INTRODUCTION to DANIEL 9:24-27
The seventy weeks prophecy is a central prophetic focus for much of the
Christian faith today.
It is viewed as a prediction of the arrival of Jesus Christ.
It could be said that it serves as a corner stone prophecy for the entire
For this reason, very few Christians are going to be prepared to question
whether this prophecy may be teaching something else. Something entirely
So are Christians likely to be able to cast aside prior (and well accepted)
views and look for another completely different meaning?
However, let us ignore this little inconvenient fact for the moment and look
at this prophecy from a completely different perspective.
A perspective that completely skips over the coming of Jesus Christ.
A perspective that starts in the much more distant past and ends in the not
too distant future.
So let us begin.
The prophecy provides us with the following information.
Explains the meaning of Daniel chapter 8.
(Refer Dan 8:27 & 9:22)
Presents a number of important time periods.
- 70 weeks
- 7 weeks
- 62 weeks
- 69 weeks (composite of 7 + 62)
- 1 of 70 weeks
- 1 week (verse 27)
- 1st half of verse 27 week
- 2nd half of verse 27 week
It speaks of great judgment against Jerusalem
(upon the expiry of the allotted time).
It suggests a warning from an anointed witness
(initial comment in verse 26)
It speaks of destruction of Jerusalem at the hand of
an anointed prince (latter comment of verse 26).
Daniel was given insight into the meaning of this prophecy.
Dan 7:23 ... therefore consider the matter, and
understand the vision.
However, for others this prophecy was to be sealed until 'the time
of the end'.
Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel shut up the words, and seal
the book until the time of the end; ...
The seventy weeks prophecy, has attracted a great deal of attention
from many bible scholars.
So how has the prophecy managed to retain its sealed status through
the elapsed centuries?
Has it taken a form which has allowed a distracting surface meaning to
When one first looks at modern translations of the prophecy and the
historical setting of this time, this prophecy clearly seems to be
speaking of the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and a subsequent
So let us look closer at this prophecy and look for a hidden, ie
'deeper', perspective. A perspective which links to the 'end-time'.
The text of the Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy
is like a coded treasure map.
SEVENTY 'WEEKS' (OR 'SEVENS')
In this most important prophecy what is the most important word we
It is the word 'weeks' (or 'sevens').
[NB: Some translations prefer to use the word 'sevens'
instead of the word 'weeks'. Technically the
rendering 'sevens' is more accurate. ]
('weeks' or 'sevens') is the critical Hebrew word which needs
to be clarified to determine what period of time is being referenced in
The vital clue has been:-
The Hebrew word 'weeks' in Daniel 9:24,25,26
is present in the 'MASCULINE' form!
This has generated much confusion, however the following explains the
implications of this grammatical form. (The masculine form is commonly
referred to as representing a 'heptad'.)
Feminine form (normal ) - eg 70 x (single sevens)
Masculine form (unusual) - eg 70 x (multiple sevens)!!!
[ This knowledge has been misrepresented, because
it undermines the existing theory of 490 years. ]
|Acknowledgment of Unusual Form
It is becoming more common to encounter translations and other
literature which highlight the unusual Hebrew form of the word
'weeks' encountered in the verses Daniel 9:24,25,26.
** NIV **
The NIV translation places single quote marks around the word
'sevens' and this is a very appropriate way of indicating the
'group of seven' meaning. Unfortunately, in verse 27 they also
place single quote marks around the non-plural word 'seven',
which wrongly suggests the word present in this verse can be
referring to one heptad. (To refer to even one heptad the
Hebrew word must be plural!)
** IISB (International Inductive Study Bible) **
In this bible, which follows the NASB rendering, there exists
a side comment to explain that the Hebrew word present is
'Shabuim' and means "sevens".
** Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties - Gleason L. Archer **
The following extracts are relevant.
"The word for 'week' is 'sabu', which is derived from 'seba',
the word for 'seven'. Its normal plural is feminine in form:
[s_buot / sabu'ot / sabuot]. Only in this chapter of
Daniel does it appear in the masculine plural [sabu'im
"Therefore, it is strongly suggestive of the idea "heptad"
(a series or combination of seven), rather than a 'week' in
the sense of a series of seven days."
** Commentary on the Old Testament - Keil & Delitzsch **
Quoted from page 718 of volume 9;
Hofmann and Kliefoth are in the right when they remark that
does necessarily mean year-weeks, but an intentionally indefinite
designation of a period of time measured by the number seven,
whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds.
The law makes mention not only of the Sabbath-year, but also of
periods of seven times seven years, after the expiry of which a
year of jubilee was always to be celebrated (Lev. 25:8ff.). These,
as well as the Sabbath-years, might be called .
Unfortunately, one repeatedly encounters literature (even in the above
cases) which after highlighting and defining the presence of the unusual
grammatical form of the word 'weeks', then goes on to completely ignore
They go on to offer explanations that continue to perceive 70 groups of
seven years as acceptable. Go on to continue to reinforce the 70 x 7 year
How long will it be before authors realize they must advance an explanation
which encompasses, not 70 groups of seven, but 70 groups of 'groups of
'GROUPS OF SEVEN'
The masculine plural nature of the word 'weeks' does not require that the
period be divisible by seven. It just requires that the period be capable
of being described as consisting of multiple weeks or sevens.
There are two biblical periods, which involve 'multiple' weeks.
- From the day of the wave sheaf offering to the
Feast of Weeks (Lev 23:15-16, Deut 16:9-10),
ie, 7 sets of 7 days + 1 day = 50 days.
- From one Jubilee year to the next (Lev 25:8-11),
ie, 7 sets of 7 years + 1 year = 50 years.
Therefore, only the following periods could be considered as meeting the
"70 'sevens'" requirement.
1) 3,500 days - 70 periods of 50 days.
2) 70 years - Since technically the 50 day period only
occurs once every year, 70 of these periods
may be equated to a period of 70 years.
3) 3,500 years - 70 periods of 50 years.
Since the wording of the prophecy suggests a long period of time, it seems
the latter meaning is being indicated.
Seventy Jubilee Years!
This 70 Jubilee year perspective places a completely different perspective
upon this prophecy.
We need a more neutral translation of Daniel 9:24-27.
* A REVISED TRANSLATION - DAN 9:24-27 *
Virtually all renditions of the 70 weeks prophecy have been tainted by
the 70 x 7 year perspective. A new rendering is necessary.
DANIEL 9:24-27 - REVISED
Daniel 9:24 Seventy 'sevens' are determined for your people and your
to restrain transgression,
to seal up sins,
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy
and to anoint the Most Holy.
:25 Know then and understand from the issuing of the word
to turn and build Jerusalem, up until an anointed one,
a ruler, seven 'sevens' and sixty-two 'sevens'.
Again she will be built broad and golden even in times
:26 And after the sixty and two 'sevens' shall be cut off
an anointed one and there will be nothing to him.
And the city and the sanctuary shall overthrow the
people of an arriving ruler. And his end with a flood,
up until the end war. Desolations are decreed.
:27 And he shall cause to prevail a great covenant one seven.
And in the middle of the week he shall make cease sacrifice
and offering and upon an extremity abominations. A desolator
up until a complete destruction.
And as decreed it shall be poured forth on the desolator.
CRITICAL CHANGES EXPLAINED
1) ''sevens'' - Strong's Ref 7620
The Hebrew word for 'sevens' found in verses 24 to 26 appears
in the masculine form. This is not the common Hebrew form of
this word. This masculine form means seventy groups of
[In the Hebrew text the word 'sevens' is mentioned prior to the
mention of the applicable number, eg "sevens seventy ...".
This is not uncommon in Hebrew and apparently reflects that the
word 'sevens' carries greater importance than the number which
2) 'build' and 'built' - Strong's Ref 1129
Means to 'build'; it can be translated 'rebuild', but this is
not its primary meaning. The word appears twice in verse 25.
[The renderings 'rebuild' and 'rebuilt' stem from the prior
perceived notion that the prophecy was talking about the
rebuilding which took place after the Babylonian captivity.]
3) 'turn' - Strong's Ref 7725
The Hebrew word means to 'turn', in the sense to 'turn from',
'turn back', 'turn aside' or 'turn away'. This word does not
necessarily imply returning to a prior place or state.
When used as an adverb it means 'again'.
[This word is encountered twice in verse 25. In the first
instance it is commonly translated 'restore' and through
this rendering the meaning of the prophecy was also tainted.
The second instance of this word is commonly rendered 'again'
and this is alright.]
4) 'an anointed one' - Strong's Ref 4899
Some translations blatantly render an interpretation of the
prophecy by rendering this word as 'Messiah'. The Hebrew word
is derived from Strong's reference 4886 and means 'anointed'.
[The word is found once in verse 25 and once in verse 26.
Particular care needs to be taken in respect to the verse
25 reference, which mentions 'an anointed one, a ruler'.
Initially verse 26 appears to allude to be a positive
'anointed' entity. However, verse 26 goes on to mention
a destructive 'ruler'.]
5) 'extremity' - Strong's 3671
Means 'edge' or 'extremity'. When used in reference to an army
or bird it can be translated as 'wing'.
[This word needs to rendered without interpretation. Various
translations have guessed its meaning and this has not been
NON-CRITICAL CHANGES EXPLAINED
1) 'broad' - Strong's Ref 7339
Means 'width', 'avenue', 'street' or 'area'. It comes from 7337,
which means to broaden. It is translated 'broad' in the old KJV
in Song 3:2, Jer 5:1 and Nahm 2:4.
2) 'golden' - Strong's Ref 2742
The word is associated with a sharp edge used for digging. It
is sometimes rendered 'threshing' (ie threshing instrument) and
in the old KJV in Job 41:30 as 'sharp pointed'. The word is also
rendered 'gold' in Psalm 68:13; Prov 3:14, 8:10,19; Prov 16:16;
Zech 9:3; because gold is dug with a sharp instrument.
The last portion of verse 26 discusses an entity being removed
by a flood. Most translations indicate the flood brings to an
end the city and the sanctuary, but in the Hebrew the entity
last mentioned is the 'ruler'. Grammatically it appears the
rendering "And his end ..." is to be preferred. (This view is
also supported by the latter part of verse 27.)
4) 'prevail' - Strong's Ref 1396
Means to 'be strong' or 'strengthen' and by implication means
5) 'great' - Strong's Ref 7227
Means 'abundant'. It can be a reference to quantity or quality.
6) 'complete destruction' - Strong's 3617
This word means 'completion' and 'destruction'. It carries
the idea of a full and utter consummation. This word differs
from the Hebrew word for 'end' encountered twice in the latter
portion of verse 26.
Preconceived notions have inflicted significant damage upon all bible
translations of this text! The consequence of this has been to hide from
view the possibility of another perspective.
This alternate perspective is discussed further in the following pages.
An initial important aspect is the placement of the one 'sevens'.
* THE MISSING ONE 'WEEKS' *
The prophecy initially mentions a period of 70 'weeks' and then proceeds
to describe a sequence of 7 'weeks' and 62 'weeks'.
But, where was the remaining 1 'weeks' (or 1 'sevens') to be placed?
Did it follow or proceed the span of 69 'weeks'/'sevens'?
Historically, theories have always placed this missing 1 'sevens' in
the 70th position. As the so-called '70th week'.
- This was primarily done because it was thought that
the prophecy was discussing 70 individual weeks and
the mentioning of 7 + 62 weeks (in verses 25-26) and
a following mention of a single week (in verse 27)
seemed to reflect the proper order of these weeks.
However, the single 'week' of verse 27 can not represent one of the 70
'sevens'. The complex nature of the seventy 'weeks' means that even one
'weeks' can not be defined as a simple 'week'.
The placement of the missing one 'sevens' has to be re-considered.
If not placed in the 70th position:
- If the event which started the 69 'sevens', the word to
build Jerusalem, did not also start the 70 'sevens' then
how would we know what event initiated the prophecy?
A reason for placing the missing one 'sevens' in the 1st position:
- The apparent timing conflict over the destruction of
verse 24 - states upon the expiry of 70 'sevens'
verses 25 & 26 - states upon the expiry of the 69 'sevens',
Placing the one 'sevens' in the first position means
that the expiry of the expiry of the 69 'sevens' and
the expiry of the 70 'sevens' would then correspond
to the same point in time.
When one does their biblical chronology homework, it can be seen how
the prophetic timings correspond to major events in the 'life' of the
ancient nation of Israel.
* MILESTONE EVENTS OF SEVENTY SEVENS *
Five points in time represent the 'treasure' of this prophecy.
1) THE START OF THE 70 'SEVENS'
When God chose a people, a nation, for Himself and led them
out of the land of Egypt!
Exodus was a major event in biblical history! Prior to this God
had worked with individuals, but at this time He chose a nation.
Within this nation God would 'build' His Old Covenant 'church'!
2) AFTER THE FIRST 50 YEARS (1 'SEVENS')
Following Exodus the children of Israel spent 40 years wandering
in the wilderness and then another 10 years gaining control of
the Promised Land!
Then the time arrived when the children of Israel were to start
to build His Old Covenant 'church', symbolic Jerusalem.
Verse 25, ... from the issuing of the word to turn and
build Jerusalem, ...
It was at this point that they 'turned' from focusing upon clearing
the land of its inhabitants and they started to dwell in the land
God had given them. Josh 21:43-22:9.
3) AFTER 400 YEARS (1 + 7 'SEVENS')
The children of Israel committed a great wickedness in requesting
a human king. 1 Sam 12:17,19-20.
Saul had been anointed. 1 Sam 10:1
The prophecy alludes to Saul because he represents an example of
the future entity which will rule over the people of God. As Saul
was not loyal to the instruction of God, neither will be the future
4) THE END OF THE 3,500 YEARS (70 'SEVENS')
verse 26, ... And the city and the sanctuary shall
overthrow the people of an arriving ruler.
The 'arriving ruler' is manifest.
At the start of his reign he destroys (symbolic) Jerusalem!
This ruler is the 'an anointed one, a ruler' of verse 25!
This entity is 'anointed'!
[ NB: The end of the 70 'sevens' is also;
- the end of the 69 'sevens'
- the end of the 62 'sevens'. ]
5) 3,500 YEARS + REIGN OF DESOLATOR
The desolator continues to reign until a complete end is made.
A complete end of all entities marked for destruction.
Then he will be judged.
verse 26, ... And his end with a flood ...
verse 27, ... And as decreed it shall be poured
forth on the desolator.
With God's fury having been fully unleashed the scene is set for
the beginning of a new era.
Having glimpsed the outline of verses 24 -26 we can consider verse 27.
* THE VERSE 27 'WEEK' *
In the last verse we are introduced to a period of time described as
a week or seven.
Daniel 9:27 And He shall cause to prevail a great covenant
And in the middle of the seven He shall make
cease sacrifice and offering and upon an
extremity abominations. A desolator up until
a complete destruction.
And as decreed it shall be poured forth on the
This week is singular.
It is NOT one of the 70 'sevens'.
[ As previously discussed the 70 'weeks' represents a
series of periods; each being defined as 'sevens'. ]
The key to understanding this 'week' or 'seven' is to realize,
VERSE 27 IS A SUMMARY!
The verse does not introduce any new details. It just summarizes the major
periods and events referred to in the prior three verses.
It is this understanding of verse 27, which enables the nature of the
'week' to be defined.
The start - represents the beginning of the 70 'sevens'.
The middle - represents the end of the 70 'sevens', which
corresponds to when Jerusalem is struck,
when sacrifice and offering cease.
The end - is the time of the demise of the future
In a chart form.
This week is lopsided! The first half long (ie 3,500 years) and the
second half short.
This unusual arrangement explains the use of the word 'extremity'.
"upon an extremity abominations"
The period of abominations (the second half of this week) is in reality
the final finishing edge of the time encompassed by this week.
[ NB: The book of Revelation, in chapters 11 and 12, also depicts
this lopsided week. ]
The 'covenant' mentioned in verse 27 is the holy covenant.
Note: It is God who causes the great covenant to prevail.
It is God who raises up the desolator and brings
judgment on 'Old Jerusalem' and its sanctuary!
* JERUSALEM IN THE PROPHECY *
Since the city of Jerusalem in this prophecy spans a period of 3,450 yrs
it does not represent any of the historic constructions of this city.
Therefore, Jerusalem in this prophecy, is SYMBOLIC.
Being symbolic, Jerusalem may either portray;
A) the Old Covenant faith
or B) the entire Covenant Work of God,
both the Old and New Covenants.
NATURE OF SYMBOLIC JERUSALEM
The seventy weeks prophecy mentions that it applies to Daniel's
people and holy city, but it is not clear if this should be limited
to those of the Jewish faith or whether it can be extended to
incorporate all people of Godly faith (ie both Jews and Christians).
The answer to this dilemma can be found through the consideration of
New Testament prophecy.
Note that the Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy presents a number of thoughts
in relation to this symbolic Jerusalem;
- a ruler and his people approaching the city
to destroy it
- the ceasing of sacrifice and offering
- a period of abomination and desolations.
All these notions are presented in the texts of Matthew 24, Mark 13
and Luke 21.
Luke 21:20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
then know that its desolation is near.
Matt 24:15 Therefore when you see the 'abomination of
desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet,
standing in the holy place" ...
Mark 13:14 adds 'standing where he ought not'.
[ NB: It is this presence which stops continued
'sacrifice and offering'. ]
Matt 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, ...
:22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh
would be saved; ...
In the gospel accounts the object of this tribulation is repeatedly
described as being 'Jerusalem' or 'Judea', refer Matt 24:16, Mark 13:14,
To clearly show that this 'great tribulation' is directed at those
of the 'house of Judah', the texts advise where one should travel to
escape 'flee to the mountains' (Matt 24:16, Mark 13:14, Luke 21:21).
The mountains of Ephraim in the land of the 'house of Israel' are
located to the north of Judea. So the reference to these mountains
tends to confirm that the prophesied 'great tribulation' would be
directed toward the 'house of Judah.
This therefore indicates that the symbolic Jerusalem being referred
in the prophecy is the Old Covenant faith. That this prophecy is
depicting the final removal of this faith. The final removal of this
form of worship from the work of God.
This being the reason why they are being instructed to enter the
'mountains of Ephraim', that is the mountains of Christianity, so
that they may remain within the work of God.
TWO BUILDINGS - TWO JERUSALEMS!
It is not immediately apparent, but two building constructions are
alluded to in this prophecy.
Dan 9:25 Know then and understand from the issuing of the
word to turn and build Jerusalem, ...
Dan 9:25 ... Again she will be built broad and golden
even in times of distress.
The initial Jerusalem is the entity to which the bulk of this prophecy
The second form of Jerusalem represents what is described in the Book
of Revelation as 'New Jerusalem'.
In accordance with the inference of verse 27; will confirm His covenant
with Abraham and give, as a spiritual wife, the promised New Jerusalem.
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go
:10 for he waited for the city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God.
FIRST JERUSALEM - FAILS
The central theme of this prophecy is the impending judgment of the first
Jerusalem, the Old Covenant faith.
While verse 24 requires this city and its people accomplish six tasks
before the expiration of the 70 'weeks', other verses assume failure and
proceed to predict the destruction of the city.
The city and its people can only accomplish the six tasks by listening
to the end-time anointed one (mentioned in verse 26). However, as
rebellion is predicted, this verse depicts the anointed one separated
from the city immediately prior to the destruction of the city.
" ... be cut off an anointed one and there will be nothing to him"
DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM
Jerusalem and its sanctuary are destroyed immediately upon the expiry
of the 70 'weeks'. This is also when the 62 'weeks' and the 69 'weeks'
terminate. It also marks the expiry of the first half of the verse 27
At this time the God raised destructive "anointed one, a ruler"
(mentioned in verse 25) arrives on the scene. It is when this ruler
and his people "people of an arriving ruler" cut off 'sacrifice and
TWO DIFFERENT ENTITIES ANOINTED
There are different entities being described as 'anointed'.
1) The anointed one sent to warn and call for repentance,
start of verse 26.
2) The destructive anointed ruler sent to destroy the city,
mentioned in verse 25 and the latter portion of verse 26.
* TIME CHART SUMMARY*