Carri Lynne Pratt
"Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding." 9:20
Today we take a pause in our reading of Revelation to gain additional insight into this prophetic work. We look at a passage from the book of Daniel, a Jewish scholar and prophet living in exile in the city of Babylon. (Daniel is most notable as the man who made it through a night in the lion's den Daniel 6:16)
We read that while Daniel is praying he is visited by the angel Gabriel and is given insight into future events.
He is told about "Seventy Sevens (that) are decreed for (the Jews)." Daniel 9:24 Gabriel tells him this period of time will:
"Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city,
to finish the trangression,
to put an end to sin,
and to atone for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal both vision and prophet,
and to anoint a most holy place.
Know therefore and understand
that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem
to the coming of an anointed one, a prince,
there shall be seven weeks." Daniel 9:24-25
It is important to understand that the "Seventy-Seven weeks" are actually 490 years (70 x 7 = 490). It is also important to understand that the beginning of this period is in 445 B.C.
What does this all mean? The bottom line is that this prophetic vision accurately accounted for the year Jesus Christ would "atone for iniquity." It fortells the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD and leaves one seven year period that has not yet come. This seven year period is the time of the Tribulation. This will fulfill the prophecy to "bring in everlasting righteousness."
It goes on to tell us about the seven year period.
"He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the seven's he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." Daniel 9:27
This passage tells us that:
1. The anti-Christ will make an agreement for peace in the Middle East for a seven year time period.
2. At 3 1/2 years he will go back on the agreement and stop sacrifices and offerings. This means there must be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem by this time.
3. He will go into the temple and declare himself to be God.
4. He will meet his end, which will be poured out on him.
Reflection: Meditate on the fact that God's word is true! There are several prophetic messages about the end of times throughout the Old Testament. Let us take heart that we know what events lead up to the 2nd coming of Christ!