Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Daniel (pt 5) : The Seventy times Seven: Seventy Weeks of Chapter 9
Now we come to the most amazing prophecy in the Book of Daniel.
The prophecy given by the Angel Gabriel, of the Seventy Weeks.
Daniel had previously been contemplating the 70 Year Prophecy of Jeremiah,
which he himself had become a witness to, and in chapter 8 of the Book of Daniel, his own response is recorded; a long prayer and plea on behalf of his people's transgression of the Covenant.
In the middle of this prayer, Gabriel shows up and gives him an extraordinary new prophecy, that of the Advent of the Messiah.
He is told by Gabriel:
"Seventy Weeks (seventy x seven = 490 years) are determined upon your people,
and upon your Holy City (Jerusalem), 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 complete (seal up) the vision and the prophecy,
and to anoint the Most Holy.
Know then and understand, from the going forth of the Commandment to build Jerusalem (The 3rd Decree of Artaxerxes, 457-460 B.C., cf. Ezra) until the Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks (49 years) plus 62 weeks (+ 434 more years) the street and the (city) wall will be built again, even in troubled times. (total: 69 weeks = 483 years).
And after the (final) 62 weeks (434 years) the Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince will come and destroy the city and the Temple; and the end of it will be like a flood, and desolations will be determined until the end of the war.
And He shall confirm the Covenant with many for one (final) week (7 more years = 490 years), and in the middle of the week (3.5 years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of the abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and what is determined will be poured upon the desolate."
This is probably the most amazing prophecy in Daniel,
not least for its extended time-length!
Skeptical scholars have tried to date the Book of Daniel at around or just after 165-150 B.C., because it is inconceivable in their minds that Daniel could have predicted the rise and fall of two whole Empires (Medo-Persian, and Greek),
and have gotten the incrediblly accurate details right (the Rise of Alexander, and the immediate splitting of his Empire into Four parts under his generals).
But Daniel has the last laugh, because his final prophecy here extends from the time of Ezra (who separated the people and re-dedicated them to the Covenant of Moses) to the time of Jesus!
This prophecy is just as detailed and difficult as was the prophecies about Alexander.
And more importantly, the timing is again impeccable, given the impossibility of nailing exact years at this late stage.
The point is, every complaint about chapter 9 fails utterly, because the Book of Daniel is known to have been translated already into ancient Greek during the Hellenistic rule of the Ptolemies, some 200 years before Jesus the Christ.
Thus, on the basis of scholarly theories about prophecies, the book should be dated no earlier than Jesus, but this is impossible, since it was already in circulation for at least 150 - 200 years before that!