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Daniel;- The unsolved puzzle of the Seventy Weeks

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posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:03 PM
The “seventy” puzzle really begins with the prophecies of Jeremiah, who warned the people that God would send the Babylonians against them;
“… these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed I shall punish the king of Babylon…”- Jeremiah ch25 vv11-14.
After the first group had been taken into exile, Jeremiah sent them a further promise;
“For thus says the Lord; When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back in this place.”- Jeremiah ch2 v10

Clearly, this term is meant to apply to the period between the fall of Jerusalem and the fall of Babylon.
However, history records the first event in 587 B.C., and the second in 539 B.C.
Nobody could complain here that God was slow to keep his promise.
But this teaches an important lesson about the interpretation of prophecy.
Unless we choose to believe that Jeremiah got it wrong, we have to accept that the reference to “seventy years” was NOT meant as a literal time interval.
The real meaning is to be found in the symbolism of the numbers.
“7” is the number that belongs to God, because of the seven days in the Creation story.
“10” is the number which represents “completeness”.
Therefore the period of “seventy years”, which multiplies the two numbers together, holds the symbolic meaning “the completeness of the time that belongs to God”.

The next phase comes in Daniel ch9. Daniel reads these prophecies in Jeremiah, and perceives that seventy years are to pass “before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem”.
There follows the long prayer, and then the interpretation supplied by Gabriel, which explains the prophecy in terms of “seventy weeks of years”.
The “weeks” have been broken up into three distinct periods.
But the way that Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled shows the risk in trying to match them with exactly calculated intervals of time.
We need first to look to the symbolism of the numbers.

They are dominated by the “7”, the number of God.
The closing period is one “7”- because even a ruler who sets himself against God rules only for the term that God allows him.
The opening period is “7” multiplied by “7”, so it belongs to God in a more particular way.
The overall period of “seventy weeks” would have the same meaning as the “seventy years”.
Finally, the intervening period, the “sixty-two weeks”, is simply what remains from the seventy once the other two periods have been deducted.

A number of events are distributed through these weeks.
At the beginning of the seventy weeks, an order to restore and build Jerusalem.
At the end of the seven weeks, an “anointed one”, a prince.
For the whole of the sixty-two weeks, Jerusalem stands established, but “in a troubled time”.
At the end of the sixty two weeks, an “anointed one” is cut off.
At the same time, the city and sanctuary are destroyed by the people of “the prince who is to come”.
In the last week he makes covenant with many, and in the middle of that week he ends the sacrifice and brings the “desolation”.

There’s much dispute about how to match them to the events of history.

There’s the approach which might be called “historical-critical”.
The first “anointed one” is identified with Cyrus, on the basis that he’s called “anointed” in Isaiah ch45 v1.
The “anointed one who is cut off” is identified with the High Priest Onias, who was murdered early in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. There seems to be another reference to his death in ch11 v22, where he appears as the broken “prince of the covenant”.
The last week is identified with Antiochus Epiphanes, who set up the image of Jupiter Capitolinus in the Temple (“the abomination”) and thereby ended the practice of sacrifice to the God of Israel (“the desolation”).

This theory is attractive to anyone who knows the history, but contains a couple of weaknesses.
Cyrus is placed after the order for the rebuilding of the city, which seems to put them in the wrong order.
One way to escape this anomaly is to make the “seventy weeks” begin with Jerusalem’s fall to the Babylonians, on the basis that God’s command for the re-building of the city was privately issued at that time.
We should also consider the possibility that the first “anointed one” is another in the line of High Priests.
For if the High Priest Onias can be called “prince of the covenant”, then the word “prince” need not mean a secular ruler.
A good candidate would seem to be the High Priest Joshua, who helped to preside over the foundation of the Temple (Haggai ch1).
Then the “seven weeks” would represent the time of preparation for the new Temple, following on naturally from the command to rebuild.
The other weakness of this historical theory is that it does nothing to account for the destruction of the city and sanctuary even before the final week starts.

The frequent Christian interpretation is to identify Christ as the “anointed one who is cut off”, and to identify the destruction of the city and sanctuary with what happened in A.D. 70.
The Futurist version of this approach, recognising that the final week is at least modelled upon Antiochus Epiphanes, assigns that week to an end-time ruler who treats the Biblical God and his people in much the same way.
Of course the major weakness in that theory is the un-filled space between the end of the sixty-ninth week and the beginning of the seventieth.
I’m willing to see possible gaps at other points in Daniel, but in this case the existence of the over-arching “seventy weeks” label makes it rather awkward.

I also came across a Preterist interpretation.
The writer agreed with the Futurists that Christ was the second anointed one, and that the destruction of the city came with Titus.
He then identified the final week with the life and work of Jesus, including his crucifixion.
The major weakness of this theory was that the death of Christ was happening twice over, at the end of the sixty-ninth week (“anointed one cut off”), but also in the middle of the next one ( which was how he “caused sacrifice to cease”).
Because of this duplication, one of those two deaths was occurring after the city had been destroyed.
So after mocking the Futurists for breaking up the continuity of the “seventy weeks”, the writer was mangling the order of events to make them fit his own analysis.

Another approach is to start at the end of the seventy weeks and work backwards.
We can’t ignore the resemblance of the final week to the work of Antiochus- the resemblance is too close to allow a “benevolent” interpretation.
In which case we should accept the assumption that this refers to a later king of the same kind.
Then we would now be living in the sixty-two weeks since the appearance of Christ as the first anointed one.
This would be the church as a “new Jerusalem”, established in a “troubled time”.
This theory has the advantage that the intervals are at least in the right proportion.
It does imply a further destruction of Jerusalem just before the last ruler comes to power.
But it also implies a second anointed one, who is cut off at the same time.
This looks like a weakness , because there is no New Testament warrant for such a figure.
I’m not a Catholic, so it really goes against the grain to take the obvious Catholic line and make this a “last Pope”.

So that is how I come to the conclusion that I still don’t have an acceptable answer to the puzzle of “seventy weeks”.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:06 PM
This can be considered part of an "occasional series" of Daniel threads.
Previous threads were listed here;

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:46 PM
well, simply it was referring to the end 70 year exile which saw the return of the Jews to jerusalem under Ezra the Scribe and Nehemiah

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:49 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Mike Heiser made a statement that anyone who says they got this figured out just safely ignore them .
Prophesy seems to be very ambiguous until after it happens at least when its dealing with end times . I gave up on all the man made models and figure I am safe with a Pre-wrath understanding . But I still enjoy reading peoples takes on the subject .

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:53 PM
a reply to: dashen
Thank you. And what is your interpretation of "shall destroy the city and the sanctuary"? (v26)

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:55 PM
a reply to: the2ofusr1
Yes, at least I'm not alone in being baffled.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 02:59 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Gog and Magog and the battle of Gei Ben Hinnom

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 03:14 PM
a reply to: dashen
My first thought on that response was on the city needing to have been rebuilt (first) before the seventy weeks had fully elapsed, in order to be destroyed at the end.
Then something occurred to me which I should have thought of before; that the second half of v26 (including the destruction of the city) does not precede v27, but should be equated with the second half of v27. The two verses must be different versions of the same desciption. That seems to require a reassessment of the different theories.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 04:51 PM
a reply to: dashen

Gog and Magog is after the Millennial

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 08:34 PM
I simply like to look at all the possible options and try to keep them all on the table.

Somewhere in all of it, the truth will come out and it will come out as He intends it to.

posted on Dec, 1 2017 @ 08:54 PM
I have looked at this and here's a couple of details to add to the puzzle. Chosen ones. According to the books of Zechariah and Malachi there was supposed to be 4 chosen ones. The Lord, his 2 branches, and Elijah the prophet. 3 have come and gone but there is no mention of the 4th one. The 2nd branch.

Also something to add to the 70 weeks timeline. In the book of Hosea there is a mention of a long term curse that was supposed to befall Israel and Judah. Looking at Hosea 6 verses 1,2, and 3 the curse was supposed to last 2 days in the presence of the Lord. Per 2nd Peter 3-8 and Psalms 90 those days are supposed to last 1000 years each. Therefore after the 69th week the curse must have taken over the timeline. The 70th week comes at the end of the 2000 years.

What if the cut off one is actually the 2nd branch?
edit on 1-12-2017 by ntech because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 02:02 AM
a reply to: ntech
I see only one branch in Zechariah, though that one branch is mentioned twice.
ch3 v9 Speaking to Joshua, the Lord says "I will bring my servant, the branch".
ch6 v12 Seaking to (not about) Joshua, the Lord invites him to "Behold the man whose name is the branch".

posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 07:12 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

You have to read Zechariah 4 carefully.

Zechariah 4
11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

And this from Revelation 11 since I'm here.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 01:23 AM
a reply to: ntech
That identification has the two coming together, which does not support your original contention that "one has come and gone" while we are still waiting for the second one.

edit on 3-12-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 11:50 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Ok then, per Zechariah 6-11 the first branch is identified as Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest. But having read the rest of the Bible I haven't found a reference to the 2nd branch having appeared.

Now referring back to the 70 weeks prophecy it does say an "anointed one" is cut off. Referring back to Zechariah 4-14 it does say the branches are also anointed ones. Now look back at John the Baptist. Matthew 17 does claim he was Elias or Elijah the prophet. So here's a theory. John the Baptist was the 2nd branch. He was killed by Herod at the prompting of Salome and her mother. The granddaughter and daughter of the high priest. And if the high priest had been irritated at the commentaries John had been making about the daughter well, he may had been implicated in John's death as well.

And here's what Malachi 4-4 says about Elijah the Prophet.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

And this begs the question. Did the death of John the Baptist trigger the curse? A 2000 year top level Leviticus 26 curse? That would make some sense if he was also the branch. Also consider this prophecy from Malachi 3.

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Being it's a different book it would make sense that these "messengers" are also the branches. The death of a branch would have broken this prophecy. When Jesus Christ was in the temple there before the crucification the branches/messengers should have been with him.

So as of now I would say the problem is that the 2nd branch needs to show up and rebuild the temple. Zechariah 6-12 and 13 is a 2 part prophecy because another temple needed to be built in the end times.

The appearance of the 2nd branch appears to be nigh. And the 70 weeks appear to have never ended. Just paused.

posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 12:09 AM
a reply to: ntech

So as of now I would say the problem is that the 2nd branch needs to show up and rebuild the temple. Zechariah 6-12 and 13 is a 2 part prophecy because another temple needed to be built in the end times.
Why would another Temple need building ? What would be the reason seeing we are the Temple of God .What end time are you referring to ?

posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 02:47 AM

originally posted by: ntech
Ok then, per Zechariah 6-11 the first branch is identified as Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest. But having read the rest of the Bible I haven't found a reference to the 2nd branch having appeared.

For the immediate purposes of Zechariah, the two "anointed ones", the two branches of the olive tree supplying oil to the lamp of God's people, are evidently "the king and the high priest".That is, Joshua the priest and Zerubbabel the Davidic prince, who is not called "king" only because the Persians won't allow it.
That is the point, really. Joshua and Zerubbabel are supposed to work together on this. (Reading between the lines, Zechariah may be addressing the problem that Joshua is being uncooperative, and that could be part of his sin)

So in both Zechariah and Revelation, the two anointed ones are shown as a working partnership. There is no reason to think of them as coming separately.

Who are the king and the high priest in the New Testament?
Firstly, Christ is obviously both, as we see from Hebrews.
Secondly, those who belong to Christ are also both. "You have made us a kingdom and priests" (Revelation, twice).
The two anointed ones are supposed to be building theTemple. And what is God's temple in the New Testament?
Again, we are, as a community. "Do you not know that you [plural] are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians ch3 v16).
So in the interpretation of these things, "the veil is taken away by the Lord, who is the Spirit".

edit on 4-12-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 07:50 AM
But according to Malachi 3-1 the job of Messiah was supposed to be a 3 man job. It never got fulfilled. Therefore I conclude that the first century Apocalypse was incomplete. And not the ultimate fulfillment of end time prophecy. There is a 2nd fulfillment coming at a future date.

posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 08:04 AM
a reply to: ntech
Given the Hebrew habit of saying the same thing twice over in different ways, three labels in the same verse does not necessarily mean three different people.

posted on Dec, 6 2017 @ 08:35 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Puzzle solved

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