Bible Reading for SEP16: Daniel 10-12

Chapters 9–12 contain some of the most detailed
prophecies in the Bible, most of which have already
been fulfilled. Even though chapter 9 was included in
yesterday’s reading, I would like to devote a portion
of today’s comments on it, since an understanding of
Daniel’s 70 weeks is basic to Bible prophecy.

This chapter deals with two different periods
of time as relating to the Jews. Verses 1-19 refer to
the 70 years of captivity. Daniel was a great student
of the Scriptures, particularly those prophecies
relating to the destiny of his people. He was now 90
years old and, while reading from the Book of Jeremiah,
the Lord caused him to see that His people would be in
Babylon for 70 years. It is important to note here that
God does not give His people visions and dreams when He
can teach them through His Word. Since today His Holy
Spirit teaches us through His Word, we must beware of
any new revelation.

Daniel saw in his reading that the 70 years of
captivity were about to come to a close. Babylon
invaded Palestine and began its siege in 606 b.c., and
Daniel had an understanding of the prophecy in the year
539 or 538 b.c. Therefore, there were only about two
years remaining in the 70 years promised in Jeremiah.

In the first part of chapter 9 we see Daniel’s
prayer for Jerusalem. Here is another lesson each of us
can apply to our daily living. The Word of God and
prayer always go together. Daniel did not boast about
his insight into God’s Word; in fact, he did not even
preach a sermon. But he did go to his knees in prayer.

The “70 weeks” is generally understood to mean
70 weeks of years. That is, 70 sevens of years, or
seven times 70 years, which is 490 years. It was as
though the angel was saying, “The captivity had been 70
years; the period between the captivity and the coming
of the Messiah will be seven times that long.” The date
from which the 70 weeks was to be counted was the
decree to rebuild Jerusalem (verse 25). There were
three decrees issued by Persian kings for this
purpose–in 536 b.c., 457 b.c., and 444 b.c. The
principal one was in 457 b.c.

The 70 weeks are subdivided into 7 weeks, 62
weeks, and one week (verses 25 and 27). It is difficult
to see the application of the “seven weeks”; but the 69
weeks, including the seven, equal 483 days, that is, on
the year-day theory (Ezekiel 4:6), which is the
commonly accepted interpretation of 483 years. This 483
years is the period between the decree to rebuild
Jerusalem, and the coming of the “Anointed One” (verse
25). The degree to rebuild Jerusalem, as noted above,
was 457 b.c. Adding 483 years to 457 b.c., brings us to
a.d. 26, the very year that Jesus was baptized and
began His public ministry. This is a remarkable
fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, even to the year.

The final week of seven years constitutes the
climax of Jewish history prior to the establishment of
the Messianic Kingdom. It is divided into two half-
periods (three and one-half years each). During the
first half the prince (world ruler, little horn) or
chapter 7:8,24,25, will make a covenant with the Jews,
who are restored in Palestine, with a renewing of
Temple worship. In the middle of the week the covenant
will be broken–worship for the Jews ceases (II
Thessalonians 2:3,4) and the time of Great Tribulation
begins. The advent of Christ, the Messiah, consummates
this period of desolation, bringing everlasting
righteousness to Israel, and judgment upon the prince
and his hosts (Revelation 19:20).

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