The Revelation of the Seventy Weeks
Aim: to teach the meaning of and the importance of the seventy week revelation.
POINT OF CONTACT: How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? Discuss. Get answers from the class. (1). It says it is; (2) it has stood the test of time; (3) it is a good book-yes, and because of its prophetic teachings. Today we will study one of the greatest prophecies in the old Testament. The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
INTRODUCTION: Daniel was now an old, old man. He had lived faithfully throughout his life and God had blessed him. In today's lesson we find Daniel troubled about his visions and about what he had read in his Bible. In our lesson we will see what brought this about, what Daniel did about it and what God did about it.
I. The Time of the Revelation-verse 1,2.
Verse 1-about 537 B.C.
Verse 2-Daniel was a Bible student. Besides the Pentateuch and other historical books, he very likely possessed most of the Psalms, the books of Isaiah, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Amos, Jeremiah and others. In these, he read of a better day that was to come upon his people.
Note: When God is going to do something with His people, He warns them first through His Word. Eg. Lot, Noah, Daniel. So today, we can know what God is getting ready to do by studying His Word.
Then too, this was a time of perplexity to Daniel. He had understood through the visions of chapter 2 and 7 that there would be four kingdom's to rule over the earth. He read in Jeremiah 29:4-10; 25:9-12, that God's people would be in captivity for seventy years and about 68 of those years had passed. No doubt he was wondering how could the rest of those visions occur within two years, or would they.
So Daniel was a student of Bible prophecy and he believed what he read.
We should search the scriptures too, and believe God's Word in its entirety.
As Daniel studied the scriptures, he was perplexed, so he took the matter to God.
Note: If we would understand the deep teachings of the Word of God, we need to ask God to reveal those things to us.
II. The Prayer-Verse 3-23.
Verse 3-Daniel's earnestness is shown here.
(The confession-verse 4-15)
Verse 4 -First, he acknowledged God's greatness and His faithfulnesss.
Verse 5-7-Daniel, although perhaps revealed as the best man in the Old Testament, acknowledged he was a sinner and put himself positionally with all of the Israelites. The Jews were in captivity for seventy years because of sin and disobedience to God. God had told them to let their land lie idle every seventh year and for 490 years they had not done this. Leviticus 26:33-35. The Nation did not observe this command so God took them out of the land for 70 years. Galatians 6:6,7. This is a good place to talk about proper use of the Lord's day.
Verse 8-10-Daniel acknowledges that God=s dealings with Israel were justified. In verses 4-10, Daniel confesses the failures of the nation and acknowledges God=s covenant mercies.
Verse 11-15-Daniel acknowledges the curse as written in the law Moses was deserved. Leviticus 26: 14-35. "For the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth". Psalm 145:17.
(The supplication-verse 16-19)
Verse 16-19-Daniel pleads with God that in mercy He would turn away His anger and remember His city, Jerusalem and His people.
(The interruption-verse 20-23)
Verse 21- "swiftly" means "in weariness". It indicates that angels get tired.
Evening oblation was the evening sacrifice in the Temple religious ceremony which occurred in Jerusalem. But since the Temple was not now standing it shows us that Daniel still thought about. It was held at 3 P.M.
Verse 22-23-When Daniel started praying, Gabriel left the third heaven at the command of God and came to Daniel. It took less than three minutes.
Daniel was greatly beloved. Note: If we will live faithfully for God we can get prayer answered in a hurry, too.
Some Truths to Note:
A. Prayer is the best preparation for receiving larger revelation.
B. Larger revelation is an evidence of God=s special love.
C. Larger revelation centers in the person and work of Jesus.
D. The larger revelation embraces the final triumph of righteousness.
III. The Backbone of Prophecy-verse 24-27 -- "The Seventy Weeks."
This prophecy helps us to understand the age in which we live and to understand the book of Revelation. It is a very important fact to remember that God in his dealings with the children of Israel deals in seventy weeks of years. A week of years is seven years. Genesis 29:18-28.
(1)-From Abraham to Canaan was 490 years.
(2)-From Joshua to the setting up of the kingdom of Israel in Palestine was 490 years.
(3)-From the beginning of the kingdom until the captivity was 490 years.
(4)-From the return of the captivity until the end of God=s dealings with His nation Israel will be 490 years. This is the last 490 years before God will set up his Millennial Kingdom. To date, 483 of the 490 have been fulfilled. The last seven will be fulfilled during the tribulation.
A. the Purpose of the Seventy Weeks. This concerns the Jews and Jerusalem.
1. To finish the transgression -- this refers to the transgression of the Jews. This will end when they repent and turn to God.
2. To make an end of sin -- the fulfillment of the seventieth week will end the rebellion of the Jews.
3. To make Reconciliation for Iniquity -- The Jewish nation at the end of the tribulation shall be born (converted) in a day. Isaiah 66: 8. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the AHouse of David@ (Israel) and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness. Zechariah 13:1.
4. To bring in everlasting righteousness -- Then the Millennium will be set up. Jeremiah 31:33-34.
5. To Seal up the Vision and Prophecy -- when Israel has uninterrupted communion with God, there will no longer be any need for "vision" or "Prophecy". Roman 11:25.
6. To Anoint the Most Holy -- the most Holy is probably a place, referring to Ezekiel's Temple, (Ezekiel 41: 1 -- 42:20) whose erection is still future.
B. The Seventy Weeks.
Verse 25 -- the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem shall be seven weeks or 49 years. This commandment was given in 445 B.C. and is recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8. It's a matter of history that this was done in 49 years. The three score and two weeks (62) equals 434 years.
Verse 26-- this whole seventy week period, is broken into three periods. 49 years, 434 years, and 7 years equaling 490 years. After 62 weeks (and the previously mentioned seven weeks) the Messiah would be cutoff. This refers to His triumphant entry on Palm Sunday and His later death on the cross. So from the commandment until Jesus died would be 483 years. Without going into further detail, this was fulfilled in 30 A.D. At Christ=s death. Most chronologists agree Jesus was born in five B.C. and died in 30 A. D. Prophetical scriptures referred to 30 day months and 360 day years. Eg. Genesis 7:11, 24, 33. Five months equal one hundred fifty days.
The people of the Prince that shall come. The prince refers to this Satanic Anti--Christ. His people are the Romans of the days after Christ and refers to those who came under Titus the Roman Emperor and leveled the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Cf. Deuteronomy 28: 49-57 and Luke 21:24.
So after the Messiah would be cut off there is a gap of time that elapses that was not revealed to Daniel. It is a period we call "the Period of the Great Parenthesis". During this time God is calling out a people for His name. Christians! Acts 15:14, 16a.
Verse 27- then when Jesus comes for His saints at the rapture, (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) the prince, (the anti-Christ) will befriend the Jews and make a covenant with them for one week (seven years). Then after 31/2 years he will break the covenant and the great tribulation will begin. CF. Second Thessalonians 2:1-12; Matthew 24:21,22.
CONCLUSION: This prophecy unveils much of the prophetic passages of the Bible. It teaches us that God is not through dealing with the Jews, He still loves them and one day they will accept Jesus as the Messiah, but as a nation, they have much tribulation to endure until that day. But now anyone can be saved, Jew or Gentile. Romans 10:13. Are you saved? Are you ready for Jesus to come?
1. Name four of the Bible books that Daniel probably had at his disposal to study.
2. How can we find out if God is about to do something that will affect his people?
3. From what book did Daniel learn that the Jews would be in captivity seventy years.
4. Why were the Jews in captivity and out of their land for seventy years?
5. What does God expect of us on Sunday?
6. Approximately how long did it take Gabriel to get from Heaven to Daniel?
7. Why did God answer Daniel so quickly?
A. Why is the revelation about the Seventy Weeks so important?
9. History has shown that God deals with Israel in what length periods?
10. Find in verse 24, the purpose of the 70 weeks.
11. With who and what does the seventy-weeks concern?
12. A week is how long in this prophecy?
13. When was the command given to restore and build Jerusalem?
14. In what chapter and book in the Bible is the commandment recorded?