Daniel’s 70 Weeks – 70 Weeks are Determined


We will now begin to consider the passage in question. We will walk through the verses and discuss the major themes and ideas that come from them. It should be noted that this is not the place for a full fledged deep exegesis of the passage since that would take more bandwidth then I can imagine using on one topic. This is meant to address how this passage reflects on the Olivet Discourse and the understanding of the preterist argument at it relates to this passage.

I have addressed the problems with the overall view of the Dispensational exposition of this passage, but at each turn we will find other items worthy of note and will explore thme only in so much as they impact a better understanding of the Olivet Discourse.

I want to quickly address three interpretive issues that will make an impact on how to best exposit this passage.

  1. The layout of weeks. Some translations, the ESV primarily, has the Messiah apparently coming after the seven weeks while the majority of the more correct time listing as after the 7 and 62 – or best remembered after the 69th week.
  2. Verse 24 ends with the mentioning of the anointing of the Most Holy. Some translation state “holy place.” The most literal translation would be to anoint the “most holiest of the holy” which could and should refer more to the primary focus of the prophecy which is the coming Messiah, the Prince.
  3. The last words of verse 27 – the last words of the entire section as well – mention that desolation is poured out on something or someone/s. This is also a difficult translation issue as this appears to be a neutered subject that receives the desolation. It could be a he, an it or a them. That is why you will see several different translations depending on the translation you use. This also shows a translation bias that will be discussed when we reach that portion of the passage.
  • Below are just a handful of the different translations
  • NIV – Him
  • NAS – The one
  • KJV – The desolate
  • NCV – the city
  • ASV – The desolate
  • ESV – Desolator
  • NKJV – The desolate

So, as we will discuss the object of the desolation could be a place (Jerusalem, Temple), a people (the Jews) or a person (Antichrist, Roman leader). We will discuss these options in more detail at a later point.


The first thing you will notice is the the first verse in this passage is written using an Eastern form of writing using a “couplet.” Couplets are also found in Psalms, proverbs, Song of Songs and other poetic forms. This device is used to bring to similar ideas together with the second reinforcing the first, though they may ultimately different focuses. This will become more clear as we walk through verse 24. I will be using the New King James version of this passage because it does follow the more poetic outline the passage dictates and arranges them that way in the printed form.

Daniel 9:24 ” Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

The basic points to consider are this.

  • 490 years is the time frame
  • The City (Jerusalem) and People (Jews) are the focused locale – NOT THE ENTIRE WORLD!
  • Six things will be accomplished before the end of those 490 years

There in lies the entire focus time wise and locale wise of this prophecy. It is centered in Jerusalem and is about the relationship between the Jews and God and how it will find it’s completion. It will be accomplished in 490 years (starting point mentioned later) and will involve the coming anointed one – Messiah the Prince (seen later)

This includes six items that must find their fulfillment within 490 years of the start of the prophetic time line. These six items are arraigned in three couplets containing two of those items. It is those six items to which we will turn our attention in the next post.


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