Chronology (11): The purpose of the 70 weeks of years

22-01-2016 - Posted by Andre Piet

images13 In a previous blog we determined that the 70 weeks in Daniel 9 refer to the Hebrew counting in sabbatical years. For a Hebrew every seventh year is a sabbatical year in which the farmland has rest. After seven of such sabbatical years an additional fiftieth jubilee year follows and after that a new cycle starts. Seven weeks of years are for 50 years and so 70 weeks of years are for 10 times 50, that is 500 years. We also saw that the 70 weeks begin in the first year of Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36:22), who gave order to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple (Isaiah 44:28). This is followed by seven weeks (= fifty years) in which the city would be rebuilt, as fulfilled during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. After these seven weeks of years of the rebuilding of Jerusalem another 62 weeks of years would follow till “Messiah the king”. In other words , if the period of the 70 weeks starts in 3500 AH, then the Messiah comes 69 weeks of years later, that is in 3992 AH. Another week plus jubilee year (that is eight years) follow before the period of 70 weeks of years is fulfilled. That is in 4000 AH. 1_blog_6 One whole The question of how long the 70 weeks last,  is comparable to the question ‘how long did the Eighty Years War last?’ Both questions are unnecessary, because the answer is already implicit in the question. For about one and a halve century, among many Christians the explanation is popular that the 70th week is completely disconnected from the previous 69 weeks. The first 69 weeks are history, but the 70th week would be future. That implicates that between the 69th and 70th week is a gap of a multiple of 70 weeks! That is illogical and not according to the text. Because 70 weeks last…….70 weeks. It’s also contrary to what (literally translated) is written in Daniel 9:24

24 Seventy sevens are is segregated on for your people and on for your holy city.

Please note that it is singular. The period of 70 weeks should be presented explicit as a whole. And then: “What God, then, yokes together, let not man be separating.” The purpose of the 70 weeks In Daniel 9:24 the objective is formulated in six sentences (the objective) of defining the 70 weeks of years.

24 Seventy sevens are is segregated on for your people and on for your holy city: (1) to detain transgression, (2) to make sin come to end, (3) to make a propitiatory shelter for depravity; (4) to bring the righteousness of the eons, (5) to seal the vision and the prophetic word, (6) to anoint the holy of holies.

Let’s take a closer look to these purposes:

(1) to detain transgression

This purpose is in line with Hebrews 9:15:

15 And therefore He is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that at a death occurring for the deliverance of the transgressions of those under the first covenant…

Christ came for the deliverance of the transgressions and by his death and resurrection He realized this. When deliverance of the transgressions is a fact, the transgression is shut and a closed chapter.

(2) To make sin come to end

Also in Hebrews 9 the following is noted:

26 …for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice

The purpose of Christ’s sacrifice is the disposal and therewith the termination of the sin . It may be true that the full realization of that is waiting till “the end of the eons”, but (“de jure”) this was started when Christ died and rose up.

(3) to make a propitiatory shelter for depravity

The apostle John whom, together with James and Peter was sent to “the circumcision” (Galatians 2:9), writes in 1 John 2:2:

2 And He is the propitiatory shelter concerned with our sins, yet not concerned with ours only, but concerned with the whole world also.

Christ accomplished reconciliation (literally: shelter) by his blood. Not only for the circumcision (=Israel), but even for the whole world.

(4) to bring the righteousness of the eons

In the death and resurrection of Christ “a righteousness of God is manifest” (Romans 3:21). God did justice to his promise and fulfilled his word by raising up the Son of David from the dead. This historical fact is the guarantee that justice will triumph in the coming eons.

(5)  to seal the vision and the prophetic word

The Hebrew word for ‘seal’ which is used here, in Daniël we only find it in chapter 12:4 (and 9). There we read:

4  Now you, Daniel, stop up the words and SEAL the scroll until the era of the end, when many shall swerve as evil shall increase.

The 70th week of Daniel is in contrast to what will take place in the end. Than the “covering over the old covenant” will be taken away. (2 Corinthians 3: 15-16) A time of dis-covery. But the 70th week when the Messiah arrives, however, is characterized by concealing of “what is written”. It is made inaccessible, so that “your (=Daniel’s) people and the holy city” cannot understand it (see also Isaiah 8: 15-17). Isaiah 29 foretells about it:

10 For Yahweh has libated on you a spirit of stupor, and He has sealed down your eyes the prophets, and has covered your heads the visionaries. 11  So the entire vision shall become to you like the words of a sealed scroll, which, when they give it to one acquainted with script, saying: please read this, he says, I cannot, for it is sealed.

(6) to anoint the holy of holies

The Hebrew verb for “anointed” is Mashiach i.e. Messiah (Greek: Christos). Of everything that is called holy, Jesus Christ is the superlative. Peter says about Him on the temple square in Jerusalem (Acts 2:36):

 36 “Let all the house of Israel know certainly, then, that God makes Him Lord as well as Christ — this Jesus Whom you crucify!”…

God has made Jesus the Christ – on two occasions. First at the beginning of his ministry, when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, and the holy Spirit came in the form of a dove, and went down on Him. Elsewhere Peter says (Acts 10:38) that God “anointed” Him “with holy spirit and power”. When Jesus, at his baptism, rose up from the water, this was a type of what happened three and a half years later: God showered Jesus with spirit (=life), so that He rose from the grave – once and for all. The six purposes formulated in Daniel 9:24, are all fulfilled in the past. They were realized from the moment that Messiah started his ministry and in the week of years thereafter. To be continued. 1_blog_13MB