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The Apocalypse and the 70 Weeks Prophecy

01 Jan
Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy

from Google Images

Before beginning my study of the Apocalypse, I think I need to mention my understanding of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Prophecy. Because, unless one is able to see that Daniel and the writer of the Apocalypse agree on when Jerusalem and the Temple were to be destroyed, the Bible student simply cannot hope to be accurate in his understanding of either book.

According to Daniel, his Seventy Weeks prophecy began, when the first sacrifice was offered on the Feast of Trumpets (Ezra 3:6), after the Jews returned from captivity (Daniel 9:25). From that time to the time Christ began his ministry should have been 483 years or 69 of those 70 weeks of years (Daniel 9:25). The prophecy claims the Messiah would come immediately after the 483 years or immediately after the 69th week in Daniels prophecy. If he came immediately afterward, he would have come at the beginning of the 70th week in the prophecy, but Daniel 9:26 predicted that he would be “cut off” in the middle of that week or 3 ½ years into the 70th week of years. Sure enough Jesus’ ministry lasted for 3 ½ years or what amounts to be the “time, times and half a time” of Daniel 12:7, and upon the fulfillment of those days, Jesus was crucified or “cut off” according to the prophecy.

What happened to the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel’s prophecy? If the first half was immediately fulfilled during Jesus’ public ministry, when was the second half fulfilled or must it yet be fulfilled, as futurists conclude, some 2000 years (or more) later? Well, if the prophecy is to be fulfilled in accordance with the words of the prophet, there must be a “gap” between the two halves, but a 2000 year gap would contradict scripture, which unveils an eminency for its fulfillment in the first century AD. However, the placement of a “gap” would not be “begging” this issue, because it is supported in the original Exodus of Israel out of Egypt.[1] Just as unbelief prevented the children of Israel from entering the Promised Land, until forty years after leaving Egypt, there would be a similar period of time between the two halves of the 70th week of Daniel 9 for the believing Jews’ exodus out of sin or out of rebellion against God. The New Testament represents a second exodus for the Jews, or more accurately of the elect or believing Jews.[2]

We know that, after they left Egypt, it took Israel about a year to march to Mount Sinai and complete their work on the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:17), and in the first month of the 2nd year, after coming out of Egypt, Israel kept the Passover (Numbers 9:1). I don’t believe it would be stretching the issue to say they spent another two to two and a half years in the wilderness, making the other Levitical priesthood items and preparing for the inevitable warfare it would take to gain the Promised Land. Such a period of time would reflect the Lord’s public ministry of 3 ½ years during the 1st century AD. The period of 40 years spent in the wilderness incorporated all of the time between leaving Egypt and crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. So, there was a “gap” between the promise of the land and when they actually entered into the land to possess it, and that “gap” occurred due to unbelief. Similarly, and also due to unbelief, there was a gap in the first century AD between the 1260 days and the 1290 days, or between the time of the crucifixion on Passover day in 31 AD and the actual establishment of the promised Kingdom of God, cir. 70 AD.

The first half of the 70 Weeks Prophecy took 1260 days (Revelation 12:6) or “a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 12:7). The second half of the 70 Weeks Prophecy would have had to have been 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) or “a time times and half a time” (Revelation 12:14). The first three and one-half years had to be clearly stated in order to point to Jesus, as the Messiah, and the period of his public ministry. So from the first month of his ministry, when the scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of using the power of Satan to do his miracles there would be 1260 days, which, if one counted from the Last Great Day in the 7th month to the Passover 3 ½ years later, when Jesus was crucified, one would find that there were exactly 1260 days between those Holy Days.

However, Jesus said the day of his coming to judge Jerusalem and establish his Kingdom was known only to the Father (Mark 13:32). This was probably due to unbelief. Had the Jews, as a nation, received Jesus as Messiah, there wouldn’t be a gap, and the 1290 days (Daniel 12:11) wouldn’t have been so obscure, because, in point of fact, there are exactly 1290 days between the Feast of Firstfruits, 31 AD, which is the day Jesus rose from the dead, and the Day of Atonement 3 ½ years later in 34 AD, a date I posit in an earlier study that Stephen was stoned (Acts 7), thus, testifying of the Jews’ unbelief and their refusal to repent (cf. Revelation 2:20-21).

Any date after the conclusion of Acts (cir. 62 AD) cannot be confirmed by the Bible alone. However, the word of God is able to help us pick out a possible date in history in which certain prophecies were fulfilled. Josephus mentions that the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem in 66 AD just after the Feast of Tabernacles. Yet, after the Roman general, Cestius, had gained the city, he retreated for no good reason![3] This is remarkably similar to what Jesus pointed in Luke 21:20, which was his sign, warning his disciples to flee the city (Luke 21:21).[4] After the return of the rebels who fought with the retreating Roman army, such an escape from Jerusalem by Jesus’ disciples would have been prevented.

If Josephus’ dates are accurate, Cestius both captured the northern city and then retreated on 30th day of the seventh month.[5] 1290 days from this date brings us to the 22nd day of the 1st month in 70 AD, or the beginning of the city’s siege by the Roman general, Titus. Fifteen days later he would pitch his camp within Jerusalem’s city walls, showing the Jews’ capital fell to Rome on that date (the seventh day of the 2nd month.[6] Yet, access to the Temple wouldn’t come until three months and 20 days later. The culmination of the 1290 days at the beginning of Titus’ siege of Jerusalem points to the end of the Old Covenant.

One might see a problem with using the period between the taking of Jerusalem by Cestius (who then retreated) and later by Titus to be the 1290 days. According to Daniel 12:11 the 1290 days would begin when the “daily sacrifice” was removed and the abomination of desolation set up (Daniel 12:11). However, if one considers that believers were being built up as the true Temple of God, and they fled the city at the retreat of Cestius, then in a very real sense God removed his daily offering (of prayer, sacrifices in the sense of persecution) by calling them away from the city, leaving only the abomination that would bring desolation in their place.

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[1] This understanding of mine has come about through watching and listening to Dr. William Bell’s “All Things Fulfilled” You Tube channel.

[2] This study represents a departure from my original study on the 1290 days. There I had them begin and end on Jewish Feast days, but the Old Covenant didn’t end in 34 AD where that study brought the ending of the 70th week. Perhaps, that is where the 70 Weeks would have ended had the Jews repented and received Jesus, because the day upon which the 1290 days ended in my previous study did so on the Day of Atonement (national repentance) 34 AD.

[3] Josephus, Wars, 2.19.4, 7

[4] Josephus, Wars, 2.20.1.

[5] Josephus, Wars, 2.19.4, 7, 9

[6] Josephus, Wars, 5.7.2-3.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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5 responses to “The Apocalypse and the 70 Weeks Prophecy

  1. Patricia Watkins

    January 2, 2019 at 13:56

    Hi Eddie,

    (Just a heads-up on one slight typo in your 5th paragraph – I think you meant Dan. 12:7, not Daniel 2:7.)

    Here’s one comment on your last paragraph about a supposed “problem” between the times when Cestius Gallus and Titus came with their armies against Jerusalem. The season when the “daily sacrifice” was removed is referring to the fall season of AD 66 when Eleazar the governor at the temple convinced the high priests to quit offering the daily sacrifice for the Roman empire and the emperor. This was a breach of Israel’s promise to Rome in exchange for being allowed to practice their religion as an approved “religio licita” under Rome’s control. Josephus blamed this cessation of that daily sacrifice on behalf of the Roman empire for being the cause that began the war with the Romans. (Wars 2.17.2). In reaction to that cancelled daily sacrifice and other hostilities launched by the Zealots at that time, the armies of Cestius Gallus came against Jerusalem during the same season in the fall of AD 66, just as Daniel 12:11 said would happen at the same time (kairos).

    Your footnote #6 above states that there isn’t an “eventful date” in Josephus’ history for the beginning of the 1290 days that agrees with Daniel 12:11 when the abomination of armies was set up. Actually, I believe there is.

    Start with Wars 2.19.4. Cestius had come with his army to Jerusalem and pitched his camp at Scopus, 7 furlongs from the city. Then, on the 30th of the month Hyberbereteus [Tisri], Cestius Gallus put his army in array, and brought it into the city. Next, go to Wars 2.19.5. Cestius Gallus’ troops tried for 5 days more to attack the wall of the city, without success. On the next day, (the 6th day after the 30th of Tisri, which I presume would be the 6th day of the next month Dius, or Marhesvan), Cestius Gallus’ troops reached the temple and rested their shields in “Testudo” formation against the temple wall, to defend themselves as they were undermining it in an attempt to burn the gate into the temple area. Josephus says that when that happened, “…a horrible fear seized upon the seditious insomuch that many of them ran out of the city, as though it were to be taken immediately.” (Wars 2.19.6). It would seem that once the Roman armies finally made physical contact with the temple wall in their attack, that some of the Jews considered this the ultimate defiling abomination of unclean contact by the Gentiles, who then decided to flee from that abomination.

    We know that for some unfounded reason, Cestius Gallus abandoned this attack, which, as you said above Eddie, gave those inside Jerusalem a precious few days to flee the city while the rebellious Zealots were out chasing Cestius Gallus and defeating him at Bethhoron on the 8th day of Marhesvan (Wars 2.19.9). Fortunately, this flight was in October, before the heavy winter rains of November started, just as Christ had urged his disciples to pray for this particular timing to flee Jerusalem and Judea and head for the mountains.

    So, from that 6th day of the month Marhesvan when Cestius attacked the temple wall until Titus came and surrounded Jerusalem again with his armies, there were exactly 1290 days.

    Here’s how I figure that final date in Josephus that I believe specifically marks that last 1290th day. Josephus in Wars 5.2.3 tells us that Titus arrived with two of his legions and pitched them on Mount Scopus (just as Cestius Gallus had done earlier). Other legions were encamped at 2 other locations equally distant from the city. We then get a date from Josephus that the seditious groups inside Jerusalem attacked each other on the 14th day of Nisan, during the feast of unleavened bread. Then, just after this internal battle between factions in the city took place on the 14th of Nisan, Titus took 4 more days to level and clear the ground between his camps and the city walls (Wars 5.3.2 cp. Wars 5.3.5). Once that was done, Titus then arranged all his armies over against the walls of the city. This would have to be on the 19th day of Nisan – which is exactly 1290 days from when Cestius Gallus’ armies first rested their shields on the temple walls back on the 6th day of Marhesvan.

    Furthermore, the additional 45 days AFTER this 1290 days (on which Daniel 12:12-13 promised a blessing for those who waited and came to this 1335th day) – this would bring us to Pentecost day in AD 70 – from the 14th of Nisan, plus 4 days to level the ground, plus 1 day for Titus to arrange his troops around the Jerusalem walls, plus 45 days more = Pentecost day in AD 70. Daniel was promised that he would rest (in death) and “stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (the end of the 1335 days). This to me shows a resurrection on Pentecost day of AD 70 for Daniel to participate in.

    Eddie, you’re so detail-oriented – maybe you can confirm if I’ve counted this correctly. To me it seems to fit Daniel’s chronological order of events precisely, but it would be great if it could be confirmed by someone else who is more familiar with Jewish calendar dating. If you have time, perhaps you can let me know what you think.

    There is one thing, however. This 1290 days I don’t think falls inside the time period of the 70 weeks prophecy at all. The main reason is that the later UNSEALING, or the fulfillment of these prophetic events regarding Jerusalem’s final destruction is totally separated from the earlier 70 intact weeks of 490 years which would completely “SEAL UP the vision and prophecy”. In other words, the 490 no-gap years lasted from 454 BC until AD 37 when God gave Paul his vision and commission in Jerusalem’s temple to depart from Jerusalem and go to the Gentiles. This was the transition point in AD 37 – not when Stephen was martyred. It’s why Paul said he was the “FIRST” (protos) sinner in I Tim 1:15-16 (not the “worst” sinner in that text). God chose Paul as a PATTERN for those of the Gentiles to follow who were “ABOUT TO believe” on His name due to Paul’s ministry following the end of the 70 weeks. Paul was the “FIRST” to serve as a prime example of how God could gloriously convert those who formerly were aliens and even violent enemies of the gospel.

    As for the 1260 days of Rev. 12:6 and 14 following the ascension of Christ in Rev. 12:5, this is the final 3 1/2 years of the 70th week, directly following AFTER Christ’s 3 1/2-year ministry, when the persecuted church was scattered everywhere, preaching the word following Stephen’s martyrdom.

    The fleeing woman of Rev. 12:6 was FED in the wilderness, which brings to mind Christ’s command to Peter to “FEED MY SHEEP” after He had ascended to the Father. The “flood” with which the serpent tried to carry away the young Jerusalem church (the woman), was the persecution of Saul / Paul. This flood of Saul’s oppression was swallowed up by the earth when Paul was gloriously converted on the Damascus road. Then 3 years went by while Paul trained in Arabia for his ministry which would be as an “apostle to the Gentiles” after AD 37 (his temple vision).

    I realize this no-gap 70 weeks interpretation of 454 BC – AD 37 differs from your own interpretation of these things, Eddie, but perhaps you won’t mind looking at an alternate view which you may not have encountered before. Many godly and scholarly people have differed on this point, so there is plenty of room to extend grace on this subject.

    (A breakdown I gave on presenting a no-gap 70 weeks with its dates, in case you might be interested in an alternate view, is found in the last comment at the following link:)

    http://kloposmasm.com/2009/08/15/pp9-daniels-70-week-prophecy-part-2/#comments

     
    • Eddie

      January 3, 2019 at 07:46

      Greetings Patricia, and thank you for your “heads up” and for your very interesting comment. I’ll reply to your comment after further consideration, but I wish to really thank you for letting me know about the mistakes I made in referring to Daniel 2 instead of Daniel 12. The “L” on the end of Daniel made it appear to me (together with the 2) that it was a 12. After showing me my error, I discovered a few other errors in the final two paragraphs and changed them. The errors pertain to the beginning and the ending of the 1290 days. I wouldn’t have discovered those errors had it not been for you pointing out the typos. So, thank you very much for your alertness and your help in pointing out the typos. Lord bless you.

       
    • Eddie

      January 3, 2019 at 10:33

      Greetings Patricia, and once again, thank you for your interesting comment.

      I investigated your claim that the beginning of the war should be the start of the 1290 days, probably assuming that it tied in exactly with the coming of Cestius, but it doesn’t. Eliazer’s command to cease the daily sacrifice for foreign nations was either on the 7th or the 13th of Ab (the 5th month in the Jewish Calendar), i.e. during the summer, not the fall season. 1290 days from any date in the 5th month would not bring us to a significant day in Josephus’ Wars of the Jews.

      Moreover, you make an assumption that 1290 days from the 6th day of the 8th month (66 AD) brings us to the 19th day of Nisan, which it doesn’t. Additionally, nothing significant happens on that day, according to Josephus’ Wars.

      This is how I figured out my solution for the 1290 days. Cestius took the city on the 30th of the 7th month (Tisri). The anniversary of this day would be 354 days later (number of days in the normal Jewish calendar year). Plus another 354 days equals 708 says. Add to this 383 days (which includes a leap month of 29 days), and this equals 1091 days to the 30th day of the 7th month in the year 69 AD. 1290 days minus 1091 gives us 199 days to account for. There are 29 days in the 8th month of 69 AD, leaving us with 170 days left. Thirty days in the 9th month leaves us with 140 days. Twenty-nine days in the 10th month leaves 111 days. Another 30 days in the 11th month leaves 81, and minus 29 days for the 12th month leaves 52. We must now take away another 30 for the next leap month leaving us with 22 days left to complete the 1290 days on the 22nd day of Nisan in 70 AD. What is significant about this day in Josephus’ Wars of the Jews?

      According to Josephus (Wars of the Jews 5.7.2) Titus took the city’s northern wall on the 7th day of the second month (Jyar), which was 15 days after the siege began. This puts the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem at the 22nd day of Nisan, immediately following the Passover Festival (the 14th to the 21st). Titus arrived near the beginning of the Passover season, but he didn’t begin the siege until the 22nd day of the month. That is 1290 days exactly from when Cestius had gained the northern part of the city. These are the only dates I have found in Josephus’ Wars to be exactly 1290 days apart.

      Concerning the 1335 days, I have them beginning with the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry in Luke 4 at Nazareth (Feast of Trumpets – 1st day of the 7th month, 27 AD) and ending on the Feast of Pentecost of Acts 2. The 1260 days begin on the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles in 27 AD, when I presume Jesus was officially rejected by the Jewish authorities, as they accused him of being demonic and demanded a “sign” of their own choosing (Matthew 12). Jesus then told them no sign would be given except that of the prophet Jonah’s three days and three nights. Their “sign” would come too late for them, because 1260 days from the 22nd of the 7th month in 27 AD would the Passover day, the 14th of Nisan in 30 AD. The 1290 days, had they continued unbroken from the 1260 days, would have ended on the National Day of Repentance or the Day of Atonement in 33 AD. However, their unbelief was expressed in the stoning of Stephen on that date. Thus the 1290 days was cut off in unbelief. Just as that evil generation under Moses wasn’t able to enter the Promised Land for 40 years, so too, the unbelief of the evil and crooked generation of the last days of the nation prevented the elect from inheriting the promises for 40 years (AD 30-70).

      Once more, Patricia, thank you for following my studies. I appreciate your input. You always have something interesting to say, but sometimes we don’t agree on the details. I wish we could. :-)

      Lord bless you.

       
  2. Ahmed

    January 1, 2019 at 07:31

    Interesting observation indeed. Why or for what reason did God “determined” 70 weeks from the 2300 days prophesy? Did God gave the nation an “ultimatum”? If so, why would God take such a step?

     
    • Eddie

      January 1, 2019 at 07:51

      Greetings Ahmed, and thank you for reading my study and for your comment.

      The 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel 9 represents the answer to Daniel’s prayer for God to conclude the 70 years prophecy, which began when Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh and the Kingdom of Judah became a client kingdom of Babylon instead of Egypt. The northern kingdom, or the Kingdom of Israel, had already been destroyed and dispersed among the nations. The Lord said that Judah was no better and would herself be destroyed as well for breaking his covenant with them. However, God also had to keep his promise to David, so the the southern kingdom couldn’t be destroyed completely until the Messiah (the son of David) had come. Jesus came in the end of the age (Hebrews 1:1-2), which means the end of the Mosaic Covenant Age. Daniel claims in his prophecy that 70 weeks of years or 490 years were determined upon the southern kingdom–the Jews. Messiah would come at the beginning of the 70th week of years or immediately following 483 years from when Daniel predicted the time would begin.

      Hope this helps, if not let me know and I’ll try to be clearer. Lord bless you Ahmed.

       

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