Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
The setting for today's top Bible Prophecy - Daniel 9:24-27
The prophet Daniel in Daniel 9:1-2 had been reading a series of verses from the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:10-14 -
“For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile."
Upon reading and reflecting on that text written over 70 years prior, Daniel decides to seek the Lord in prayer and to await God's response in Daniel 9:3-19. In Daniel 9:20-23 the angel Gabriel comes to a weary Daniel to encourage him and instruct him about God's future plans for Israel and His redemptive purposes to the end of history. Daniel had already been in Babylon for 70 years, and knew the time was about done. However what he needed to know from God was: "what now?" We read these words in Daniel 9:23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision."
With that word of encouragement, Daniel is given in 80 words the most far reaching prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27. It is to these four verses I direct the reader's attention to consider the Top Bible Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.
Top Bible Prophecy - Daniel 9:24-27
Many prophecies exist throughout scripture, some of which we have covered in previous studies. In this current periodic study we are entitling "Top Bible Prophecies", we have looked at those prophecies which predict and shape the events of scripture and history. 1 Many of those prophecies cover vast stretches of time and others are known for their heights of revelation about Jesus Christ. Daniel 9:24-27 accomplishes both. Below is a summary of the passage and the three great truths that show why it can be termed a Top Bible Prophecy:
1. Sovereignty of God 9:24-25
The prophecy begins by stating in Daniel 9:24 - "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city." To understand how the Jews reckoned time, we know from passages such as Genesis 29:27-28, a "week" was a way of measuring a period of seven years or what is called a "heptad". Being that the Jewish calendar was based on the phases of the moon, each year was 360 days in length. Hence 490 years are spoken of here in Daniel 9:24 that correspond to a period of time divinely prescribed by God.
God's Sovereignty is His comprehensive rule over people, times and events. (Genesis 50:20; Psalm 90:1-2; Daniel 2:44; Romans 11:36) Before God reveals the specifics of this time frame, He first of all lists six Divine purposes for the remainder of his dealings with his people Israel -
1. To finish transgression
2. To make an end of sin
3. To make atonement for iniquity.
Those first three purposes would be accomplished in Christ's first coming to die on the cross and raise from the dead. God is Sovereign enough to orchestrate all of time in order to send His Son to accomplish salvation once and for all. (Galatians 4:4) Daniel then lists three more Divine purposes that relate to Christ's future second coming:
4. To bring in everlasting righteousness
5. To seal up vision and prophecy
6. To anoint the most holy
These last three Divine purposes are like the first three, they must necessarily come to pass. All six have relationship to Israel, to history and to Christ. God is Sovereign enough to bring them about. (Acts 2:23-24; Romans 11:25-26; Philippians 3:20-21) Thus the first reason why Daniel 9:23-27 is a Top Bible Prophecy. But notice the second truth taught...
2. Savior's Cross 9:25-26a
From the Sovereignty of God we see his remaining explanation of the prescribed 70 weeks (490 years) that would lead up to the crucifixion of our Lord. Recall the observation we made about how the Jews reckon time? In these two verses God revealed through this angel two divisions of this prescribed period, with the third being dealt with later in 9:26b-27. In Daniel 9:25 we read - "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."
The first divided section deals with "seven weeks" or "49 years". The decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem is recorded in Nehemiah 2 and occurred on March 14, 445 b.c. Whenever you count 49 years from that date, you arrive at 396 b.c, the exact year the city was done and also whenever Malachi the prophet finished his prophecy.
The second divided section of 62 sevens or 434 years is reckoned from the completion of the city in 396 b.c to the crucifixion week of our Lord in 33 A.D. Daniel 9:26a states - "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." Now whenever you do a little math and combine these two divisions together (49 years plus 434 years = 483 years) and multiply 483 years times 360 days, you arrive at a figure of 173,880 days. If we take the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem (March 14, 445 b.c) and count 173,880 days, we would arrive at April 6, 33 A.D, the day in which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on his triumphal entry! That very week would be when our Lord was to be crucified or "cut off" as predicted by Daniel.
So we see the truths of God's Sovereignty, leading to the Savior's cross which in turn brings us to the third major truth found in this top Bible prophecy, namely...
3. Surrounding events leading to Christ's return 9:26b-27
Daniel's prophecy jumps from the cross to the future wherein history will be coming to its intended end before Christ's return. The third and final division of the seventy weeks is classified as "one week" or a seven year period wherein this "prince" will make a covenant with Israel. In the middle of this seven year period, the prince (elsewhere called "Anti-Christ, Son of Perdition and other names) will break his treaty and thus revealing his true colors. Thus "Anti-Christ" is the subject of these verses, with his rebellion and blasphemy being the primary predicted events. This final seven year period or "week" spoken of in Daniel is referred to by other names throughout the Bible.2
This focus of Daniel's 70th week is designed to show the stage upon which the second coming of Christ will take place. The "complete destruction" upon the one "who makes desolate" (Anti-Christ), though not explicitly stated here in Daniel 9:24-27, is shown in other texts to be accomplished by one Person, the soon coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 illustrates - "Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming."
Praise be to God for the top Bible prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 that reveals the Sovereignty of God, the Savior's Cross and the Surrounding events of Christ's second coming.
1. Other top prophecies that have been studied previously are: Genesis 3:15; 12:1-7; Deuteronomy 30; 2 Samuel 7:8-16; Psalm 110; Isaiah 53 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. The reader is encouraged to type in "Top Bible Prophecy" in the search engine on this blog site to view the previous entries in this study.
2. Note the names given for Daniel's "seventieth week" throughout scripture:
1. Day of Israel's Calamity. Deuteronomy 32:35
2. Jacob's trouble or troubled time. Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1
3. Day of Wrath. Zephaniah 1:15
4. When you arrive in the New Testament, Daniel 9:26b-27 constitutes the backdrop for Jesus' teaching on the times leading up to His second coming in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.
5. Day of the Lord. 1 Thessalonian 5:2
6. The Tribulation and Great Tribulation, Matthew 24:21,29
7. Judgment leading to Christ's return. Revelation 6-19