselves from Him. All that Elohim would do for them, as a nation, had thereby wholly come to an end and the death by stoning of Stephen in AD 34 by the Jewish authorities confirmed the end of their "favored" nation status.
Yahushua had prayed for those who had crucified Him. "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Israel's hatred and persecution of the apostles and the disciples, culminating with the stoning of Stephen in AD 34, made Yahushua's prayer for many of those who crucified Him impossible to be realized.
Elohim then worked with those who followed His Son in faithfulness and obedience and began a new movement; what we call the "Christian Church." This early "Christian Church" was vastly different from any present-day Christian Church and was persecuted by the nation of Israel even though all of its first converts were Jewish.
But what if the nation of Israel had "finished the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity?" If they had accomplished those things, then "everlasting righteousness" would have been brought in and the city of Jerusalem would have remained forever, and "the vision and prophecy" of Daniel which related to the last days, would have been sealed and never would have been fulfilled. What was foretold, would have been sealed, is what we are facing shortly. Yahushua would have been anointed another way other than being crucified. Israel did not meet the conditions set for them by Elohim in Daniel 9:24, and as a result, another plan, Plan B, went into motion. It was not Elohim's original purpose to set aside Israel as His people by which He would accomplish His objectives in this world, but Israel did not cooperate with Him in His plan for the salvation of humanity. Therefore, He had no other choice but to set them aside. He has had to set aside others through the centuries who have failed to cooperate with Him
In His infinite love, wisdom, and mercy, Elohim gives us the freedom to choose our destiny. "Choose you this day whom you will serve" (Josh. 24:15). One should question the doctrine of predestination when looking at how Elohim dealt with Israel. Events are sealed up and only opened conditionally, based on our choices. Elohim desires us to serve and follow Him because we love Him and believe in His goodness; not because of coercion. "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Love cannot be commanded or forced! Love begets love!
The "seventy weeks" or four hundred and ninety years were to begin "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" that had been destroyed, including the Temple, by the Babylonians in the time of Jeremiah, the prophet.
In 457 BC, a decree was granted to Ezra by the emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to go up to Jerusalem with as many of his people as were minded to go with him. The commission gave him an unlimited amount of treasure to beautify the house of Elohim, to procure offerings for its services, and to do whatever else might seem right to him. It empowered him to ordain laws, appoint magistrates and judges, and execute punishment even unto death; in other words, to restore the Jewish civil and ecclesiastical state according to the law of Elohim and the ancient statutes of that people. Inspiration seemed fit to preserve this decree, and a full and accurate copy of it is given in Ezra 7:11-28.
The 70 weeks or four hundred and ninety years ended in AD 34, when using the 457 BC date as the starting point for "the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem." There is no “zero” year.
The "seventy weeks," of Daniel 9:24, were divided into "seven weeks (7x7=49, Dan. 9:25), and threescore and two weeks" (62x7=434, Dan. 9:25) and "one week" (1x7=7, Dan. 9:27). The seven weeks or forty-nine years were allotted to the building of the city and the wall. "The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times" (Dan. 9:25).
"In the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus ended the first seven weeks of the seventy weeks of Daniel's prophecy. For then the restoration of the church and state of the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea was fully finished, in that last act of reformation, which is recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Nehemiah, from the twenty-third verse to the end of the chapter, just forty-nine years after it had begun by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus."2
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" or a total of sixty-nine weeks (Dan. 9:25). Sixty-nine weeks (sixty-nine times seven) or four hundred and eighty-three years extended to AD 27; the year Yahuwah foretold when Messiah would begin His ministry.
"And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease" (Dan. 9:27, emphasis added). It also says that "Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself" (Dan. 9:26). John the Baptist baptized Yahushua Messiah in AD 27, and Yahushua began His ministry of confirming "the covenant with many." "In the midst of the week," three and half years later, in the spring of AD 31, Yahushua was crucified and caused "the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." The Sacrifice that all the sanctuary sacrifices had foreshadowed met their fulfillment in the crucifixion of Messiah when He was "cut off, but not for Himself." We see from Daniel 9:27 that only "the sacrifice and oblation to cease." There are many things that people claim to have ended at the cross of Messiah when He was crucified, but Daniel 9:27 tells us only "the sacrifice and oblation" came to an end!
Yahushua was the "Lamb of Elohim" (John 1:29) that Abraham had foretold when he had told Isaac: "My son, Elohim will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering" (Gen. 22:8).
Three and a half years after the crucifixion brings us to the martyrdom of Stephen by the Jewish Sanhedrin in AD 34 (Acts 7:58-60). The apostles and disciples, until that time, had continued to "confirm the covenant" to the Jewish people only, but from that point on the gospel was also to be given to the Gentiles and was not restricted just to the nation of Israel as is recorded in the book of Acts. Before the stoning of Stephen, the covenant was to be confirmed only to the Jewish people (Dan. 9:27). Once the seventy weeks or 490 years were completed, the gospel was to be given to the entire world by the apostles and disciples and not exclusively to the Jewish nation. See Acts 7:51-60, 8:4-5. The last week or seven years of Daniel 9:24-27 has been misplaced by the false prophets of our time who have perverted the Word of Elohim just as the ancient nations of Israel and Judah had done. "For you have perverted the words of the living Elohim, of Yahuwah of hosts our Elohim" (Jer. 23:36).
The final specification of Daniel 9:24-27, is "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary" (Dan. 9:26). In AD 70, this prophetic utterance received a very horrific fulfillment when under General Titus, the Roman army destroyed the city of Jerusalem along with the Temple. Yahushua had foretold the destruction of the sanctuary: "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matt. 24:2).
The disciples of Yahushua "came to show Him the buildings of the temple" (Matt. 24:1) and in response, Yahushua told them what is found in Matthew 24:2. He had also told His disciples that "when you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever reads, let him understand;) then let them flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:15-16).
This "abomination that makes desolate" that Yahushua was referring to was foretold in Daniel 11:31. When the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem, they stood on "holy ground," and the followers of Messiah recognized the fulfillment of Yahushua's words. We will not be examining the portions of Daniel 11 which do not meet their fulfillment in our days. Yahushua's followers knew and fled when the time was right, and supposedly not one follower of Yahushua perished in the destruction of Jerusalem.
It was not without a struggle that Elohim gave up on the nation of Israel. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings [Ps. 91:4], and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, You shall not see Me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is He that comes in the name of Yahuwah" (Matt. 23:37-39, emphasis added). This was the divorce of the nation of Israel as Elohim's covenant people and was foretold in the parable given by Yahushua, found in Matthew 21. Even though Elohim had made a covenant with the nation of Israel, Israel had failed to meet the conditions put forth in the covenant which is given in Deuteronomy 28 and what was promised would happen to them if they failed to keep the covenant occurred (Deut. 28:15-68).
"Hear another parable: There was a certain Householder [Elohim], which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen [nation of Israel], and went into a far country: and when the time of the fruit drew near, He sent His servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took His servants [the prophets], and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, He sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all He sent unto them His Son [Yahushua], saying, They will reverence My Son. But when the husbandmen saw the Son, they said among themselves, This is the Heir; come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on His inheritance. And they caught Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard, and slew Him. When the Master therefore of the vineyard comes, what will He do unto those husbandmen? They say unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen [the early Christian church], which shall render Him the fruits in their seasons. Yahushua saith unto them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone [Yahushua]which the builders [chief priests and Pharisees] rejected, the same is become the head of the corner [Yahushua]: this is Yahuwah's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of Elohim shall be taken from you, and given to a nation [the early Christian Church] bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone [Yahushua] shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet" (Matt. 21:33-46, emphasis added).
Yahushua was referring to Himself and not to Peter when He said, “Upon this rock will I build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). The gates of hell did prevail against Peter when, with cursing, Peter denied his Master (Matt. 26:73-74).
Yahushua spread out before the Jewish nation what they had been doing since Elohim had established them as His people in the Land of Promise. What they were about to do to "the Heir" (Matt. 21:38) was clearly shown them, and what Elohim would do to their nation was also foretold. Elohim would give "His vineyard" or "the kingdom of Elohim" to others, the apostles and disciples, and they would start a whole new movement; what we call the "Christian Church" (Christ's [Messiah's] Church) that is unlike any "Christian Church" existing today.
The phrase "abomination that makes desolate" is mentioned twice in the book of Daniel. The first is mentioned in Daniel 11:31 and met its fulfillment in AD 70. The second "abomination that makes desolate" in Daniel 12:11 will be similar to the first one pictured in Daniel 11:31 in that like the Roman army which stood on "holy ground" so the second "abomination that makes desolate" shall be standing on "holy ground." The second one is foreshadowed by the first one. We will be examining this second one when we come to Daniel 11 and 12. This understanding may be different than what you have had; but like the Bereans who "searched the Scriptures daily," I urge you to study these things to see "whether these things are so" (Acts 17:11). Remember, this is just the first piece of the puzzle. It lays the groundwork for upcoming chapters.
By no means should what is said in this chapter be construed as anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic; the facts speak for themselves. Even though the nation of Israel was set aside in AD 70, those of Hebrew ancestry still have the invitation to accept Messiah and become grafted into the olive tree as brought out in Romans 11:17-24. We shall see in the next chapter on Revelation 7 that a number of the descendants of the Hebrew nation will be fulfilling a major role at the end of time before the return of Yahushua.
1. When did the last seven years of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 begin, and when did they end?
2. When did the 70 weeks or 490 years of Daniel 9:24-27 begin, and when did they end?
3. What is prophetic time?
4. Is the nation of Israel still Elohim's favored people?