The Messiah Killed and Temple Destroyed
In the first article, we saw that 70 weeks of years must pass before the Messiah can begin his reign in Jerusalem. 70 weeks of years is 490 years. We also saw how Daniel 9:24-25 cover the first 69 weeks of years, which is a total of 483 years.
Nevertheless, there is a gap between the 69th and 70th week of years.
What Happens in the Gap?
The 70 weeks prophecy goes on to tell us events that happen after this period of 483 years.
26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
Recall that the 483 years are broken up into two sections. 49 years (7 x 7) and 434 years (62 x 7). After the last section, the Messiah is cut off and has nothing. Note that it says after the 62 weeks. It does not say “in the 70th week.” This implies there is a gap between the 69th week and the 70th week.
“Cut off” is usually a reference to death. Therefore, after the 483 years, the Messiah is killed. At his death, he made atonement for sins, fulfilling some of the 6 objectives that need to happen by the end of the 70 weeks. Assuming the previous calculations are correct, the sequence lines up with an execution date of April 3, 33 A.D. This date is one of the many well-known options for when Jesus died. (2)
Fall of Jerusalem
It goes on to say that the temple and Jerusalem would be destroyed. This is perfectly consistent with history after the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. After Jesus was killed, the Romans, led by general Titus, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. According to Josephus, over 1 million Jews died in this horrible massacre. A more modest estimate states that 350000 people died during the first through the third Jewish Roman wars. (3) Jesus also predicted the fall of the Jerusalem temple in many different places during his ministry. (Matt. 24:1-2; Luke 21)
Notice it does not say that “the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” It only says that the people of the coming prince destroy Jerusalem and its temple. The people who laid siege to Jerusalem were the Romans. Therefore the coming ruler is not Titus, but some other future Roman ruler.
Verse 26 also tells us that Jerusalem will experience wars and desolations, even to the very end. Through its history, there have been many sieges on the city of Jerusalem for various reasons. (4)
However, the prophecy is for 490 years (70 weeks). It is not for 69 weeks. So we still have one more group of 7 years to go until the establishment of the Messianic golden age at the Second Coming. Daniel 9:27 addresses this final 7 years prior to Christ’s reign on earth. We will discuss this in the next article.
Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. As found in the https://www.biblegateway.com/
Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Springs, CO: Victor, an Imprint of Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Old Testament Edition
“Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, September 1, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(70_CE).
“Siege of Jerusalem” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, September 28, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem.