This article is a summary of Daniel’s seventy weeks. These are “weeks” of years, not days–weeks meaning groups of seven years (Dan. 9:24-27). An angel gave Daniel the prophecy of seventy “weeks” in these verses: What are the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?
“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people (Israel)…to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place…From the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be…(7+62=69 weeks),,,then after the sixty-two weeks (69) the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing”.
The Rapture and the Tribulation
The pre-tribulation view on the rapture teaches that the seven-year tribulation fulfills Daniel’s seventieth week. There are two other common views on the timing of the rapture:
- The mid-tribulation view is that Christ raptures the Church at the mid-point of the tribulation (3.5 years into the tribulation, 69.5 years into Daniel’s seventy weeks).
- The post-tribulation view is that Christ returns for the Church when He returns to earth after the tribulation (7 years, the full 70 years into Daniel’s seventy weeks). What are the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?
Daniel’s 70 Weeks of Years (prophetic years of 360 days)
|Decree to rebuild Jerusalem||Given in 445 BC|
|Rebuilding Jerusalem||7 weeks, 49 years to rebuild|
|Until Messiah is cut-off||(7 + ) 62 weeks, 434 years, @30 AD|
|Parenthesis: The Church Age||Counts as -0- years|
|Tribulation begins with a signed peace treaty||1 week of 7 Years|
|Jesus’ Second Advent||Ends the 70th Week|
One “Week” Left
Israel has experienced sixty-nine weeks of Daniel’s years. After that time, the Messiah was crucified (cut off in @30 AD) and did not receive His Kingdom. The parenthetical time of the Church Age is between the end of the sixty-ninth week and the beginning of the seventieth week. So far, the Church Age has lasted two thousand years. The seventieth “week,” which occurs after the Church age, will be the seven years of the tribulation.
The Church Age ends when the Church is taken to heaven in the rapture. Then, after the seventieth week (the seven-year tribulation), Christ will return to earth and receive His Kingdom (Revelation 19-20).
This article assumes the pre-tribulation view of the rapture. Below are distinguishing features of this view:
- Teachers analyze Revelation in a literal manner. They also interpret the symbols and figures of speech naturally to discover their meaning.
- This time is for Israel. So, the religious worship of God is Jewish again, as opposed to Christian. The author mentions Israel, tribes, and sacrifices offered in the temple. He is not referring to the Church spiritually but to Jews. Offering sacrifices in the temple is not acceptable for believers in the Church Age (Heb. 8:1-6; 10:18). So, the Church doesn’t belong in this time.
The seventieth week is a time of God’s wrath against sin (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10). This wrath will be the worst seven years of troubles in the history of the world, both past, and future:
“For in those days there will be distress as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, nor ever shall be (Mark 13:19).”
Purpose of the 70th Week of Daniel: Ending Sin
Daniel’s prophecy calls the seventieth week a time “to put an end to sin.” Jesus’ atonement satisfied God’s wrath for believers. Therefore, the Church does not go into the tribulation. The Bible also calls it “the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).”
Literal Seven Years
What are the Seventy Weeks of Daniel? Some Bible teachers believe the numbers used in Revelation for the length of the tribulation are meant spiritually, not literally. But when we look closely, the Apostle John gives the time in three different measurements that all add up to the same length. John uses the following numbers to describe the length of half of the tribulation time (3.5 years):
- 1260 days (3.5 prophetic years) Revelation 11:3
- 42 months (3.5 prophetic years) Revelation 12:6; 13:5
- “For a time and times and half a time” (1+2+.5=3.5 prophetic years) Revelation 12:14
- Also, seven years is the same as the length of Daniel’s week of years.
What could you do if you wrote Revelation and wanted to ensure your readers understood these times as literal and not figurative? John made it clear by giving the time measurement in three separate ways to add up to the same amount of time. Therefore, we believe the tribulation time will last a literal seven years.
Second Half of the Tribulation Gets Worse
Again, Daniel 9 describes the length of the tribulation as seven years. The angel divided the seven years into two equal parts. It begins when the Antichrist signs the peace treaty (Daniel 9:27). At the mid-point, the Antichrist enters the temple and demands worship as God (Matthew 24:4,15). The second half will intensify because Satan is cast out of heaven and flung to the earth: “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time (Revelation 12:12).”
The Church is not in the Tribulation Time
Before it began, Jesus raptures it to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Holy Spirit, who indwells all the believers during the Church Age, accompanies them (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Those who become believers during the tribulation time are not in the Church. The believers in this time believe in Christ after the rapture. The seventieth week is a return to Jewish religious practices–these are believers, but they are not the Church. They will be the brothers of Old Testament believers.
God seals the 144,000 evangelists from specific tribes to bring His message to the unbelieving world:
“And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel (Revelation 7:4).”
John specifies that there are 12,000 sealed witnesses from each tribe of Israel (Revelation 7:5-8).
During this week, the world and Satan will persecute believers and Jews while God pours out His wrath on earth-dwellers. It is the time of Jacob’s (Jewish) trouble (Jer. 30:7). The Jews will rebuild the temple and offer sacrifices again until the Antichrist enters the temple midway through the tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Rev. 11:1-2).
What are the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?
- There is a time gap between the sixty-ninth week, which ended when Christ was crucified, and when the peace treaty is signed. The Church Age fills this time gap.
- Christ will rapture His Church before the seventieth week begins.
- The seventieth week of Daniel is the same as the seven-year tribulation (Revelation 4-18). It is a time of Jacob’s trouble, and God pours His wrath out on earth-dwellers.
- The seventieth week starts with a peace treaty that’s signed after Christ raptures the Church.
- The tribulation ends when Christ returns to earth at His Second Coming (Revelation 19).
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