Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 9

Outline and Background - Daniel 9

Prompting of Daniel's Prayer - Daniel 9:1-3

Particulars of Daniel's -Prayer  Daniel 9:4-15

Petition of Daniel's Prayer  - Daniel 9:16-19

Power of Daniel's Prayer - Daniel 9:20-23

The Seventy Sevens - Daniel 9:24

The Coming of Two Princes - Daniel 9:25-27

Decoding of the Seventy Sevens

The Anointed One Cut Off

Application of Daniel 9

The Seventy Sevens - Daniel 9:24

There are seven predictions within Gabriel’s prophecy. These seven predictions have to do with Israel and the events that will take place in its holy city, Jerusalem.

1. Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city
2. To finish transgression
3. To put an end to sin
4. To atone for wickedness
5. To bring in everlasting righteousness
6. To seal up the vision and prophecy
7. To anoint the most holy

The Church is not the focal point of this prophecy. To spiritualize these prophecies concerning Israel’s future by applying them to the Church is wrongly dividing the Word of God.

Israel’s transgression is still transpiring; their sin has not ended. Through His blood, Christ’s propitiating sacrifice provided man with the redemption he needs in order to be reconciled to God and to receive righteousness from God (Romans 3:22-26). However, the nation of Israel
continues to be estranged from God. Everlasting righteousness does not mark God’s people or their holy city. The nation of Israel has not perceived the message of this vision and prophecy. The ancient location of the Most Holy Place on Mount Moriah is covered today by the Muslim’s Dome of the Rock.

All seven predictions of this vision still belong to the future. Each awaits fulfillment when Israel enters the New Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:6-10; Isaiah 59:20-21; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:24-38) prior to Christ’s second coming (Zechariah 12:1-13:6).

How long is the decreed seventy sevens? The latter Hebrew expression indicates a unit of sevens (days, weeks or years), a “heptad,” just as we would use the word “dozen” to designate a collection of twelve things.

Liberals attempt to make the seventy sevens either seventy days or 490 days. Amillennialists symbolize the seventy sevens as indefinite periods. The answer is to be found in the Bible as the OT employs “sevens” for days, years and weeks of years.

1. A week of days—from one sabbath to another (Exodus 20:8-11).
2. A week of years—from one sabbatical year to another (Leviticus 25:3-7).
3. A week of seven times seven years, or forty-nine years—from one Jubilee to another (Leviticus 25:8-18).

The Jews had been removed from the land in order that it might rest for seventy years, since the sabbatical year had been violated for 490 years, or exactly seventy sevens. A week of years was just as familiar to the Jew as the week of days.

For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards (Leviticus 25:3-4).

The seventy sevens cannot be understood as days or weeks in light of the events predicted, such as the persecution of God’s people at the hands of the Coming Prince. The Jews would be under the protection of Media-Persia for two hundred years.

Daniel 7:24-25 speaks of the same coming prince and the same persecution, fixing the duration as “a time and times and dividing of time” or “three and a half times.” Revelation 13:4-7 refers to the same persecution, stating the duration in the exact terms of Daniel 7:25. This period is further defined in Revelation 12:6 as 1,260 days, and elsewhere as 3 1/2 years or 42 months (Revelation 13:5). Therefore, the phrase must speak of years, not days or weeks.

The prophetic year of Scripture is composed of 360 days, or twelve months of thirty days. The earliest biblical history of the length of a month is recorded with the Flood that began on the seventeenth day of the second month (Genesis 7:11), and ended on the seventeenth day of the seventh month (8:4). This period is stated in terms of days as “one hundred and fifty days” (7:24; 8:3), which is five months of thirty days.

Various calendars of the nations have used years of different lengths, correcting the error by the addition of days from time to time. Our own year of 365 days is not exact, the shortage being a little less than one day in four years.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

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Life of the Apostle Paul

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