Article of the Month
Daniel’s Great Two-Part Time Prophecy
The entire book of Daniel deals with time—sometimes with
numbers, sometimes with events which help
to establish dates. However, the great “70 Weeks”
prophecy of Chapter 9 is particularly helpful because it
establishes Daniel as a true prophet when his words are
fulfilled at the first advent; and since the Chapter 9
prophecy is PART of the Chapter 8 prophecy which deals
with time in the 19th Century, we are better
able to understand events of our own era. We will
postpone consideration of Chapter 8 for another time and
focus now on Chapter 9.
Daniel 8 finds Daniel deep in despair (8:26, 27) because
he could not understand his own prophecy about a period
of 2,300 “days.” (8:14) A day in prophecy equals a
literal year. (Ezekiel 4:6)
In Daniel 9, Daniel understands that Jerusalem’s
desolation was about to the end of the 70 foretold
years. He prays to learn more about the 70 years, and
God sends an angel to instruct him concerning the 2,300
years that had troubled Daniel so much. Here, in
paraphrase, is what Gabriel explained to Daniel:
The first 490 years (70 “weeks”) of the 2,300 years are
SET ASIDE for your people, Israel, and for the city of
Jerusalem. (The rest of the period will deal with
Gentiles.) By the end of these 70 weeks:
(1) Israel will no longer transgress the Law because
the Law will be
(2) Sin will have been paid for by Christ’s
(3) The true way of reconciliation with God will have
(4) PERMANENT (not temporary, as under the Jewish Law)
justification will have been provided for.
(5) The vision of the 2,300 days will be certain
because its first part
will have come true.
(6) Daniel will be shown to be a true and trustworthy
(7) The truly holy ones of Israel will be anointed with
the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, note these details:
When Artaxerxes issues his decree (in 454 B.C.—Nehemiah
2:3-8; 6:15; 7:1) to restore and rebuild Jerusalem,
there will be 49 years plus 434 years, and THEN Messiah
will appear (in A. D. 29, at his baptism). The building
of Jerusalem before that will be troublous (Nehemiah 4),
and it will take the first 49 years to be well settled.
After the next 434 years, Messiah appears, BUT HE WILL
BE KILLED—not for himself, but on our behalf. Later,
Titus, the Roman Prince, will come (A.D. 69-70) and will
destroy the city and the temple. It will be a deluge of
troubles until all is desolate, as prophesied.
But Messiah (even after his death) will keep God’s
promises to faithful Israelites until the 70th
week (A.D. 29-36) has expired (at which time God will
turn to the Gentiles). In the middle of this week (A.D.
33), Messiah’s TRUE sacrifice will have rendered all of
Israel’s sacrifices and oblations NON-EFFECTIVE.
Because of Israel’s faithlessness, all Israel and its
Law Covenant will become desolate, until the time comes
for Israel’s restoration, which occurs when the faithful
Church has been consummated.
The wonderful fulfillment of these words at Jesus’ first
advent provides for us a standard of interpretation of
Biblical chronology. Applying these lessons to the rest
of Daniel’s time prophecies, and to those of the rest of
the Bible, yields dramatic and satisfying results. We
see not only how the Bible predicted events before our
day, but also those now around us.
Next month’s article will build on this information.