The Prophecy - Daniel 9:24-27 - Daniel's 70 Weeks
Old Testament Prophecy
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.
After the period of seven weeks (49 years), a period of 62 weeks (434 years) begins.
The phrase "the Messiah, the Prince" (Heb., mashiach nagid) is formal terminology that means "the Anointed One, the Ruler. " The Hebrew word translated "prince" (nagid) was first used of King Saul and then of other kings. It is a title associated with kingly authority and is applied here to the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ as a prince and ruler.(1)
The interpretation that makes the most sense (as to when the 62 Weeks conclude) is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem since that was when He was presented to the Jewish people as the Messianic Prince. The test of this theory is whether the triumphal entry occurred 173,880 days after the second decree of Artaxerxes.(1) Many biblical scholars believe that it was 69 Weeks to the day when this part of the prophecy came to an end. For more on this please read 69 Weeks To The Day.
Working from March 14, 445 B. C. (the date of Artaxerxes' second decree according to our calendar), Sir Robert Anderson calculated by the use of astronomical calendars and charts that the day of the coming of the Messiah was April 6, A. D. 32. Such calendars and charts helped him determine the timing of the Jewish new moons by which the Passovers were determined.(1)
This shows us that the sixty-nine weeks began with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and terminated at the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday of the week of the Lord's death. The corrected reading of Luke 19:42, spoken as our Lord came into Jerusalem on that day is most significant: "If thou also hadst known, even on this day, the things which belong to thy peace; but now they are hid from thine eyes!"(2)
It may be possible to give the exact date for the announcement of the Messiah's kingdom. The larger meaning of the passage is probably to understand that there will be 483 years between the time that God began to fulfill this word mentioned to Daniel and the time of the first advent of Messiah, without trying to nail down the precise day and month.(3)
The sixty-nine weeks leading to the coming of the Messiah are divided into two time periods of seven weeks (49 years) and sixty-two weeks (434 Years).
The end of the 69 weeks will be marked by the appearance of Messiah as the "Prince" of Israel. (2)
From The Talmud:
It may be that after Messiah made His appearance and was not accepted by the Sanhedrin Court (Israel's ruling religious leaders), some of the rabbis realized the mistake. This would justify the comment written a few hundred years later in the Talmud that says "All the predestined dates [for redemption] have passed, and the matter [now] depends only on repentance and good deeds. (From the Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 97b)(4)
Alternative Date Possibility:
Thus the first two segments of the important time period—the 7 sevens (49 years) and the 62 sevens (434 years)—ran consecutively with no time between them. They totaled 483 years and extended from March 5, 444 b.c. to March 30, a.d. 33. How can 444 b.c. to a.d. 33 equal 483 years? For an answer see the chart “The 483 Years In The Jewish And Gregorian Calendars.”(5)
This 434 years is often referred to as occurring between the return form Babylon and the age of the Maccabee's.
Here are some links that have been created to help move around inside of the Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy.
Other links of interest include:
1). John MacArthur
2). Things to Come. A Study in Biblical Eschatology by J. Dwight Pentecost p. 241-246.
3). The Messiah in the Old Testament by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. p.203.
4). Judaic Classics Library 2. (Soncino Talmud)
5). Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:1363