The Amillennial Understanding of Daniel 9:24-27 Often Called “Daniel’s 70th Week” Part 1

In the previous blog article, I established that the Reformed camp does not subscribe to “Replacement Theology” as defined by Dispensationalists.  And before starting on the Rev 20 and Matthew 24-25 studies from the amillennial perspective shortly, it is crucial that we discuss Daniel’s 70th Week from an amillennial understanding.

Let’s start by quoting the Dan 9:24-27 NASB:

24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.

25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.

26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

Verse 24 is the prophecy given by Gabriel and verses 25-27 expound on verse 24.  This is a common practice in Hebraic literature – a verse or series of verses give a summary and then the following verses goes into more detail.  For example, we see that in Genesis 1 and 2. Genesis 1 is the creation account – and Genesis 2 goes specifically into the sixth day of the creation in greater detail.   If you don’t understand how to read OT scriptures literarily, much erroneous doctrine can be produced. For example, some Christians in times past, misunderstood Genesis 1 and 2, and believed that there was a pre-Adamic race that lived prior to Adam and Eve.  Yes, you are reading right.  Their belief was based upon the end of Chapter 1 where an unnamed man and woman was created, and then God must have wiped them off the planet since it explains why the earth is old (because of the fossils – trying to fit in evolution) and then God created Adam and Eve.  Seriously.  All this based upon a misunderstanding of how to read the bible literarily.

Let’s start with verse 24: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.

Seventy weeks translates into 490 years.  How can this be?  In the original Hebrew, it states “seventy sevens” and translators often translate the “sevens” as in the seven days in a week, hence “seventy sevens” is what appears in original Hebrew scripture, but in most translations, it is translated as “seventy weeks”. And furthermore, the “weeks” are interpreted prophetically – one year for every one day therefore “seventy sevens” = 70 x 7 = 490 days = 490 years prophetically.  At least, that is what the dispensationalists claim.

However, there is another understanding – and it’s fully supported by scripture.  Leviticus 25 and 26 gives us the background in understanding Daniel 9 – and it concerns the sabbath-jubilee pattern in Leviticus 25 and 26.  Leviticus 25 gives instructions concerning the sabbath-jubilee pattern and Leviticus 26 is a warning from God to the Israelites concerning idol worship and how they must keep the sabbath including the sabbath rest for the land.  You should read Leviticus 25 and 26, but let me give you some verses that are pertinent:

(Lev 25:3-5, 8, 10-11 NASB) 3 ‘Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, 4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 ‘Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. … 8 ‘You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. … 10 ‘You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 ‘You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines.

And if they disobey, God punishes them in the following manner:

(Lev 26:43 NASB) 43 ‘For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes.

Please note the significance of 49 years and then a jubilee (50th year).  In fact, that reference to the jubilee is significant because Jesus references it here:

(Luk 4:16-21 NASB) 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” 20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

The word “favorable” in verse 19 can and has been translated in the Hebrew as “jubilee” because it’s based upon Isa 49:8 (NASB)  “Thus says the LORD, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;” – so the favorable (or acceptable) time is linked with the day of salvation, again, also linked prophetically with THE Jubilee of all jubilees – which is the appearance of the Messiah (Christ) offering redemption and other blessings that are detailed in Daniel 9:24.  And in addition, we know that Jesus is referencing Isaiah 61:

(Isa 61:1-2 NASB) 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,

Please further note that there are 10 rounds of 49, equaling 490 years (seventy sevens) – and 10, prophetically speaking, means completion.  Gabriel is clearly telling Daniel that God will fulfill His promises in Daniel 9:24-27 in sending the long-awaited Messiah and the realization of all the covenant blessings of the ultimate jubilee.  This is what Daniel has been patiently praying for.

Let’s define the references in verse 24:

  • Your people = Daniel’s people = Israelites
  • Your holy city = Jerusalem
  • To finish the transgression – Jesus finished the transgression by becoming sin for us at Calvary. There can never be any future sacrifice that can ever finish transgression and it was fully accomplished at Calvary. Scripture references:
    1. (Isa 53:8, 12 NASB) 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? … 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
    2. (John 19:30 NASB) 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
    3. (Heb 9:26-28 NASB) 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
    4. (Heb 10:10-14 NASB) 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
  • To make an end of sin – parallel to “finish the transgression” above. Scripture references:
    1. (Mat 1:21 NASB) 21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
    2. (John 1:29 NASB) 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
    3. (1John 3:5 NASB) 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
    4. (1Co 15:3 NASB) 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
    5. (Heb 9:26-28 NASB) 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
    6. (Heb 10:4-14 NASB) 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; 6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. 7 “THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.'” 8 After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
  • To make atonement for iniquity – i.e. to make reconciliation, to pardon or to cancel sin – scripture references:
    1. (Isa 53:5-6 NASB) 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
    2. (Rom 5:10 NASB) 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
    3. (2Co 5:18-19 NASB) 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
    4. (Col 1:20-22 NASB) 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach–
    5. (Eph 2:14-16 NASB) 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
    6. (Heb 2:17 NASB) 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
    7. (1Jo 2:2 NASB) 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
    8. (Tit 2:14 NASB) 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
  • To bring in everlasting righteousness – scripture references:
    1. (Isa 45:17 NASB) 17 Israel has been saved by the LORD With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated To all eternity.
    2. (Isa 4:3 NASB) 3 It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.
    3. (2Co 5:21 NASB) 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
    4. (Rom 3:21-26 NASB) 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
    5. (Rom 5:17-21 NASB) 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    6. (Mat 3:13-15 NASB) 13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.
    7. (Heb 1:9 NASB) 9 “YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.”
    8. (1Co 1:30 NASB) 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
    9. (1Pe 2:24 NASB) 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
    10. (1Jo 2:29 NASB) 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
  • To seal up vision and prophecy – more accurately, the word “prophet” is used interchangeably with the word “prophecy” according to most Hebrew scholars – and it means to ratify and confirm the prophets’ predictions, and since prophecies are being fulfilled, prophets and visions will not be needed anymore. Scripture references:
    1. (Heb 1:1-2 NASB) 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
    2. (Mark 1:14-15 NASB) 14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
    3. (Luke 24:25-27, 44 NASB) 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. … 44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
    4. (Rev 19:10 NASB) 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
  • To anoint the most holy place – actually, the word “place” is not in the scriptures. According to Hebrew scholars, the language infers either a person, place or thing (i.e. a noun).  That is why you will have some translations say “place”, others say “one” and yet others say “thing”.  I believe that the KJV translators hit the nail on the head on this verse – because they said the “Most Holy” and ended with a period. And I agree. And I believe that based upon what was said in the ENTIRE verse, that the Most Holy IS Jesus Christ.  He is the Anointed Messiah. In fact, verse 25 mentions the Messiah the Prince – again inferring that the Most Holy of verse 24 is Messiah the Prince in verse 25. This verse does not speak about the temple in Jerusalem AT ALL, though many dispensationalists claim it is, erroneously, I may say.   Scripture references:
    1. (Isa 61:1-2 NASB) 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
    2. (Luke 4:17-21 NASB) 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” 20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
    3. (Mar 1:23-24 NASB) 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”
    4. (Act 10:38 NASB) 38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

As you can see, I have exhaustedly provided scriptures that explain clearly what verse 24 states.  And it’s clear from the scriptures provided that verse 24 was fulfilled in Christ – not some future date – it was fulfilled in toto by Christ in His first coming. In the next blog post, let’s look at the rest of the verses, 25 through 27, that expounds and recapitulates what will occur during the period that verse 24 refers to in Part 2 that follows.

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