FREE EBook – THE FIRST AND THE LAST by Ira Surface 1921
Republished by TheBibleGuy Thomas Spencer 2014
DANIEL’S SEVENTIETH WEEK
In this chapter we will try to make plain the meaning of Daniel’s seventieth week. In the first place, we will give attention to the interpretation of the seventy weeks, which was given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, Dan. 9:24-27:
“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.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
“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.
“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.”
This revelation to Daniel is one of the marvelous things of prophecy. It proves, in many respects, the accuracy of the scriptures. It forces us, if we wish to understand prophecy and apply it, to accept all scripture in the order in which it was given; this is especially true of the book of Revelation. If we change the order of the chapters in Revelation, then the book of Daniel, the prophecies of Isaiah, and much of Ezekiel become utterly unintelligible. Let us now notice the prophecy of the seventy weeks.
It is a fixed period of time, determined by God. “Seventy weeks are determined,” verse 24.
In this period of time the events prescribed concern Jerusalem and Daniel’s people, not the Gentiles, Dan. 10:14.
I. SEVENTY WEEKS DIVIDED
Notice how Gabriel divides this period of seventy weeks into seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week. This period of seventy weeks dates definitely from the month Nisan, which is Marc, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes. It was at this time that the commandment to rebuild the streets and walls of Jerusalem went forth. Neh. 2:1, 6: “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, . . . . and the king said unto me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall thy journey be? And when wilt thou return? Sot it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.”
This is the commandment which is referred to in Dan. 9:25: “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 time in the first division was seven weeks. In this first division the streets, walls, and the temple were restored.
Then we are told that after threescore and two weeks (62 weeks), shall Messiah be cut off. It was seven weeks, and sixty two weeks from the month Nisan in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes to the crucifixion of Christ. But Daniel was told that seventy weeks were determined; therefore we still have the seventieth week, which must be definitely located.
1. Seventy Weeks for Israel Only
Let me again call your attention to the important fact that these seventy weeks pertain to the Jews or Israel, only. This being true, then the time from the cutting off of Messiah to the beginning of the seventieth week will be a period which will pertain to the Gentiles, and not to the Jews. We have clearly shown that this is a period which is not counted in the Jewish calendar; neither are there any prophecies concerning it. God reckons time only as it directly concerns His people. This time of grace pertains to the Gentile church. It is an indefinite period in which the Holy Spirit is seeking out a people for the name of Christ, from among the Gentiles.
Now, we know definitely when this period of grace to the Gentiles commenced, but Jesus said no man knoweth the day nor the hour when it will end; however, we do know that it will continue until the time of which Paul speaks in Rom. 11:25, “Until the full measure of the Gentiles e come in.” We can not know when that measure will be full. On the contrary, there are scriptures which locate many things which are to take place during the last week of Daniel; therefore it is important that we consider this period, and its relative position to the other sixty nine weeks.
2. Time Value of the Week
God’s way of expressing time is very peculiar, but it is very definite. Many people carelessly pass over the time element in the scriptures. They satisfy themselves that there is no way of computing God’s weeks, months, and years, by saying that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. But let us carefully follow this part of our study and see if the scriptures will not reveal something to us.
Again, let us turn to Ezekiel 4:6, which reads: “When thou hast accomplished them, lie again on the right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days; I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Here God again uses the same measurement to express time value. We will now show, by actual facts, that this is the time value of Daniel’s seventy weeks.
“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.”
We read that the waters prevailed one hundred fifty days, Gen. 7:24. At the end of the one hundred fifty days the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat, “ in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month.” It was just five months, for he entered the ark on the seventeenth day of the second month; therefore, five months equal one hundred fifty days, thirty days to each month. This is the calendar system.
The fact that Dan. 9: 24-27 refers to Daniels people only is in perfect harmony with other facts of scripture, already set forth in the foregoing chapters of this treatise. When we are considering this portion of Revelation, we are considering the time when the fulfillment of prophecy is converging upon the Israel of God, and upon the incidents that will attend the final, deadly conflict between that chosen people and the Antichrist.
Now let us go back to the question of Daniel’s seventy prophetic weeks. As we have already stated, there were four hundred ninety calendar years in these seventy weeks. Scholars who have carefully computed the time, and compared the facts of history, tell us it was four hundred eighty-three years from the commandment of Artaxerxes to restore Jerusalem until the crucifixion of Christ. This is another illustration of the marvelous accuracy of prophecy. It also shows us how uncertain and misleading is the assumed right of many interpreters of the book of Revelation to dislocate the chapters. They mix the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials into a conglomerated mass, and then expect to understand and apply this prophecy of Daniel and other prophecies which refer to this time.
If we follow the rule of value which is given above, we have four hundred and ninety of these prophetic days, or four hundred and ninety calendar years. There were several systems of computing time. The lunar year had three hundred fifty four days; the solar year had three hundred sixty five days; the astronomical year, three hundred sixty five and one fourth days; the calendar year, three hundred sixty days. God never varies from His plan, even in computing time to His people, so we are not suiting our own convenience when we say the calendar year is the system we must use. How do we know God uses the calendar year? We will refer to the word of God in Gen. 7:11: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” The seventeenth day of the second month is definitely stated as the time when Noah entered into the ark. The thirteenth verse of the same chapter says, “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.”
Gabriel said, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city.” As we have said before, this does not mean Gentiles, so let us apply it to the Jews only, and it will make many things plain. Let us again notice the statement in Dan. 9:24:
First, we will turn to the words of God in Num. 14:34: “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” Here we have a clue to a very important part of Daniel’s prophecy, a day for a year. If we use this unit of time value, we can say, very definitely, that the week of which Daniel speaks will be just seven years in length.
3. “Time, Times, and Dividing of Time”
We have already shown the time value of Daniel’s seventieth week to be seven years. It is definitely set apart from the sixty-nine weeks as especially belonging to the “latter days.” While interpreting the expression, “time, times, and the dividing of time,” we wish to mention other similar references. We find this expression used twice in the book of Daniel and once in the book of Revelation.
From Dan. 7:25, we learn that the saints are to be given into the hands of the Antichrist until a “time and times and a dividing of time.” This is followed by the statement, in the twenty-eighth verse, “Hitherto is the end of the matter.” So we can clearly see that this expression has reference to the latter days of Daniel’s people, and to the latter part of the tribulation which is to come upon Israel, and upon the whole world, Rev. 3:10.
“It shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
This being a prophecy which refers directly to the Antichrist and to the time of the end, we shall find its fulfillment in the last part of Daniels seventieth week. We will now turn to Revelation for the explanation of this time value, for Revelation is the book of its fulfilment.
Again we have proven the last half of Daniels’ seventieth week to be three a nd a half years, and we know the first half must also be three and a half years. So it is established, beyond a doubt, that the seventieth week of Daniel will be just seven years.
This brings us to our next subject, the regathering of Israel.