70 Weeks Means 490 Years and References the Tribulation Period of Matthew 24

September 18, 2013 at 1:26 PM 5 comments

seventy_sevens_chartIn our last article dealing with aspects of the Tribulation, we went to Daniel 9 to discuss the subject of the 70 weeks. We also discussed the difference between general trials and tribulations that all of us will experience in this life because of the nature of it. These trials and tribulations are, I believe, very different from the specific time period of what is known as “the” Tribulation, which will be the final seven years of humanity’s history on this earth prior to the Lord’s return.

While general trials and tribulations are never fun, God uses those to bring about pruning and growth in His children. These trials and tribulations are also never the result of God’s wrath. They are simply part and parcel of life that is what it is due to the fallen nature of man and the curse that God placed on Creation.

However, as we also pointed out in our last article, the coming Tribulation is a full seven years of God’s unbridled wrath. We see this very clearly in Revelation 6. Revelation 5 provides the pageantry that shows us the Lamb (Jesus) who is found worthy to open the seven-sealed scroll. Please take the time to read that chapter. All eyes are on the Lamb.

In Revelation 6, please note that just as clearly, the Lamb opens the sealed scroll. He controls the action. He determines the timing. He is in absolute control as He uses nature, demons, and even Satan as tools of His wrath that is poured out on the earth and on humanity.

We ended our last article introducing Daniel 9:24-27 and specifically went into some detail regarding the use of the term “weeks” as applied to the 70 weeks that Gabriel highlighted for Daniel in that chapter. We learned that a “week” in that chapter actually refers to a period of seven years. We know that because the entire chapter is referenced in terms of years. You’ll recall Daniel had been reading Jeremiah and had learned that the 70 year captivity was almost up. So, he devoted himself to prayer to learn more about this, confessing his own and Israel’s sins to God.

Gabriel interrupted him to begin explaining the meaning. Essentially, Gabriel told Daniel that it wasn’t 70 years, but seventy “sevens” of years. Yes, they would be released from Babylonian captivity after the 70 years, but would literally experience hundreds more years of being ruled over by Gentile kingdoms. This has been the case since then.

Let’s look at the Daniel text again (9:24-27):

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.”

If we break this down, we learn several things. First, we need to figure out when the “issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” occurred. There are several candidates for that, but most conservative scholars agree it was most likely Artaxerxes II in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-8) that best qualifies (see chart).

If we use that one as our starting point, then we travel ahead in time 7 weeks, then 62 weeks (v. 25). Ultimately, these “weeks” translate to 49  years (7 sevens) and 434 years (62 sevens), or 483 years in total. A period of 70 weeks then, equals 490 years, though the final “week” is not mentioned until verse 27. This then, takes us to verse 26. Notice it says, “Then after the sixty-two weeks…” several things happen.

First, “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing.” This is almost universally understood to mean that the Messiah will be killed. When Jesus was killed, He had nothing. Friends had deserted Him and He didn’t even have His own grave. This happened after the sixty-two weeks came to a conclusion (the text says “after the sixty-two weeks.”

Second, another event takes place after the completion of the 62 weeks. Text states, “and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The big question is who is the “prince who is to come”? Some believe this to be Jesus. The problem with this view is that this “prince” will destroy the city and the sanctuary (Jewish Temple). Notice the text says “and the people of the prince who is to come…” connecting specific people with the coming prince who will destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (Temple).

This can only mean one thing. The “prince” here will be FROM the people of Rome who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.In other words, this future “prince” will ethnically be united with the same people who destroyed the city and temple in AD 70. Who was that? The Roman soldiers. So, the coming “prince” who, in my opinion is the Antichrist who has yet to appear on the world’s stage, will be of Roman (Latin) descent and will probably not be Jewish by birth, although like Herod, may identify himself as Jewish.

The same verse (26) tells us that the “end will come with a flood.” This most certainly has no reference to water, but to the flood of a military conquest. This is how this word is used when it is not directly referring to a body of water. It is a figure of speech. The end of Jerusalem came with a flood of army soldiers who destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple there.

Another interesting phrase is the last portion of verse 26, which says, “even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”

Even to the end of what? The verse has already stated that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. This must be referring to something after this. It appears as though Gabriel is saying that even unto the end of the age, “there will be war; desolations are determined.”

Since AD 70, the Middle East has either been ignored or fought over. Since before 1948, factions wanted what had been Israel. Yet, in 1948, Israel again became a nation. Since that time especially, there has been nothing but wars and desolations. Yet, desolations existed prior to that time.

The Dome of the Rock mosque has been sitting on the Temple Mount since its completion in AD 691. That – as far as God is concerned – is a desolation. The Al Aqsa mosque was completed in AD 705.

The fighting in that area of the world continues to this day with no end in sight. We are essentially between the end of the 62nd week and the beginning of the 70th week, which incidentally, is the same time frame as the coming Tribulation and we’ll talk about that next time.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology.

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  • […] we last dealt with the subject of the Tribulation, we discussed how 70 “weeks” literally means 490 years. You may wish to go back and refresh your memory or if you have not read that article, I would […]


  • 2. Jonelle Vargo  |  September 24, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    PPS could I have the copy by Friday, Sept 27th? I am planning a potluck with a few deaf people and would like to share what I learned with them. Thank you Jonelle Vargo “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7)

    “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)



    • 3. modres  |  September 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Hi Jonelle,

      I’m confused – what is it you would like a copy of?


  • 4. libslayer2013  |  September 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Another great post. I love how Daniel maps out with intense clarity such a remarkable timeline. Anyone who wishes to try to discredit the Bible as God’s inspired and Divine Word is blind. Thanks for spending the time to put this all down for the general public.


    • 5. modres  |  September 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      I think you nailed it. People who can’t see it – in my opinion – are blind simply because it appears to make so much sense. At any rate, I’m glad our salvation is not dependent upon which version of the end times we believe in. 🙂


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