Last time we had a little fun with some of the numerology involved in the Scriptures. There is so much more, but that is an entirely separate topic. For ours, getting serious again, Daniel 9:26 says, “Until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks,” i.e., sixty-nine weeks. That is the time at which it says Messiah will be cut off and have nothing. That appears to be straightforward enough.
So, after the sixty-nine weeks we have Messiah “being cut off and have nothing,” and so on. This much we do know, Jesus the Messiah began His ministry at about the age of thirty (Luke 3:23). Also, counting the number of Passovers mentioned in the gospels, we can determine that His ministry lasted about three years, which brings us to the year 33 or 34. We also know the Roman army destroyed the city and sanctuary in 70AD. What are we to do with those facts?
The Jewish War (remember that?) from 66-73AD, lasted seven years. The destruction and desolation of Jerusalem were in 70 – in the middle of those seven years, although arguably not with exactness. Incidentally, the war ended in 73 with the siege of Masada, completing that seven. Some have said that the seven-year war is the seventieth week of Daniel 9:26, which we have shown is entirely possible. Those looking for a perfect scenario cannot articulate one because one does not exist, or at least one has not been articulated to this writer’s knowledge. Some things may have to wait until we get to heaven and meet the Lord.
Here is a curiosity. Because we are relying on others’ interpretation of the original O.T. Hebrew and Aramaic, this writer knows, after sitting through two years of Greek, one must pay attention to conjunctions, such as “and,” “but,” and “then.” “Then” means what follows comes after what preceded it; in other words, time is proceeding. However, the “and” or “but” does not necessarily mean that the action is proceeding; it could be occurring during the then-present time. Therefore, looking at 9:26-27, we see this:
“Then” after the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing
“And” the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary
“And” its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined
“And” he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week
“But” in the middle of the week, he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering
“And” on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate
All of the above takes us to the middle of the seventieth week. Now, that cannot mean that these things are going to occur during or after our lifetime, for it clearly identifies when, what, and to whom it occurred. Furthermore, praise God, we KNOW when what and to whom it happened, for we know, as a fact, that Jesus the Messiah was cut-off (crucified) about 33 or 34AD. That is the end of the sixty-ninth week. Finally, we know, as a fact, the city and sanctuary were made desolate in 70. That is the middle of the seventieth week. Daniel was foreseeing the coming of Messiah and what shortly followed.
It is plain to see just how difficult deciphering this is. It is hard enough trying to understand it, but it is harder still trying to put it in writing. Looking at that period – from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to the desolation, it is approximately thirty-five years – a generation. It was upon “that” generation whom Jesus said would not pass away until all those things would come (Matthew 23:36 and 24:34). It is also, interestingly, one-half of seventy years.
Concluding, the Scriptures declare that the crucifixion of Christ began the seventieth seven. Then began the great persecution (tribulation). The destruction and desolation of 70 were approximately midway of the Jewish War, which brings the timeline to the middle of the seventieth seven. The end of the seventieth seven was the siege of Masada and the end of the war. A satisfactory explanation to all of the seventieth seven seemingly may not exist, but that is not grounds to create an even less believable scenario.