70th Week

The 70th Week of Daniel is an eschatological and prophetic term referring to the final 7 years of this age.  Almost 6 centuries B.C., God sent the archangel Gabriel to speak a prophetic message to an Israelite, Daniel, when the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon.  The message applied to the holy people, Israel, and to their holy city, Jerusalem.  It refers to a time period of 70 “weeks” of years (490 years).

According to the angel Gabriel, it had been decreed by God, concerning Daniel’s “people” (Israel) and their “holy city” (Jerusalem), that the following things would come to pass by the end of the 70 “weeks” of years (Daniel 9:24):

The 70th Week: Final 7 Prophesied Years
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The final “week” of the 70 weeks of years—the 70th week—will be the final 7 years of this age, prior to the return of the Messiah back to earth.  During much of that final 7-year period, especially during the final 3˝ years, there will be a very traumatic and troublesome purging of the earth in many ways.

The concept of the final 7-year period, which would begin with the confirmation of some type of convenant, comes from Daniel 9:27a.  That complex verse reads somewhat differently in various versions of the Bible, so there are diverse interpretations of it.  In the Orthodox Jewish Bible, which shows the translation of many Hebrew words to English, it reads this way:

27And he shall confirm brit [covenant] with rabbim [the many] for one heptad [week of seven years]; and in the midst of the heptad he shall cause the zevach [sacrifice] and the minchah [gift offering] to cease.  And on the kenaf [wing or overspreading] of the abominations is one making desolate, even until the complete destruction, a destruction that is decreed, shall be poured out upon the Shomem [Desolator, Destroyer]. (Daniel 9:27—OJB)

Many of those who have studied this prophecy feel that the “he” who would confirm the covenant, involving Israel, would be the man commonly known as the Antichrist or “the beast.”  The conventional belief is that this man will confirm some type of peace accord involving Israel, with an allowance for them to build their Third Temple; but in the midst of the 7-year period, he will break the covenant and cause desolation in Israel.  Then he will blaspheme and slander God and will rule over the nations of the world for 42 months = 3˝ years (Revelation 13:5-7).

Indeed, in 2006, Israel did engage in a seven-year agreement or accord with several other nations.  In fact, Israel was the first non-European nation to sign on to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which was in effect from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2013—exactly seven years.  The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument with Israel shows one of the documents in this agreement.

European Neighbourhood InstrumentA subsequent agreement or accord was in effect for the next 7-year period, from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2020—exactly seven years.  It was called the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and, essentially, was a renewal and continuance of the initial ENP agreement.  The ENI also included Israel, just as the ENP did.

Many felt that the 7-year ENI accord was a confirmation of the original ENP covenant and was a fulfillment of Daniel 9:27a.  However, certain specific events did not take place that Jesus indicated would happen in the midst of that 7-year period (Matthew 24:15,16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20,21).  Therefore, the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) was not the covenant commencing the final 7 years of this age: the 70th Week.

Another agreement, the Next Generation EU (NGEU), combined with the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), followed the ENI.  One of the main provisions is to help Europe’s recovery from the coronavirus and to help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe.  It is in effect from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2027—exactly 7 years.  However, there appears to be no connection to Israel in this agreement, so it is doubtful that it has anything to do with the confirmation of a covenant, involving Israel, for 7 years in Daniel 9:27a.

Therefore, perhaps the prophesied confirmation of a covenant involving Israel has nothing to do with a man-made covenant but, rather, a God-made covenant.  Indeed, long ago, God did engage in a covenant with Israel.  Over time, though, Israel became disobedient and unfaithful, giving their allegiance to other gods (Judges 2:11-13; 1 Kings 11:9-11; Jeremiah 11:10-13), which indeed is true of all nations to some extent.  These and other transgressions resulted in God’s covenant with Israel being broken.

Daniel 9:25,26a indicates that after 7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks of years would be the coming of Messiah the Prince (or Yeshua/Jesus), but He would be cut off (that is, be crucified).  It was then that the time count of the 70 weeks of years was halted, with 7 weeks of years (the 70th week) to begin at an unspecified later time.

Daniel 9:26 speaks about the cutting off (crucifixion) of Jesus the Messiah (for the sins of Israel and for all of humanity) and also how the people of the prince to come would destroy and desolate the city and the sanctuary (that is, Jerusalem and the temple).  The latter event occurred with the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE), when Titus led the Roman army to besiege and capture Jerusalem and to destroy the city and the Second Temple.

Presumably then, in the next verse, Daniel 9:27a, the “he” who shall “confirm a covenant” with many (for one week of seven years) would be one of the two people in the previous verse.  Of course, it is not possible that it would be the Emperor Titus, who died in 81 CE.  (Many have felt that, just as Titus was the leader of a European nation, the “he” at the beginning of Daniel 9:27 also would be a future European leader.)  Yet, the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits and lives today in heaven.

At the Last Supper, the night before being crucified on Pesach or Passover, Jesus indicated that the final cup of wine that they drank represented the blood which would pour out from His broken body; and His blood was indicative of the new covenant that He was re-establishing with Israel (Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:24,25).  This took place at the end of 69 weeks of the 70 weeks of years.  However, due to Israel’s general rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, which resulted in His crucifixion and death, the time count of the 70 weeks of years was paused after 69 weeks of years.  This left 7 years—the 70th Week of years—yet to take place.

As such, it seems likely that, at some future time, it is Jesus who again would confirm the sacrificial blood covenant that He had re-established with Israel, with His shed blood, on the evening before His death.  He had restored that covenant at the end of the 69 weeks of years, when He was crucified and His blood was shed for them.  Feasibly, the confirmation of this holy covenant would take place at or near the beginning of the 70th week, which did not follow immediately and chronologically after the 69 weeks of years.  Rather, after a lengthy gap of time, the prophesied 70th Week will be the final 7 years of this age prior to Jesus’ physical return to earth to rule and reign over the whole world.

Constellations Virgo and Leo 
Constellations Virgo and Leo
It now is thought and felt, by many, that the confirmation of the covenant (Daniel 9:27a) took place as the sign in the sky: September 23, 2017.  Many astronomers have indicated that the exact configuration and appearance of the constellations Virgo and Leo at that time was so rare that it happens only about every 7,000 years.  It evidently was the prophetic fulfillment of (Revelation 12:1), with “the woman” being a revelatory representation of Israel.  Indeed, since the beginning, God has used lights in the expanse of the sky—the sun, the moon and the stars—as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).

This happened on the day following the first two days of Rosh haShanah (the earliest of the Hebraic Feast and Holy Days in the Fall of the year), when the first tiny sliver of the new moon was visible.  It would have been an eminently appropriate time for the confirmation of God’s covenant with Israel to take place and for the prophetic 70th week—the final 7 years of this age—to begin relatively soon, on God’s calendar vs. man’s calendar.  It finally was time for them to understand that Yeshua/Jesus not only is their Messiah but also was their ultimate and final sacrifice for sins, almost 2,000 years ago.

That sign in the sky happened to occur on a Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Repentance and Return, during the 40-day season of Teshuvah.  Therefore, it is quite possible that God, in His great mercy, alloted a gap of a handful of years of time for widespread repentance and return to the one true God and to the Savior of Israel and the world, Jesus.  Unfortunately, widespread repentance and return did not take place; so the final 7 years of this age, the 70th Week, may have begun in the Fall of 2020.  If so, the end of the age could be in the Fall of 2027.  Many more details can be found in this very lengthy commentary: End of the Age: 2024 – 2027?

Many cannot believe it is possible that the final 7 years of this age could have begun if there is no Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, if a “Pre-tribulation” Rapture has not taken place, and if the Gog/Magog hordes have not attacked Israel.  However, as explained in Third Temple, Rapture & Gog/Magog, it should seem evident that none of these are prerequisites for the final 7 years to begin.

In Daniel 9:27a, whoever it is that shall “confirm a covenant” also shall “bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”  Many think this indicates that Israel will be performing sacrifices and offerings in a Third Temple.  However, in December 2018, a sacrificial altar built by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was dedicated.  Their intent was to perform sacrifices and offerings as a preparatory step prior to the building of the Third Temple, as explained in this  12˝-minute video:

Sanhedrin Third Temple Ritual
in Jerusalem: Altar Dedication

Since then, sacrificial offerings have been performed on the altar.  In fact, there was a precedent for this prior to the building of the Second Temple long ago, when an altar was built and sacrificial burnt offerings were offered on it before the foundation of the temple had even been laid (Ezra 3:1-6).

Passover lamb sacrificed in April 2019
Among other sacrifices since the new altar was dedicated in December 2018, a ceremony took place in April 2019 when a Passover lamb was sacrificed and burned as an offering to God.  There are numerous parallels between Jesus and the Passover lamb, which most Israelites still do not recognize.  He was their ultimate Passover sacrifice and no further sacrifices are necessary, nor does God desire that these sacrifices be made.  Even King David stated, long ago, that God does not delight in sacrifice or take pleasure in burnt offerings (Psalm 51:16).

Since most of the nation has not recognized the renewal of their covenant with God, and has not acknowledged that Yeshua/Jesus is their true Messiah, then somehow He may see to it that their continuing sacrifices and offerings in Jerusalem are brought to an end in the midst of the final week of 7 years (Daniel 9:27a).  Jesus would not need to be in Jerusalem to do this; rather, He could influence it to happen, supernaturally, from heaven.  Then there would be 3˝ years remaining to complete the 70th Week.

Daniel 9:27b refers to “abominations” and “one who makes desolate.”  This speaks of the Antichrist, who will set up an abomination that causes desolation.  Jesus spoke of this and told those in Judea who see this and also armies surrounding Jerusalem, at that future time, to flee to the mountains (Matthew 24:15,16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20,21).  He also indicated that, beginning then, there would be great distress or great tribulation, unequaled from the beginning of the world until then, and never to be equaled again (Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19).

These events will take place approximately 3˝ years following the commencement of the 70th week.  If the 70th Week began in the Fall of 2020, then it would seem that the dreadful period of Great Tribulation should begin at some point during the Spring of 2024.  Indeed, the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, which began in October 2023, most likely was the most significant military challenge to Israel in the previous 50 years, since the Yom Kippur War in October of 1973.  It very well may have been an advance warning by God that the onset of the Great Tribulation could be only 6 months later, in the Spring of 2024.

Whenever that horrific period begins, Jesus can be expected to return to Jerusalem again 3˝ years later, set up the Kingdom of God on earth, and rule and reign over the whole world for 1,000 years: the Millennium.  Jesus, the brilliant and dazzling light at the end of a very dark tunnel, will establish a magnificent and wonderful utopia never experienced before in human history.

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