Daniel Chapter Nine

One of the most significant and most amazing prophecies in the entire Bible is recorded in the ninth chapter of Daniel. While in Babylon, Daniel prayed to God that he would show him what would happen to Israel after the captivity ended. God sent the angel, Gabriel, to give him an answer. Some great Bible teachers, including the late Dr. H.A. Ironside, considered this prophecy to be one of the most important ones recorded in the Bible.

If you want to read the entire “chapter nine” online click onDaniel – chapter nine“.

Daniel had lived in Babylon for nearly seventy years, and he was searching for an answer concerning Israel’s future. While studying the book of Jeremiah, he probably read these words. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. ‘But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will make it desolate forever’” (Jer. 25:11-12, NIV).

In the book of Second Chronicles, we read these words: “He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years” (2 Chr. 36:20-21, ESV). It seems that the people had been lax in keeping the required sabbatical years for a period of 490 years. The land would lie fallow for seventy years during the captivity, one year for each sabbatical year not observed – a sabbatical year is seven years.

As Daniel prayed about the future of his nation, God sent the angel, Gabriel, to provide an answer. Through Gabriel, God revealed to Daniel the chronological timetable for completing His program with the Jews. Gabriel states that he was sent to give Daniel skill and understanding concerning Israel’s future – a time, foreknown by God, of Israel’s tribulations and blessings. This period would cover 490 years with a precise beginning, but the last seven years would be separated from the other years. The numbers of years corresponded precisely with the period when the sabbatical years were not observed. The details are so precise that they are almost breathtaking when viewed in hindsight.

The late Dr. H.A. Ironside, quoting Sir Edward Denny, a noted prophetic student of the last century, called this timetable “The backbone of prophecy.” Dr. Ironside goes on to say in his book on Daniel, that if this prophecy is misunderstood, “then an effort will necessarily be made to bend all other prophetic Scriptures into accord with that misinterpretation. But if we have a correct understanding of the teaching of this chapter, we can then see readily how all prophecy, without any forcing, falls right into place and is intimately linked up with this the greatest of all time prophecies” (Ironside, Daniel, pp 155).

Now let us look at Daniel’s seventy weeks or 490 years as given by the angel, Gabriel. Seventy weeksare decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place” (Dan. 9:24, ESV).

Scholars often disagree on interpreting these verses, but most agree that Daniel has reference to a week of years and not a week of days – a period of 490 prophetic years. The Hebrew word “Shabua,” meaning seven, has been translated into the English word “week.” Thus, Daniel states a period of seventy times seven or four hundred and ninety years.

Based on Jewish law and customs, scholars agree that the unit of time is years. We will recall that the Mosaic Law required that the Jews keep a Sabbath based upon days and one based upon years. Therefore, we will assume the time period for these future events is 490 years of 360 days or 176,400 days.

We must also understand that these 490 prophetic years must correspond with and run concurrently with “the times of the Gentiles.” The seventy weeks for Israel and “the times of the Gentiles” will both end simultaneously. However, we will find that the seventy weeks are not a consecutive period, and within these future years, the nation Israel will be both destroyed and resurrected. God’s timing is measured with a stopwatch and can be turned on and off.

“The times of the Gentiles” began when the Israelites who were living in Jerusalem were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a vision of an image with a head of gold, breast, and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs and feet of iron and clay. Each of these metals represented a world power that would rule during the age of the Gentiles.

Although now a city, ancient Rome was once a world power. In the prophecy of Daniel, chapter two, Rome was the kingdom represented by “legs and feet of iron and clay” – it was the last of the Gentile world kingdoms. We are still influenced in some ways by this kingdom. The seventy weeks of Daniel must be interpreted in light of “the times of the Gentiles.” Perhaps, it would be helpful to read the second chapter of Daniel before you proceed with the study.

Now let us return to the details of Daniel’s seventy weeks. “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Itsend shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed” (Dan. 9:25-26, ESV).

Notice that the seventy years are divided into different periods of time. From the issuing of the decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, there will be 49 years. History has shown that the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem was issued to Nehemiah (Neh. 2:1-8) by Artaxerxes in the twentieth year of his reign. Artaxerxes was the Persian king, and the date was probably the month of Nisan (March) 445 BC. Within seven weeks of years or 49 years, the city was rebuilt, the last of the Old Testament prophets had spoken, and God ceased to communicate with his people. Some believe that the end of 49 years marks the end of the Old Testament period – we are unsure why Scripture breaks the time into 49 weeks.

Daniel says that after seven weeks and 62 weeks, or a total of 69 weeks, 483 years, the Messiah will come and will be cut off. Note: these two time periods, together, cover 69 weeks out of the total of 70 weeks.

For many years, God was silent, and then suddenly, He began to speak through John the Baptist, declaring the kingdom was at hand. God’s chosen people were blinded and did not recognize their Messiah, who was introduced to them by John the Baptist. They nailed Him to the cross, and He suffered and died for the sins of all. The Jewish Messiah was cut off from His people just as Daniel had prophesied. But it was not the Jews who cut the Messiah off but the Messiah who cut Himself off from the Jews.

Scholars have calculated the 69 weeks (483 years), beginning with March 14, 445 BC, taking into account leap years, came to a close on April 6, 32 AD. It is incredible how close this date corresponded with the date when Jesus died upon the cross. The Roman Empire crucified Jesus, and almost 40 years later, the city of Jerusalem was burned to the ground by the Roman General Titus, thus fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy. The burning of Jerusalem also brought about the complete destruction of Israel’s nation.

There remains one week or seven unaccounted years in Daniel’s seventy weeks. God had a surprise for His people. He halted the stopwatch on His program with the Jews and turned to a particular “called-out” group that would become known as the “The Church.” For many years, yet to be known, He has revealed Himself through The Church. But the day will come when He turns again to His chosen nation, Israel – seven years before He brings “the times of the Gentiles” to a close.

Now let us look at the last week of the timetable, which will last for seven years. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator” (Dan. 9:27, ESV).

After Israel is restored to their land, the Gentile nations will triumph in bringing about a one-world government under a world leader who is known as the Antichrist. This new world leader will come from a nation that traces its roots back to the old Roman Empire or perhaps from a restored Islamic Caliphate. He will be disguised as a great humanitarian who promises peace, prosperity, and plenty. To the Gentiles, this man will have, at last, triumphed over the world’s unjust and evil system. The promise will be that man will realize his destiny and find his utopia of peace and goodwill upon the earth.

The Jews will also be deceived and believe that they have found their promised Messiah. As Daniel calls him, the prince will enter into a covenant with Israel and promise them peace and security. Finally, Israel will be allowed to rebuild the temple and restore the sacrifices.  But Daniel says, “in the midst of the week” (three and one-half years), the prince will break his covenant and turn against the Jews. Daniel called it the “abomination of desolations,” and Jeremiah called it “a time of Jacob’s troubles.” This period is also referred to as the Great Tribulation describing the horrific end times.

The Apostle John was taken up into heaven in a vision and was allowed to see these catastrophic events, which are yet to occur. He recorded his vision in The Revelation, chapters four through nineteen. Many believe that the Great Tribulation is a New Testament concept, but an in-depth study indicates that it is an Old Testament concept that has been more fully developed in the New Testament. Both the Old and New Testaments give the length of the “Great Tribulation” as three and one-half years – also given as forty-two months, “a time, times, and half a time” or 1260 days. The Tribulation will last for seven years, but the last half, which is the most destructive, is called the “Great Tribulation. The prince (known as the infamous Antichrist), which is discussed in Daniel 9:26-27 will become the beast of The Revelation – chapters thirteen, seventeen, and nineteen.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® 2011 by Zondervan Corporation.  Used by permission. All rights reserved. Used with permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked ESV are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

To return to the previous menu click the windows backspace arrow in the upper left corner. To return to the site menu click; return to site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *