Seventy Weeks and 27AD

Scripture Predicts the Messiah’s Ministry would Begin in 27AD

There is a prophecy found in the Book of Daniel that is probably the most important one ever made. With incredible precision, this passage identifies the exact year that the Messiah would begin His ministry – and does so more than 500 years in advance.

– The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 –

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince 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.

27.
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.

The word translated “week” above comes from the Hebrew word ‘shabua’. This simply means a “septad”, or collection of seven things. This is similar to how we typically use in English the word “dozen” – which means a collection of twelve. What constitutes the ‘twelve’ is determined by the context. If I say, “Please give me a dozen”, and the guy behind the counter is selling eggs – then we’re talking about twelve eggs. If I’m in a donut shop, I’ll hopefully get twelve donuts back. It’s the same thing here.

Daniel is contemplating not a set of seven days – but sets of seven years. We know this from the context. Look at what is going on just a few verses earlier in Daniel 9: 1, 2. Daniel is reading Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the number of years involved with the Babylonian captivity:

1. In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

2. In the first year of his reign I 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.

With this understanding, we’ve re-written Daniel 9 as follows so that it can be more easily understood.

– The Seventy (Sets of Seven Years) of Daniel 9 –

24. Seventy (sets of seven years) or 490 years 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

25. 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 (sets of seven years) or 49 years, and sixty-two (sets of seven years) or 434 years: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26. And after the sixty-two (sets of seven years) – or after the 434 year portion has passed, shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince 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.

27. 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.