The Mighty Angels of Daniel 9: Finish Transgressions
By Nathan Jones
Seventy Weeks Calculated
Nathan Jones: In Daniel 9:24, the Angel Gabriel tells the prophet Daniel: “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”
What does Gabriel mean by “seventy weeks”? The Hebrew word shavuim translated into “seventy weeks” originally means “sevens”, but sevens of what? Seven days? Seven weeks? Seven years? The word really doesn’t say. Shavium means just sevens.
The interpretation, like always though, resides in the context. Taken in the context of verses 24-27, and referring back to length of time parts of this prophecy was fulfilled, which we’ll get into much more detail later in this study, shavuim is referring to seventy weeks of years, meaning 490 years. So, what Gabriel is really telling us in Daniel 9:24 when it says, “Seventy weeks have been declared for you, your people, and your holy city” is that this prophetic time period will last 490 years.
Vic Batista: I’m not sure why Gabriel couldn’t have just plainly stated the number. Maybe it’s an angel thing.
Nathan Jones: You said it! Verse 25 reveals that these years focus on the Jewish people and on their holy city, Jerusalem. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.”
That means the “seven weeks” are 7×7=49 years and the “sixty-two weeks” are 62×7=434 years. Added together, 49+434=483 years.
The 49 and 434 years have a division, but it’s not the first division. Verse 26 describes a second division: “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.”
Subtract 483 from 490 and there is still a “one week” or “seven year” period remaining. That final week is commonly called the Seventieth Week of Daniel, for that’s when verse 27 comes in. “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
Whew, that’s deep! If you’ve got the Seventy Weeks of Daniel figured out, you understand what I consider to be the most complicated passage in the entire Bible!
To Finish Transgressions
Vic Batista: The Angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:24 provides the six-fold purpose for the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy:
1. to finish transgressions
2. to make an end to sin
3. to make reconciliation for iniquity
4. to bring in everlasting righteousness
5. to seal up visions and prophecy
6. to anoint the Most Holy.
Nathan Jones: Let’s tackle the first purpose — to finish transgressions.
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel will be over when the Jewish people as a whole stop rejecting God. The word transgression portrays the idea of rebellion, for as a people they continue to reject their Messiah, whom the New Testament reveals is Jesus Christ.
Verse 26 shockingly reveals the Messiah will be cut off. The Messiah will come, but the Jewish people will reject Him. They will not accept Him until as a people they cry out as Matthew 23:37 describes, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” God is looking for the Jewish people to open up their hearts to His Son and accept their true Messiah before Daniel’s 490 year period has ended. To this day, the world is still waiting for the Jewish people to accept Jesus as Messiah.
Vic Batista: I pastor in the Aventura area of Miami, and our area is very Jewish. Few Jews here recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Even today we see the reality of this passage as the Jewish people as a whole continue to cut the Messiah out of their lives.
Nathan Jones: I lived in Philadelphia for many years, and other than New York City, it is probably the second most populated area where Jewish people live in the United States. It seems like one out of every three people I met in Philly was Jewish. I had many Jewish friends, and some were Messianic Jews, meaning they had finally accepted Jesus as Messiah. But, most of the Jews I encountered totally rejected Jesus. Actually, some Jews even expressed a fear that they would be cursed if they even began to learn about Jesus Christ, mostly because they tie Christianity to the Holocaust. They believed Christians were behind the Holocaust, which in truth was purely demonic, not Christian.
There are spiritual blinders on so many Jewish people today. They just don’t understand that their Messiah came, but they cut Him off by having Him crucified. Though, we know it was the sins of the world which caused Jesus to put Himself on the cross, He still was rejected by His own people.
They even look at the concept of the Messiah very differently. One Jewish guide in Jerusalem once told me that they see the Messiah as someone like Samson, who when the Holy Spirit came down upon Samson would give him super strength. The Messiah will be a hero like Samson, the champion of Israel, but still mortal.
If you talk to many Jews today, a man is what they are waiting for — a political savior. He will be like Prime Minister Netanyahu, for example. The Holy Spirit will fall upon someone like Netanyahu and then he will go out and beat up on all their enemies, such as the Iranians. That is the super hero type of Messiah they are looking out for, but that is not the Messiah of the Bible. The Messiah of Bible prophecy they have been waiting for has already come, but they just didn’t recognize Him until it was too late. The Messiah was cut off!
Vic Batista: The only hero that is going to come and rescue the Jewish people in their darkest hour is going to be Jesus Christ. It is He who will eventually come back again and fix this mess of a world.
Nathan Jones: Right. Unfortunately, as we read in Daniel 9:27, we discover that the Jewish people will end up being tricked into accepting a false Messiah. They will think of the coming one-world ruler — the Antichrist — as their political savior. Gabriel reveals the Antichrist will make a peace treaty with Israel for seven years, “but in the middle of the week”, meaning 3.5 years, he will break his treaty. I am getting ahead of the story here in Daniel, but this betrayal is pertinent to the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, particularly the final Seventieth Week of Daniel. Their acceptance of the Antichrist as Messiah shows that the Jewish people continue to look for a political Messiah, just as they did during Christ’s first advent. The political messiah ends up being a false savior, for the Antichrist is certainly not Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: The Jewish people make the ultimate transgression of all — they choose the wrong Messiah.
In the twentieth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll continue to flesh out the six-fold purpose for the Seventieth Week of Daniel prophecy.