Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks does not end with the death of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem (see previous section). There is still one significant part left in Israel’s allotted time clock that we have not yet considered and this amazing prophecy is described in a single verse: Daniel 9:27. This verse actually predicts some of the events that will happen during the final one-“week” period of the Seventy Weeks, and as we will see, understanding these events will be very important for understanding end times prophecy as a whole. Even though as many as 483 years of the total 490-year period of the Seventy Weeks were fulfilled in the time between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and the first coming of Christ, Daniel’s Seventieth Week, or the final 7-year period, has never been fulfilled to our day. This is what the prophecy says:
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolator.”
As discussed in the previous three sections (Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, The Start Date for the Seventy Weeks, and Calculating the Time of Messiah), the entire prophecy of the Seventy Weeks was completed with incredible accuracy right up until the time of Messiah’s coming. Even the predictions dealing with the subsequent destruction of both Jerusalem and the Temple occurred exactly as written. However, the last week of the prophecy never did occur at the time of Christ, nor did it occur even shortly thereafter. In fact, the Seventieth Week has been delayed for almost 2,000 years, and still it has not yet begun. Why did this long delay happen?
The huge time gap in the prophecy between Daniel 9:26 and Daniel 9:27 was not an oversight or a mistake. It occurred as a result of the momentous events at the end of the first 69 weeks when Messiah came to His people and was rejected and put to death. When Jesus presented himself to the nation on the Sunday before Passover and Israel spurned him and had him crucified, the judgment of God came upon the Jews with greater force and intensity than at any other time in their history. It was because of Israel’s rejection of Christ and the severe consequences that came after that point that the flow of Daniel’s prophecy was interrupted and the Seventieth Week postponed indefinitely. This was certainly anticipated by what the Lord said as he entered Jerusalem in his final week before his crucifixion:
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”
Luke 19:42 (NIV)
Jesus wept as he said these words. He knew that the severity of judgment that would come upon the nation for rejecting him would be severe. It brought a sentence from God upon Israel that caused spiritual blindness, war, death, and destruction, and scattered the Jews into virtually every nation upon the Earth. Unlike previous judgments, this time they would be scattered much farther away than Babylon, and as a result of this punishment they would be gone much longer than 70 years.
The extended time that Israel spent scattered among the nations created an interlude in the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in which God effectively abandoned the Jews and concentrated on bringing salvation to the Gentiles. While the Lord left the Jews in a state of judgment, the final segment of Daniel’s prophecy was also left unfulfilled. The fact that the concluding one-week segment was not to be contiguous with the previous 69 weeks of the prophecy was certainly implicit in Gabriel’s words, because the descriptions of Christ’s death and Jerusalem’s destruction were both predicted to happen after the first 69 weeks, but before he described the start of the Seventieth Week. Since the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple didn’t occur until 38 years after Jesus was crucified, the final 7 years of the prophecy couldn’t have occurred immediately after the first 69 weeks were completed.
Unfortunately, there are some who have tried to force the Seventieth Week to fit after the first 69 weeks without a delay; however, no one can point to even one of Daniel’s predictions for the last seven years that occurred at that time. There was no stoppage of the sacrifices around the 3½-year point after Jesus road into Jerusalem and no abomination is recorded to have occurred within the Temple at that time. In addition, to fulfill Daniel 9:27, a massive desolation would have had to have happened and then be followed immediately by the consummation or the end of the age. None of these events occurred after Christ’s death and resurrection. Clearly, Daniel’s Seventieth Week was not fulfilled immediately after the first 69 weeks, but the prophecies of Messiah being cut off and Jerusalem’s destruction were both fulfilled exactly as written.
Also important is how the description of the events within the last 7 years again imply the existence of the Temple. Clearly there must be an interval of time between the destruction of the city and sanctuary in 70 AD along with the subsequent scattering of the Jews as described in Daniel 9:26 and their implied return to the land and reestablishment of Temple worship as described in Daniel 9:27. Thus, the delay in the start of the Seventieth Week was fully anticipated and planned by the Lord from the beginning, and as we will soon see, the final seven years of this prophecy are not scheduled to occur until the very end of the age, just before Christ returns.
The gap between the first 69 weeks and the final Seventieth Week actually parallels the gap between the First and Second Comings of Christ. No one understood before the time of Christ that He would come a second time, and no one fully comprehended until Jesus prophesied of these events that the sixty-ninth week and the Seventieth Week would occur far apart in time. From our perspective in history living in the last days and actually having seen many of these prophecies come to pass, it is now easier to interpret and piece together all of them in an understandable way. It would have been much more difficult living before the First Coming of Christ to interpret them completely, but they were certainly not impossible to understand, because the prophets provided all the information necessary.
From our perspective in history, we can now see that end times prophecies are being fulfilled at an increasing pace, indicating that the last days are truly upon us. Of course, one of the most important of these fulfilled prophecies involves the nation of Israel now having been miraculously reborn. The Jews reestablished their homeland in 1948-1949 in a series of battles against the surrounding nations, and spectacularly regained the Old City of Jerusalem in the almost supernatural victory of the 1967 Six Day War. In addition, a good percentage of the Jews that were previously scattered and living among the nations have now returned to their land, exactly as the prophets predicted (see the previous sections starting with The Regathering of Israel). Therefore, for the first time in almost 2,000 years, the Jews once again possessed the Temple Mount and controlled the city of Jerusalem. Although the sanctuary itself has not yet been rebuilt and Muslims with their false temple have been allowed to control worship in the Temple Mount area, Jewish groups within Israel have actually been planning for the Temple’s reconstruction for decades. Part of those plans include the eventual restarting of the sacrifices and ceremonial worship program as prescribed by Moses. These groups are even tracking the birth of red heifers in Israel, because one without blemish is required as a sacrifice for consecrating the opening of the Temple (Numbers 19:2).
In fact, Jewish activities in preparation for rebuilding the Temple have gone far beyond just wishful thinking or conceptual planning. The craftsmen of the Temple Institute are actually preparing the large cut stone blocks to lay the corner stone and to build the walls and other structures, and they are also crafting the Temple items necessary for ceremonial worship—including the duplication and production of at least 60 vessels which were used within the Temple in ancient Israel. It was also reported in early March of 2015 that the Temple Institute had completed the building of the large alter which once stood in the outer court of the Temple. The original one was about 16 feet high (~5 meters) and over 52 feet wide (~16 meters) with horns on each of its corners, and it had a large ramp leading up to it to accommodate the movement of sacrificial animals. The Temple Institute made the alter out of hot-fired brick to withstand the heat of the fires, and designed it in such a way so that it can be disassembled and reassembled easily, thus facilitating rapid construction at the appointed time.
All of these items are essential for rebuilding the Temple according to the plans laid out in Ezekiel 40-42. This prophecy in Ezekiel contains highly detailed descriptions with measurements for the construction of a new Temple; however, his design has never been used for constructing the sanctuary even when the second Temple was built after the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel’s vision clearly has reference to a third Temple that would be constructed after Israel returns to their land in the last days in preparation for the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom Age. The Temple Institute is now soliciting funds to draw up the detailed architectural drawings needed for its final construction, which will likely follow the very plans laid out in Ezekiel. The day is definitely approaching when the Third Temple will be built within the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem in direct fulfillment of the prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel.
Even other Old Testament prophets tell us that when Christ Returns, he will suddenly come to his Temple and enter through the East Gate or Golden Gate, which is now closed off. Malachi 3 contains a prophetic description of the Lord’s Coming to render judgment upon the world. In verse one, it says:
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”
The first part of this prophecy is a prediction of John the Baptist and his ministry in preparing the way for the Lord before his First Coming. The last half of this verse, however, relates solely to the sudden Second Coming of Christ at the end of the age. Ezekiel also saw the glory of the Lord’s Coming into his Temple after he gave his prophetic description for its plans in chapters 40-42.
“Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.
And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.”
In our time, the Eastern or Golden Gate of the Temple stands sealed shut, bricked closed by the Muslims in the early part of the Sixteenth Century to prevent, according to some historians, the coming of the Jewish Messiah. It is interesting that Ezekiel also predicts that after Christ returns and enters through the Eastern Gate, the gate shall be once again sealed shut (Ezekiel 44:1-2).
The conclusion to all of these predictions concerning the Temple of the last days is that it will definitely be rebuilt again, and it will be standing at the time of Christ’s Return. Therefore, the reference in Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks must truly refer to this rebuilt Temple, which also figures prominently into other prophecies of the end times.
Thus, in our day, now that Israel has once again become a nation and the Jews are planning to rebuild the Temple, when will Daniel’s Seventieth Week finally find fulfillment? From the prophecies in the Bible as discussed in detail within the various sections of End Times Truth, it becomes clear that the last seven years allotted for Israel’s repentance, faith, and salvation correlate exactly to the prophecies of the last seven years before the Return of Christ. It will also become apparent that this final Seventieth Week of Daniel’s prophecy actually is the key that unlocks the chronology of all the major events predicted to occur at the end.
Daniel 9:27 thus becomes the foundation that makes not only Israel’s future understandable, but it also provides us with an important framework for a complete interpretation of what will happen in the world immediately before Christ returns. So critical is this one verse that the majority of other end times prophecies can be shown to fit within the structure defined by Daniel’s Seventieth Week. In many cases, these other prophecies provide much more detail of what will happen during this period. They also frequently divide the last week or final seven year period into two equal halves of 3½ years consisting of 1,260 days, which again relates to the Jewish calendar consisting of a 360-day year. The prophecies also affix within this time frame important events as they relate to either the first or last half of the final seven years. In certain verses the division into two equal halves appears more metaphorically as a “time, times, and the dividing of times” or a “time, times, and a half a time”, depending on the particular translation, which symbolically means a period of 1 year plus 2 years plus a half a year, for a total of 3½ years. There are also many important events predicted to occur within these two divisions of the final 7 years, and most of them are discussed more fully in the sections concerning the New World Order, World War III, and also within the sections on the End Times Chronology. For now, however, we are interested in how this prophecy relates to the nation of Israel and more specifically to the overall scope of Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
The angel Gabriel tells us in Daniel 9:27 that over the course of the final seven years someone, which he only identifies by the masculine pronoun “he”, will confirm (or uphold) a covenant (agreement or treaty) with many people. The first question is: what is the focus of the pronoun “he” or to whom does this pronoun refer? When a pronoun is used in normal language, one typically looks at the text just before it to determine what its antecedent might be. There are two possible figures within Daniel’s prophecy that potentially could be the focus: “Messiah the Prince” mentioned in Daniel 9:25 or “the prince that shall come” mentioned in Daniel 9:26. Since “the prince that shall come” is mentioned immediately before the pronoun “he” in Daniel 9:27, it is this person that is the logical antecedent.
Therefore, we can properly conclude that the pronoun “he” used in the last verse of the prophecy must refer to the “prince” of the previous verse. In Daniel 9:26, it is predicted that “the people of the prince that shall come” will destroy the city and the sanctuary in a great war (which, as discussed in the previous section, occurred late in the First Century AD). The second prince therefore is distinct from “Messiah the Prince”, because the Messiah’s people were not the ones that destroyed the city and the sanctuary. Also, the Messiah did not cause an abomination within the sanctuary or cause a subsequent desolation as the prophecy states. Thus, there are two “princes” in view within the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, and the second one is definitely not the Messiah.
In addition, the coming of the second prince is inaugurated by the establishment of a covenant among many people. This is a treaty that is said to last seven years according to the prophecy. This is not a trivial fact. It is the major transition point and signal of the end. This coming leader will cause the signing of a worldwide treaty that will also result in restarting the flow of Daniel’s prophecy and begin the countdown of the Seventieth Week. Amazingly, God is telling us through this prophecy precisely when the last seven years of this age will begin. The primary sign for the start of Daniel’s Seventieth Week is the establishment of a worldwide treaty. From other prophecies we know that the Antichrist will seek to “change the times and the laws” (Daniel 7:25), and he will become the leader of the world as all nations give their power to him at the end (see the sections filed under The Antichrist for additional information). This treaty therefore must be the official instrument that inaugurates and confirms his rise to power. It will also herald the beginning of the final seven years of this age!
Another important aspect to understand is that this prophecy lets us know the regional origin of the leader who will desecrate the Temple during the final seven years. We know from history that the people of the prince that will come were the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. Therefore, we can rightly conclude that whoever the future prince of Daniel’s prophecy turns out to be, in order to fulfill this prediction he must be a descendant of the very people that destroyed Jerusalem.
In the First Century, Rome’s military commander Titus invaded Palestine with an army to put down a Jewish uprising which began in 66 AD, and he came with an overwhelming force consisting of a number of Roman Legions. Thus, the people were the Romans wielding the power of the Roman Empire. This means that the prince which is predicted to arise in Daniel 9:27 will be of European origin, coming from the general region of the controlling authority of the Roman Empire. From other prophecies by Daniel and also from prophecies by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation, we know that this future leader will come out of a reborn Roman Empire at the end of the age. The rise of this final empire is discussed in great detail in the sections filed under the New World Order and The Antichrist.
Notice also that the Messiah in Daniel 9:25 is called “the Prince”, which is typically capitalized in most translations to indicate that it is associated with literally “the anointed one” or the Messiah. This was done by the translators even though the Hebrew language has no mode of capitalization within its alphabet. By contrast, the one who will cause an abomination within a future rebuilt Temple is called “the prince” in Daniel 9:26 with a small “p” in most translations, because most translators and commentators have seen the clear differentiation between the two predicted princes. We must also be careful not to confound the two titles, because the first one refers to the true Messiah, who is the Lamb of God and the Savior of the world and who was predicted to arrive at the end of the first 69 weeks (see previous section), while the second one refers to the false messiah or the lamb which has two horns and speaks like a dragon as described in Rev. 13:11, whom we also call the Antichrist. It is interesting in these verses that even the angel Gabriel suggests that the coming Antichrist will appear to be like a savior to the world and similar to the true Christ, but in fact he will be a false messiah and a deceiver who will only bring abomination and destruction at the end.
In the last days, the Antichrist will be so lifted up and deceived by his power and authority that he will begin to believe that he is the messiah and literally God incarnate. Daniel’s prophecy tells us that in the middle of the final seven years, the coming prince will enter into the rebuilt Temple, stop the sacrifices, and desecrate the Holy Place. This abomination was also predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24 as a major turning point in the final seven years, and the Lord even makes reference to the prophecy in Daniel for its fulfillment:
“When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand),
“then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains:
“let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house:
“and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak.
“But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days!
“And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath:
“for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.”
Matt. 24:15-21 (NKJV)
When the disciples asked the Lord what would be the sign of his coming and the end of the age, he described for them the events leading up to the end in Matthew 24. This chapter is one of the best summaries of the final seven years found within the Bible, and it pivots at verse 15 with the Abomination of Desolation, which was predicted in Daniel 9:27. Jesus confirms this prophecy in Daniel and lets us know that the date of its fulfillment would be at a point known only to the Father (Matthew 24:36). He clearly indicated that the Seventieth Week would not occur for quite some time, and the exact time of its fulfillment would be entirely controlled by God.
In addition, the Apostle Paul later provided additional detail about the Abomination of Desolation when he described the coming of the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2. First he said that the Day of the Lord would not come before the man of sin was revealed. Paul then went on to say of the Antichrist that he would…
“…opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.”
2 Thess. 2:4 (ASV)
If we put both the prophecies by Jesus and Paul together with what Daniel says in the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, then we must conclude that in the middle of the final seven years, the Antichrist (the prince) will go into the rebuilt Temple to declare himself to be God. This event will trigger God’s judgment and result in the beginning of the Great Tribulation, which will make the entire world a desolate wilderness. Jesus warns that those who witness this event should immediately flee into the mountains, and not even return home to get their belongings, because the days that would follow would be the worst in all of history.
In another prophecy found in Daniel 11:35-45, the prophet predicts the coming of the Antichrist as a willful king who will arise to power at the time of the end. The language Daniel uses in this prophecy is very similar to the language used in Daniel 9:27 with regard to the abomination:
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
This prophecy tells us that the Antichrist will prosper during the first part of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, and he will be exalted and magnified to the world until the indignation occurs. Just as Gabriel said to Daniel in chapter 9, the final 7 years will be punctuated by the abomination (or indignation), which is predicted to happen in the middle of this time period. Both prophecies therefore predict that the abomination will be the major turning point of the end, and they precisely parallel what Jesus said in Matthew 24.
Incredibly, Daniel even predicts the exact day that the Abomination of Desolation will occur within the time frame of the Seventieth Week. In the twelfth chapter of his book, he says,
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
Dan. 12:11 (NKJV)
We have already seen that the last seven years will consist of 7 years of 360 days (7 x 360) for a total of 2,520 days. From other prophecies, we also know that the seven year period is often divided into two equal halves of 1,260 days each. Now Daniel 12:11 lets us know that the Abomination of Desolation will occur precisely 1,290 days before the end. Thus, the Antichrist will go into the rebuilt Temple exactly 30 days prior to the mid-point of the Seventieth Week. Prophecies like this indicate that once the final seven years begins, we will actually be able to predict with certainty the timings of many of the major events of the end.
The revealing of the false Christ will signal the beginning of a period of tremendous trouble that Israel and the world will have to endure at the close of this age. There is a sad irony in what will happen to Israel at the end. Long ago the Jews totally rejected the goodness and mercy of Jesus; however, before the Lord returns a second time his rebellious people will be given an option to follow another “savior”—but in this case, it will be Satan’s choice. It is this temptation and deception, culminating with the Antichrist’s presentation of himself as God in the Temple, which will ultimately drive the nation of Israel to their greatest time of tribulation and need.
In Daniel’s brief prediction of the Seventieth Week, the only thing he saw happening after the abomination is best described in the last part of verse 27 by the single word desolation. He saw this period of desolation continuing up until the time of the consummation, or in other words, until the Return of Christ at the end. In this and other prophecies it is quite clear that the final seven years allotted for Israel to repent of her sins will develop into the greatest time of trouble the world will ever experience!