Here are four Bible facts about Daniel’s prophesied 70 weeks.
It’s God’s Prophecy, Not Daniel’s
First, we must recognize that this isn’t really Daniel’s prophecy at all. It’s God’s because all prophecy is “thus says the Lord” and not thus says Daniel. The Apostle Peter wrote, “No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation” (1 Peter 1:20), and “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (1 Peter 1:21). Daniel acknowledged that “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these” (Daniel 2:28). So the first fact is that it’s not Daniel’s prophecy but God’s. He simply wrote down what God revealed to him.
When Gabriel came to Daniel the prophet, he brought previously unknown revelations to man; and he wanted Daniel to write these things so that others would come to understand these things at a later time. Daniel wrote, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place” (Daniel 9:24). Many believe this speaks about Christ as the “anointed one” in Daniel 9:25 because Christ will “atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24). So this prophecy must concern Jesus Christ.
Weeks in Years
Most scholars look at the “sixty-two weeks” and the “70 weeks” as 49 years (“sixty-two weeks”) plus 434 years (weeks) (Daniel 9:25) as totaling 483 years. That time period of which Daniel wrote about was close to 457 B.C. It would end at about A.D. 27, which is approximately the time when “the anointed one” would begin His earthly ministry. The “anointed one” is clearly Jesus Christ, but He was about to be cut off from the land of the living.
Daniel may have been referring to the time of Jesus’ death at Calvary in Daniel 9:26 where it says, “After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.” The “anointed one” was cut off, but this too was part of God’s sovereign plan as foretold by Daniel the prophet and most of the other prophets. He was cut off so that we could be joined to God in fellowship as a child of His.
If not for Jesus, we too would have been cut off from God by our sins (Isaiah 59:2) for eternity and without hope, but now our hope is found in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). To Him belongs the glory; not the prophets or the prophecies. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and trust God to work all things out according to His good pleasure. He is in control. The only thing I know about the future is that all who are brought to repentance and faith in Christ will receive eternal life. That’s enough for me.