Daniel is taken to Babylon in 605 BC when he is only a teenager. Throughout his captivity he remains faithful to God. As he realizes the 70 years of captivity is almost over, Daniel turns to God and pours out his heart in contrition and repentance. “We have rebelled against You. We have not obeyed You. All Israel has transgressed Your law. We have not turned from our iniquities to understand Your truth. We have sinned. We have done wickedly.” (Parts of Daniel 9:3-19).
Daniel is deeply concerned because God’s people are permeated with sin. He begs God to heal His people from their leprosy of sin. While Daniel is still praying Gabriel arrives from the courts of heaven to answer Daniel’s prayer. Gabriel says:
“As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:
“Seventy 'sevens' are decreed For your people and your
To finish transgression,
To put an end to sin,
To atone for wickedness,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy
And to anoint the most holy.” Daniel 9:23,24 (NIV).
In a simple, compact, elegant prophecy Gabriel answers Daniel’s prayer. God does have a plan to deliver His people from sin and transgression. God does have a plan to bring everlasting righteousness into their lives.
The prophecy in Daniel 9:24 has two distinct and essential fulfillments. Remember, Daniel is praying about the lethal problem of sin in his own people. Gabriel brings him a dual answer that provides a complete solution:
1. Seventy "sevens" - 70 sabbatical cycles – 70 x 7 = 490 years
Seventy "sevens" are decreed for your people to atone for wickedness. Jesus was the atonement and sacrifice for our wickedness. He lived a perfect life on earth and then died for our sins making it possible for us to be delivered from sin and to receive eternal life through faith in Him. The first fulfillment pointed to the coming of the Messiah. The 70 sabbaticals predicted Christ’s first coming.
The fulfillment of the 70 sabbaticals began in 457 BC and ended 490 years later in 34 AD. Jesus died in 31 AD in the middle of the 70th sabbatical cycle. The first coming of Christ occurred at the exact time predicted in the prophecy of Daniel 9:24.
2. Seventy "sevens" - 70 Jubilee cycles – 70 x 7 x 7 +1 = 3,431 years
Seventy "sevens" are decreed for your people to put an end to sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness. The second fulfillment points to the time when God’s people will no longer transgress His law. They will have everlasting righteousness brought into their lives and they will never sin again. The 70 Jubilees predict Christ’s second coming.
The fulfillment of the 70 Jubilees began in 1416 BC when the children of Israel entered Canaan. It will end 3,431 years later in 2016 AD when God’s children will enter heavenly Canaan. God’s people will be totally and permanently delivered from sin and Jesus will come the second time. The second coming of Christ will occur at the exact time predicted in the prophecy of Daniel 9:24.
In these two steps God eliminates the sin problem for his people. They will be forever freed from sin.
Dual Fulfillment Prophecy
The prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 has two fulfillments. In a dual prophecy not all of the verses will apply to both fulfillments. For example, Matthew 24 is a dual prophecy. Matthew 24 predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and it also predicts events leading up to the second coming of Jesus. Some of the verses in Matthew 24 apply to the destruction of Jerusalem, some apply to the second coming of Jesus, and some apply to both.
In the same way, Daniel 9:24 and 27 apply to both fulfillments. Verses 25 and 26 give specific details about the beginning of the 70 sabbatical cycles and when Jesus would be baptized and crucified.
Verses 24 and 27 surround verses 25 and 26, and apply to both fulfillments. Verses 24 and 27 reach their complete fulfillment in every specification only at the end of the 70 Jubilee cycles. This much longer time period began when God’s people entered the land of Canaan, and will end in 2016. At the end of these 70 Jubilees, there will be a complete end of sin for God’s people.
God’s people were in captivity for 70 years because they disobeyed God by not allowing their land to rest for 70 sabbath years. Near the end of the 70 years of captivity Daniel was given a dual prophecy showing how God's people would be delivered from the captivity of sin during 70 sabbaticals and 70 Jubilees.
|Cycles of 70||Unit of Time||Total Years||What happens at the End?|
|70 x 1 year||70 years||70 years||Captivity ends from literal Babylon|
|70 x 7 years||70 sabbaticals||490 years||Christ's first coming
Provision made to end spiritual captivity
|70 x 49 +1 years||70 Jubilees||3,431||Christ's second coming
Captivity ends from spiritual Babylon
The 70 sabbatical cycles are 490 years. (70 x 7 = 490) In 457 BC Artaxerxes gave the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Ezra 6:14, 7:1-28. After 7 sabbatical cycles and 62 sabbatical cycles Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One came. ((7+62) x7=483) The 483 years ended in 27AD when the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus at His baptism.
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.” Daniel 9:25 (NIV).
The 70th sabbatical cycle ran from the fall of 27 AD to the fall of 34 AD.
The first coming of Christ occurred at the exact time predicted in Daniel’s prophecy.
The 70 Jubilee cycles of 3,431 years (70 x 49 +1 = 3,431) began in 1416 BC when the children of Israel entered Canaan. (See: When did the children of Israel enter Canaan?). The 3,431 years will end in 2016 AD, and Jesus will come the second time. The second coming of Jesus will occur at the exact time predicted in Daniel’s prophecy.
People are given until the end of seventy times seven sabbatical cycles (70 x 7 x 7 +1 = 3,431 years) to receive forgiveness from God. His forgiveness and His righteousness will be offered until the end of the seventy "sevens" (70 Jubilees) in 2016.
“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21,22.
By the end of the 70 Jubilee cycles God will make everlasting righteousness permanent in the lives of His people. The promises in Daniel 9:24 will be completely fulfilled. During the 70th Jubilee in 2016 Jesus will come the second time to take His people to heaven.
Read on to find out about The Middle of the "seven".