The Divine Timetable: Daniel’s 70 Weeks
A Special Prophetic Passage
I am amazed and encouraged by how much God has told us in His Word about the return of Jesus Christ to Earth.
There are an enormous number of Old Testament prophecies which are particularly relevant to those of us living in the end-times. It's necessary that we rightly interpret these prophecies to have the understanding God wants us to have about His plans for both the Jewish people and the Church.
In this article, we're going to look at one prophetic passage. It's Daniel 9:24-27, and it speaks of a divine schedule, a timeframe which is absolutely essential to help us understand the sequence of events in the end-times. This timeframe is the 70 weeks of Daniel, where 1 week equals 7 years, and 70 weeks equals 490 years.
Biblical scholars believe these 70 weeks began in 445 B.C. In Daniel 9:26, we read that the Messiah would be cut off after the first 69 weeks, or 483 years.
What's so amazing is that mathematicians have calculated that God's prophetic timetable was perfect, for these 483 years took us right up to 30 B.C., the exact time when Christ was crucified. Again, we see that God's prophetic Word is to be taken literally, and is completely, 100 percent accurate.
But what about the 70th week? Has it started yet?
No, it hasn't. Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:9-26, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and Revelation 13 all tell us of specific events which need to take place during this seven-year timeframe, but they haven't yet occurred, meaning the 70th week is still future. It's obvious that this Church Age has now been going on for close to 2,000 years, meaning there's a long gap between the 69th and 70th weeks.
Start-Up Coming Soon
Yet, over the past 130 years, the Jewish people have miraculously regathered back to their land, a clear sign from God that we now live in the end-times, and that the start-up of the 70th week is not far away.
In fact, Daniel 12:4 first used the phrase, the time of the end – or the end-time – which is the time period when these 70 weeks will come to an end. The fact that God is again actively working with the Jewish people means He's wrapping up His work with the Church, and it won't be long before Christ's return.
Of course, only God knows when the 70th week will begin, but when it does, we'll see a great deal of prophetic activity, and the glorious fulfillment of many of God's promises to both the Jewish people and the Church.
Major Events Yet to Occur
Here are some of the major prophesied events which will take place during Daniel's 70th week:
1. At the very start of Daniel's 70th week, there'll be the confirmation of a covenant (or peace treaty) between Israel, the Antichrist, and other nations (Daniel 9:27).
2. At the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, the 3¬Ω-year mark, the Antichrist will be revealed, and he will desolate the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27). True Christians and many Jewish people will discern that this is the Antichrist as he will begin greatly persecuting them all over the world (Revelation 12:13-17).
3. At the very end of Daniel's 70th week, the seven-year mark, many Jewish people will be saved (Daniel 9:24; Romans 11:25-27). At this time, the kingdoms of the world will become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
4. Christ's coming and the rapture of the Church will take place sometime during the last half of this 70th week, but no one knows exactly when (Matthew 24:31-36). The Day of the Lord – God's judgment of unbelievers still alive on earth – will begin immediately following the rapture.
Only as we understand this 70th-week timeframe will we be able to clearly figure out what happens when in the end-times. I can't stress enough the importance of knowing this divine schedule, for then we will be able to know how to put the prophetic pieces in their proper places. Without being able to do so, we will be blind and unable to discern what God wants us to see about the future God has for us, our families, and for our churches.
After Daniel wrote these prophesies he was instructed to seal up the book until the end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). About 2,450 years later, with the regathering of the Jewish people back to their land, this book was unsealed.
How exciting and encouraging to be living in the end-times Daniel predicted. I'm sure he would've loved to be alive now, but God meant it for us. This is our time! It won't be long now before Daniel's 70th week begins, and not many years later, the wonderful rapture of the Church, the devastating wrath of God on earth, the promised redemption of the Jewish people, and at last the glorious reign of Jesus Christ on Earth!
Steven J. Hogan has been a pastor-teacher for the past 25 years, and at Hope Bible Church of Tampa since 2003.