BIBLICAL PROPHECIES, PART III
ANOTHER IMPORTANT PROPHECY
There is another prophecy which we will discuss this issue-
the "70 weeks of Daniel". Again, our beliefs are different from many
of the popular interpretations. We believe this is a very important prophecy-
but before we discuss it, we need to have a basic understanding about
A Little Background on "Who was Israel?"
When the appointed time came, God chose Abraham to be the
beginning of the nation of people who would be called "His" people.
The name "Israel" was given to Abraham's grandson, Jacob, after he
wrestled all night with the unseen assailant, who was actually the Lord:
GENESIS 32:24-28 Jacob... there wrestled a man with him until
the breaking of the day.... And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And
he [Jacob] said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said
unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be
called no more JACOB, BUT ISRAEL: for as a prince hast thou power with God and
with men, and hast prevailed.
To Jacob was given the same promise given to first his
grandfather Abraham, and then his father, Isaac:
GENESIS 35:11,12 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be
fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and
kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and
Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the
And it was Jacob's sons and two grandsons whose names were
given the tribes of Israel. But who exactly were these people and why were they
so special? When Abraham was called out of his father's country, we learn that
idolatry was so universal that his own family worshipped idols:
JOSHUA 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the
LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood
[Euphrates River] in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the
father of Nachor: and THEY SERVED OTHER GODS.
But because of HIS complete faithfulness, Abraham was chosen
to father the people to whom would be given the great honor of being God's
representative people. They were to preserve the knowledge of Him, and they were
to be faithful to Him, SHEDDING HIS GREAT LIGHT TO THE ENTIRE WORLD.
GENESIS 18:18 ... Seeing that ABRAHAM shall surely become a
great and mighty nation, and ALL the NATIONS of the earth SHALL BE BLESSED IN
God gave great and wonderful promises to these people IF ONLY
THEY REMAINED FAITHFUL TO HIM. These promises were CONDITIONAL on their
obedience, and many things promised, never came to pass because of their failure
in this respect. Remember our discussion about "conditional promises"?
A Nation Divided
In time, Israel came into the "promised land" and
settled. Demanding a king, they received one. After a while, the nation divided
into two kingdoms, called Judah (the southern kingdom) and Israel (the northern
kingdom) also called Ephraim. Both kingdoms had their own kings. In about 697
BC, the kingdom of Israel/Ephraim fell heir to the terrible promise God had made
just before they entered Canaan:
DEUTERONOMY 4:25-27 When thou shalt beget children, and
children's children, and YE SHALL HAVE REMAINED LONG IN THE LAND, AND SHALL
CORRUPT YOURSELVES, and MAKE A GRAVEN IMAGE, or the likeness of any thing, and
shall DO EVIL in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:... YE
SHALL SOON UTTERLY PERISH FROM OFF THE LAND whereunto ye go over Jordan to
possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be
destroyed. And the LORD shall SCATTER YOU AMONG THE NATIONS, and ye shall be
left few in number among the heathen...
The Downfall of "Israel/Ephraim"
They had fallen into idolatry and were cast off as God's
people. Assyria took them into captivity:
2KINGS 17:6-9,18 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of
Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them...
in the cities of the Medes. For so it was, that the children of Israel had
sinned against the LORD their God,... and had feared other gods, And walked in
the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children
of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children
of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their
God,... Therefore the LORD WAS VERY ANGRY WITH ISRAEL, and REMOVED THEM OUT OF
HIS SIGHT: there was NONE LEFT BUT THE TRIBE OF JUDAH only.
To ensure that Israel/Ephraim never returned as a nation,
foreign people were brought in to inhabit their cities:
2KINGS 17:24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon,
and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and
placed them in the cities of Samaria INSTEAD OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL: and
they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
Why did this happen? The ten tribes that were Israel/Ephraim
had made an alliance with the Syrians and the result was their complete
ISAIAH 7:8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of
Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be
broken, THAT IT BE NOT A PEOPLE.
And it came to pass. As a nation, they were no more. However,
those who of Israel/Ephraim who remained faithful, WOULD be heirs to the
promise. Only the nation as a collective people were cast off.
The Captivity of "Judah/Israel"
Judah didn't fill her cup of iniquity quite as quickly as did
Israel/Ephraim. In 605 BC and again in 586 BC, Judah went into captivity by the
Babylonians as fulfillment of a promise God had made at Mt. Sinai. First, He
told them through Moses:
LEVITICUS 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto
them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a
sabbath unto the LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou
shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh
year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou
shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
Then, He told them what the result would be if they did NOT
observe the sabbath of the land:
LEVITICUS 26:33-35 And I will scatter you among the heathen,
and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your
cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth
desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and
enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did
not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
For 70 years, they remained in captivity. And during this
captivity, Daniel was given the prophecy which laid out the fate of the nation
of Israel- the prophecy of the "70 weeks of Daniel", which will now be
THE FINAL FATE OF "JUDAH/ISRAEL"
Like the northern kingdom of Israel/Ephraim, Judah too was to
lose its place of honor as being the chosen nation of God. Instead of being a
light unto the entire world, they had become selfish, believing they ALONE were
to be the heirs of the promise. "As a nation" they would fall - but
this is no way meant that the faithful individuals, both among Israel/Ephraim
and Judah were cast off.
A good example to explain this is to look at America. This
nation was founded as a Christian nation. For many years, the principles of God
were observed. It was the nation which would complete the spreading of the
gospel to the entire world. However, in time, as we all well know, as a Godly
nation, America fell. Today, it must be a pure abomination in God's eyes.
However, God's people are STILL in the nation, and they STILL continue to do His
Thus it was with Israel. The leadership of the nation was its
downfall. Our downfall is due to our leadership. The entire point here is that
we must here view Israel "as a collective body of people"; as a
nation. But the pronouncement of its fall did not pronounce the doom of the
faithful among it. And here is the prophecy which foretold of its doom.
DANIEL 9:24-27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and
upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins,
and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most
Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince
shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built
again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two
weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the
prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end
thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are
determined. 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 desolate.
The Beginning of the "70 Weeks"
To Daniel, God gave the prophecy of events which would
culminate in the downfall of the nation of Israel as His chosen nation. This
prophecy had a time which marked its beginning and a length of time until its
end. It was to end after "70 weeks", which we all understand in
prophetic language to equal 490 years.
Are the "70 Weeks" Separated in Time, or are They
Some interpreters take a portion of this prophecy and carry it
forward in time. However, if your boss told you that you were given two months
to complete a project, would you work on it seven weeks, then tell your boss
you'd complete the final week of work in ten years? There is nothing in this
prophecy to indicate that the time periods are divided. Like the seventy years
Israel was in captivity, the time continued until it ended.
The most important thing that must be understood is the time
which marks its beginning. It is stated that it begins "at the going forth
of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem". If this referred ONLY
to the building of the temple or the physical act of building the city, it could
have only needed the word "build" - but it stipulates,
"restore". How could Jerusalem be restored? As the center of the
Jewish nation it would never be restored until it was again the center of their
government. Just because the Jews were allowed to return there and build their
homes and the temple didn't mean it was "restored" - it wouldn't be
"restored" until they were once again able to restore their government
as God had decreed at Mt. Sinai, under the Mosaic law.
Which Decree Marks the Beginning?
Cyrus' Decree in 535 BC. - the 1st Decree-
In 537 BC, the Persian general, Cyrus, conquered Babylon and
set his uncle, Darius the Mede, as governor over Babylon. In 535 BC, two years
later, Darius died and Cyrus became king. This was exactly 70 years after the
captivity began in 605 BC, and Cyrus issued the decree which freed the Jews to
return to Jerusalem to build the temple. Here is that "decree":
EZRA 1:2-4 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to
build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of
all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is
in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,)
which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he
sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and
with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God
that is in Jerusalem.
Another account of this decree is given when Darius searches
for and finds the decree of Cyrus:
EZRA 6:3-5 In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus
the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house
be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices... and let the expenses be
given out of the king's house: And also let the golden and silver vessels of
the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is
at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto
the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in
the house of God.
This decree did two things, basically -
Cyrus' decree provided funds for the project and restored the
vessels from the temple which had been taken to Babylon. But no provisions were
made for the restoration of the Jewish economy.
Darius' Decree in 520 BC - the 2nd Decree
In 520 BC, Darius I ("the Great") now king, located
the decree of Cyrus. He then issued a decree, showing that Cyrus' decree was
still in force, and he made some of his own additions. However, this decree only
concerned the building of the temple, the vessels and the sacrificial animals.
This entire decree is in Ezra 6:1-12, the first part of which restates Cyrus'
original decree. The following was added by Darius:
EZRA 6:8-12 Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the
elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's
goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto
these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have need of, both
young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of
heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the
priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:
That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and
pray for the life of the king, and of his sons. Also I have made a decree,
that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his
house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made
a dunghill for this. And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there
destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to
destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree;
let it be done with speed.
Artaxerxes' Decree in 457 BC - the 3rd Decree
Then, in 457 BC, Artaxerxes issued a decree, which was quite
EZRA 7:12-26 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a
scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I
make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and
Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to
Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his
seven counselors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the
law of thy God which is in thine hand; And to carry the silver and gold, which
the king and his counselors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose
habitation is in Jerusalem, 16 And all the silver and gold that thou canst
find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people,
and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in
Jerusalem: That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams,
lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them
upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. And whatsoever
shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the
silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. The vessels also that
are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou
before the God of Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the
house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of
the king's treasure house. And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree
to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the
priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it
be done speedily, Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred
measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of
oil, and salt without prescribing how much. Whatsoever is commanded by the God
of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for
why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Also we
certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters,
Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose
toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy
God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all
the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God;
and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy
God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him,
whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to
There are a few things here which make this decree the one
which marks the beginning of the 70 weeks
1) It gives Ezra the ability to collect all the gold he wants
from even among the king's subjects, and they will give it as a "freewill
offering"- Ezra 7 :16
2) It says Ezra can use whatever is left over for any purpose
he deems necessary - this will allow the people to rebuild the entire city.
3) It makes a provision for the priests, Levites, etc., so the
temple can be in constant operation. Ezra 7 :24
4) It instructs all of his vassals around Judea to give Ezra
whatever he has need of - no questions asked. Ezra 7:21, 22
6) But finally, it allowed Israel semi-autonomous rule under
the "law of thy God"! Not only that, they were told to: EZR 7:25
"...set magistrates and judges, which may judge ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE
BEYOND THE [Euphrates] RIVER, all such as know the laws of thy God; and TEACH
YE THEM THAT KNOW THEM NOT."
The only decree which provided the means for Jerusalem to be
"built" and its government "restored" was that of Artaxerxes.
Only this decree gave them the ability to rule themselves and be subject to the
Law of their God.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1985 Ed.) Vol. 17 page 947,
without mentioning Artaxerxes by name, mentions Ezra's coming to Jerusalem,
which we know was with the decree of Artaxerxes. Here, from a secular source, we
can see the impact of the decree which Ezra carried with him from Artaxerxes:
"Ezra continued these measures and stressed the reading of
the Law, the observance of the sabbath and the prohibition of mixed marriages.
Thus, the separation of the Jews was insured, and the uniqueness of their
faith was maintained". And with this, we now have the beginning of the
"70 weeks of Daniel" - 457 BC.
WHAT ABOUT NEHEMIAH'S "DECREE"?
Some have wondered about the "decree" of Artaxerxes given to
Nehemiah - however, there was no decree issued at this time.
Nehemiah was Artaxerxes' cup-bearer, and he simply asked for some "time
off" to go work on his homeland. The king said "OK, but when will you
be back?" Nehemiah was allowed to go because it was in compliance with the
king's decree of 457 BC:
NEHEMIAH 2:4-8 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So
I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the
king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest
send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build
it. And the king said unto me,... For how long shall thy journey be? and when
wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me
to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come
into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he
may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained
to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall
enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon
Nehemiah asked for the wood ONLY because it had been promised by the three
royal decrees- no new "decree" was issued here. The old decrees were
merely enforced or complied with.
THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECY
With the date of the decree now known, we look at the prophecy to see
what was to occur in the "70 weeks," or 490 years:
DANIEL 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy
490 years were "determined" or dedicated to Daniel's people, the
Jewish nation, and his "holy city", the center of the government,
Jerusalem. If the 490 "weeks" (years) began in 457 BC, its culmination
would have been in 34 AD.
...to finish the transgression,:... - in this "70 weeks" the Jewish
nation rejected the Messiah, the one all the "types and shadows"
pointed to. Their great "transgression" was finished.
...and to make an end of sins,:... -the word "chattath", translated
here to read "sins" is translated "sin offering" 116 times
in the Bible. All sin offerings were to cease when the True Lamb of God was
sacrificed. This occurred in spring of 31 AD.
...and to make reconciliation for iniquity,:... -All men could now be
reconciled to God through the Sacrifice at Calvary, if they only accepted His
...and to bring in everlasting righteousness,:... -This d does not mean that
sin was to be era dictated during the "70 weeks" of this prophecy. It
means that by Christ's righteousness and death on the cross, the end of sin was
ROMANS 4:17 ...God, who quickeneth the dead, and CALLETH THOSE THINGS WHICH BE
NOT AS THOUGH THEY WERE.
This tells us that God makes statements of fact which He knows WILL occur and
He therefore states them "as though they were". The action or event
which guaranteed "everlasting righteousness" occurred. An example:
JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
We know that those of Christ and John's day died and went to their graves, to
be resurrected when Christ returns. Yet, here they are said to have
"everlasting life". Christ, Himself, made this clear:
JOHN 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth
the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I WILL RAISE HIM
UP AT THE LAST DAY.
The inheritance of eternal life comes at its designated time:
EPHESIANS 1:3,10,13,14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ,... THAT IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIME HE MIGHT GATHER
TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS in Christ, both which are IN HEAVEN, and which are
ON EARTH;... In whom ye also trusted,... after that ye believed, ye were
sealed with that holy Spirit of PROMISE, which is the EARNEST of our
INHERITANCE UNTIL THE REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED POSSESSION,...
If your bank guarantees you a loan, you could say, "The money's in the
bank," or "It's a done deal," which means it's as good as if the
money was actually there because of the promise. For us, the
"earnest," or guarantee of our salvation is the "Holy Spirit of
promise" and Christ will "redeem" that "promise" in the
"...And to seal up the vision and prophecy," The prophecy was
"sealed" or "made sure." It was NOT a
"conditional promise." This portion of the prophecy is the proof
that it was to be completed in the "70 weeks"- NOT at some later point
"...And to anoint the most Holy...." The term here,
"Most Holy" (qodesh qadashim) is NEVER used to characterize a person -
it ALWAYS applies to the Most Holy Place, or at LEAST an article in the Most
Holy Place. THIS IS THE PROPHECY OF CHRIST'S BLOOD "ANOINTING" THE
"ARTICLE IN THE MOST HOLY PLACE," WHICH WAS THE ARK OF THE
COVENANT. His Blood fell upon the Mercy Seat, "anointing the Most
Holy," making "reconciliation for iniquity," making an "end
of sin [offerings]," and bringing "in everlasting righteousness"
by virtue of His sinless life.
DANIEL 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince
shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:...
This takes us to the subdivision of time referred to as the
"Messiah," at the end of 7 + 62 "weeks," or 483 years - 27
AD. Christ was born in 4 BC, so therefore in 27 AD, He would have been 30 years
old. What happened when He was 30 years old? He began His ministry:
LUKE 3:22-23 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon
him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in
thee I am well pleased. And JESUS himself BEGAN TO BE ABOUT THIRTY YEARS OF
And when Christ began to preach, He made the announcement which showed that
the time mentioned in the prophecy had arrived:
MARK 1:14,15 ...Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom
of God, And saying, THE TIME IS FULFILLED, and the kingdom of God is at hand
[within grasp]: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
"...The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous
times...." The "street," and the "wall" WERE
indeed built in "troublous times." Thirteen years after
Artaxerxes decree, Nehemiah, his cup bearer, hears very troubling news:
NEHEMIAH 1:2-3 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of
Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left
of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant
that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction
and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof
are burned with fire.
Read Nehemiah to learn of the difficulties they experienced in rebuilding the
DANIEL 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but
not for himself:...
After the second subdivision of time, which was the end of the 483 years,
"Messiah shall be cut off." This term "cut off" indicates
that the time of the Messiah, when His ministry began, was distinguished from
the other "time." It began here.
In the first part of the prophecy, it states that 70 weeks are
"determined" upon Daniel's people - yet the Hebrew word that this is
translated from, is stated in the Strong's Concordance as meaning "to cut
off,"- by implication, "allotted, separated or decreed." In
the above verse, "cut off" again implies that the time is
"allotted or separated" and does not in any way imply the death of the
The implication is therefore, "after the 483 years, the time of the work
of the Messiah begins." But this time allotted is not for His
benefit. Whose benefit was it designated for? Christ told His disciples:
MATTHEW 10:5-7 ... Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of
the Samaritans enter ye not: But GO rather TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF
ISRAEL. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The time which began here was the personal work of the Messiah, Himself, and
it was dedicated to the Jewish nation. The last week was termed "cut
off" or separated because it was a subdivision of the "70 weeks."
"...And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city
and the sanctuary." Here, we learn of "the people" of a
"prince" or leader who "shall come," and will destroy the
city and the temple. No time period is stated here. This prophecy is of an event
which doesn't necessarily occur during the "70 weeks" which ended in
34 AD. It was in 70 AD when the army ("people") of Titus, the
Roman general (the "prince") destroyed Jerusalem and burned the
temple. Here, the result of the rejection of the Gospel message is
"...And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the
war desolations are determined." Still speaking of the destruction of
the city and temple, we are told it will occur like "a flood,"
overwhelmingly, and everything WAS completely destroyed. The entire city
of Jerusalem was desolated. The siege lasted five months and about 110,000 Jews
died, with about 97,000 taken prisoners.
DANIEL 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:... -
"He," the Messiah, "confirmed" the "covenant"
with "many " for "one week", or seven years.
From the beginning of Christ's ministry, until 3 1/2 years after His death,
the Gospel message was dedicated to the Jews. Thus, for seven years, the work of
the Messiah was personally dedicated to Daniel's people. At the end of this
time, which also marked the end of the "70 weeks," the Gospel was
taken from the Jew to the Gentile.
The permanence of this situation is seen when Paul explains that once the Jew
was a natural part of the "vine." But now, the Gentile could be
grafted into the "vine" by their faith. Not only that, but the JEW,
from now on, would ALSO HAVE TO BE GRAFTED IN, even though they were once a
natural part of that "vine:"
ROMANS 11:17,19,20,23 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou,
being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest
of the root and fatness of the olive tree;... Thou wilt say then, The branches
were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they
were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: And
they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God
is able to graft them in again.
BUT, this shows that ONLY the nation was doomed- salvation never ceased to be
available to the individual Jew.
"...and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease..." In the "midst" of the week," (3
1/2 years after His earthly ministry began), in the spring of 31 AD, Christ died
on the cross. The veil of the temple was rent, signifying that the sacrificial
system had come to an end. The True Lamb of God had been slain.
"...and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it
desolate..." Because of their rejection of the Messiah, the house of
Israel was to be desolate- no longer were they the chosen of God as a nation.
ACTS 13:46,47 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary
that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put
it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to
the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be
a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of
Christ's sadness at this event, even though it would not occur until after
His death, is seen in His statement:
LUKE 13:34,35 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest
them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children
together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
BEHOLD, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE: and verily I say unto you, Ye
shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that
cometh in the name of the Lord.
"...even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured
upon the desolate." The "consummation" means "the
end," which indicates that just as Israel/Ephraim was cast off as God's
people, never to return, so it was with Israel at the end of the "70
weeks." As a nation, they had received the greatest light that had ever
been on this planet. They had been those who had been the caretakers of God's
Truth. They had been those who were to shed His great Light unto all the earth.
They were those who walked with the Savior and had the full dedication of His
ministry. But "as a nation," they had demanded His death. And
the prophecy ends with the promise that all the things spoken of in the prophecy
WILL be poured out upon "the desolate" nation who rejected the Lord.
(-At this point, I want to make a very important note. Although Israel was
rejected as God's chosen nation, keep in mind that this was speaking of the
"nation." The leading men and influential people were responsible for
the downfall of the nation. Never forget that the Gospel was FIRST spread by
Jews. The disciples and apostles were Jews. Without those faithful men, who
preached the Gospel with boldness in the face of dangers and hardships we can
only imagine, we, today, would have no knowledge of Christ. Every book in the
New Testament is written by a Jew. This MUST be understood when discussing this
prophecy of the Jewish nation.)
Thus concludes the prophecy of the fate of the NATION of Israel. In 34 AD.,
the "70 weeks" of time given to the nation was finished. The Gospel
was taken from them. It was 36 years later before the city suffered the
destruction promised as a result of their failure. BUT, God still maintained His
people. Though the literal nation had failed, provisions were made for ALL who
called upon His name to become a member of His "nation," both
Jew AND Gentile:
ROMANS 9:6,8... For THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL, WHICH ARE OF ISRAEL: Neither,
because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac
shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh,
these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted
for the seed.
GALATIANS 3:29 And IF YOU BE CHRIST'S, THEN are YE ABRAHAM'S SEED, and HEIRS
according to the promise.
PROPHECIES, PART IV