Imposed Meanings

daniel_9_70_weeks

Gabriel’s Message

An analysis of one verse in the book of Daniel  is sufficient to render inadequate many of the teachings that are based on this prophecy: 

“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place” (Daniel 9:24).

The term “seventy weeks” refers to “seven periods of seven,” and nearly all Bible commentaries agree that this is a number that adds up to 490 years (7 x 70 = 490).  At the end of this period, Gabriel says, the “transgression” will be finished, an “end of sin” will be accomplished, iniquity will be atoned for, everlasting righteousness will be brought about, vision and prophecy will be finished (sealed up), and the most holy place (or One) will be anointed.

Clearly, if this prophecy has not been completely fulfilled by the coming of Christ and His final sacrifice, then these significant accomplishments will not have occurred, but must wait until the end of the 490 years.  Yet even Bible teachers who agree that these changes in the sin condition of humanity have been accomplished still believe that this verse waits for future fulfillment.

Fulfilled Prophecies

Through Christ’s earthly ministry, however, all of the promises spoken by Gabriel in Daniel 9:24 have been fulfilled:  

       To finish the transgression:

The Israelites were taken in bondage to Babylon because of their disobedience.  There they remained for 70 years, after which the Israelites, when they were truly repentant of their idolatry, were allowed to return to their homeland .  The books of Ezra and Nehemiah show how the Israelites returned to the God who had delivered them from their enemies.

       To Make an End of Sin and Make Atonement for Iniquity

Jesus Christ had the sins of the entire world laid on Him while He was on the cross, as the following three passages state: 

  1. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all  To fall on Him (Isaiah 53:4-7). 
  2. He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:20-21). 
  3. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (I Peter 2:24).

    To Bring in Everlasting Righteousness

The word “righteousness” means “right-standing with God.”  As it says in II Corinthians 5:21, through Christ Jesus we have been made to be the righteousness of God:  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  

This condition is true for everyone who believes, not as a result of following the Law of Moses, but through faith in Christ’s complete atonement on the cross: But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (Romans 3:21-25).

To seal up vision and prophecy:

  1. But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:18). 
  2. So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; 23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22-23). 
  3. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth” (Ephesians 1:8-10).

To Anoint the Most Holy [One]

The word “place” is not present in the original language, so Bible translators and editors have added what they believe to be implied in the text.  I believe, however, that instead of “place” the word “One” should be used to connote Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.  He was anointed when He was crowned and was seated at the right hand of God, the Father, the event described by the Apostle Paul:  

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).

 Conclusion

Nothing in the context of this prophecy by Gabriel in Daniel 9 may be taken to mean that there will be a 2,000 year gap, or more, between the 69th and 70th weeks of the time periods designated for total fulfillment.  The diagram at the beginning of this post shows this graphically.  By doing an online image search, you will find many such diagrams, although a majority have some kind of gap between the 69th and 70th “Weeks” of the prophecy.

The results of this gap, a serious misreading that came about because of a preconceived idea, rather than true exegesis, have led to numerous false teachings about the End of the Age and Christ’s Second Coming.

What does this mean?  It means that we eagerly await His coming, not a rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem with renewed sacrifices.  Not a seven-year Great Tribulation period.  Not two second comings of Christ, but one glorious appearing when all shall see Him coming to take His Bride the Church.

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  1. Biblical Mysteries Revealed » The Kingdom of God: Revelation, Part V — July 1, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

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