Go read! Insight on Daniel 9 from an amillennialist


As Christians are hurried toward the end of this age the prophecies of the Bible become even more compelling and necessary to us. We may not agree on some of these but we are all “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)  Old Testament prophecy can be extremely difficult to understand. The key is Jesus. As He is God – God in the flesh, the Son of the Father – He is the meaning of everything we find there. 


Daniel 9:24-27

NASB

24 “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. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

Jeremiah 25:11

11 This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Jeremiah 29:10-14

10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’


“How Does An Amillennialist Interpret Daniel 9?”

David MurrayProfessor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and Adjunct Faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary

“In effect, Gabriel said, Daniel, you’ve been thinking about the seventy years of exile for God’s people. Well that’s not the only seventy in God’s program for Jerusalem. In seventy periods of seven, Jerusalem will witness even greater things.’. . .”

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The Seventy Weeks of Daniel – when they began, and the Anointing of the Most Holy


Daniel 9:24-27

AKJV

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy 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. 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. 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. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.


Here is a little about Philip Mauro who wrote the following explanation of two things:

1) when the Seventy Weeks began, and

2) when the Anointing of the Most Holy took place.

Mauro’s explanation is clearer than many, and I hope this will be helpful no matter how we approach this wonderful and amazing book. Mauro was a dispensationalist for a time and lived in an incredible era in which the Scopes trial and the sinking of the Titanic occurred. Verse 27 isn’t the focus. 


Philip mauro

(1859-1952)

Philip Mauro in 1926“Mauro was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a lawyer who practiced before the Supreme Court, patent lawyer and also a Christian writer. He prepared briefs for the Scopes Trial. His works include God’s PilgrimsLife in the WordThe ChurchThe Churches and the KingdomThe Hope of IsraelRuthThe Satisfied StrangerThe Wonders of Bible ChronologyThe World and its GodThe Last Call to the Godly RemnantMore Than a ProphetDispensationalism Justifies the CrucifixionEvolution at the Bar and Things Which Soon Must Come to Pass.

“Mauro was a creationist and authored an anti-evolution book entitled Evolution at the Bar (1922).

“He married Emily Johnston Rockwood in 1882 and had two daughters, Margaret F. Mauro and Isabel Rockwood Mauro (later Mrs. Charles Stratton French). Together with his daughter Margaret, Mauro was a passenger on the British ocean liner RMS Carpathia when it rescued the passengers of the Titanic in April 1912.”

Wikipedia


Luke 4:16-21

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Acts 10:38

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.


PreteristArchive.com | A Balanced Look at Fulfilled Bible Prophecy

The Chronology of the Bible

Philip Mauro, 1922

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 – When do they Begin and End?

CHAPTER 14

“Some questions of deepest interest arise in connection with the period covered by our last chronological table; but they are questions of interpretation of Scripture, rather than questions of chronology. All expositors are agreed (so far as we are aware) that the message brought by Gabriel to Daniel gives the measure of years, from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah, the Prince, as sixtynine sevens of years, that is, 483 years. But there is much difference of opinion as to, firsit, which decree it was from which the time began to run, and second, what event it was in the lifetime of our Lord to which the 483 years reached. It is manifest that, unless those two points (the beginning and the ending of the 483 years) can be established with certainty, we cannot continue our chronology down to the Cross and Resurrection of Christ, and the dated line so carefully preserved for 3500 years would fail to reach its objective. But, after much study of the entire subject, we are convinced that the Scriptures do not leave us in uncertainty as to those necessary matters of fact, but that, on the contrary, both events are marked and dated with unusual exactitude. Furthermore, it has become quite clear to us that the differences of opinion, to which we are referred, have arisen altogether from the fact that some of our able chronologists and expositors have adopted the mistaken estimates of Ptolemy as the foundation of their systems of dates, instead of grounding themselves upon the chronology of the Bible. Having committed themselves to a chronological scheme which makes the era of the Persian Empire about 80 years too long, they have been compelled to construe the statements of Scripture in such wise as to force them into agreement with that scheme; and inasmuch as the measure of 483 years from the first year of Cyrus would, if Ptolemy’s table be accepted, come short, by many years, of any event in the lifetime of Christ, one must either abandon that table, or else must search for a decree of a Persian king, many years nearer to Christ, to serve as the starting point of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel. The trouble, therefore, is not because of any uncertainty in the Scriptures, but that expositors have turned aside from the Scriptures, and have accepted for the 500 years immediately preceding the coming of Christ, a defective chronology based upon heathen traditions.

In another place we have discussed at considerable length the many interesting questions that have arisen concerning the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, so we shall not go extensively into that subject here. It is appropriate, however, that the main reasons for the conclusions we have reached should be set forth with sufficient fullness to enable the readers of this book to examine them in the light of Scripture.

“Our main conclusions are:

“First, that the canon of Ptolemy is untrustworthy as a basis for a system of chronology, its statements being not authenticated in any way; and that, therefore, it should be rejected as unworthy of our confidence, even if it did not come into conflict with the statements of Scripture;

“Second, that ‘the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,’ from which the prophetic period of Seventy Weeks began to run (Dan. 9:25), was the decree of Cyrus the Great, referred to in Ezra 1:1-4;

“Third, that the 483-year period of Daniel 9:25, reaching ‘unto the Messiah, the Prince,’ ended at the baptism of our Lord, in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, when He was thirty years of age. . .

“The words ‘the Messiah the Prince’ indicate the goal towards which the long chronological line of the Bible had been steadily advancing. In the days of Daniel the voice of prophecy was about to cease, and the inspired history of God’s ancient people was about to come to an end. But, before the sacred record closed, the last stage of the chronology of the Old Testament was made known to ‘Daniel the Prophet,’ and by him was recorded in ‘the Scriptures of Truth.’ From the going forth of the decree of Cyrus, unto the greater Deliverer, of whom Cyrus was a remarkable type, was to be a stretch of sixtynine ‘sevens’ of years.

“The words ‘unto the Messiah’ tell us with all requisite clearness and certainty to just what point in the life-time of Jesus Christ the measure of 69 sevens (483 years) reaches. The word Messiah (equivalent to the Greek Christos) means ‘the anointed.’ We ask, therefore, where, in the earthlife of our Lord, was He anointed and presented to Israel? The answer is clearly given in the Gospels and Acts. It was at His baptism in Jordan; for then it was that the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in bodily shape as a dove; and then it was thatJohn the Baptist bore witness to Him as the Son of God, and the Lamb of God. As the apostle Peter declared: ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power’ (Acts 10:38); and from that time He gave Himself to His public Messianic ministry as a ‘minister of the circumcision.’

“To this important matter we have also the Lord’s own testimony. For, after His return in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, where, according to Isaiah 9:1,2, the ‘Great Light’ was to arise (see also Mat. 3 :12-16), He went on the Sabbath day into the synagogue in Nazareth, and read from the prophet Isaiah these memorable words: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor’; and then, having sat down, and the eyes of all being fastened intently upon Him, He said, ‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears’ (Luke 4 :16-21) . Thus the Lord declared Himself to be at that time the ‘Anointed’ One, that is the Messiah.

“John the Baptist was sent to ‘bear witness’ of Christ, and ‘that He should be made manifest to Israel’ (John 1:6,7,31). this special ministry of John was discharged by him at the time of Christ’s baptism. When, therefore, the Lord Jesus had been ‘anointed’ with the Holy Ghost, and had been ‘made manifest to Israel’ by the witness of John, then the words of the prophecy ‘unto the Anointed One’ were completely fulfilled. From that great and wonderful event, down to the day of His death, He was constantly before the people of Israel in His Messianic character, and was devoting Himself continuously to the fulfilling of His Messianic service, in going about doing good, manifesting the Father’s Name, doing the Father’s works, speaking the Father’s words, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the glad-tidings of the Kingdom of God.

“Indeed, even before He announced Himself in the synagogue in Nazareth as God’s ‘Anointed One,’ He had plainly said to the woman of Samaria (when she spoke of ‘Messias, Who is called Christ’) ‘I that speak unto thee am He’ (John 4:25,26). Moreover, to the Samaritans who came out to see Him upon hearing the woman’s report and her question ‘Is not this the Messiah?’, He so fully revealed Himself that they were constrained to confess Him, saying, ‘We have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ (the Anointed One) the Saviour of the world’ (v.42).

“Again, the purpose, as well as the effect, of the ministry of John the Baptist’s public testimony toChrist is clearly revealed by the words of those who, upon hearing that testimony, followed Him. We read that ‘One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him (Jesus) was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ’ (John 1:40,41).

“In these Scriptures the Holy Spirit has caused the important fact that Jesus was the Anointed One to be stated both in Hebrew and in Greek, so that the significance of it should not be lost. That ‘this Jesus is the Christ’ is the great point of apostolic testimony (Acts 17:3); and it is the substance of ‘our faith,’ for ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God’ (I John 5:1,4,5). It is also the Rock-foundation upon which He builds His church (Mat. 16:18; I Cor. 3:11).

“Thus the Spirit of God has been pleased to give us proof upon proof that, from our Lord’s baptism and manifestation to Israel, He was, in the fullest sense, the Messiah or the Anointed of God. Manifestly there was no previous event in the earthly lifetime of our Lord which could be taken as meeting in any way the words of Gabriel. And it is equally clear that no subsequent event could be taken as the fulfillment of those words. For there was, and could be, no subsequent occasion when the Lord was any more the ‘Anointed One’ than when the Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism. Thus the Scriptures absolutely shut us up to the Lord’s baptism, as the occasion when He was Anointed, and presented to Israel in His Messianic office. His baptism then marked the termination of the 69 weeks of Daniel 9:25, and the beginning of the 70th week from the starting point of that prophecy.

“But, on top of all the foregoing evidences is the culminating proof found in the fact that this epoch (His baptism), and this alone, is formally dated in the Scriptures (and in the most conspicuous way), and His age at the time is stated. For in Luke 3:1-3 the era of the preaching and baptism of John is given with extraordinary minuteness, which certifies to us that this era has a place of special importance in connection with the chronology of Scripture as a whole. It is an impressive fact that both the decree of Cyrus, and the baptism of John — that is to say, both the beginning and the ending of the sixty-nine weeks — are set forth with great particularity, and that they are given with reference to the reigns of Gentile rulers. One is given as occurring ‘in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,’ and the other ‘in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. . .’ This is an indication that the things which were to be consummated within the time-limit of seventy weeks were not matters which concerned the Jews only, but were of world-wide interest, having to do with the salvation of Gentiles as well as Jews. God’s dealings theretofore had been matters of Jewish history; but now, beginning with the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord,’ a new era was beginning, one in which God’s dealings were to be matters of world history. It is appropriate, therefore, that we should have at this point a change from terms of Jewish to terms of Gentile chronology.”


 

Four very different approaches to the Book of Revelation – Resources



2 Corinthians 13:11

NASB

11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.


Intro

Throughout church history, there have been four different views regarding the book of Revelation: idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. The idealist view teaches that Revelation describes in symbolic language the battle throughout the ages between God and Satan and good against evil. The preterist view teaches that the events recorded in the book of Revelation were largely fulfilled in AD 70 with the fall of the Jerusalem Temple. The historicist view teaches that the book of Revelation is a symbolic presentation of church history beginning in the first century AD through the end of age. . . The futurist view teaches that Revelation prophesies events that will take place in the future. . .

Dr. Patrick Zukeran, Four Views of Revelation

I’ve come to believe that if we would try to see what other Christians have observed and taught in different views of Revelation, that we would grow in love and discernment. That’s why the following comment on Puritan Board makes sense. Obviously this can’t mean that all of the views are completely Biblical and therefore of equal value. With one exception, we aren’t speaking about heresy. 


PURITAN BOARD forum

THREAD ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

Historicist Hermeneutic: No Longer Feasible?

Comment by “greenbaggins,” Administrator and Staff Member

[Emphasis added]

“While I have some sympathy with the historicist idea that Revelation is a road-map of history, the problem is that historical identifications with elements in Revelation become, if not fanciful, at the very least, highly debatable. It is my opinion (along with Poythress) that Revelation has seven cycles of seven, wherein each cycle crescendos from the previous cycle, thus climaxing each cycle with the second coming.

Each of the four main interpretive approaches to Revelation has strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the preterist is that John wrote Revelation to a certain audience at a certain time, and any interpretation which fails to take this into consideration will get considerably jumbled. However, preterists go too far when they limit the applicability of Revelation to the first-century (either too much, as in partial preterists, or much too much, as in the heretical full preterists). Revelation is part of the canon. It must apply not only to the first-century audience, but also to the church of all ages. It does speak of the second coming of Christ and the new heavens and new earth, and not just in the last three chapters.

“The futurist approach’s strength is in recognizing the references to the second coming, and giving them full weight. Futurists tend to forget, however, the historical situatedness of Revelation. They also forget (sometimes) Revelation’s canonical status, applying to the church of all ages. They have, therefore, the corresponding and opposite strengths and weaknesses of the preterite positions.

“The strength of the historicist position is in recognizing Revelation’s canonical status, and that therefore it must apply to the church of all ages. The weakness has been already identified above, as its historical identifications are quite tenuous. I find myself thinking, ‘Yeah, possibly, but couldn’t it also mean a dozen other historical events?’

“The strength of the idealist position is in recognizing the cyclical (or better yet, spiral) nature of Revelation. Some idealist positions have a weakness, however, in de-concretizing the imagery of Revelation, and making just about everything quite vague.

“I believe that the strongest interpretation of Revelation will take elements of truth from all the four approaches, while seeking to minimize their weaknesses. As such, there are three main areas of applicability, all of which have to have their day in court: the first century, the history of the church, and the second coming of Christ. This is why I advocate a modified idealist approach wherein the beginning and the end both get full attention, and not just the cycles of how God works in history. I believe that John is describing over and over again (seven times, in fact) the time between the first and second coming of Christ.”


Hattip: Meg’s blog, The Antipas Chronicles

SO FAR MUST THE BEAST HAVE A HAND IN IT


RESOURCES

Chart explaining the major distinctive of each view of Revelation:
Historicism.com

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The Four Views of Revelation

Preterism

Partial Preterism (orthodox)

Full Preterism (heretical)

Futurism

Historicism

Idealism

(The most recent of the major approaches to Revelation)


Four Views of Revelation

Dr. Patrick Zukeran

Dr. Patrick Zukeran presents a summary of four of the major approaches to interpreting the book of Revelation and its meaning for the end times. . . For each, he presents the basic approach, strengths of the approach and weaknesses of the approach. Recognizing that God is the central mover in all of these, he encourages us to keep these questions from dividing Christians in our mission of sharing Christ with the world.


Interpreting Revelation

Dr. Cornelis P. Venema

One helpful way to meet the challenge of interpreting the book of Revelation is to become acquainted with some of the main approaches to its interpretation. In the history of the church, five predominant approaches have emerged: the futurist, the preterist, the historicist, the idealist, and the eclectic approach. While these approaches are not necessarily incompatible at every point, they represent distinct views of the message and themes of Revelation. Familiarity with these approaches, though no substitute for a direct reading and interpretation of Revelation, does provide a helpful map of the well-traveled paths that previous interpreters have found illuminating.


 

Insights Into Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks from Matthew Henry’s Commentary

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Daniel 9:20-27

20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy 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. 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. 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. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

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Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible 

(Christian Classics Ethereal Library)

(Matthew Henry – 1662-1714)

III. The message itself. It was delivered with great solemnity, received no doubt with great attention, and recorded with great exactness; but in it, as is usual in prophecies, there are things dark and hard to be understood. Daniel, who understood by the book of the prophet Jeremiah the expiration of the seventy years of the captivity, is now honourably employed to make known to the church another more glorious release, which that was but a shadow of, at the end of another seventy, not years, but weeks of years. He prayed over that prophecy, and received this in answer to that prayer. He had prayed for his people and the holy city—that they might be released, that it might be rebuilt; but God answers him above what he was able to ask or think. God not only grants, but outdoes, the desires of those that fear him, Ps. xxi. 4.

  1. The times here determined are somewhat hard to be understood. In general, it is seventy weeks, that is, seventy times seven years, which makes just 490 years. The great affairs that are yet to come concerning the people of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem, will lie within the compass of these years.

(1.) These years are thus described by weeks, [1.] In conformity to the prophetic style, which is, for the most part, abstruse, and out of the common road of speaking, that the things foretold might not lie too obvious. [2.] To put an honour upon the division of time into weeks, which is made purely by the sabbath day, and to signify that that should be perpetual. [3.] With reference to the seventy years of the captivity; as they had been so long kept out of the possession of their own land, so, being now restored to it they should seven times as long be kept in the possession of it. So much more does God delight in showing mercy than in punishing. The land had enjoyed its sabbaths, in a melancholy sense, seventy years, Lev. xxvi. 34. But now the people of the Lord shall, in a comfortable sense, enjoy their sabbaths seven times seventy years, and in them seventy sabbatical years, which makes ten jubilees. Such proportions are there in the disposals of Providence, that we might see and admire the wisdom of him who has determined the times before appointed.

(2.) The difficulties that arise about these seventy weeks are, [1.] Concerning the time when they commence and whence they are to be reckoned. They are here dated from the going forth of the commandments to restore and to build Jerusalem, v. 25. I should most incline to understand this of the edict of Cyrus mentioned Ezra i. 1, for by it the people were restored; and, though express mention be not made there of the building of Jerusalem, yet that is supposed in the building of the temple, and was foretold to be done by Cyrus, Isa. xliv. 28. He shall say to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built. That was, both in prophecy and in history, the most famous decree for the building of Jerusalem; nay, it should seem, this going forth of the commandment (which may as well be meant of God’s command concerning it as of Cyrus’s) is the same with that going forth of the commandment mentioned v. 23, which was at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications. And it looks very graceful that the seventy weeks should begin immediately upon the expiration of the seventy years. And there is nothing to be objected against this but that by this reckoning the Persian monarchy, from the taking of Babylon by Cyrus to Alexander’s conquest of Darius, lasted but 130 years; whereas, by the particular account given of the reigns of the Persian emperors, it is computed that it continued 230 years. So Thucydides, Xenophon, and others reckon. Those who fix it to that first edict set aside these computations of the heathen historians as uncertain and not to be relied upon. But others, willing to reconcile them, begin the 490 years, not at the edict of Cyrus (Ezra i. 1), but at the second edict for the building of Jerusalem, issued out by Darius Nothus above 100 years after, mentioned Ezra vi. Others fix on the seventh year of Artaxerxes Mnemon, who sent Ezra with a commission, Ezra vii. 8-12. The learned Mr. Poole, in his Latin Synopsis, has a vast and most elaborate collection of what has been said, pro and con, concerning the different beginnings of these weeks, with which the learned may entertain themselves. [2.] Concerning the termination of them; and here likewise interpreters are not agreed. Some make them to end at the death of Christ, and think the express words of this famous prophecy will warrant us to conclude that from this very hour when Gabriel spoke to Daniel, at the time of the evening oblation, to the hour when Christ died, which was towards evening too, it was exactly 490 years; and I am willing enough to be of that opinion. But others think, because it is said that in the midst of the weeks (that is, the last of the seventy weeks) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, they end three years and a half after the death of Christ, when the Jews having rejected the gospel, the apostles turned to the Gentiles. But those who make them to end precisely at the death of Christ read it thus, “He shall make strong the testament to the many; the last seven, or the last week, yea, half that seven, or half that week (namely, the latter half, the three years and a half which Christ spent in his public ministry), shall bring to an end sacrifice and oblation.” Others make these 490 years to end with the destruction of Jerusalem, about thirty-seven years after the death of Christ, because these seventy weeks are said to be determined upon the people of the Jews and the holy city; and much is said here concerning the destruction of the city and the sanctuary. [3.] Concerning the division of them into seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, and one week; and the reason of this is as hard to account for as any thing else. In the first seven weeks, or forty-nine years, the temple and city were built; and in the last single week Christ preached his gospel, by which the Jewish economy was taken down, and the foundations were laid of the gospel city and temple, which were to be built upon the ruins of the former.

(3.) But, whatever uncertainty we may labour under concerning the exact fixing of these times, there is enough clear and certain to answer the two great ends of determining them. [1.] It did serve them to raise and support the expectations of believers. There were general promises of the coming of the Messiah made to the patriarchs; the preceding prophets had often spoken of him as one that should come, but never was the time fixed for his coming until now. And, though there might be so much doubt concerning the date of this reckoning that they could not ascertain the time just to a year, yet by the light of this prophecy they were directed about what time to expect him. And we find, accordingly, that when Christ came he was generally looked for as the consolation of Israel, and redemption in Jerusalem by him, Luke ii. 25, 38. There were those that for this reason thought the kingdom of God should immediately appear (Luke xix. 11), and some think it was this that brought a more than ordinary concourse of people to Jerusalem, Acts ii. 5. [2.] It does serve still to refute and silence the expectations of unbelievers, who will not own that Jesus is he who should come, but still look for another. This prediction should silence them, and will condemn them; for, reckon these seventy weeks from which of the commandments to build Jerusalem we please, it is certain that they have expired above 1500 years ago; so that the Jews are for ever without excuse, who will not own that the Messiah has come when they have gone so far beyond their utmost reckoning for his coming. But by this we are confirmed in our belief of the Messiah’s being come, and that our Jesus is he, that he came just at the time prefixed, a time worthy to be had in everlasting remembrance.

  1. The events here foretold are more plain and easy to be understood, at least to us now. Observe what is here foretold,

(1.) Concerning the return of the Jews now speedily to their own land, and their settlement again there, which was the thing that Daniel now principally prayed for; and yet it is but briefly touched upon here in the answer to his prayer. Let this be a comfort to the pious Jews, that a commandment shall go forth to restore and to build Jerusalem, v. 25. And the commandment shall not be in vain; for though the times will be very troublous, and this good work will meet with great opposition, yet it shall be carried on, and brought to perfection at last. The street shall be built again, as spacious and splendid as ever it was, and the walls, even in troublous times. Note, as long as we are here in this world we must expect troublous times, upon some account or other. Even when we have joyous times we must rejoice with trembling; it is but a gleam, it is but a lucid interval of peace and prosperity; the clouds will return after the rain. When the Jews are restored in triumph to their own land, yet there they must expect troublous times, and prepare for them. But this is our comfort, that God will carry on his own work, will build up his Jerusalem, will beautify it, will fortify it, even in troublous times; nay, the troublousness of the times may by the grace of God contribute to the advancement of the church. The more it is afflicted the more it multiplies.

(2.) Concerning the Messiah and his undertaking. The carnal Jews looked for a Messiah that could deliver them from the Roman yoke and give them temporal power and wealth, whereas they were here told that the Messiah should come upon another errand, purely spiritual, and upon the account of which he should be the more welcome. [1.] Christ came to take away sin, and to abolish that. Sin had made a quarrel between God and man, had alienated men from God and provoked God against man; it was this that put dishonour upon God and brought misery upon mankind; this was the great mischief-maker. He that would do God a real service, and man a real kindness, must be the destruction of this. Christ undertakes to be so, and for this purpose he is manifested, to destroy the works of the devil. He does not say to finish your transgressions and your sins, but transgression and sin in general, for he is the propitiation not only for our sins, that are Jews, but for the sins of the whole world. He came, First, To finish transgression, to restrain it (so some), to break the power of it, to bruise the head of that serpent that had done so much mischief, to take away the usurped dominion of that tyrant, and to set up a kingdom of holiness and love in the hearts of men, upon the ruins of Satan’s kingdom there, that, where sin and death had reigned, righteousness and life through grace might reign. When he died he said, It is finished; sin has now had its death-wound given it, like Samson’s, Let me die with the Philistines. Animamque in vulnere ponit—He inflicts the wound and dies. Secondly, To make an end of sin, to abolish it, that it may not rise up in judgment against us, to obtain the pardon of it, that it may not be our ruin, to seal up sins (so the margin reads it), that they may not appear or break out against us, to accuse and condemn us, as, when Christ cast the devil into the bottomless pit, he set a seal upon him, Rev. xx. 3. When sin is pardoned it is sought for and not found, as that which is sealed up. Thirdly, To make reconciliation for iniquity, as by a sacrifice, to satisfy the justice of God and so to make peace and bring God and man together, not only as an arbitrator, or referee, who only brings the contending parties to a good understanding one of another, but as a surety, or undertaker, for us. He is not only the peace-maker, but the peace. He is the atonement. [2.] He came to bring in an everlasting righteousness. God might justly have made an end of the sin by making an end of the sinner; but Christ found out another way, and so made an end of sin as to save the sinner from it, by providing a righteousness for him. We are all guilty before God, and shall be condemned as guilty, if we have not a righteousness wherein to appear before him. Had we stood, our innocency would have been our righteousness, but, having fallen, we must have something else to plead; and Christ has provided us a plea. The merit of his sacrifice is our righteousness; with this we answer all the demands of the law; Christ has died, yea, rather, has risen again. Thus Christ is the Lord our righteousness, for he is made of God to us righteousness, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. By faith we apply this to ourselves and plead it with God, and our faith is imputed to us for righteousness, Rom. iv. 3, 5. This is an everlasting righteousness, for Christ, who is our righteousness, and the prince of our peace, is the everlasting Father. It was from everlasting in the counsels of it and will be to everlasting in the consequences of it. The application of it was from the beginning, for Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and it will be to the end, for he is able to save to the uttermost. It is of everlasting virtue (Heb. x. 12); it is the rock that follows us to Canaan. [3.] He came to seal up the vision and prophecy, all the prophetical visions of the Old Testament, which had reference to the Messiah. He sealed them up, that is, he accomplished them, answered to them to a tittle; all things that were written in the law, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning the Messiah, were fulfilled in him. Thus he confirmed the truth of them as well as his own mission. He sealed them up, that is, he put an end to that method of God’s discovering his mind and will, and took another course by completing the scripture-canon in the New Testament, which is the more sure word of prophecy than that by vision, 2 Pet. i. 19; Heb. i. 1. [4.] He came to anoint the most holy, that is, himself, the Holy One, who was anointed (that is, appointed to his work and qualified for it) by the Holy Ghost, that oil of gladness which he received without measure, above his fellows; or to anoint the gospel-church, his spiritual temple, or holy place, to sanctify and cleanse it, and appropriate it to himself (Eph. v. 26), or to consecrate for us a new and living way into the holiest, by his own blood (Heb. x. 20), as the sanctuary was anointed, Exod. xxx. 25, &c. He is called Messiah (v. 25, 26), which signifies Christ-Anointed (John i. 41), because he received the unction both for himself and for all that are his. [5.] In order to all this the Messiah must be cut off, must die a violent death, and so be cut off from the land of the living, as was foretold, Isa. liii. 8. Hence, when Paul preaches the death of Christ, he says that he preached nothing but what the prophet said should come, Acts xxvi. 22, 23. And thus it behoved Christ to suffer. He must be cut off, but not for himself—not for any sin of his own, but, as Caiaphas prophesied, he must die for the people, in our stead and for our good,—not for any advantage of his own (the glory he purchased for himself was no more than the glory he had before, John xvii. 4, 5); no; it was to atone for our sins, and to purchase life for us, that he was cut off. [6.] He must confirm the covenant with many. He shall introduce a new covenant between God and man, a covenant of grace, since it had become impossible for us to be saved by a covenant of innocence. This covenant he shall confirm by his doctrine and miracles, by his death and resurrection, by the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper, which are the seals of the New Testament, assuring us that God is willing to accept us upon gospel-terms. His death made his testament of force, and enabled us to claim what is bequeathed by it. He confirmed it to the many, to the common people; the poor were evangelized, when the rulers and Pharisees believed not on him. Or, he confirmed it with many, with the Gentile world. The New Testament was not (like the Old) confined to the Jewish church, but was committed to all nations. Christ gave his life a ransom for many. [7.] He must cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. By offering himself a sacrifice once for all he shall put an end to all the Levitical sacrifices, shall supersede them and set them aside; when the substance comes the shadows shall be done away. He causes all the peace-offerings to cease when he has made peace by the blood of his cross, and by it confirmed the covenant of peace and reconciliation. By the preaching of his gospel to the world, with which the apostles were entrusted, he took men off from expecting remission by the blood of bulls and goats, and so caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease. The apostle in his epistle to the Hebrews shows what a better priesthood, altar, and sacrifice, we have now than they had under the law, as a reason why we should hold fast our profession.

(3.) Concerning the final destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish church and nation; and this follows immediately upon the cutting off of the Messiah, not only because it was the just punishment of those that put him to death, which was the sin that filled up the measure of their iniquity and brought ruin upon them, but because, as things were, it was necessary to the perfecting of one of the great intentions of his death. He died to take away the ceremonial law, quite to abolish that law of commandments, and to vacate the obligation of it. But the Jews would not be persuaded to quit it; still they kept it up with more zeal than ever; they would hear no talk of parting with it; they stoned Stephen (the first Christian martyr) for saying that Jesus should change the customs which Moses delivered them (Acts vi. 14); so that there was no way to abolish the Mosaic economy but by destroying the temple, and the holy city, and the Levitical priesthood, and that whole nation which so incurably doted on them. This was effectually done in less than forty years after the death of Christ, and it was a desolation that could never be repaired to this day. And this is it which is here largely foretold, that the Jews who returned out of captivity might not be overmuch lifted up with the rebuilding of their city and temple, because in process of time they would be finally destroyed, and not as now for seventy years only, but might rather rejoice in hope of the coming of the Messiah, and the setting up of his spiritual kingdom in the world, which should never be destroyed. Now, [1.] It is here foretold that the people of the prince that shall come shall be the instruments of this destruction, that is, the Roman armies, belonging to a monarchy yet to come (Christ is the prince that shall come, and they are employed by him in this service; they are his armies, Matt. xxii. 7), or the Gentiles (who, though now strangers, shall become the people of the Messiah) shall destroy the Jews. [2.] That the destruction shall be by war, and the end of that war shall be this desolation determined. The wars of the Jews with the Romans were by their own obstinacy made very long and very bloody, and they issued at length in the utter extirpation of that people. [3.] That the city and sanctuary shall in a particular manner be destroyed and laid quite waste. Titus the Roman general would fain have saved the temple, but his soldiers were so enraged against the Jews that he could not restrain them from burning it to the ground, that this prophecy might be fulfilled. [4.] That all the resistance that shall be made to this destruction shall be in vain: The end of it shall be with a flood. It shall be a deluge of destruction, like that which swept away the old world, and which there will be no making head against. [5.] That hereby the sacrifice and oblation shall be made to cease. And it must needs cease when the family of the priests was so extirpated, and the genealogies of it were so confounded, that (they say) there is no man in the world that can prove himself of the seed of Aaron. [6.] that there shall be an overspreading of abominations, a general corruption of the Jewish nation and an abounding of iniquity among them, for which it shall be made desolate, 1 Thess. ii. 16. Or it is rather to be understood of the armies of the Romans, which were abominable to the Jews (they could not endure them), which overspread the nation, and by which it was made desolate; for these are the words which Christ refers to, Matt. xxiv. 15, When you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel, stand in the holy place, then let those who shall be in Judea flee, which is explained Luke xxi. 20, When you shall see Jerusalem encompassed with armies then flee. [7.] That the desolation shall be total and final: He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, that is, he shall make it completely desolate. It is a desolation determined, and it will be accomplished to the utmost. And when it is made desolate, it should seem, there is something more determined that is to be poured upon the desolate (v. 27), and what should that be but the spirit of slumber (Rom. xi. 8, 25), that blindness which has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in? And then all Israel shall be saved.

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From Christian Classics Ethereal Library:

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible is well-known and well-loved. His commentary is aimed primarily at explanation and edification, as opposed to textual research. Comprehensive, this commentary provides instruction and encouragement throughout. Each volume of the commentary comes with its own introduction, helpfully situating it for the reader. Although written in an older style, Matthew Henry’sCommentary on the Whole Bible is worth studying and is useful for pastors, theologians, and students of the Bible.

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Resources for studying Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventieth Week

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Daniel 9:24-27

King James Version

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy 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.

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.

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.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

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Luke 4:17-21

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

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Matthew 26:27-28

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

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God is not the author of confusion in our worship, or doctrine (1 Cor. 14:32-34). So how are we to understand the fact that Christians who love the Lord, and seek to understand and obey His Word, disagree about important things? Perhaps what Jesus said in the parable of the wheat and the tares, applies here: “An enemy has done this” (Matt. 13:24-30).

One thing on which we disagree is the Seventieth Week of Daniel. Some believe that its events are yet to be fulfilled in a final seven-year Tribulation, and some believe they were fulfilled by Jesus at His first coming – two completely different views. 

The important thing isn’t what we have been taught by those we respect, or what we have always believed. Or what the majority view is in our day, or what it was for earlier Christians. What is important is what God has revealed to us for our instruction and edification in His Word.  

Take heart, for the Lord promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth!

John 16:13

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” 

Studying the Seventieth week of Daniel can be a lifelong project. Forgive me and correct me if you believe I have got it wrong.

Because of my interest in the Papacy, in the last year I began to study a view of prophecy called Historicism, the view that prophecy has been fulfilled, and is being fulfilled throughout history. During this same time, I learned that the other two views of prophecy, Futurism (the view that most prophecies will be fulfilled during a final seven-year tribulation) and Preterism (the view that almost all New Testament prophecy was fulfilled with the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 A.D.), were the brain-children of Jesuit authors (Ribera and Lacunza; and Alcazar).

These men invented these views, which became the popular ones, in order to prove that the Pope could not be the man of sin, as Christians declared, for the man of sin was one of two entities: someone who would appear at the very End of the Age, or the Emperor Nero. For me, the Jesuit origin of Futurism cast suspicion upon the whole scenario of a seven-year Tribulation at the End of the Age – the “postponed” Seventieth Week of Daniel.

So, if you believe that the Seventieth Week lies in the future, or if you are a Preterist, I invite you to look at the Biblical evidence again. Being a Berean is a necessity. 

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Online articles

The Seventy Weeks

Interpreting Daniel – A Premillennial Historicist Study of the Book of Daniel

Confirming The Covenant – Who Confirms the Covenant?

Shutting, sealing, and covering – or Messiah’s glorious work by Charles Spurgeon (Daniel 9:24) (pdf download)

John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible – Daniel 9

The Rapture of the Saints by Duncan McDougall

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A video presentation

Paul Flynn’s video “Daniel’s Seventieth Week – A Past or Future Event?” examines the Biblical basis for knowing that these prophecies have been fulfilled. It is a long video – Paul takes his time explaining things. He is a member of Arann Reformed Baptist Church in Dublin.

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