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 or the final seven years 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…[read entire article]