Daniel’s 70-Weeks Prophecy

During Daniel’s captivity in Babylon, he was put into a den of lions (Dan 6:1-28). His friends (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) were cast into a fiery furnace (Dan 3:1-30) where all survived; but despite these and other harsh experiences, Daniel determined to enquire of the Lord as to when the reconciliation between Him and the Jewish people for their sins against Him would occur; and the Lord responded to Daniel’s request by saying: 

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Israel] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression [against Him], and to make an end of [Jewish] sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity [or open rebellion towards God], and to bring in everlasting righteousness….”  (Dan 9:24) 

Daniel received this prophecy some 70-years prior to King Artaxerxes issuing the decree for the Jews to return to rebuild and restore Jerusalem (Ezra 7:11-16), which was the event that commenced the first 69-Weeks (or 483-years) of the prophecy to be fulfilled. 

The Seventy Weeks  

This prophecy of Daniel’s relates to God restoring the Jews back to Him as a ‘holy people’ (Deut 26:18-19; Jer 31:34).  It is important to note that without obtaining a clear Biblical understanding about the purpose of this prophecy and of God’s purpose for issuing it, it can be easy to put a false interpretation on it.  The prophecy has NOTHING to do with the Christian church and God’s dealings with it in these ‘last days’!

In this, the Biblical interpretation of the prophecy is as follows:


The meaning of the seventy weeks literally means "seventy sevens". 

The Hebrew: for "week" is shabuwa (HSN-7620), means ‘seven’.

Seventy Sevens of Years because:

  • Daniel's prayer, to which this vision was an answer from God to His prayer, did not concern days, but years (Dan 9:2).
  • As the final "week" is a period of 7-years, the other "weeks" are also of 7-years each.  The whole period, therefore, is 70 x 7 = 490-years that God has said it will take Him to redeem Israel from their sins and transgressions unto Himself.
  • The final "week" (or 7-years) is one consecutive period also stated as “the Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer 30:6-7), and is divided into 2 parts (Dan 9:27); both halves being 3 1/2 years each, as shown below.
  • This final ‘week’ is separated by a long period in which Jerusalem is “trodden underfoot by the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24).
  • A Jewish year is comprised of 12 months of 30-days each that total 360-days.  Therefore, a 7-year period equals 2,520-days; and a 3 1/2-year period equals 1,260-days (Rev 11:3; Rev 12:6) or 42-months (Rev 11:2; Rev 13:5).

Division of the seventy weeks

TheSeventy Weeks (or 490-years) are divided into three main periods:

  • The 1st division — 7 weeks (49 years) commenced when King Artaxerxes decreed that the rebuilding of Jerusalem 70-years after its destruction King Nebuchadnezzar should commence (Dan 9:25)
  • The 2nd division — 62 weeks (or 434 years) from the completion of Jerusalem’s restoration at the end of the 49 years to the time Messiah was “cut off” or crucified for men’s sins (Daniel 9:25-26; John 1:29).
  • The 3rd division — 1 ‘week’ (or the last 7-years of this age) commencing with Antichrist signing a peace covenant with Israel and ending with the 2nd advent of Christ to fulfill the 6 events of Daniel 9:24 (below).

To whom do the seventy weeks concern?

  • “Seventy weeks are determined upon THY PEOPLE [Israel] and upon THY HOLY CITY [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression [offences towards God], 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”  (Dan 9:24)
  • The entire 490 years are “determined” (Hebrew: chathak (HSN-2852), cut off; marked off; decreed) to be fulfilled concerning “thy people” (the Jewish people) and “thy holy city” (Daniel's native city, Jerusalem).
  • These events do not concern the church in any sense.  In fact, the church was not established until after the 69th week ended, and it will be raptured around the time the 70th week commences.
  • Historically, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem about 70 A.D. This event did not happen in either the 69th nor in the 70th week.
  • All events associated with the first 69-weeks and during the 70th-week are directed solely by God towards the Jews in His efforts to redeem them as a people for Himself.

(2 Sam 7:23-24)  "And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? {24} For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God"