Intro: Last week we looked at the overview of prophetic events. Tonight I want us to look at the seven year period of tribulation. As I mentioned last week, this period of time concerns the nation of Israel. All believers will have been raptured out of this world prior to the beginning of this time.
I. This is a Jewish prophecy.
A. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city..." v24a
B. Next week we will look at some prophecy concerning the Gentile kingdoms, but this deals only with the Jews.
C. It comes as an answer to Daniel’s prayer. cf v20-23
D. There are two princes referred to in this prophecy.
1. Messiah the Prince: Jesus Christ. v25
2. The prince that shall come: the anti-christ. v26
II. The purpose of the Prophecy.
A. Gabriel’s stated purpose.
1. "I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding."
2. "I am come to shew thee; ... therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."
3. God was answering Daniel’s prayer concerning the coming judgment upon the nation of Israel.
B. Sixfold blessing of the 70th week.
1. "...to finish the transgression..."
2. "...to make an end of sins..."
3. "...to make reconciliation for iniquity..."
4. "...to bring in everlasting righteousness..."
5. "...to seal up the vision and prophecy..."
6. "...to anoint the most Holy."
C. Jesus will fulfill all of these blessings.
1. The first three of these blessings were accomplished at the first coming of Christ.
2. The final three will be accomplished at the second coming, when Christ establishes His millennial kingdom.
III. The Time of the Prophecy.
A. The meaning of "week".
1. The word ‘week’ as used here is a general term for quantity, much like we use the word dozen today.
2. You could have a week of days, a week of months, or a week of years.
3. The meaning is determined by the context.
B. The ‘week’ used here is a week of years or seven years.
1. The year in Scripture is a ‘lunisolar’ year which amounts to 360 days or twelve 30 day months.
2. Note: the Flood
a. The flood began the 17th day of the 2nd month. cf. Ge. 7:11
b. The flood ended the 17th day of the 7th month. cf Ge. 8:4
c. Total amount of time: 150 days or five 30 day months. cf Ge. 7:24
C. The beginning of the ‘seventy weeks’.
1. It begins with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. cf Neh. 2:1-8
2. It extends until Messiah returns in power. cf Re. 19:11
3. There are three divisions of time given.
a. Seven weeks
b. Threescore and two weeks
c. The seventieth week
D. There is an interruption after the 69th week.
1. "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:" v26a
2. This parenthesis or interruption is the period of time that we are living in right now, often referred to as the ‘church age’.
3. It began when ‘Messiah the Prince’ was cut off and will extend until the rapture of the believers just prior to the revelation of anti-christ.
4. Note that after the ‘threescore and two weeks’ some events will take place, and this requires that there be a period of time between the 69th and 70th week. cf v26
5. The ‘people of the prince that shall come’ is a reference to the Romans.
a. They came and destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
b. When anti-christ takes power it will be over a revived Roman empire.
c. We’ll look at that next week.
E. The beginning of the 70th week. v27
1. It begins with a covenant between the anti-christ and the Jews.
2. It will be divided in the middle of the week (31/2 yrs) when the covenant is broken.
3. It will end with the battle of Armageddon and the overthrow of anti- christ and his forces by ‘Messiah the Prince’ Jesus Christ!
Conclusion: From this study we have established that the 70th week of Daniel, or the seven year tribulation, will deal with the nation of Israel. It has nothing to do with the believers. We will not go through it, rather we will be kept from it. (cf 1Thess. 1:10) We also see that God’s prophetic plan for the world is right on schedule. Jesus may come at any time. We need to be ready, and we need to be telling others and warning them of the coming judgment.