13.5. The 70th Week of Daniel

Another period set forth by the OT which involves a time of calamity with Jewish focus is the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. Dan. 9:24-27). This prophecy was introduced to Daniel by Gabriel as follows:

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. (Dan. Dan. 9:24)

Notice that the entire period is determined for Daniel’s people and Daniel’s holy city. These are none other than the Jews and Jerusalem. The entire scope of this prophecy pertains to the Jews. While it is beyond our purposes here to deal with the entire prophecy in all its detail, we pause to note that at least two aspects of the introduction infer a fulfillment yet future even to our own day:
  1. To finish the transgression: If this refers to a specific transgression, (and some believe it does because the noun translated ‘the transgression,’ חַטָּאת [ḥaṭṭāʾṯ] , is singular), that transgression involves the rejection of her Messiah by the Jewish nation. Since the majority of Jews still are opposed to the notion of Jesus Christ as their Messiah, this has not yet happened.
  2. To seal up vision and prophecy: Neither has this been completed. Sealing does not mean that all vision and prophecy would simply be delivered to the saints (e.g., the close of the canon), but that all vision and prophecy will find fulfillment.1

Notes

1 “The implications of this phrase may include all of the following: (1) God will put His seal of authentication on all true revelations, (2) These forms of revelation will cease, (3) Prophecies will be fulfilled, and (4) Nothing else is to be added to His plans and revelations (as implied by the seal). When Christ comes back, there will be no more need for visions and prophecies.”—Charles H. Ray, “A Study of Daniel 9:24-17, Part II,” in The Conservative Theological Journal, vol. 5 no. 16 (Fort Worth, TX: Tyndale Theological Seminary, December 2001), 306-307.