Daniel 9:24 Seventy Weeks

Daniel 9:24

Verse-By-Verse Commentary 

By Dr. Grant C. Richison

For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.’”
 24     “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.”
Daniel earlier read in Jeremiah about the seventy-year exile of Israel (9:2).  Gabriel now reveals to Daniel Israel’s future by the vision of the seventy sevens (9:24-27).  “Seventy weeks” is literally seventy units of seven (seventy heptads, units of measure). 
·        Verse 24 gives a comprehensive picture of the entire prophecy.
·        Verse 25 presents the first 69 sevens (483 years).
·        Verse 26 gives the events between the 69th and 70thsevens.
·        Verse 27 concludes with a description of the 70th seven (7 years). 
The word “weeks” is misleading, for the Hebrew for “weeks” means literallysevens (heptads).  These sevens represent years in this passage because Israel was aware of weeks as years (Le 25:34).  They celebrated a Sabbath rest year after each six years of farming (Le 25:1-7).  Seven “sevens” of years (that is, 49 years) led to the Year of Jubilee (Le 25:8-12).  Those in the west think in terms of ten in measurement, whereas Jews thought in terms of seven. 
This vision is one of the most important prophesies of the Bible.  Seventy seven-years add up to 490 years.  Jerusalem suffered under Gentile rulers for seventy years (v.2) during the years of Daniel.  Jews (“your people”) and Jerusalem (“your holy city”) were to suffer under Gentiles for 490 years from the point of this prophecy.  There is an intercalation in these 490 years; God interrupts these years.  This prophecy has to do with Israel, not the church. 
The word “determined” means to cut off.  God will certainly cut off the seventy heptads at a predetermined time.  God fixed this time so that it cannot be changed.  The seventy sevens will end for Israel and Gentiles simultaneously at the Second Coming of Christ. 
The seventy heptads (490 years) concern “your people” (Israel) and “your holy city” (Jerusalem), so this prophecy relates primarily to Jews.  The prophecies of Daniel two, seven and eight relate to the Gentiles but this prophecy of Daniel nine relates principally to the Jews.  This prophecy does not concern itself with world history or church history, but with the history of the Jews and Jerusalem – “for your people and for your holy city.”  
Since Israel and Judah failed to follow the principle of letting farmland lie fallow once every seven years for 490 years, God forced them to make up for seventy sabbaths (Le 25:1-726:34-35) by sending them into captivity. It would take 490 years to make up for seventy sabbatical years.   That is why God established that the captivity to Neo-Babylonia last seventy years.
God gives six purposes for these 490 years.  The first three have to do with the sin of Israel and the last three with the kingdom:
1.      “To finish the transgression” – this will bring to end the rebellion and apostasy that sent Israel into captivity.
2.      “To make an end of sins” – Israel as a nation will go back intofellowship with God after the divine discipline of captivity.
3.      “To make reconciliation for iniquity” – restoration will bringexpiation or covering of past sins through the Messiah.
4.      “To bring in everlasting righteousness” – God will cause the restoration of Israel in the Millennium and will launch new norms where righteousness reigns. 
5.      “To seal up vision and prophecy” – God will seal this prophecy until the restoration at the Second Coming will fulfill God’s covenant for Israel. 
6.      “To anoint the Most Holy” – God will restore the Messiah in the restored temple. 
God will accomplish these six things in anticipation of the Millennial kingdom.  These things summarize God’s program to be true to His unconditional covenants such as the Abrahamic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant.
God already fulfilled some of these purposes.  God will complete Hisprogram for these six purposes when the 490 years run their course.  This program involves: 1) delivering Jews from the Babylonian captivity, 2) delivering them from sin at the Messiah’s advent, and 3) complete deliverance from oppression at the Second Coming of Christ.   
PRINCIPLE:  God has a fixed prophetic plan for His people and this world. 
APPLICATION:  The prophecy of the seventy heptads indicates that Israel’s kingdom did not come immediately in Daniel’s day.  The seventy heptads of the Times of the Gentiles must run their course.  When this happens, God will establish Israel as His nation once again in the Millennial Kingdom.  God is always true to His Word.