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Chronology (9): the start of the 70 weeks of years

18-12-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

images9 In the previous blog of this series we ended up with Daniels’ prayer at the end of the seventy years of Jerusalem’s desolation (Dan 9:2). Daniel perceived that the foretold term had ended and therefore he falls to his knees for his God. He does penance on behalf of his people and makes an appeal to Gods promise, asking Him not to wait any longer to restore Jerusalem and the Temple (Dan 9:19). While Daniel is still praying the angel Gabriel comes to him to tell him that at the beginning of his pleading “the word had gone out” (:23)  to restore Jerusalem (see  below) Together with this glad tiding, Gabriel has yet another special message concerning a prophesy about the coming “seventy weeks”. Weeks (literally sevens) that would end with the Messiah. With weeks we should not, according to the context, think of “weeks of days” (Dan. 10:2) but of weeks of years. A phenomenon which does not need to be explained to a law abiding Jew, because the term is directly reminiscent of the institution of the Sabbaths of years (Lev. 25). These are cycles of seven years in which every seventh year the land would lie fallow. And after every seventh cycle (so after the 49th year) an extra 50th year would follow as a Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-10). After this, a new cycle would follow of seven weeks of years. It is undeniable that we have to count the weeks of years as cycles of sabbatical years. Bearing in mind that the seventy years that had just ended, explicitly served as a compensation of the sabbatical years they did not keep (2 Chron. 36:21). Now, if every fifty years (including a Jubilee) consist of seven weeks of years, than seventy weeks of years are counted as five hundred years (including 10 Jubilees). This has become a known period of time to us, because from the birth of Abram (in 2000  AH) we have consistently seen time blocks of five hundred years following each other up. images_12 According to Daniel 9:25, the seventy weeks of years start “from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem”. We previously encountered the expression “the going forth of the word” in Daniel 9:23 alluding to Cyrus’ decree he had issued to rebuild and restore Jerusalem and her temple. Totally in agreement with what the prophet Isaiah had foretold one hundred and forty years earlier:

28 Who is saying of Cyrus, My shepherd, And all my delight He doth perfect, So as to say of Jerusalem, Thou art built, And of the temple, Thou art founded. – Isaiah 44 –

In other words, the end of the seventy years of Jerusalem’s ruins is also the beginning of the seventy weeks of years. Both terms are directly connected and we don’t need any benchmarks from extra-biblical sources. 1_blog_13