Updated: Apr 16, 2022
The 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy in Dan 9:24-27 is absolutely amazing! Though there is much more to the 70 weeks that could be exposited, my focus here is on the timing of Christ’s first coming into Jerusalem. This amazing prophecy is presented in scripture, and can be calculated right down to the very day. Truly, it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest prophecy of all, considering it also encompasses the fulfillment of Christ’s gospel. Yet, the Talmud curses those who would calculate the time of the coming of the Messiah (Sanhedrin 97b). Why didn’t the Rabbis want Jews to know who the true Messiah is? Many did know however, for they had calculated the time, hence the crowds that were prepared for the Messiah's entrance into Jerusalem (Mk 11:8-10).
It was 1,989 years ago on Monday, April 11, 2022, that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords, made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:28-44; Jn 12:12-16), when He officially presented Himself as the Messiah to Israel on the back of a colt to be cut off for the transgressions of the people, to redeem Israel from her sins, the perfect and living sacrifice of “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29). Sadly, Israel would reject Him, and had in fact done so already, and only four days later would crucify Him. Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem on that day ended the 69 weeks of Daniels 70 week prophecy (Dan 9), which was on March 30th of A.D. 33. Jesus was crucified on that Friday, Nisan 14 (April 3) of A.D. 33, on the day of “the preparation” of the Passover (Jn 19:31). Nisan 14 falls on April 15th this A.D. 2022 year of the Lord. Jesus didn’t ride into Jerusalem on a Sunday (no Palm Sunday) but a Monday, since Scripture records 4 days between riding into Jerusalem and His crucifixion.
As we rewind roughly 550 years prior to that momentous occasion of God's unspeakable grace, we note the First Temple and Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Israel along with the prophet Daniel were taken captive to Babylon. During that time, through God’s inspiration, Daniel authors the Book that bears his name. At the beginning of the ninth chapter, Daniel “understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan 9:2; cf. Jer 25:1, 11, 29:10; 2 Ch 36:21, Lev 26:34-35). Jeremiah had predicted the captivity of Israel for 70 years (Jer 25:11-12; 29:10), and in the 69th year of that period, Daniel anticipated the upcoming end of the 70 years of judgment and so sought the Lord in fasting and prayer.
As Daniel begins a passionate intercessory prayer for the sins of the nation of Israel (Dan 9:3-21), he receives a revelation concerning a further prophetic period of 70 x 7 years (Dan 9:21-27). God reveals to him something great that He is going to do, a prediction of pinpoint accuracy of the rise and fall of empires over the next 500 years, leading up to the Messiah’s death, cut off, and the subsequent desecration of Jerusalem followed by Israel’s reconciliation and the anointing of Christ as King — a total of 70 weeks of years, each “week” representing 7 years.
The revelation to Daniel of the 70 weeks in Dan 9:24-27 reads:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah [Jesus Christ] be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince [the Antichrist] that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Verse 24 details the entire course of the 70 weeks, which are determined upon Israel. These 70 weeks would be required for Israel’s salvation, then at its consummation, “the most Holy,” whom is the Lord Jesus Christ, would be anointed as King over Israel and the world.
Verse 25 separates them into an initial division of 7 weeks and a second grouping of 62 weeks, while the final week is left without further mention until verse 27, where its events are given in some detail.
Verse 26 unfolds the events after the 69th week but before the 70th week, which is my focus here, with Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem. The first 69 weeks of Daniel have been historically fulfilled, and we currently continue to sit in the time period between 69 and 70 week.
Verse 27 speaks to the yet unfulfilled 70th week, which will cover the period of time described in Rev 4–19, Dan 11:36–12:3, and many more passages, and is also known as the Great Tribulation, Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
There are three clear divisions within this prophecy of 70 weeks by Daniel (9:24a, 25, 27a): it is one prophecy (with many prophecies contained within the prophecy) with three time periods or divisions. An initial division of 7, a second division of 62 weeks, and a third division of 1 final week:
7 weeks (49 years),
62 weeks (426 years), which equals 483 years thus far, and
1 week (7 years)
— all three combined total 70 weeks or 490 years.
How do we know these are weeks of years, i.e. one week equals seven years?
It is important that the nature of the “weeks” be first determined, before examining this prophecy, since the actual prophecy is built around the time period reflecting those weeks. A variety of Scriptural factors evidence that the “weeks” are weeks of years (rather than 70 literal weeks), where 1 week = 7 years, for a total of 490 years.
1. The Hebrew term for weeks (shebuah) means "sevens,” so that one could translate Dan 9:25 as “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven ‘sevens’ and threescore and two ‘sevens.’”
2. The concept of weeks of years was familiar to Jewish thinking (Lev 25:3-9). There was a weekly sabbath and a yearly sabbath.
3. The already fulfilled 69 weeks show clearly these are weeks of years indeed.
4. We know by any reckoning it was almost 500 years from rebuilding Jerusalem until Christ’s coming. This fits Dan 9:25, which places 69 weeks (483 years) between the two events.
5. Thus its reasonable to believe the 70th week shall also be a week of years, which indeed it is according to other scripture (7 years split into two halves of 1,260 days or 42 months in Dan 7:25; 12:11-12; Rev 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5, even Dan 9:27 has a split time period).
6. Most importantly the context must determine whether it’s a literal week or week of years. At the time of the vision, Daniel had been thinking in terms of weeks of years (Dan 9:2), concerning the 70 year captivity, which was 10 wks of years (2 Ch 36:21).
The start of the 70 weeks of Daniel.
Dan 9:25 explains that “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince” — 483 years — the first sixty-nine “weeks,” shall pass. The decree to restore and build Jerusalem, including “the street . . . and the wall” (v. 25), issued by King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah occurred in the year 444 B.C., which was in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes, and its also referred to in the book of Nehemiah. This decree started the clock on the 70 weeks of Daniel. The decree specifically refers to the restoration of the city (Neh 2:3, 5) and its gates and walls (Neh 2:3, 8). A letter was written to Asaph that provided for material to be used specifically for the walls (Neh 2:8). Nehemiah discusses extensively the names and sections of the wall various men rebuilt (Neh 3). Furthermore, the various attempts by the idolatrous enemies of Israel to prevent the wall from being built clearly fulfills Dan 9:25 statement, that “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” Nehemiah records how troublous that time really was (contemptible mocking, constant threats of attack and death), so bad in fact that “every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon . . . for the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side . . . half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared” (Neh 4:16-21). One hand worked and one hand held a sword or spear.
Thus, the decree of Artaxerxes in 444 B.C., recorded in Nehemiah, fits the specifications of Dan 9 precisely. No later decrees were issued by Persian kings pertaining to the rebuilding of the streets and walls of Jerusalem, as Dan 9 specifies. Daniel predicted that “the Messiah the Prince” (v. 25) would present Himself 483 years after the decree of King Artaxerxes “to restore and to build Jerusalem,” which occurred in 444 B.C.
Important to bear in mind that a year in the Bible is 360 days, not 365.
The 490 years of the 70 weeks of Daniel are 360 day years. All Bible prophecy assumes a 360 day year as shown in Gen 7:11 and 8:3-4, 13-14 where 5 months is said to be 150 days, as opposed to modern, solar years of 365 days. Several factors demonstrate this.
1. First of all, a 360-day year is used elsewhere in the Bible. We know that the worldwide flood of Noahs day lasted 150 days. Gen 7:11 states that Noah’s flood began on the 17th day of the 2nd month. Gen 8:4 declares the flood ended on the 17th day of the 7th month — that is exactly five months later. Gen 7:24 and 8:3 indicate that the duration of the Flood was 150 days, thus each month is 30 days and a year 360 days.
2. Secondly, the NT further demonstrates that the years of Dan 9 are each 360 days long, see Rev 12:6-7, 14; 11:2-3; and 13:5. These verses indicate that 1,260 days = 42 months which = 3.5 years. Furthermore, since these verses specifically refer to the 70th week of Daniel (Dan 9:27), indicating that the 70th week is reckoned with 360-day years, the other 69 “weeks” are also naturally reckoned with 360-day years.
3. Thirdly, ancient Israel, India, Persia (in whose dominion the decree of Neh 2 was issued), Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, China, and even other nations such as Central and South America all had 360-day years. Most had twelve 30-day months, while a few had eighteen 20-day months. They had a variety of ways to play “catch up” to make these years work out to solar years (which is a 365.25 day year).
4. Fourthly, it was common, then, in ancient times to think of a 360-day year, and ancient commentators on Daniel recognized that the prophecy did not speak of solar, 365-day years (e.g. Julius Africanus).
The prophecy of Dan 9:24-27 thus predicted the Messiah the Prince 483 years (of 360 days each) after the 444 B.C. decree of Artaxerxes to restore and build Jerusalem.
Now on to some math to calculate what year the Messiah would be cut off.
To discover what year Daniel predicted “the Messiah the Prince” (9:25, the Hebrew word “Messiah” is the same Greek word “Christ,” — both signify “Anointed One” and the great King predicted throughout the OT and fulfilled in every way in the Lord Jesus) would be “cut off (9:26), all that remains is some simple math:
1. Convert 483 prophetic (360 day) years to days: 483 x 360 = 173,880 days.
2 Convert to solar years: 173,880 days ÷ c. 365.25 days per solar year = 476 solar years.
3. Move forward 476 years from 444 B.C: 444 – 476 = -32 (A.D. 32).
4. Add one year since there was no year zero: 32 + 1 = A.D. 33. (Some don’t calculate the additional year, but they should since there is no year “0”).
5. Daniel predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for Himself” (Dan 9:26) in A.D. 33, 483 years after the decree of Artaxerxes, hence why this is the year commonly referred to as the year Christ died (some believe it was A.D. 32, for the reason mentioned above). Many multitudes of Jews in the 1st century believed the Messiah was going to come in that period, influenced to that position by Daniel’s prophecy. Josephus writes about it in his Antiquities (18:1:6). Simeon in Lk 2:25-32 is a good example in the NT. “And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.” (v. 26).
“Cut off” is a Biblical term for an unnatural and violent death (see Gen 9:11, Ex 31:14; Is 53:8) with the implication of receipt of God’s curse. It was the precise term to predict Jesus Christ bearing the curse of God for the sins of the world on the cross (cf. Is 52:13–53:12; Gal 3:10-14). The Messiah would die under God’s curse, but “not for himself” (Dan 9:26); He would die for the sake of others.
So Daniel predicted, over 500 years in advance, that the Messiah would die in A.D. 33, which is the exact year of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.
To predict Christ’s death to the year constitutes a truly astonishing prophecy; however, Daniel’s prediction goes even beyond this, to the very day!
The 69 weeks of the Dan 9 prophecy ended on March 30th of A.D. 33, a Monday, the very day of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when He officially presented Himself as the Messiah to Israel. Jesus was crucified on that Friday, Nisan 14 (April 3) of A.D. 33, on the day of “the preparation” of the Passover (Jn 19:31).
This is actually easily calculated since the Passover always falls on the 14th day of Nisan (Ex 12:6), which begins Thursday after sundown and ends Friday at sundown. In the year A.D. 33, Nisan 15 fell on April 3. So it was Monday, March 30, that Christ entered into Jerusalem, since Scripture records the days that transpired between riding into Jerusalem and His crucifixion.
That was the day Jesus presented as Israel’s Messiah (Matt 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:28-44; Jn 12:12-16). Four days later, since Dan 9 states, “AFTER threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself,” Christ was sacrificed as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. And then in fulfillment of the type of the firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14; 1 Cor 15:23) offered the day after the Sabbath, He rose again from the grave early on Sunday (Lk 24:1-35). Hallelujah!
Ze 9:9 prophesied of the day Israel’s King would enter Jerusalem with salvation:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
When Christ the King, entered the city on that day, sitting upon a donkey, great crowds followed,
“And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David [“Son of David” in Matt 21:9, a Messianic title, Isa 11:1ff, 1 Ch 17:7-14, etc], that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” (Mk 11:8-10).
Jesus’ entry in fulfillment of Ze 9:9 asserted that He was the Messiah, and the crowds that came to meet Him recognized and shouted agreement with His claim. They were expecting Him that day, it was no mystery, and He came exactly as the OT said, “riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Ze 9:9). They knew the very day Messiah the Prince would come and what would happen; they could easily figure out those dates in Scripture, and ancient writers declare of how the Jews were expecting Him, so they were without excuse. And for a number of years they had seen His works illustrate that He was of the Father (Jn 10:25).
In Lk 19:40 Jesus said had the people kept silent, “the stones would immediately cry out.” The words He would then spoke in Lk 19:41-44 on that day, the day Dan 9:25-26 was fulfilled, provides even further proof of its fulfillment:
“He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
He spoke of “this thy day” and “the time of thy visitation” (Lk 19:42, 44) because it was the exact day that the 69 weeks of Dan 9:25-26 were finished.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the all-knowing God, knew the 69 weeks His servant Daniel had prophesied, ended that very day; and He wept that Israel did not recognize it. He was there to save them; this was supposed to be Israel’s salvation, but they would not. Some time previous to this, the Lord had already indicted Israel’s judgment because of their rejection of Him, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Lk 13:34). Though some welcomed Him when He rode into Jerusalem (likely expecting a physical kingdom from Him), only a few days later they would be calling for His death.
Daniel 9 had predicted to the precise year, month and day the presentation of Jesus Christ to Israel as their Messiah. He also predicted that “after” the 69 weeks were over, the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for himself” (Dan 9:26), referring to His substitutionary death for the sins of all people.
Daniel then states, “The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (9:26). The “prince that shall come,” whose “people” shall destroy Jerusalem and its sanctuary, is the Antichrist, who is spoken of in Dan 7:25; 11:36-45, Rev 13, and other texts. This “prince” is the wicked person of Dan 7:25, who “changes times and laws” for “a time and times and the dividing of time”—that is, for a year (“time”), two years (“times”), and half a year (“dividing of time”), or 3 1/2 years, exactly the same length of time as the one in Dan 9:27 changes times and laws by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease. This is also precisely what Rev 11:3; 12:6 and other passages refer to. Its at the half way mark of the Great Tribulation, at 3.5 years, that he changes the times and laws, and forces people to worship him, as he sets himself as God “in the holy place,” at the pains of death (Matt 24:15-21; Rev 13-14) for the last half of the Great Tribulation, for 3.5 years.
Dan 2 and 7 predicted that this future world ruler would arise from the 4th world empire Daniel foresaw: Rome. Consequently, the “people of the prince that shall come” were the Romans. Daniel predicted that, after the Messiah was cut off, the Romans would “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (9:26). In A.D. 70 the Roman Empire, responding to a Jewish revolt, invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and levelled the temple, killing millions in the process and causing the Jews to scatter throughout the world. In Lk 19:41-44, immediately after Christ weeps over Jerusalem for not realizing that her “day,” the end of the 69th week of Daniel, had arrived, He tells the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground,” as judgment upon the city for rejecting Him, in fulfillment of Dan 9:26.
In conclusion, over 500 years beforehand, Dan 9 predicted that the Messiah would come in A.D. 33, specifically on March 30. On March 30, A.D. 33, Jesus Christ officially presented Himself as the Messiah to the nation of Israel. Daniel then predicted that the Messiah would die a substitutionary death, which Jesus Christ fulfilled four days later. After this, Daniel predicted that the Romans would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, a destruction which took place in A.D. 70, the judgment due to Israels rejection of the Messiah (Lk 19:41-44).
These predictions couldn’t have happened by chance. The prophecies of Dan 9 prove beyond any doubt that the Bible is indeed the living Word of the one true God.
Daniel's 70 week prophecy is one of the most amazing prophecies in all of Scripture. A Book that foretells the future with such detail and perfect accuracy is obviously a Divine Book! This Book on its own provides all the evidence necessary to know the Bible is the divine, inspired and inerrant Word of Almighty God! Sadly, for thousands of years now, Jewish leaders have hidden this crucial info from their people. The Haftorah for instance deliberately skips Isaiah 53. The Talmud curses those who calculate the time of the Messiah’s coming (Sanhedrin 97b). The following gospel tract written specifically for the Jewish people reveals this (though it calculates to A.D. 32): http://www.aharithayamim.co.il/the-reality/
The 70th week of Daniel still hasn’t been fulfilled. But its right around the corner. We can see it on the horizon. Israel is back in her land, after her punishment in the exile for nearly two millennia, the judgement upon her for rejecting her Messiah. The world is overtaken with apostasy, with very very little true Christianity present anywhere, but massive amounts of apostasy. The one world religion is more or less cemented in, a one world language (English) has been going forth for centuries already, and the one world government is in it birth pangs, as is a one world currency. Digital ID, i.e. the precursor of the Tribulation mark of the beast, is in full production and will likely be rolled out within a year is my estimation. The only thing left is for the Antichrist to be revealed (2 Th 2:3), whose origin is the Romans (Dan 2 and 7), which at the time was all of Europe, which are the same people who put Christ to death, and we will know who he is by his ability to produce a seven year peace treaty in the Middle East between Israel and her Moslem neighbours.
The end is nigh but are you ready? Today isn’t the day to be pursing personal pleasures and self-gratification but rather to ensure you are born again and serving the Lord. ARE YOU SAVED? (Please click on that link to read how you can be born again). Don’t be that evil servant of whom Christ warns in Matt 24, and that
“evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 24:48-51)