The seventy sevens of Daniel are a cornerstone to Bible Prophecy. The futurist understanding has viewed the first 69 of these weeks as being fulfilled with the final week to be played out in the future. In between the 69th and 70th weeks is the period of the Church Age or the Fullness of the Gentiles. Once the Church is raptured to heaven, then a period of time follows for the Antichrist to come to power to then make the covenant, which will last seven years. This is the duration of the 70th Week.
As Daniel nears the end of the seventy years of the Babylonian Captivity, his prayer for their end is met with the message via Gabriel that lays out seventy sevens from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until all is completed through the Messiah—to the anointing of the victorious King. This translates to 490 total years for the Jews. There is to be seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and then the final seventieth.
The final decree to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls came from Artaxerxes in 445 BC with Christ being crucified in AD 32, making it a total of 476 years. However, when these years are converted to 360-day years, the total comes to 483 years, which is equal to 69 times seven. (The justification for using 360-day years or 30-day months is for the fact that they are used in Daniel and in Revelation in the final 70th week.) Therefore, Messiah’s death completes 69 weeks. Christ’s death was indeed not for himself as Daniel 9:26 details, but then also the Temple was later destroyed after the 69th week ended. This occurred 14,000 days later, the equivalent time from the numbering of Israel in the wilderness until their entry into the Promised Land.
However, the 69 weeks are divided into seven and sixty-two. Why this division? The solution seems to be that when charted from 445 BC to 32 AD, the seven weeks would come to 397 BC. This is when the final book of the Old Testament was completed—the book of Malachi. This would be in line with the purpose of the prophecy as a time frame when prophecy would be sealed up. So from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the completion of the Old Testament are these seven weeks with the next sixty-two coming to the time of the crucifixion. As Sir Robert Anderson concluded, the 69th week ran out on Palm Sunday when Christ cried over Jerusalem and chastised her for not knowing the time of her visitation (Luke 19:42).
Therefore, the sixty-nine weeks are fulfilled at the death of Christ, which would be followed by the destruction of the Temple (the sanctuary). Under General Titus, the Romans destroyed the Temple in AD 70 on the 9th of Av. Therefore, the “people of the prince to come” are the Romans and the coming prince is the yet future Antichrist. This must be clearly understood to not create confusion in the next verse concerning the “he” who makes the seven-year covenant. The “he” is the future prince of the people of Rome and does not refer to Christ since it was not the Jews who destroyed the city. In Mathew 24:15, Christ referred to this passage of the 70th week as being future and referring to the Antichrist, for it is not to be a good thing. Paul’s thinking is similar in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and following, demonstrating that the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple is an event concerning the Antichrist—the prince of the returned Roman Empire.
This point is important since there is a tide of those who believe Christ was cut off (crucified) in the middle of the 70th Week. Since Christ’s ministry was three and a half years, his death is placed in the middle of the seven-year period. Therefore, they believe the last three and a half years only remain for the Tribulation. However, there are many problems with this. First of all it violates the basic chronology of Christ’s death occurring at the end of 69 weeks, since it would then have to come in the middle of the 70th week. But also, did he initiate any covenant at the beginning of his ministry, as they would say? No, he did not. The New Covenant was made the night of his death. Secondly, the sacrifices did not stop until the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, which throws a huge chronological problem in the direction of this interpretation since sacrifices are said to be halted in the middle of the 70th week. There is about a 14,000-day disparity with this incorrect view. The only solution is that these sacrifices to be stopped are yet in the future and complete 70th week.
The correct chronology is Christ’s death is after the 69 Weeks followed by the destruction of the Temple almost forty years later. Then in this gap between the 69th and 70th week there is the time of desolations for Israel and the time that has become the Church Age. When the Church Age ends, then the seven-year covenant with the Prince of the people who destroyed the Temple is possible since this time has been reserved for Israel (Daniel 9:24a) and not for the Church (Revelation 3:10). The Abomination of Desolation then occurs halfway through the final seven years as indicated here in Daniel and by Jesus himself. This throws the world into the Great Tribulation of the remaining three and a half years. This is why the Jews are to flee to the wilderness.
To put Christ’s death and sacrifice in the middle of the 70th week does not make any chronological sense or literal sense for that matter. The text of Daniel clearly places it after the 69th week is complete with other events that occurred after the death of Christ. The 70th week comes after all of these. If this passage was not intended this way, then it must be poorly written, because why would someone say after the 69th week when it should have been written (according to the theory) in the middle of the 70th week? The true sequence in the text seems quite clear. The 70th week must occur after Christ’s death, resurrection, and destruction of the temple.
When Christ warns the Jews about the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15), surely he is not speaking of himself. This then also brings up the chronology of Matthew 24. Before the Abomination of Desolation, there first needs to be world war (Matthew 24:7) and this did not happen until World War I in AD 1914. This would seem to make it hard to believe that Christ had already fulfilled what could not have come until after world war had occurred. The truth is that Christ spoke of the future Abomination of Desolation that occurs in the still future 70th week of Daniel.
To twist the Scriptures any other way will erode the basic prophetic foundation. Daniel’s clock of the 70 weeks is still stuck at week 69 to be resumed at a later date. It is a clock reserved for the Jews. It begins when the future prince of the peoples of the old Roman Empire confirms a covenant for a period that will last seven years. In the middle of those seven years he commits unspeakable acts in the temple that are an abomination that brings desolation and then destruction in the final three and a half years. The Church is separate and is not destined for this time for it must be removed out of the way. There is no way Christ’s sacrifice for sin is compatible as being in the middle of the 70th week and the time of the Abomination of Desolation.
Please consider the passage carefully.
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.
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.
26 “ And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
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.
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.
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.”
One of the things that seem to drive the faulty interpretation is that Jesus’ ministry is generally accepted to be three and a half years. But just because the time may seem to fit, it does not mean that it is the same time. This is done often to the following passage in Daniel to make it fit Antiochus Epiphanes during the time of the Maccabeans. However, by reading the whole chapter one will discover Gabriel’s interpretation and that this vision refers to the time of the end and Antichrist. Antiochus Epiphanes could not have fulfilled it. To think so removes an important passage dealing with the Antichrist and the significance of the 2,300 evenings and mornings. But the important fact not to be missed here is that the Antichrist is the one responsible for ceasing the sacrifices and causing the abomination. Therefore, let Daniel interpret Daniel, which shows that it is the Antichrist who stops the sacrifices and causes the desolation—not Christ.
9 And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.
10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
11 He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”
14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
15 Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”
17 So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”
25 “ Through his cunning
he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;
and he shall exalt himself in his heart.
He shall destroy many in their prosperity.
He shall even rise against the Prince of princes;
but he shall be broken without human means.
26 “ And the vision of the evenings and mornings
which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision,
for it refers to many days in the future.”
Therefore, the vision of Daniel 8 is for the time of the end when the Antichrist actually rises against Christ. This passage also echoes Daniel 2 where the final kingdom is destroyed without human hands, but a stone—the coming Kingdom of Christ. Here in Daniel 8 it is the same thing. This was not true of Antiochus Epiphanes. This can only be fulfilled during the coming Day of the Lord.
In another vision concerning the kingdom from which the Antichrist comes, there is again the mention that this coming ruler is the one who accomplishes all of the events that occur and are associated with the time at the middle of the 70th week. In Daniel 11 the Antichrist is the one who halts the sacrifices and defiles the sanctuary. Reading Daniel 11 further, one can determine that this is also the time of the end.
29 “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.
30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
The fourth mention of the Abomination of Desolation is found in Daniel 12. Again it seems pretty apparent that the halting of the sacrifices and the abomination of desolation are fulfilled at the same time. It is only the Antichrist who can accomplish this. It is therefore the Antichrist who is the subject of Daniel’s 70th week.
11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”
Daniel’s 70 weeks set in the context of Daniel reveal that the interpretation is correct concerning Christ being cut off at the conclusion of the 69 weeks. The 70th week has yet to be fulfilled and only begins with a covenant confirmed by the Antichrist—the future prince from the people who destroyed Jerusalem after the 69th week had ended. This covenant will be ended after seven years by the anointing of the King Messiah and his kingdom made without human hands. In the middle of those seven years the Antichrist will halt the sacrifices in a rebuilt temple and commit the Abomination of Desolation. It is from this point forward that God’s people will have their lives in jeopardy. When this event is seen, it is time to run to the wilderness post haste.