I hope you’re well into the sad saga of Hosea and Gomer. It’s a perplexing story that languishes on and breaks and re-breaks our hearts as it progresses. Keep reading and keep that list of sins that were hurting God.
One more time, before moving on though, I want to revisit Daniel. Time prevented us from discussing the prophecy of the seventy weeks on the podcast, so I want to make a few observations about that passage. Then, I promise. I’ll move on from that rich book to another!
Here’s the passage:
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (Daniel 9: 24-27)
I’ve read some interesting authors on this passage, but my favorite, by far, is Wayne Jackson from www.christiancourier.com. I always love to read his works and his insights here are rich and easily understood.
The pre-captivity years of Israel were 490, in number. It appears that, for this entire time, the nation had failed to keep the sabbatical law as it applied to allowing the lands to go unplanted each seventh year (the sabbatical rest for land). A quick division of 490 by 7 indicates that 70 sabbatical years had been neglected. The period of Babylonian captivity was 70 years. Thus, the nation was confined to servitude in Babylon for one year per sabbatical rest missed through almost five centuries of history.
Significant in this prophecy, as well, is the fact that approximately 490 years hence (in the future) would be the end of sins (9:24) at Calvary. I love the fact that this prophecy seems to mark the middle between the establishment of the Israelite nation and the fulfillment of its purpose at the cross.
So what are the seventy weeks? Well, if every day in the seventy weeks represents a year, we have the magic number: 490 years. But those 490 years were broken down further into three segments in the verses above.
The first segment mentioned is “seven weeks.” If we, once again, compute each day as a year, this segment consisted of 49 years. From the time of the return of Ezra (Ezra 7:6,7), with his company of rebuilders, to the time of the completion of the city and wall was 49 years (seven weeks according to our computation code).
The second segment mentioned is sixty-two weeks. Again, if we make each day represent a year, this segment is 434 years. From the time of the completion of the wall until the year of Jesus’ baptism and the commencement of his earthly ministry, 434 years elapsed.
The final segment mentioned is the midst of the week. If each day represents a year, how many years are in half a week? Obviously, one-half of a week would be three-and-one-half years: the length of Jesus ministry. Computation puts the “midst of this week” at A.D. 30, the year of the death of Christ.
Amazed yet? Go back now and read the prophecy above and let the precision of foreknowledge revealed in this ancient book sink into your faith system! Know and love the fact that God was intent on providing the Anointed One for our sins. He knew exactly how and when, even five centuries prior to the cross. In fact, he knew it from the foundations of the world (Rev. 13:8)! Can you just bask with me in the blanket of comfort we have just knowing that He has secured, from the beginning, our salvation to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25) through the “cutting off” of this Messiah? When He revealed this amazing timeline of salvation to Daniel, it had already been as good as done since the beginning of time. He is a mighty God!
I hope you took the time to investigate some of the other faith-building prophecies of the book of Daniel. The website mentioned above is a great place to investigate. Just go to www.christiancourier.com and type the words “Daniel prophecies” in the search bar and you will learn about some pretty astonishing prophecies…like the one about Alexander the Great or the one about Antiochus Epiphanes. But those are stunningly precise revelations of events that were still far in the future that are for another post on another day.
Blessings on your studies. I am so glad that we are in this together. You know, if we were studying American history or psychology, or nutrition, it would be an exhaustible study. We would eventually run out of soap. But, the more we know about the Bible, the more we know that we don’t know! Thanks for encouraging me in our dig!
As one sweet friend recently put it:
“I pray for my weakness with stress- I engage myself in Digging Deep (I AM looking forward to Tuesday evening- is it through TalkShoe?) Only day by day, with Him, will make me stronger-I do see areas in which I have improved, but still see my weaknesses- stress being one.”
I think all of us can relate. Let’s keep praying and digging–for ourselves and for each other.
PS. I ran into “Marcia,” from our holiday encouragement tree recently and she asked me to thank all of you who sent her cards for making her life better. Her days are happier than they have been in some time and you all were a part of that big improvement!