INTRODUCTION to DANIEL 9:24-27
The seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27
is an extremely vital and 'key' prophecy!
It provides us with the following information.
Explains the meaning of Daniel chapter 8.
(Refer Dan 8:27 & 9:22)
Presents a number of important time periods.
- 70 weeks
- 7 weeks
- 62 weeks
- 69 weeks (composite of 7 + 62)
- 1 of 70 weeks
- 1 week (verse 27)
- 1st half of verse 27 week
- 2nd half of verse 27 week
It speaks of great judgment against Jerusalem
(upon the expiry of the allotted time).
It suggests a warning from an anointed witness
(initial comment in verse 26)
It speaks of destruction of Jerusalem at the hand of
an anointed prince (latter comment of verse 26).
Daniel was given insight into the meaning of this prophecy.
Dan 7:23 ... therefore consider the matter, and
understand the vision.
However, for others this prophecy was to be sealed until 'the time
of the end'.
Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel shut up the words, and seal
the book until the time of the end; ...
The seventy weeks prophecy, has attracted a great deal of attention
from many bible scholars.
So how has the prophecy managed to retain its sealed status through
the elapsed centuries?
Has it taken a form which has allowed a distracting surface meaning to
When one first looks at modern translations of the prophecy and the
historical setting of this time, this prophecy clearly seems to be
speaking of the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and a subsequent
So let us look closer at this prophecy and look for a hidden, ie
'deeper', perspective. A perspective which links to the 'end-time'.
The text of the Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy has
been a treasure map and many have struggled
without success trying to find its gems.
SEVENTY 'WEEKS' (OR 'SEVENS')
In this most important prophecy what is the most important word we
It is the word 'weeks' (or 'sevens').
[NB: Some translations prefer to use the word 'sevens'
instead of the word 'weeks'. From an interpretation
perspective either rendering is quite acceptable. ]
('weeks' or 'sevens') is the critical Hebrew word which needs
to be clarified to determine what period of time is being referenced in
The vital clue has been:-
The Hebrew word 'weeks' in Daniel 9:24,25,26
is present in the 'MASCULINE' form!
This has generated much confusion, however the following explains the
implications of this grammatical form. (The masculine form is commonly
referred to as representing a 'heptad'.)
Feminine form (normal ) - eg 70 x (single weeks)
>Masculine form (unusual) - eg 70 x (multiple weeks)!!!
[ This knowledge has been misrepresented, because
it undermines the existing theory of 490 years. ]
|Acknowledgment of Unusual Form
It is becoming more common to encounter translations and other
literature which highlight the unusual Hebrew form of the word
'weeks' encountered in the verses Daniel 9:24,25,26.
** NIV **
The NIV translation places single quote marks around the word
'sevens' and this is a very appropriate way of indicating the
'group of seven' meaning. Unfortunately, in verse 27 they also
place single quote marks around the non-plural word 'seven',
which wrongly suggests the word present in this verse can be
referring to one heptad. (To refer to even one heptad the
Hebrew word must be plural!)
** IISB (International Inductive Study Bible) **
In this bible, which follows the NASB rendering, there exists
a side comment to explain that the Hebrew word present is
'Shabuim' and means "sevens".
** Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties - Gleason L. Archer **
The following extracts are relevant.
"The word for 'week' is 'sabu', which is derived from 'seba',
the word for 'seven'. Its normal plural is feminine in form:
'sebuot'. Only in this chapter of Daniel does it appear in
the masculine plural 'sabuim'."
"Therefore, it is strongly suggestive of the idea "heptad"
(a series or combination of seven), rather than a 'week' in
the sense of a series of seven days."
** Commentary on the Old Testament - Keil & Delitzsch **
Quoted from page 718 of volume 9;
Hofmann and Kliefoth are in the right when they remark that
does necessarily mean year-weeks, but an intentionally indefinite
designation of a period of time measured by the number seven,
whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds.
The law makes mention not only of the Sabbath-year, but also of
periods of seven times seven years, after the expiry of which a
year of jubilee was always to be celebrated (Lev. 25:8ff.). These,
as well as the Sabbath-years, might be called .
Unfortunately, one repeatedly encounters literature (even in the above
cases) which after highlighting and defining the presence of the unusual
grammatical form of the word 'weeks', then goes on to completely ignore
the definition. To advance explanations that continue to perceive 70
groups of seven years as acceptable. That continue to reinforce the
70 x 7 year view. How long will it be before authors realize they must
advance an explanation which encompasses, not 70 groups of seven, but
70 groups of 'groups of seven'.
'GROUPS OF SEVEN'
The masculine plural nature of the word 'weeks' does not require that the
period being alluded to be divisible by seven. It just requires that the
period be capable of being described as consisting of multiple weeks or
There are two biblical periods, which involve 'multiple' weeks.
- From the day of the wave sheaf offering to the
Feast of Weeks (Lev 23:15-16, Deut 16:9-10),
ie, 7 sets of 7 days + 1 day = 50 days.
- From one Jubilee year to the next (Lev 25:8-11),
ie, 7 sets of 7 years + 1 year = 50 years.
Therefore, only the following periods could be considered as meeting
the "70 'weeks'" requirement.
1) 3,500 days - 70 periods of 50 days.
2) 70 years - Since technically the 50 day period only
occurs once every year, 70 of these periods
may be equated to a period of 70 years.
3) 3,500 years - 70 periods of 50 years.
Since the wording of the prophecy suggests a long period of time the
latter meaning is indicated.
Seventy Jubilee Years!
The 70 Jubilee year perspective places a completely different perspective
upon this prophecy and past paradigms need to be revised!