August 16: Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

Read Daniel 9:1-27

Prophecy has always intrigued me; the fact that God inspired men to predict events with such great clarity truly amazes me. Daniel 9 contains one of the coolest prophecies in the Bible! The beginning recounts the story of Daniel and his three friends who were thrown into a furnace. The second half, though, contains a prophecy about the end of the world, which God revealed to Daniel. The focus of that prophecy is the Jewish people.

At the beginning of this chapter in Daniel 9, the people of Israel have been held in captivity in Babylon for many years. Daniel, reading Jeremiah 25, is asking God to stay true to His promise of liberating the Israelites. God sends an angel, Gabriel, to relay His words concerning the 70 weeks prophecy. The initial reading may be confusing because, if the prophecy truly meant 70 weeks, it would have already been fulfilled. Instead, it is meant to signify each of the 70 weeks as a year, or 490 years.

Now, the 490 years began with a decree to send the Israelites back home from Babylon. Then 483 years later, to the day, Jesus would ride through the gates of Jerusalem on a donkey. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Daniel predicted TO THE DAY when Jesus would make his Triumphant Entry and be called “Messiah!” (See Matthew 21.)

There is one easily overlooked but important feature in this prophecy; a “gap” between the 69th and 70th week, the Church Age, in which currently live. The 70th week is the Tribulation which has yet to happen.

Many people have been known to reference this prophecy quite frequently because it also predicts the actions of the Anti-Christ (a chief opponent of God). This Middle Eastern figure will come to power, sign a peace treaty with Israel, break it, and be thrown into Hell for eternity.

Daniel 9 is a key passage for our study of the end times. This prophecy is an example of God’s sovereign control over everything. He has the big picture all mapped out and nothing that happens will surprise Him. It is all a part of God’s plan to bring salvation to all people.

God has a plan for the end of the world. He has a plan for your life, too!

jdl

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