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THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL NINE Pt. 1

Written by: Camping, Harold    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL NINE

                        By Harold Camping



                        Table of Contents

Introduction   

Chapter 1     Is Nehemiah a Candidate?            Christ was Crucified in 33 A.D.            King Cyrus a Possibility?          Ezra Returns to Jerusalem          The Body of Christ - A Temple and A City          Ezra's Bringing the Law Equals Building the City          An Exact Path is Found to Satisfy Daniel 9:24          Ezra to the Cross Equals Seventy Weeks       

Chapter 2     A Second Path to Christ          First a Jubilee Period          The Year Immediately Following Ezra's Return a Jubilee Year          A Period of 434 Years Follows a Jubilee Year            Jesus was Baptized in 29 A.D.          Christ Crucified              Christ is The City and The Sanctuary            Daniel 9:26 Predicts Christ's Death on our Behalf         

Chapter 3     Christ Confirms His Covenant          The Covenant of Salvation is in View          Sacrifice and Offering has Ceased          The End of the Seventieth Week            The Prerogative of God to Use Numbers as He Desires            Judgment Day is the End of the Seventy Sevens            Judgment Day Signifies that the Atonement has been Completed            Further Evidence              The Church Brings the Gospel during the Last Half of the     Seventieth Week              Revelation 12 also Relates to Daniel 9         

Conclusion       

251Copyright 1979 by Family Stations, Inc. 290 Hegenberger Road Oakland, California 94621



Scripture Texts are from the King James Version of the Bible



Reprinted 1986

Other books by Harold Camping

Adam When? Feed My Sheep First Principles of Bible Study God's Magnificent Salvation Plan The Biblical Calendar of History When is the Rapture? Let the Oceans Speak

Other Bible guides by Harold Camping are available in paper and cassette form.



INTRODUCTION         

Every student of the Bible who has any interest at all in prophecy has spent  time trying  to understand  the 70  weeks of  Daniel 9. Somehow we all sense that these verses  have great significance in regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In understanding God's teachings in any part of the Bible, we know we  have  not  arrived  at  a  satisfactory conclusion until every phrase of  the passage  in question  can be  understood. In  other words,  while it may  be readily possible  to find a solution that aligns with  a few of  the key phrases  in a passage,  we can know that our conclusion  is still possibly  unsatisfactory if it  does not harmonize with all the phrases of the passage.

Moreover,  a  further  test  must  be applied. Our conclusion must harmonize with the other teachings of the Bible that relate in any way to the passage in question.

In this study we will suggest a solution to  the 70 weeks which we believe  meets the  above criteria.  Every phrase  in these verses finds its logical  place within this  solution. The solution  as a whole agrees with anything else  the Bible might offer insofar  as the nature of God's salvation program is concerned,  including the coming of Christ.

We  trust that  you will  read this  thoughtfully and prayerfully. Because it  is the  work of  man and  therefore is not infallible, there may be corrections which can still be made to make it a more accurate study.



                            CHAPTER 1

One of the most intriguing passages in the Bible is that of Daniel 9:24-27.  In this fascinating passage God  presents to us a vision which He  gave to Daniel declaring that  certain events would take place during a  period of 70 weeks. Scholars  have worked long and hard to discover the  import of these verses because  they seem to offer a timetable concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A most serious problem in interpreting this passage is to discover the meaning of the words of Daniel 9:25:

    "Know therefore and understand that, from the going forth     of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto     the Messiah the Prince . . . ."

This  event  of  the  setting  forth  of  a  commandment  to build Jerusalem appears  to be  the beginning  point of  the 70 weeks or sevens. (The Hebrew  word translated "week" can also be translated "seven.")  In  order  to  obtain  any  light  from the rest of the passage  it  does  appear  that  we  must  determine  when  this commandment was given.

Most  students  of  the  Bible,  theologians,  and  commentaries understand the  language of  restoring and  building Jerusalem  to refer to a  physical rebuilding of the literal  city of Jerusalem. However,  as  we  shall  see,  this  kind  of understanding is not required  by the Bible, nor  is it possible to  find a solution to the 70 weeks by this means.  We shall discover that the key to the 70 weeks is to understand that the Bible frequently uses Jerusalem as a figure or type of Christ's body  of believers. The command to restore and to rebuild, therefore, will be found to  mean that the Word of God was proclaimed  so that believers could come  into the Kingdom of God. We shall develop this as we work out this study.

Is Nehemiah a Candidate?       

One  of the  most commonly  accepted beginning  points for  the 70 weeks is the year  445 B.C., when Nehemiah, who was the cup bearer of the Persian King, Artaxerxes, asked the  king for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the  walls; and in a period of  52 days he indeed did rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah, however, is not a possible answer to our question  as to when  the  70  sevens  were  to  begin.  First  of all, while King Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah permission to build the walls, he did not command the rebuilding of  the walls. Moreover, nowhere do we read that  God gave  such a  command either  to the  Persian king or to Nehemiah. Therefore,  Nehemiah cannot  be related  to Daniel 9:25, where God states that a command was  given. Furthermore, no matter how  we  try,  we  cannot  go  through  the  70 sevens from a time standpoint  and arrive  at anything  that properly  relates to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There  is  one  solution,  beginning  with Nehemiah, that has been suggested; namely, that we take all the days between 445 B.C.  and 32  A.D., assuming 365  1/4 days in  a year, and  then divide this product by 360 days. By following this computation, we get exactly 69 sevens, or 483 years of 360 days,  from 445 B.C. to 32 A.D. One can read about this in almost any study on the 70  weeks of Daniel 9.

While this solution may  seem interesting and intriguing,  it does not appear at all valid. There is no place in the Bible where this kind of  computation,  wherein time  is first  calculated on the basis  of 365 1/4 days in  a year  and then  divided by 360 days, is utilized. Therefore, we have no Biblical authority for it.

Christ was Crucified in 33 A.D.         

Moreover, Christ  was not  crucified in  32 A.D.  We know from the Bible  that  He  was  crucified  in  33  A.D.  In Luke 3:1, as God describes the preaching of John the Baptist, at the time Jesus was baptized, we read:

    "Now  in  the  fifteenth  year  of  the reign of Tiberius     Ceasar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea . . ."

This piece  of information  gives us  an historical  time clue. We know from very accurate secular records that Tiberius Ceasar began to  reign  alone  in  the  year  14  A.D.  His fifteenth year was, therefore, 29  A.D. We also  know, as we  go carefully through the Gospel  of  John,  that  Jesus  actually  preached for about 3 1/2 years. Since He  was crucified at the Passover, which was observed in the spring of the year, His baptism would have been in the fall of a previous year. Thus,  3 1/2 years following 29 A.D. brings us to 33 A.D., when He was crucified.

Furthermore, because of the moon phases which governed  the timing of  the Jewish  feasts, the  year 32  A.D. could not possibly have been the year He was  crucified. The timing of the  Passover Feast was related  to the full  moon. Only 30  or 33 A.D.  were possible years that would agree with the timing of the Passover observed at the  time  Jesus  was  crucified.  (See  paragraph  459,  p.  296, "Handbook  of  Biblical  Chronology",  by  Jack Finegan, Princeton University  Press, 1964.) Therefore, the Biblical evidence appears to  point  to  the  year  33  A.D.  as  the  year  that Christ was crucified. When  we understand the 70 sevens  of Daniel 9, we will see  that  it  also  shows  us  that  33  A.D. was the year of His crucifixion.

For  all  of  the  foregoing  reasons,  therefore,  we must reject Nehemiah's  activity  in  Jerusalem  as  being  a  solution to our problem.

King Cyrus a Possibility?     

A second solution has been  suggested by some. While it appears to be attractive in some ways, it also will not meet all the criteria demanded  by  Daniel  9.  This  solution involves a predecessor of Artaxerxes, a king named Cyrus,  who defeated Babylon in 559  B.C. We read about him in II Chronicles 36:22, 23:

    "Now in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia, that the     word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be     accomplished,  the Lord  stirred up  the spirit of Cyrus,     King of  Persia, that  he made  a proclamation throughout     all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying, "Thus     saith  Cyrus,  King  of  Persia,  All the kingdoms of the     earth hath the Lord  God of heaven given me;  and He hath     charged me to build Him  an house in Jerusalem, which  is     in  Judah. Who is there among  you of all His people? The     Lord his God be with him and let him go up."

Indeed, in 537 B.C.  about 50,000 Israelites who had been captives in the land  of Persia, as a result of the command given by God to Cyrus to rebuild His house in  Jerusalem, did return to Jerusalem; and they did lay the foundation of the temple.

Significantly,  this activity  of Cyrus  was predicted  almost 200 years earlier by Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as he declared in Isaiah 44:28:     "That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd and shall perform     all my pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, Thou  shalt be     built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

Thus we see that Cyrus meets two qualifications demanded by Daniel 9:25;  namely,  that  the  command  was  of  the Lord and that the command concerned itself with the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, for his candidacy to be considered as the beginning of the 70 weeks, there is one fatal flaw. There is no possible way to relate the  year 537 B.C.,  on a 70-week  basis, with the  Lord Jesus, who was baptized  in the year 29 A.D. and  crucified in the year 33 A.D. Thus Cyrus,  as well as Nehemiah, must be reluctantly set aside as a solution to Daniel 9:24-27.

Ezra Returns to Jerusalem     

Now we must consider a third possibility, which we shall see meets all  the requirements  of Daniel  9. This  solution relates to the return  of  Ezra  to  Jerusalem  in  the  seventh  year  of  King Artaxerxes.  This  was  the  year  458  B.C.,  at  which time Ezra returned to Jerusalem to reestablish  the law. While preaching the Word of God  or teaching the law  of God seems quite  unrelated to building  a  city,  we  will  see  that  the Bible does show us an intimate relationship between these two activities.

Therefore, we should first  examine the scriptures to show  that a command to reestablish the law was indeed equivalent to a  command to build Jerusalem.

Let  us  first  look  at  Cyrus  again.  As  we study the language concerning him we  will begin to  see the close  relationship that exists between the physical building of Jerusalem  and the sending forth of the Gospel. While he was commanded to build Jerusalem and lay  the foundation  of the  temple, the  prophecy of Isaiah 44:28 quoted above speaks of Cyrus as God's shepherd. King Cyrus was not a shepherd. He was a king. When the Bible speaks of a shepherd, we immediately  think  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ, who was the Good Shepherd.

The  fact is, while God  is using the name  Cyrus in Isaiah 44 and 45,  and  while  in  a  physical  sense  the  prophecy  of  Isaiah concerning Cyrus was  fulfilled when the foundation  of the temple was laid about 537 B.C., in another sense the language is pointing altogether  to the Lord Jesus Christ. God is using Cyrus as a type or figure  of Christ.  Even as  Cyrus, the  king of  the Persians, destroyed  Babylon  in  559  B.C.,  so  Christ, typified by Cyrus, destroyed the kingdom of  Satan by going to the cross. We know, of course,  from such passages as Revelation  18, that the kingdom of Satan is typified by Babylon.

As Cyrus was commanded by  God to build a literal house of God, so Christ was commanded by God to build a spiritual house. The temple and  the city that  He came to  build is His  body. We already see this in Isaiah 45:13 as God, in speaking of Cyrus declares: 

    "He shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives,     not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts."     

Then He goes on in verse 17:

    "Israel shall be  saved in the  Lord with an  everlasting     salvation."

Thus God  is equating the building of a city with salvation, which is everlasting.  We see,  therefore, that  when God  speaks in the Book of Isaiah  about Cyrus building a  city and a temple,  in its spiritual fulfillment God has in  mind the Lord Jesus Christ,  who builds Christ's body.

The Body of Christ - A Temple and A City       

The concept  that the temple  of God and  Jerusalem are figures of the  body  of  Christ  is  amply  seen  in the Bible. We read, for example,  in Isaiah  60:14, as  God speaks  of Israel and the fact that peoples from the world will come to build its walls: 

    ". . .and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The     Zion of the Holy One of Israel."

In Isaiah 62:12 we read:

    And they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of     the Lord; and thou shalt be called sought out, a city not     forsaken.

In both  of these passages God is equating  Israel with a city. In the  New Testament  we see  the same  truth as  God uses  the word Jerusalem. In Revelation 21 God presents  the picture of the bride of Christ coming down out  of heaven. The bride is called the Holy City, the New  Jerusalem. The bride  of Christ is  a people -  the people who are the body of Christ.  The bride cannot be a physical city.  Yet  it  is  portrayed  in  Revelation  21  as  a city with foundations, with gates and with a wall.

Moreover, in the New Testament God speaks about building walls and building the ruins, and  doing so in the context  of sending forth the  Gospel. In Acts 15,  for example, we have  the account of the leaders of  the New Testament church  puzzling and wondering about what  to do  with the  Gentiles who  were coming  into the body of Christ. Therefore,  they held  a council  in Jerusalem  to discuss this problem. Finally, it was  James who stood up to speak  on the phenomenon of the Gentiles coming in. He said in verse 15:

    "And to this  agree the words  of the prophets;  as it is     written, After  this I will return,  and will build again     the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will     build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That     the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the     Gentiles, upon  whom My Name  is called, saith  the Lord,     who doeth all these things."

You see, James rightly  was seeing that inclusion of  the Gentiles in  the  body  of  Christ  was  a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies that  spoke about the  rebuilding of the  walls and the ruins of Jerusalem. In other words, the bringing of  the Gospel is an effort to build the city of Jerusalem.

We see the same figure in Ephesians Chapter 2  which speaks of the believers as  building blocks in the  temple of God. We  are not a physical temple, of course, but in Ephesians 2:20, this is what we read about the body of Christ:

    "And are  built upon the  foundation of the  apostles and     prophets,  Jesus  Christ  Himself  being  the  chief     cornerstone:  in  whom  all  the  building  fitly framed     together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  in who     ye also  are builded  together for  an habitation  of God     through the Spirit."

See,  too, I Peter 2:4,  where  God  speaks of believers as lively stones in the house of God.

You  see,  in  the  Bible  God  very distinctly uses the figure of Jerusalem,  or  of  the  temple,  as  a  reference  to the body of believers.  I  believe this  is the  clue with  which we can break open,  under the  guidance of  the Holy  Spirit, the  70 sevens of Daniel  9.  This is  the key to  the correct solution  to these 70 weeks.

Unfortunately,  most  theologians  get  tangled  up  looking for a command to rebuild a  literal city.  So often, in  relationship to salvation and in relationship to God's salvation program, we  keep our  eyes on this sin-cursed world,  and we never look beyond.  We never  look  at  the  true  nature  of  salvation.  Salvation  is concerned with something  far more precious and exciting than this sin-cursed world.  It has to do with  a people of God, a salvation that is  eternal in  character.  We're  going to  find that Daniel 9:25,  in which God speaks  about rebuilding Jerusalem, relates to bringing the Gospel. Then the 70 sevens can be understood in every detail.

Ezra's Bringing The Law Equals Building The City

Returning now to  Ezra, you'll recall  that Ezra was  commanded by King Artaxerxes, in  the year 458 B.C., to  reestablish the law in Jerusalem.  We  read  in  Ezra  7:12,  13,  23  and 26, that King Artaxerxes declares:

    "Artaxerxes,  king  of  kings,  unto  Ezra  the priest, a

    scribe of  the law of  the God of  heaven, perfect peace,     and at such a time.  I make a decree that all they of the     people  of Israel, and  of his priests  and Levites in my     realm which are minded of  their own freewill to go up to     Jerusalem, go with thee.

    Whatsoever is commanded  by the God of heaven,  let it be     diligently done for the  house of the God of  heaven; for     why should there be wrath  against the realm of the  king     and his sons?

    And  whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the law     of the king, let judgment  be executed speedily upon him,     whether  it  be  unto  death  or  to  banishment  or  to     confiscation of goods or to imprisonment."

Ezra 7:10 supplies the additional information:

    "For Ezra had prepared his  heart to seek the law  of the     Lord  and to  do it  and to  teach in Israel statutes and     judgments."

To reestablish the law  is the equivalent of bringing  the Gospel, and bringing the Gospel is the equivalent of building the city, as we  have  just  seen.  Therefore  God,  through  the  king,  had effectively  given a  command to  Ezra to  rebuild the city.  This command agrees with the statement of Daniel 9:25, which places the beginning of  the seventy weeks  as the time  when the command was given to rebuild the city.  We therefore are on very safe Biblical ground to begin the seventy weeks at  the year 458 B.C., when Ezra was given the command to reestablish the law in Jerusalem.

The  fact is, that even Ezra himself, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, relates the teaching of the law to a literal building activity.  While  the  foregoing  verses  in Ezra 7 indicate that Ezra,  the priest of God,  was first concerned to teach the law of God, we might note that in Ezra 9:9, in his prayer concerning this command of God  through King Artaxerxes,  Ezra uses language  that relates to a normal building activity:

    "For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in     our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight     of the kings of  Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up     the  house  of  our  God,  and  to repair the desolations     thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

From  the  foregoing  we  see  that  the  command  of  God to King Artaxerxes, to send  Ezra to reestablish  the law in  the year 458 B.C., meets all the requirements  of Daniel 9:25, where it  speaks about a command going forth to restore and to build Jerusalem.

Returning to Daniel 9, we read in verse 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.

We  have  learned  thus  far  that  the  Holy  City referred to is actually the  people of God, but  to what do the  other phrases in this verse refer, and when do they find fulfillment?

An Exact Path is Found to Satisfy Daniel 9:24     

By answering the question of  when the phrases of Daniel 9:24 find fulfillment,  we will also  discover to what  they refer. When did God  finish the  transgression on  behalf of  those who  are being saved? When  did He  make an  end of  our sins?  When did  He make reconciliation for iniquity?

Immediately you say, "Why, it was at  the cross, of course. Christ hung  on the cross  to pay for  our sins. Anyone  knows that. This verse is  speaking about the  cross."  Yes, indeed,  this verse is pointing to the cross. At the cross Christ did make reconciliation for  iniquity. He did make an end  of our sins. He did undergo the judgment of God in order that we might be saved.

Does the timing of  the crucifixion of Christ in 33 A.D. relate to 458  B.C.? Indeed it does!  If we go from  458 B.C., when Ezra was mandated by King  Artaxerxes I to  go to Jerusalem  to reestablish the  law  (that  is,  to  bring  the  Gospel there or to build the spiritual city), to 33 A.D. when Christ hung  on the cross to make atonement  for sins,  we will  find that  precisely 490  years are required. Let us see how this computation works out.

In going from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we must  add the Old Testament years to  the New Testament years. From this sum we must  subtract the number one to get the actual number of years between  the  two  events,  one  of  which  took  place in the Old Testament and  the other  in the  New Testament.  This is  because there is no year Zero.

Ezra to the Cross Equals Seventy Weeks       

Ezra went  to Jerusalem to  build a city,  that is, to reestablish the law, in  the year 458 B.C. Christ hung on the cross in 33 A.D. If we add 458  to 33, the sum is 491. Subtracting one from 491, we end up with 490 actual  years from the going forth of  the command to rebuild the city to the  time of the cross when Christ  brought in  everlasting  righteousness,  when  He  made reconciliation for iniquity, when He finished the transgression. It was  at the cross that  God put His seal  on the vision and  prophecy. And 490 years equal 70  weeks; that is, 70 times 7 = 490  years. Immediately we see the precise fulfillment of Daniel 9:24, 25.

The  phrase "sealed  up (or  sealed) the  vision and prophecy" (or prophet) can  be understood to  mean that when  Christ hung on the cross, God put His seal on the whole program of salvation and upon Christ as  the Savior.  It was  the official  declaration that all God's salvation program was absolutely certain. The phrase "anoint the  most  holy"  points  to  the  cross,  at  which  time  Christ established His Kingship.  The "most holy" is  a phrase identified with the "holy of holies." Inasmuch as Christ is the sanctuary . . . "Destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it . . . " He is the One who is anointed in the sense of officially being our King, as well as an everlasting Prophet and High Priest.

Four hundred and ninety years  equal seventy sevens, as called for in Daniel  9:24. Therefore,  we see  a direct  path from 458 B.C., when  Ezra  was  commanded  to  reestablish  the  law, that is, to rebuild the  city, until  Christ hung  on the  cross. Thus we have discovered one certain solution to the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.

That's  only part of the prophecy, and  in the next chapter we are going to  see that there  is another path  that God has  laid out, that also goes from the time of the command to Ezra to reestablish the  law to the  time of the  coming of Christ.  In this study, we have  seen a  direct path  from the  go

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