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. 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.
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! 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). 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. 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. 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.
 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.
 Josephus, Wars, 2.19.4, 7
 Josephus, Wars, 2.20.1.
 Josephus, Wars, 2.19.4, 7, 9
 Josephus, Wars, 5.7.2-3.