The Prophet Daniel’s special interest was in his people Israel. The nation was under the oppression of the Gentile kingdoms, because of their unfaithfulness to God. Knowing that the period of desolation upon Judea was nearly complete (Jeremiah 9:10; 2 Chronicles 36:20-23), Daniel prayed earnestly for the return of God’s favor to Israel (Daniel 9:2-19).
Daniel feared that the desolations upon his people were to be prolonged 2300 days more because of the vision given to him in Daniel 8:13, 14. God corrected his misunderstanding by sending Gabriel with a comforting message. Gabriel told him the desolations would end when the 70 years were complete and that the walls of the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt. (Daniel 9:21-27)
A key by which nearly all time or symbolic prophecy can be unlocked is the Biblical usage of “a day for a year” (Compare Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6; Daniel 12:11, 12). This “symbolic” counting helps us to determine these visions given to Daniel. Here we note that the “seventy weeks” (Daniel 9:24, 25) or 490 days, fulfilled in 490 years (“a day for a year”), are also the forepart of the 2300 days (years) prophecy. Thus these periods of Israel’s history have a starting point—from the going forth of a decree “to restore and to build Jerusalem”, i.e., the walls of the city. (Nehemiah 2:3-8; 4:7, 17; 6:15)
Why was the Seventy Weeks vision given? This prophecy alone marked the date of the First Advent. We shall see this date clearly revealed along with the given starting point, as we progress through the context of the prophecy…
Sixty-nine weeks (“seven
From this point, we find the 70th week fulfilled like the rest—“a day for a year”. After 69 weeks shall the anointed one be cut off (“be slain”, Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 53:8-12) and “he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease”. The sacrifices offered according to the Law there ceased—they were no longer accepted as sacrifices for sin by God. The true sacrifice had come—Jesus, having “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:23, 26). There Messiah finished the work (John 19:30; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and “made an end of sin”, full reconciliation for the sins of the world! In the latter half of the 70th week (3 ½ years) the last week of Jewish favor, the “most holy” of that nation were anointed with the holy spirit of God, called Pentecost!