Daniel’s 70-week prophecy

Daniel 9 is a prophecy about the first coming of Christ. It would take 70-weeks from Artaxerxes’ (King of Persia) commandment to rebuild Jerusalem to the death of Jesus. It also describes how the death of Jesus brought forgiveness to the people of Israel and declared the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

Daniel 9:24-27

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's 70-week prophecy refers to the people of Israel and Jerusalem. Daniel was praying to God for the sins of his people, asking for forgiveness on their behalf when the angel Gabriel came to speak to him. Gabriel answered Daniel’s questions regarding Israel, the people and Jerusalem. Gabriel said the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was going to come and die for the people of Israel, to finish transgressions, making an end of sin and bringing in everlasting righteousness, therefore resolving Israel's sin and captivity to fulfil the promises made to Abraham.

25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.

The timeline from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem to the time of Jesus' death, could not have been literally 490 days but 490 years. During the time of the Persian Empire there were many decrees made regarding Jerusalem and the temple. None of the decrees were made 490 days before Christ; they were made hundreds of years earlier. The best fitting decree was made by Artaxerxes who specifically commanded Jerusalem to be rebuilt in 457BC. Therefore, 490 years – 457BC = 33AD. 33AD approximates the death of Christ.

26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;

After seven weeks and then after the sixty-two weeks, in other words in the final 70th week Jesus Christ will be killed.

"And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined."

Gabriel refers to a judgement after the death of Christ, that shall come upon Jerusalem and the temple, and both will be destroyed. History indicates the Romans in 70AD destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.

27 “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering."

God’s promise to Abraham is the covenant Jesus came to confirm. At the time of Christ, Israel the seed of Abraham was in captivity, their hope was lost, and the covenant that God had promised them was broken. God sent his son preaching the kingdom of God, confirming that the covenant will stand. For instance, Jesus said: “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24). And again “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56). No matter the circumstances, God was going to keep his promise to Abraham and not be a liar. It was going to take his son, who died in the middle of the 70th week to bring an end to ‘sacrifice and offering’. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice so God could now restore Israel without any input of sacrifice from them and keep his promise.

"And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

When Christ came, like all prophets before him, He spoke of a coming judgement. Jesus on multiple occasions rebuked the Pharisees and warned in detail, the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, as written in Matthew 24. Rome was the abomination and Jerusalem was to be made desolate. Israel and Jerusalem had to go through a time of punishment. Unlike Israel, Jerusalem's punishment had to go to its consummation (completion) as written in Luke 21:24 - And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.