DANIELS SEVENTY SEVENS PROPHECY: Daniel 9:24-27
Did Daniel prophecy the coming of the anti-Christ and a 7-year Tribulation. Is there a gap in time after the 483rd year and the last 7 years of Daniels 490-year prophecy?
Daniel chapter 9 verses 24 thru 27 is one of the most important prophecies in the Bible. This prophecy foretold the exact time of Jesus’ first coming and takes us to his 2nd coming and the earthly Kingdom of God here on earth. The book of Revelation is a continuation of the Book of Daniel. Where Daniel gives us a general overview, the Book of Revelation gives us the details. How one interprets this prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 sets up how you view the book of Revelation and Prophecies that are referred to as End Time Prophecies. So, an accurate reading, interpretation is very important.
As you can imagine, there are differencing views on interpreting this prophecy here in Daniel as is with all Bible Prophecy. So, here I would like to address a major difference in how the historicist and preterist views differ from the futurist view of Daniel 9 verses 24 through 27. From what we will see with a careful look at the scriptures is why I can’t agree with the historicist or preterist views interpretation of Daniel chapter 9. They just don’t work with what we see from the scriptures. To see what I’m referring to, keep reading.
Let me just say this up front. It does not matter which view one holds to as far as salvation is concerned, how you view Bible prophecy isn’t a matter of salvation. All these views believe in and understand the Deity of Jesus. That we are saved by grace through faith by the blood of Jesus alone. Salvation isn’t by works or how you view Bible Prophecy. Those that hold to a different view from you are not blaspheming. Blasphemy is denying who Jesus is and the work of the Holy Spirit. I have actually been called a blasphemer for not agreeing with another view. I’ve been told I can’t be a Christian if I believe in and teach a pre-trib rapture.
First a quick overview.
Historicism looks at the whole of Bible prophecy as a sweeping overview of church history, from Pentecost to the end times. The historicist view teaches that the book of Revelation is a symbolic presentation of the course of history, that the symbols in the book of Revelation are a symbolic representation that correspond to events in church history beginning in the first century AD from the apostle’s life through the end of age. The prophecies of Revelation have been fulfilled in various past historic events. We are currently in the 5th or 6th trumpet of Revelation. Some have us in the 7th trumpet. Those that hold to this view, if they believe the scriptures concerning the Rapture, will be post-trib.
Preterism: The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, meaning past, since this view deems certain biblical prophecies as past, or already fulfilled. Preterist believe and teach the prophecies of the Olivet discourse of Matthew 24 and Revelation were fulfilled in the first century with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and Jesus has already returned in the form of judgment by the Roman army. Where the scriptures tell us that Jesus will return with the clouds of heaven, that is a symbolic reference to the smoke from the fires burning throughout Jerusalem. Preterist believe we are in the Kingdom of God now, that it is just a spiritual Kingdom. There won’t be a literal 1000-year Kingdom of God here on earth. Preterist also say the Rapture is a lie. The preterist and historicist views are similar in some ways to the allegorical method of interpretation.
Futurist view. This view teaches that the events of the Olivet Discourse(Mt. 24) and Revelation chapters 4-22 will occur in the future. Futurist divide the book of Revelation into three sections as indicated in 1:19: John was told to write from John's standpoint, “what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” Chapter 1 describes the past (“what you have seen”), chapters 2-3 describe the present (“what is now, the Church age”), and the rest of the book describes future events (“what will take place later”). Futurists apply a literal approach to interpreting Revelation. A Literal interpretation does not discount figurative or symbolic language. Chapter 4 shows the Church age believers before the Throne of God. Chapter 5 we see Jesus is handed the scroll sealed with seven seals by God the Father which contain the judgements of God, then chapter 6 we see Jesus breaking the seals of the scroll, revealing the judgements. Chapters 6-19 refer to Daniels 70th week, the last 7 years of Daniels 490 years, a period that has come to be known as the seven-year Tribulation (Dan. 9:27). The 7 years of the Tribulation will be the time God’s judgments are poured out upon a Christ rejecting world as they are revealed in the seals, trumpets, and bowls. Chapter 19 we see the second coming of Jesus and the anti-Christ and false prophet being thrown into the lake of fire followed by satan being bound and a literal thousand-year rule of Christ upon the earth in chapter 20. Chapters 21-22 are events that follow the millennium: satan thrown into the lake of fire, the creation of a new heaven and a new earth and the arrival of the heavenly city upon the earth, eternity.
And now to one of the major differences between the historicistic and preterist views from the futuristic view. Did Daniel prophecy the coming of the anti-Christ and a 7-year Tribulation. Is there a gap of time after the 483rd year and the last 7 years of Daniels 490-year prophecy?
For the futuristic view there is a gap in time between the 483rd year and the last 7 years of Daniels prophecy. This gap of time is our current time of the Church age. All three views agree what occurred up to the 483rd year.
Both historicist and preterist views see all 490 years, all of Daniel’s 70 weeks as occurring consecutively, meaning no gap of time after the 483 years and the last 7 years. If there is a gap of time then both of the view’s interpretation fall apart. Of course, if there isn’t a gap in time and the last 7 years did immediately follow the 483rd year, then the futurist view interpretation falls apart. Well, let’s take a close look at Daniel 9 24-27.
Daniel 9: 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
According to Daniel there are 6 major requirements that will serve to establish the time of the prophecy's fulfillment.
They will be fulfilled after the completion of the 490 years and they relate to people of Israel and Jerusalem. Verse 24 says that they “are decreed for your people and your holy city”. In other words, the fulfillment of the seventy weeks prophecy must occur with respect to Daniel's "people, national Israel and the Holy City Jerusalem".
Some commentators argue that although these requirements were once future, they have now all been fulfilled historically by Jesus. In this case the entire prophecy of the seventy weeks is viewed as being fulfilled consecutively without interruption, without a gap of time within the first century. Whether you take these 6 requirements as to only relating to Israel or you see them relating universally to everyone, the only one that could be said that Jesus fulfilled, is that by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead he atoned for wickedness or iniquity. The others have yet to be accomplished. Jesus will finally accomplish the rest of the requirements in the future kingdom of God here on earth when He returns.
Let’s take a look at these six accomplishments of the 490 years that have been allotted to Israel.
1. To Finish Transgression. The 70 weeks will "finish the transgression." The Hebrew word translated ‘transgression’ carries the idea of rebellion against God. Jews and Christians take this to mean that rebellion against God will end. They also agree that only true believers in God whether Jew or Gentile will enter the messianic kingdom of God here on earth. But Christians believe that "to finish the transgression" also includes a national acceptance from all Israel of Jesus as Messiah.
2. To Put an End to Sin / Sin Sealed Up. Daniel also predicted that the 70-week period would "put an end of sins." The word translated ‘sins’ refers to sins other than revolt or rebellion, general immorality, dishonesty, and the like. The verb in the Hebrew text translated "put an end to" in NIV literally means "to seal up." Among those living during the kingdom, sin will be rare by today's standards. Satan will be bound and there will be no demons to temp anyone. Jews and Christians alike believe that this will occur when the Messiah rules the world.
3. To Atoned For Wickedness. This 70-week program is "to make reconciliation for iniquity" (KJ) or "to atone for wickedness" (NIV). The verb in this sentence is kaphar, the Old Testament term used to denote the covering of sin by making a sacrifice. Christians see this as having been fulfilled in the death of Jesus, who according to the New Testament gave Himself to die on the cross as the perfect sacrifice. With Jesus this atonement has been accomplished, but it could also refer to what Jesus will do when he establishes his earthly kingdom.
4. To Bring In Everlasting Righteousness. The conclusion of the 70-week period will also "bring in everlasting righteousness." This undoubtedly points to the justice and peace of the earthly kingdom of God that Israel has been waiting for since the days of the prophets. It is a mark of the messianic age, which corresponds to what other prophets have also predicted.
5. To Seal up Vision and Prophecy. When the messianic age begins, all that was promised through visions and prophecies will be accomplished. Finally, the whole world will understand prophecies going back to when God first spoke to Abraham and said, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Gen. 12:1-3).
6. To Anoint The Most Holy. Some Jews see this as being fulfilled in the consecration of the future rebuilt temple in the days of a yet undisclosed Messiah. Some Christians also believe "the Most Holy" refers to a rebuilt temple. The NIV translation says, the Most Holy Place, which is a more accurate translation. The Hebrew word here is,
ko'-desh H6944 From H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: - consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary. So, this would appear to be referring to what will be the third Temple. Other Christians, while agreeing that Christ's second coming will usher in this kingdom age, believe Jesus Himself will be anointed as "the Most Holy." When he was here before he was not anointed as the “Most Holy” by the Jews.
While there is much disagreement among Jewish and Christian scholars about how all of this will work out, some things are clear. According to Daniel's prophecy, God has a 70-week (490 year) program that will culminate in an age when spiritual rebellion against God will end, sin as we know it will have ended, reconciliation will have been accomplished, righteousness will prevail, prophecy will have been fulfilled, and God's anointing of either a new temple and/or His Messiah will occur. This does not describe the world we live in today.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death(cut off) and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
The Jews not only had a week of days, but also a week of years. (See Gen. 29:27-30, Lev. 25:4, 8). The Hebrew word shâbûa‛ translated weeks (or sevens) refers to a period of 7 years, like our word decade refers to a period of 10 years. It literally means "a week of years."
So, 70 weeks (or sevens) is 70 x 7 years or 490 years. This period is divided into three parts, 7 sevens (49 years) and then 62 sevens (434 years) for a total of 69 sevens or 483 years. The 7 weeks or 49 years that precede the 62 weeks, the 434 years is undoubtedly the time period it took for Ezra, Nehemiah, and others to rebuild the city. According to verse 25, in the first 7 sevens, the first 49 years the rebuilding of Jerusalem will be in times of trouble. We see this described in Ezra. This was the fulfillment of the first seven sevens, the first 49 years. The next 434 years are the years that brings us to Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross.
Then there’s the last week (or seven), 7 years. Gabriel's revelation to Daniel was that the full allotted amount of time for Daniels’s people, the Jews and the holy city, Jerusalem would extend for "seventy "weeks", 490 years. Verse 24, “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for (your people and your holy city). The final "week,” the "seventieth week" of verse 27 will be fulfilled when the Temple is desecrated by the abomination of desolation and the Messiah, Jesus returns.
We can see there is a clear prophecy of the Coming of the Messiah. Counting forward for 7 weeks of years (49 years) and 62 weeks of years (434 years), each from a decree giving the Jews permission to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and its walls which had been destroyed by the Babylonians, they should expect the Messiah. That's a total of 483 years after the decree is issued. It was 483 years from this decree of (444 B.C.) that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey proclaiming himself to be the Messiah. That same week he was crucified, cut off. With the 444 BC decree of Artaxerxes, if one uses "prophetic years" of 360 days each, it is exactly 483 years (173,880 days) from the day of Artaxerxes decree in 444 BC (Neh. 2:1) to the day of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His earthly life (Mt. 21). It was on that day in AD 33 that Jesus officially announced to the Israelites that He was the Messiah. Later that week He was "cut off" or crucified. The use of a 360-day prophetic year is taken from the Jewish calendar. The Jewish calendar was 360 days a year instead of 365. The 360-day prophetic year is also seen from the fact that the 1,260 days of Revelation 12:6, the "time and times and half a time" of Revelation 12:14, (a time was a year, times was two years, half time half a year) and the 42 months of Revelation 13:5 equals a 3 1/2-year period. 360 x 7 = 2520/2 = 1260. 1260/30 = 42.
Daniel's prophecy clearly reveals that the Messiah had to come in the time predicted in verses 25-26, that is, 483 years into the 490 years. So, we see with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem that 483 years of the 490 years prophesied had been fulfilled leaving 7 years.
The Bible records the issuing of three decrees by Gentile kings authorizing the Jews in exile to return to their homeland. The first one was by Cyrus in 539 BC (2 Chr. 36:22 & 23; Ezra 1:2-4, Ezra 6:3).
Cyrus was the king of Persia that issued the first decree for Jerusalem to be rebuilt. Isaiah prophesied this, named him some 200 years before it would happen.
Isa. 44: 28 who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt,"
and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid.”’
But this cannot be the decree that the angel Gabriel had in mind when he revealed this to Daniel. It referred only to the temple and makes no mention of rebuilding the city.
1 Chr. 36: 22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”
Ezra 1: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.
Ezra 6: 3 In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem:
Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid.
The second royal decree involving the Jews and Jerusalem was made by Artaxerxes in 458 BC (Ezra 7:11-26). Like the decree of Cyrus, no specific mention is made of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem or its walls.
Artaxerxes also issued the third royal decree involving the Jews and the city of Jerusalem in 444 BC (Neh. 2:5-8,17-18). This is specific in authorizing the rebuilding of the city walls. With this the Jews completed the rebuilding of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem and its walls.
Neh. 2: 4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8 And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.
With Cyrus’ decree the Jews were released to return to Jerusalem. Many of the Jews returned to Jerusalem but only the foundation was laid during Cyrus’ reign. You see this recorded in Ezra. If you read Ezra, you will see that there was much opposition to rebuilding the Temple.
So, it all started with the decree from Cyrus but it was the third decree by King Artaxerxes that allowed the rebuilding to be completed, thus making it the starting point, the decree that Gabriel was referring to in Daniel chapter 9. You see this decree in Ezra chapter 7 by King Artaxerxes and also in Nehemiah chapter 2. The 444 BC decree of Artaxerxes, using the Jewish calendar of the time, "prophetic years" of 360 days each, it is exactly 483 years from the day of Artaxerxes 2nd decree to the day of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His earthly life.
Scholars differ as to whether the exact date is the last month of 445 B.C. or the first month of 444 B.C. Some prophecy teachers use the date 445 BC. Though scholars continue to differ on the subject, the most plausible explanation is the 444 B.C. date because this works out precisely to the fulfillment of the prophecy and also coincides with the actual rebuilding of the city. The use of either of these start dates brings us remarkably to Jesus.
The religious leaders and the Jewish people of Jesus’ time knew this time frame of 483 years given in Daniel. That’s why through reading the gospels we can see that the leaders and the people had an expectancy of the coming of the Messiah.
Concerning the 458 B.C, or 457 B.C. date, like with the 444 or 445 B.C. date, some prophecy teachers use the 457 B.C. date. While it will not bring us to Jesus using the Jewish calendar of 360 days in a year, if one uses the standard 365-day year chronology, one arrives at AD 26, the year Jesus reached the age of 30 (He was born in 4 BC). It was at the age of 30 that a male descendant of Aaron began his priestly duties. The text tells us that after 69 weeks (7 + 62), 483 years, Messiah is "cut off." It doesn't tell us how long after, nor does it indicate that the 70th week, the last 7 years would begin as soon as the 69th week, 483rd year ended. So, adding 483 years of 365 days in a year to the 458 B.C. date brings us to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in AD 26. But as pointed out above, the Jews did not used a calendar of 365 days in a year. With the 444 B.C. start date it was 483 years of 360 days in a year from Artaxerxes 2nd decree to the week that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey proclaiming himself to be the Messiah. That same week he was crucified, cut off. This works out with Jesus’ death on the cross ending the 483 years, unlike the 458 B.C. date. We see that Artaxerxes 1st decree of 458 B.C., like the decree of Cyrus, had no specific mention of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem or its walls. It was Artaxerxes 2nd decree which was specific in authorizing the rebuilding of the Temple and the city walls. With this the Jews completed the rebuilding of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem and its walls. If Artaxerxes 1st decree was sufficient then there wouldn’t have been a need for another. Since it doesn’t meet the requirements of the prophecy, it has to be the 444 B.C. decree that Gabriel had in mind for the start date of this prophecy. This here poses a problem for the historicist and preterist time line interpretation.
The historicist and preterist views see the Anointed One and the Ruler, Messiah and prince in the KJV one and the same. This partially comes from a miss translation from the KJV. The KJV didn’t put a comma between the two.
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 troublous times.
Here’s the original Hebrew words. The Strong’s Hebrew,
From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah: - anointed, Messiah.
naw-gheed', naw-gheed' H5057
From H5046; a commander (as occupying the front), civil, military or religious; generally (abstract plural), honorable themes: - captain, chief, excellent thing, (chief) governor, leader, noble, prince, (chief) ruler.
Look at what verse 26 says,
KJV 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:
NIV 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death(cut off) and will have nothing.
So, it’s clear that the Messiah, the Anointed One is referring to Jesus. But the prince or ruler cannot be. Look at the rest of verse 26.
KJV and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;
NIV The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.
He said “the people of the ruler (who will come)”. We know from history that this took place by the Romans with the Roman destruction in 70 a.d. It was not Christians or Jews that destroyed the city and the Temple. The Romans were not the people of God or of the Messiah. So, we see with this that the Messiah and prince or Anointed One and ruler, cannot be the same.
Now verse 27 “He (the ruler, the prince) will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'(seven years) In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
Ok, we see the ruler/prince confirms, makes a covenant agreement with the many, for 7 years. This is not referring to the covenant of the New Testament Jesus made on the cross. This covenant the Ruler makes is for only 7 years. Nor is it confirming the Old Testament Covenant.
We are told in Hebrews that the Covenant Jesus made on the cross is the everlasting, eternal New Covenant. And that the Old Testament Covenant will be replaced.
8: 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
9: 15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Jesus also said this. Mt. 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins., Mark 14:24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many., Luke 22:20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. The Old Testament Covenant was not an everlasting, eternal covenant.
This is what starts the last 7 years. We are also told that He the ruler, prince breaks this covenant in the middle of the 7 years. Jesus or God the Father has never or will never break an unconditional covenant with his people. So, this cannot be referring to any covenant made by Jesus. Nor to the Old Testament Covenant, for it was not broken but replaced with a better one. This making and breaking of a covenant did not occur after Jesus’ resurrection by a Ruler, prince to come. We have already established that the Messiah, Anointed One maw-shee'-akh and the prince, ruler naw-gheed' is not the same, the original language has them two separate words and persons. We’re also seeing from the verses they cannot be the same. So, now we are seeing, since what is described of this ruler did not occur, for the last 7 years to be literal, there has to be a gap in time before the last 7 years. (If the first 483 years were literal 483 years, then you have to take it that the last 7 years are literal years. There’s nothing in the verses to indicate otherwise).
We see in the middle of the last 7 years the Ruler, prince, will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” OK, if the prince is also referencing Jesus, just what end is decreed for Jesus. Don’t even try to say this is referring to Jesus’ death on the cross. That was not Jesus’ end, he rose from the dead and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father. Also, Jesus died on the cross at the end of the 483 years. This end of the ruler, prince to come, is at the end of the 490 years. We see with Rev. 19 that the beast(anti-Christ), and the false prophet are defeated and thrown into the lake of fire by Jesus. The Ruler comes to his end. The decreed is poured out on him.
This abomination that causes desolation did not occur before or during the destruction of the Temple in 70 a.d. We see Jesus made reference to verse 27 in Matthew 24.
Mt. 24: 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
Ok, when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel— Standing in the Holy Place. The Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 tells us that the day of the Lord, this last 7 years allotted to Israel will not come until the man of lawlessness(the anti-Christ) is revealed.
2 Thes. 2: 2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, (concerning the rapture) we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord (the Tribulation) has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (the Tribulation) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, (the man doomed to destruction).
4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Verse 4 is describing the abomination of desolation. … he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
How would have the Jews of the first century understood what Jesus said of the abomination of desolation’? We see Daniel had another prophecy that mentions ‘the abomination of desolation’. Dan. 11: 31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. This took place by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 B.C. Antiochus was very much opposed to the Jewish religion. He desecrated their temple, offering a pig on the altar and installed a statue of a Greek god. This brought about the Maccabean revolt, in which thousands of Jews were killed, including men, women and children. Also notice Daniel 11 verse 31 said nothing about the Temple being destroyed as was the case in 70 a.d. Antiochus IV Epiphanes did not destroy the Temple. So, the Jews would not have understood Jesus’ statement as to referring to the Messiah destroying the Temple, but to a Pagan king entering into the Temple thus desecrating it. You see, only the High Priest was allowed into the Holy of Hollies. They would have used what happened with Antiochus IV Epiphanes as a reference. And with Jesus referring back to Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation, and from what we read also from Paul, it appears Jesus and Paul did too.
From the requirements of Daniel 9 we know that this prophesy of the abomination of desolation that Daniel 11 refers to was not the fulfillment of chapter 9. In Matthew 24 we see that Jesus says there is a future abomination of desolation. Jesus tells us that all this will happen again in the future. The conditions Jesus describes didn’t occur with this prophecy or with the destruction in 70 a.d. Have you heard the phrase; history repeats itself? Because of his persecution of the Jews during the period of his reign, Antiochus IV Epiphanes is our closest model of the future anti-Christ.
We see an event that relates to the Temple and to the Ruler of the people (the Romans) who destroyed the Second Temple must occur in the middle of the last week, in the middle of the last 7 years. A ruler will make a covenant with "the many", Israel and other nations, we can now see it will be with the so-called Palestinians and the Islamic nations. While the specific nature of this "covenant" is not made clear here, it is clear that it relates to the Temple in some way. This did not occur historically with the Roman general Titus who destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Titus who destroyed the Second Temple and his emperor father Vespasian enjoyed parading the Temple vessels through the streets of Rome. Neither one of them entered into the Temple as required with the description of ‘‘the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel as described by Jesus and Paul. And neither one of them made a covenant with Israel and the many.
It is with this prophecy that Bible scholars find that the Tribulation, in which Revelation chapters 6 thru 19 gives details of will be 7 years.
Jesus also said, Mt. 24: 21 For then there will be great distress(tribulation), unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. … The destruction in 70 a.d. doesn’t fit with all the conditions Jesus mentions in Matthew 24 as well as in Mark and Luke and in Revelation. The killing of the Jews by Hitler was much greater and more horrific than what the Romans did in 70 a.d. So, the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by the Romans couldn’t be what Jesus meant when He said to ‘never be equaled again’. This as well as the other conditions of Matthew 24 hasn’t happened yet. They will happen during the final 7 years allotted to Israel, the Tribulation. Because what is described with Mt. 24 verses 16-20 sound like they could apply to what occurred with the Roman destruction, you have to take all the conditions that Jesus mentions into account. We have just seen that verse 21 does not match with what occurred. All the other conditions do not match with what occurred with the Roman destruction. They do match with what we are told in the Book of Revelation. What occurred with the Roman destruction was just a foreshadow of what’s to come.
Since all the conditions of the prophecies concerning the abomination of desolation cannot be found in history, this requires that the seventieth week of Daniel be understood as eschatological, that is, having its fulfillment in the future, in the end time. So there has to be a gap in time between the end of the 483 years and the last 7 years.
If the entire Church age can be interposed between references to the first and second comings of Jesus in the Old Testament, it certainly sets a precedent for having a time gap between the 69th ‘seven’ and the 70th ‘seven of Daniel. See Isaiah 61 and Mt. 4:16-21. Isaiah foretells Jesus’ first and second comings and the earthly kingdom of God all in one prophecy. When Jesus read this in the synagogue he stopped before reading the second half that deals with his 2nd coming and the kingdom of God. Just like with Isaiah’s prophecy, Daniels’s prophecy spans the time from the issuing of the decree in 444 B.C. to the second coming of Jesus.
There seems to be a clue to the time gap with the descriptions after the second part of verse 26. First notice, after the 483 years have completed it says, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary”. Notice he said ‘the people’ of the ruler, not the ruler, not the anti-Christ. This would be referring to the destruction in 70 a.d. by the Romans.
After telling about the destruction of the city and the Temple, with verse 27 he goes into describing the last 7 years. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. Remember, this is what Jesus referred to in Matthew 24 and Paul in 2 Thes. 2.
Obviously, if the fulfillment of the last 7 years immediately followed the 483 years, then you could not consider the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. as part of the fulfillment, since it occurred almost 40 years after Jesus’ resurrection which marked the end of the 483 years. But Daniel has it after the 483rd year and before the last 7 years. He includes it in the prophecy of the 490 years. For the last 7 years to immediately follow the 483rd year, then the Temple would have had to been destroyed by the year 40 a.d. The completion of the 490 years would have had to been by the year 40 a.d. Remember, the Temple was destroyed in 70 a.d. There has not been a 7-year covenant made nor has the requirements of the abomination of desolation been met. This alone should show that the last 7 years does not immediately follow the 483rd year.
So, we see there are events described that take place after the 483 years but before the last 7 years. It just doesn’t tell us how long this will be. Since the destruction in 70 a.d. happened almost 40 years after the end of the 483 years we see there is still a gap of time. So, it can’t be argued that the last 7 years immediately followed the 483 years. Since there has not been a 7-year covenant agreement made with Israel and other nations by ‘the ruler that will come’ and the conditions for the last 7 years haven’t occurred, this gap is still continuing today, this gap is The Church age.
Further evidence there’s a gap in time is that John in the book of Revelation sees and mentions the Temple as to being present, but the Temple was destroyed in 70 a.d. If John received and wrote the book of Revelation before the year 70, don’t you think with all the other things that Jesus revealed to John that He would have also shown him the destruction of the Temple? But there’s no such revelation. Why, because the book of Revelation wasn’t received and written until 95 a.d. All the early first, second and third century church fathers wrote that John was on the Isle of Patmos in the year 95 a.d. It wasn’t until the fourth century when the Roman Catholic Church was the ruling authority that the teaching started that John was on the Isle of Patmos and received the Revelation around 66 a.d. Many false teachings started around this time. What followed is what has come to be referred to as the dark ages.
Prophecies in the O.T., in the Gospels and in the book of Revelation refer to there being a Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ 2nd coming. There has to be a Temple for the abomination of desolation that Jesus referred to in Mt. 24 to occur. As we have seen and know from past history this didn’t happen in the first century or since. Well, the Jews already have laid out the plans for rebuilding the Temple. They already have all Temple furniture, the priestly garments, they have already made all the Temple vessels, everything required for the priestly duties. They have identified men from the tribe of Levi, of line of Aron to be priests and are training them. Only men from the tribe of Levi were allowed to be Priests. And they have even already chosen the High Priest. They can rebuild the Temple now. From archeological findings etc. they have discovered actually where the Temple stood. It wasn’t where the muslim dome of the rock is located which fulfills what we see in Rev. 11. John was told to, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles”. The muslim dome of the rock is in the outer court. Now that is amazing. And John was shown this 2000 years ago.
Paul said this present Church age of Jews and Gentiles being one was a mystery to the Old Testament Saints and Prophets.
Romans 16: 25 Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the (mystery hidden for long ages past), 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith—
Eph. 3: 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which (was not made known to people in other generations) as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
Col. 1: 24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that (has been kept hidden for ages and generations), but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.
1 Cor. 2: 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, (a mystery that has been hidden) and that God destined for our glory before time began.
This is why there is no mention in Daniel of the time period between the 483 years and the last 7 years. It’s why there’s no mention of the time of the Church age by the other Old Testament Prophets. What we do have are numerous scriptures on the last 7 years allotted to Israel and the Holy City Jerusalem. With Jesus’ death on the cross, the prophetic stopwatch stopped leaving a gap in time. The prophetic stopwatch for Israel’s last 7 years will start ticking again when Israel signs the covenant with the little horn, the anti-Christ.
In the scroll handed to Jesus by God the Father in Rev. ch. 5, it’s these 7 years that we are told the details of in chapters 6 through 19 in the book of Revelation. Daniel was told to seal up the scroll, Dan. 12: 4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. .. In Rev. ch. 6 we see Jesus unrolling the scroll and breaking the seals.
As is the case with researching anything, in this case, you must first determine do all the scriptures, do all the conditions in Daniel and in Matthew 24 match with what occurred in the first century before looking at any other scriptures. You must first lay the foundation. This is what you build on. Once you establish the foundation then you base all other scriptures on this. All other scriptures must line up and work with, agree with the foundation. The scriptures cannot contradict each other. If your interpretation of scriptures doesn't line up and agree with what the foundation shows, then you must rethink your interpretation. And you can’t change what a plain sense reading of the scriptures say to make your view work. If a plain sense makes sense, then don’t seek no other sense or you’ll wind up with nonsense.
If you would like to see more from the scriptures see the lessons, 'The Tribulation being 7 years' and 'Was all Bible Prophecy fulfilled by 70 a.d.'.
Maranatha, Our Lord Comes.