Session 7: The Seventy Sevens of Daniel  (Dan. 9:24-27)

Copyright © 2003, Unmodified copies of this document, in its entirety, may be freely distributed for non-commercial use.

Text Box: Gap [6]
(unknown)
Text Box: 7 sevens [2]
(49 years [1] )
Text Box: 62 sevens
(434 years)
Text Box: 70th seven [7]
(7 years)

[1]    Years - Evidence for using a 360-day lunar year in the calculations comes from; 1) the account of the flood, which lasted 5 months or 150 days (Gen. 7:11,24; 8:3-4) ; 2) the 180-day feast of Ahasuerus which is thought to have lasted 6 months; 3) from the apparent equivalency of 3 ˝ years, 42 months, and 1260 days (Dan. 7:25; Dan. 12:7; Jas 5:17; Rev. 11:2-3; Rev. 12:6,14; Rev. 13:5). The latter appears to represent ˝ of the final week (Dan. 9:27). When using lunar years, 69 sevens = 483 lunar years = 476 solar years. Not all interpreters utilize lunar years.[a]

[2]   Seven sevens - Most understand this to be the period during which the rebuilding of Jerusalem was completed.[b]

[3]   Command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (terminus a quo) - There are various views as to which decree is meant and the exact date. Bold entries are favored by this teacher and a majority of futurist interpreters.

Decree

Date

Interpreter

Artaxerxes, 20th yr to Nehemiah
(Neh. 2:1-8,13,17)

March 14, 445 B.C.

Anderson[c]

March 5, 444 B.C.

Hoehner[d]

454 B.C.

Anstey,[e] Jones[f]

Artaxerxes[g], 7th yr (Ezra 7:7-28)

458 B.C.

Newton[h], Klassen[i]

Cyrus for Jews to return (2Chr. 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4; 6:1-5; Isa. 44:28; 45:1, 13)

538-537 (489 [j]) B.C.

Fruchtenbaum[k]

[4]   Until Messiah the Prince (terminus ad quem) - There are various views as to which event in the life of Christ is meant and to the exact date.

Event

Date

Interpreter

Birth of Jesus

6-4 B.C.

Fruchtenbaum

Baptism of Jesus by John, Messiah Anointed
(Luke 21-23, 21-23)

A.D. 26

Newton[l]

A.D. 25

Klassen[m]

Presentation as King
(Luke
19:28-40)

April 6, A.D. 32

Anderson

March 30, A.D. 33

Hoehner

A.D. 30

Jones

Crucifixion of Jesus

29 A.D.

Anstey[n]

[5]   Sixty-nine Sevens - Calculated as follows, showing the conversion between solar and lunar years:

Lunar Years

Solar Years

69 x 7 = 483 years, 483 years x 360 days/lunar year = 173,880 days

444 B.C. to A.D. 33 = 476 years (only one year expires between B.C. 1 and A.D. 1)
476 years x 365 days/ solar year = 173,740 days
173, 740 days + 116 days in leap years + 25 days (March 5 - 30) = 173,880 days[o]

[6]  Gap -Evidence for a gap is as follows: 1) The grammar of verse 26 describes what happens after the sixty-ninth week and before the seventieth week, implying a temporal gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks; 2) Intervals in the fulfillment of prophecies are a common Old Testament phenomenon (e.g., Isa. 9:6-7 and Luke 61:1-2; cf. Isa. 61:1-2); 3)The final week is treated separately from the first sixty-nine; 4)The last half of the seventieth week fits well with what we know elsewhere about the events of the last half of the Tribulation period (Dan. 7:25; 2Th. 2:3ff.; Rev. 12, 13, 19); 5) Jesus speaks of the abomination of desolation as yet future (Mat. 13:14; Mark 13:14).[p]

[7]   Seventieth Week - Some of the early church fathers understood the last week to be yet future. Irenaeus places the appearance of Antichrist at the end of the age in the last week…. So likewise Hippolytus states that Daniel ‘indicates the showing forth of the seven years which shall be in the last times.’ [q]

[8]   Then he shall confirm a covenant with many - It is the signing of this covenant, not the rapture of the church, which begins the final week. There are no preconditions for the rapture which has always been “imminent.”

The identity of “he” is taken to be the “prince” of
9:26, not the “prince” of 9:25 (Messiah). The following reasons apply: 1) “the prince” of 9:26 is the nearer antecedent; 2) the prince is said to be a Roman (9:26), which accords with Dan. 23-24, 23-24, where a little horn is said to arise out of the fourth kingdom , Rome; 3) the article before the participle “the coming one” (9:26) indicates that this prince has been previously mentioned and is known to the readers (e.g., Dan. 23-24, 23-24); the activities of the verse fit what is known elsewhere of Antichrist.



[a]   Floyd Nolen Jones, Chronology Of The Old Testament (Woodlands, TX: KingsWord Press, 1999), 234-263.

[b]   Vowel pointing added to the original Hebrew text by the Masoretes in the 9th and 10th century A.D. infers the appearance of an anointed one at the end of both the seven week period and the sixty-two week period which some translations and interpreters allow.  Paul D. Feinberg, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Daniel 9:24-27” in John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg. Tradition & Testament: Essays In Honor Of Charles Lee Feinberg (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1981), 211.

[c]   Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1984, 1957), 128.

[d]   Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977), 115-140.

[e]   Martin Anstey cited in David L. Cooper, The 70 Weeks of Daniel (Los Angeles, CA: Biblical Research Society, 1941), 39.

[f]   Jones, 234-263.

[g]   Artaxerxes Longimanus (B.C. 465-424, Jones)

[h]   Isaac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, 130-143. Cited by Jones, 217.  Sir Isaac Newton proposed his solution in 1728.

[i]    Frank. R. Klassen, The Chronology Of The Bible. Nashville (TN: Regal Publishers, Inc., 1975), 46, 53.

[j]    Arnold Fruchtenbaum assumes errors in existing Persian chronology as discussed by David L. Cooper, The 70 Weeks of Daniel (Los Angeles. CA: Biblical Research Society, 1941). [Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Manuscript #67: The Seventy Sevens of Daniel (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1984), 190.]

[k]   Fruchtenbaum, 4-5.

[l]    Some interpreters understand Christ as the “he” of Dan. 9:27 and see His crucifixion after 3˝ years of ministry as bringing an end to sacrifice and offering in the “middle of the week.”  But this conflicts with Dan. 9:26 which says Messiah shall be cut off after the 62 weeks, not in the middle of the 70th week. There are also other significant problems with this view (see detailed class notes on the website).

[m]   Klassen’s calculations show no evidence of accounting for the period between 1 B.C. and A.D. 1 as one year rather than two.

[n]   This view fails to appreciate the subtleties of vv. 26-27 which state 7+62 weeks until Messiah who is then cut off after the sixty-two. There is no need for the 62 weeks to terminate with the crucifixion, in fact the text implies otherwise.

[o]   John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.) Dan. 9:26. See Hoehner, 115-140 (or the teaching notes on the website) for details.

[p]   The value of this consideration will depend on whether or not one sees the Olivet discourse as having been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

[q]   C.I. Scofield, Holy Bible - NKJV Scofield - Study Bible (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002), 1187.