A good friend of mine posted a comment on one of my last blogs about explaining what the "Seventy 'Sevens'" are that Daniel mentions in Daniel chapter 9. So I will do my best to offer some insight into this prediction that was inspired by a prophetic word given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel.
To best explain this portion of Daniel 9, we are going to take it a verse at a time...
To start off it is necessary to clarify that the term "weeks" in this passage actually means "years." So if you do the math, then Seventy "sevens" equals 490 years...roughly. I say roughly because the actual number depends on what calendar you use, even though the difference in years with the two different calendars is miniscule. The Babylonian calendar is 365 and a 1/4 days, whereas the Jewish calendar is 360 days. Therefore, you can see where the number of years will only be off by a few years in the grand scheme of things.
In verse 24 Daniel is told that "seventy sevens" are decreed for Israel in order "to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy."
Then in the very next verse the angel Gabriel broke down 69 of the 70 "sevens." He says, "From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Jesus], the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens' [7 + 62]
It is not sure which "decree" Gabriel is talking about but most believe it was the decree made by Artaxerxes mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah which allowed the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Other decrees that it could refer to is the decree made by Cyrus that began the return of the exiles in 536 B.C. or the decree made by Darius, which allowed more of the exiles to go back. So most believe that the first seven "sevens" mentioned is the actual rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple.
To take this a little further and boggle your mind even more, if you fast forward 483 years [which is the 69 - sevens], then you land on the time period around either Jesus' birth or His baptism. Note, some say it could be His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. To me, it doesn't matter. It's just simply amazing to think that Daniel, through the words spoken by Gabriel, was able to predict the coming of Jesus some 500-odd years before it was to happen!!
You might be asking, "Then why didn't he just say 69 'sevens' instead of breaking it down as he did?" I believe [and others] that the answer lies in that same verse . "It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, in times of trouble." The time period for Jerusalem and the temple to be rebuilt and function as a city, according to Nehemiah and Ezra, was 49 years. Also, it was built after the Babylonian captivity [troublesome times].
Verse 26: "After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One [again, Jesus] will be cut off and will have nothing [or, but not for Himself]. Now stick with me, my hope and goal is not to confuse you with too many numbers! If you remember, the end of the sixty-two 'sevens' will end with either Jesus' birth, baptism or triumphal entry. Again, it is in my opinion and others that what Daniel is referring to here is the CROSS! Jesus will be cut off, but "not for Himself." It was the Father's will for Jesus to be crucified for the sins of the world. Look at the words of Daniel again...."AFTER the sixty-two 'sevens'...". It was AFTER Jesus' birth, baptism and/or triumphal entry when He was crucified!
The latter part of verse 26 talks about the "city and sanctuary" being destroyed. This is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. It also talks about the "end" coming like a "flood." It has been described that the Romans "flooded" the city with soldiers and destroyed it!
It is also worth mentioning here that Daniel says, "The people of the ruler...". The "ruler" here is referring to the Antichrist. So, some believe that the Antichrist will be of the same people, or in this case, of Roman descent. Interesting stuff!
Daniel then writes, "War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed." Here he is describing the interim period between the 69th 'seven' and the 70th 'seven.' I believe we are living in this interim period now due to the amount of wars that are occurring now and that have occurred in our recent past.
Another question you might be asking is why is the Lord waiting on this last seven year period? One possibility is that the Lord is giving us humans time to repent and accept Him as their Lord and Savior [hello? He is gracious and compassionate!]. Another possibility is that He is giving time for us the saints to hasten the day of His return because we, and I mean all Believers here, will be partnering WITH God in bringing about His judgements.
Therefore, we are still awaiting this final 'seven.' In the next verse, verse 27, Daniel describes this final 'seven.' He writes, "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
The "he" mentioned here refers to the Antichrist. As discussed in previous posts, there is going to be a universal peace treaty that is established on the earth which will put an end to wars for the first time in history. Also, along with this universal peace treaty, there will be the establishment of a one-world religion based on no absolutes [see last post]. The signing of this peace treaty will mark the beginning of the final 'seven' [or the final 7 years of this age]. Right smack dab in the middle of the 7 year peace treaty the Antichrist will put an end to the treaty AND put an end to this universal religion. No longer will there be the idea that it doesn't matter what religion you declare or what god [or God] you serve as long as you focus on being a good humanitarian and feed the poor. Instead, the Antichrist will force people to worship Him and will set up the "abomination that causes desolation" in a wing of the temple in Jerusalem.
From this point, we know that we are starting the final 3.5 years, or "42 months" or "time, times, and half a time" as described in Revelation [aka the Great Tribulation].
"...until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." To me this coincides with the final 7 bowls of wrath being poured out on the Antichrist's empire and his followers you can read about in Revelation 16.
The end result is the defeat of the Antichrist and Jesus reigning forever! Praise be!!
Alright, I know that was a lot of information to digest, but read it, pray and ask God for clarity because you know He WANTS to tell you about the things to come. See Amos 3:7; Matthew 24:6, 25; John 13:19; John 15:15
Grace and peace.