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Seventy Sevens
07/11/2010
Scripture: Daniel 9:1-3, 20-27; Leviticus 25:3-7; L...
Track 10 of 12 in the Daniel: A Life Without Compromise series
Running time: 1 hour, 03 minutes, 06 seconds.
We are now in a period of time after the fall of Babylon. The first 3 visions were given while Babylon was still an empire. The first vision was given to Neb. The next two were given while Belshazzar was in power. The prophecy found in Chapter 9 that we are now going to study comes after a period of prayer by Daniel.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Seventy Sevens

We are now in a period of time after the fall of Babylon. The first 3 visions were given while Babylon was still an empire. The first vision was given to Neb. The next two were given while Belshazzar was in power. The prophecy found in Chapter 9 that we are now going to study comes after a period of prayer by Daniel. The first half of Chapter 9 records his prayer.

Verse 1 tells us the time of the prayer, the first year of Darius. Darius was not the conqueror who became king in his own right but rather he was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans by Cyrus. How large that kingdom was is not known but we do know they conquered Babylon and he placed Darius his uncle on throne at Babylon to rule that part of the new Medo-Persian kingdom.

As I mentioned last week, the chapters in Daniel are not in chronological order. The events in chapter 9 follow Daniel 5:31. The time of Daniels prayer and receiving the prophecy was the year 538 or 537 BC. This period of time for Daniel and the Jews had to be a period of confusion and distress. They were being held captive by the Babylonians when the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon. What was to happen to them? Would they be destroyed or maybe would they be sent to other region of the world?

From what little we know about Daniel during this period of time, Daniel seemed to spend much of his time in study and prayer. Chapter 9 gives us a glimpse of how Daniel prayed and what he prayed for. He knew and understood why his people were in captivity. They were there because of their sins. They had disobeyed God and sought after other gods. Now they were in captivity and Daniel nor his people knew what their future would be. God gives to Daniel a number of visions telling him what was to happen to 4 very powerful kingdoms. But there is no mention of his people. Will they survive or will they cease to exist?

Daniel 9:1-3 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom—in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

I do find it fascinating at the beginning of chapter 9 that Daniel is occupying his time with scripture especially the book of Jeremiah the prophet. Exactly how many books of the Old Testament were written at that time and how many of them Daniel had in his possession we do not know? We do know he had the book of Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 25 and 29 God tells Daniel that the temple would lay in ruin for 70 years. We do know from history and the Bible that the temple was rebuilt by Ezra 70 years after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar.

Why would God give this piece of information to Daniel? How do you think this affected the people of Israel? What did this mean to them that the temple would be restored?

What does this say about the Word of God?

What prompts Daniel to prayer as recorded in Chapter 9? Imagine what it must be like to realize that a great prophecy was about to take place in history and you and your people are going to be a part of it. Daniel knew what was coming and he knew it was going to happen soon. There was a good chance that he wouldn’t see it due to his age but he did know that many of his people would. This fact brings Daniel to his knees in prayer as recorded in chapter 9. But it during this time of intense prayer that Daniel receives the great prophesy in Daniel 9, the Seventy Sevens.

Daniel 9:20-27 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill—while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision: “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decre to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

There have been so many commentaries written about chapter 9 of Daniel. As early as 400 AD, Jerome discovered so many interpretations of Chapter 9 that he wrote “Because it is unsafe to pass judgment upon the opinions of the great teachers of the Church, I will simply repeat the view of each and leave it to the reader”. By the time of the 5th century, Jerome was already acquainted with 9 interpretations. Like all scripture, there seems t be one or two primary interpretations most of the scholars believe is correct. Chapter 9 is no different.

It is important to note who Jerome was. He was one of the leading Biblical scholars of his time and he was best known for his work in translating Bibles, he wrote commentaries on Scripture, translations of others’ works, historical treatises, theological essays, letters and miscellaneous works. He was the author of the Latin Vulgate, the Bible translated into Latin from the Hebrew and Greek text. By the 13th century a revised version of the Vulgate became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church.

We must remember that the prophecy in chapter 9 is an answer to prayer. The prayer was centered on the holy hill (Temple). We see in these verses why God gives this prophecy Daniel. The angel tells Daniel that he is highly esteemed.

Daniel 9:17-19 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

What does it mean to be highly esteemed? Other versions will use “greatly beloved”. It can mean to be greatly desired or very precious. By whom is Daniel highly esteemed? What does this tell us about Daniel? How do you think he got in this position with God?

It is important as we read and discern this prophecy the meaning of “weeks”. Its Hebrew meaning is used to designate a collection of seven things. Just as we would us the word dozen, it is a collection of twelve things. If we would walk into a store and say I want a dozen, a person would have to ask the question, A dozen of what?

Gabriel said to Daniel, seventy weeks or seventy sevens are determined. Seventy sevens of what? It is clear that the context the prophecy is dealing with is time. It is important to note that the Jews recognized three classifications of weeks:

There were week of days
There was the week of years (Sabbatical year Leviticus 25: 3-7)
There was the week of seven times seven years – 49 years (Jubilee week Leviticus 25:8-13)

Most scholars believe the weeks that are being used in Daniel are the weeks of years or seventy X 7= 490 years.

Look at verse 24; knowing your Bible history and knowing the main events in the Bible, what events do you think this prophecy is about?

Daniel 9: 24 Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

• To finish transgressions
• To put an end to sin
• To atone for wickedness
• To bring everlasting righteousness
• To seal up the vision and prophecy
• To anoint the most holy

Let’s look at the math. In verse 25, Daniel is told that there are two parts to the time frame, seven sevens and sixty-two sevens. He is told to restore the Temple and the time for the arrival of the anointed one is 7 sevens and 62 sevens.

7 X 7 = 49 years:

The first period is 49 years; this is the starting point of the prophecy. It will commence with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. There were not less than 3 decrees to rebuild and restore Jerusalem found in scripture. The first was by Cyrus in 538 BC. The second was made by Darius in 517 BC and the third is made by Artaxerxes in 445 BC which is the one that fits more exactly the specifications given by God in Daniel 9:25.

62 x 7 = 434 years:

It important to note that the first 49 years are mentioned separately from the next 434 years but they are meant to be joined together to make up a total of 483 years after the decree made by Artaxerxes. This period of time will bring about the second great prophecy, namely when the Messiah will be cut off.

Here is a prophecy that gives the exact prediction for when Jesus will be rejected by his people. Had the Jews believed Daniel, they would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah. But, God tells us in Daniel that all of this was given to Daniel all before these events took place. Not only does God tell us which nations would rise and fall in power, but he also tells us the exact time frame all of this is going to happen.

1 x 7 = 7 years:

Daniel 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

In verse 9:27, one week is described, for the total of 490 years. The question now comes into play, is the last 7 years to be added to the 483 years or is the last 7 years separate and yet coming some time in the future. It is obvious that verse 26 predicts the death of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But does the last 7 years follow after meaning those 7 years are now past? Or are these years still to come sometime in the future?

It is important to note at this time that the prophecy deals with Daniels people and their city, Jerusalem. Gabriel does not say that the last seven years are separate from the other 483 years but many scholars believe that it is in the future. Who knows, but if the Jews would have accepted Christ at the time that he came, the last 7 years might have followed in succession with the other 69. But they didn’t accept Jesus so the last 7 years were pushed back to a later time.

The most popular view of the final seven years is the time of the tribulation right before the 1000 years reign of Jesus on the Earth before the end time. Others will contend that the seven years is symbolic for the church age. As I taught last week, we are in that last age, the last dispensation of time. Notice, the last seven years is the last period of time in the grouping of weeks. Notice also that it is shorter than the other periods. Jesus said that time is running out and that the time is short. Be prepared.

Where do I fall on all of this, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I continue to study and learn and I am open to all the different viewpoints. I continue to seek what is correct knowing that I might not know for sure until the time comes when Jesus returns.