Concerning Daniel’s Seventy Weeks


"Daniel’s seventy weeks (or seventy ‘sevens’) are the basis of many charts of the ages. It is well to note the purpose for which the seventy weeks are decreed: ‘Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon the holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in ever-lasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy’ (Dan. 9:24).

"These six results mentioned are, according to Daniel, to be fulfilled before the expiry of the seventy weeks. It is wrong then to take them (or some of them) as fulfilled in a millennium after the seventy weeks, as is commonly done. The bringing of sin to an end and the reconciliation for iniquity took place through Him who ‘appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself’ (Heb. 9:26). He brought in a righteousness which endures forever (2 Corinthians 5:21); after His ministry and that of His apostles no prophetic revelation would be needed; and He was the most Holy One anointed with the Spirit (Acts 10:38).

Christ is the out-standing figure of the passage. It is said of Him in verse 26 that ‘He shall have nothing’ or be despised and rejected (see margin of KJV), and it is He Who ‘confirms’ or ‘causes to prevail’ (not ‘makes’) the covenant, that is, the covenant of grace, which is from of old (v. 27). The one who makes desolate (v. 27b) is Titus, the Roman commander, whose dread ravages are described by Josephus.

The procedure of those who separate the 70th week from the 69th, by an interval already far greater than the whole of the 70 weeks, is altogether unjustified. If someone answers that Daniel himself makes a break, it should be pointed out in reply that he makes two (7 weeks and 62 weeks and 1 week). Every interpreter takes the 62 weeks as following the first 7 weeks without interval; the sequence of time is not inter-rupted; the break simply marks a great event in Israel’s history - the restoration of Jerusalem under Ezra and Nehemiah. Similarly, there is no interval between the 69th and 70th weeks - the break simply marks the eventful appearance of Christ. (We are not justified in taking the 70 ‘sevens’ as 490 years.

Nowhere in the Old Testament is a period of seven years called a week or ‘a seven.’ It is best with Keil to take these ‘sevens’ as ‘an intentionally indefinite designation of a period of time, measured by the number 7, whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds’.)"

- W. J. Grier, The Momentous Event