70th Week

The 70th Week of Daniel is an eschatological and prophetic term.  During much of this period (especially the final 3˝ years), there will be a great purging of the earth.  The concept of this seven-year period comes from Daniel 9:27.  In the Orthodox Jewish Bible, it reads this way:

27And he shall confirm brit [covenant] with rabbim [the many] for one heptad [week of seven years]; and in the midst of the heptad he shall cause the zevach [sacrifice] and the minchah [gift offering] to cease, and on the kenaf [wing or overspreading] of the abominations is one making desolate, even until the complete destruction, a destruction that is decreed, shall be poured out upon the Shomem [Desolator, Destroyer]. (Daniel 9:27—OJB)
It has been suggested by some that the “he” who would confirm the covenant or promise was Jesus.  For more about this view, see 70th Week: Alternate View.

On the contrary, I embrace the view that the 70th Week will transpire at the end of the age.  Upon the completion of this 7-year period, Jesus the Messiah (Christ) will descend to earth to destroy the enemies of Israel and to set up His millennial (1,000-year) kingdom on the earth (see the Millennium).  Jesus and John wrote parallel depictions of as much as 6 of the final 7 years (see Parallels Between the Six Seals and the Olivet Discourse).

According to the angel Gabriel, by the end of 70 “weeks” of years (a “week” being equivalent to 7 years), it has been decreed by God, concerning Daniel’s “people” (Israel) and “holy city” (Jerusalem), that the following will come to pass (Daniel 9:24):

The final segment of the 70 “weeks,” of course, will be the “70th Week.”  In a regular week of days, the seventh-day Sabbath is set apart from the rest of the week.  Therefore, it is worth considering that if this “week” of years is likened to a regular week of days, then the seventh year may be set apart from the other six years (see The Seventh Year).

This ultimate period of 7 years will commence with the confirmation or strengthening of a covenant, presumed to involve Israel and other nations or peoples, for one “week” or “heptad” of years—that is, for seven years (Daniel 9:27a).  Apparently, the agreement will be confirmed, affirmed and/or supported by a man who is known in the Bible as the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) or, more commonly, the “Antichrist.”  However, initially, the identity of this man may not be widely known.

In 2006, Israel engaged in a seven-year agreement or accord with several other nations.  In fact, Israel was the first non-European nation to sign on to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which was in effect from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2013: seven years.  The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument with Israel shows one of the documents in this agreement.

Had this been the prophesied seven-year agreement of Daniel 9:27, then several anticipated prophetic events should have taken place in 2010—that is, in the middle of the seven-year period from 2007 through 2013.  Yet none of those events took place.

However, another seven-year covenant or agreement has gone into effect since then.  The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) confirms, renews and strengthens the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and Israel continues to be a member.

The 70th Week: Final 7 Prophesied Years
Click here to see a larger view.
Furthermore, like the ENP, the ENI also is scheduled to transpire for a period of seven years: 2014 through 2020.  My commentary End of the Age: 2020? describes the possibility that the ENI might be the prophesied seven-year agreement of Daniel 9:27.

The exponential curve in the graph to the right, “The 70th Week: Final 7 Prophesied Years,” depicts the “Intensity of Troubles” on the earth, as a factor of “Time,” following the confirmation of the covenant for 7 years.  During the initial 3˝ years after the establishment of the confirming agreement, worldwide deception, troubles and sorrows (including frequent, severe, and widespread earthquakes, plagues, famines and wars) most likely will continue to increase gradually, just as the curve on the left of the vertical axis is more horizontal than vertical.

At the beginning of the final 3˝ years, the abomination that causes desolation will be set up in what Jesus described as “the holy place” (Matthew 24:15).  Most have thought that this would be inside of a third temple yet to be built in Jerusalem.  However the word rendered as “temple,” in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and in Revelation 11:1, is better translated “shrine.”  The Islamic Dome of the Rock, atop the Temple Mount, is a shrine that stands atop God’s most holy place of all time.  It is more likely, then, that the Dome of the Rock will be the prophesied structure rather than a third Jewish temple.

After this point, great tribulation, suffering, and cataclysms around the world will escalate markedly just as, in the graph, the curve on the right of the vertical axis is more vertical than horizontal.  Severe calamities will soar, unabated, during the final 3˝ years of the 7-year period.  From the day that the abomination that causes desolation is set up to the Battle of Armageddon—the span of time of the Antichrist’s power and influence—will be 1,260 days + 30 days = 1,290 days, which will fulfill Daniel 12:11.

If not before Jesus returns, there will be another temple after Jesus returns to earth.  He Himself will be in charge of constructing the millennial Temple.  This Temple probably will be dedicated 75 days after His return on Yom Kippur, and the latter will be 1,260 days after the abomination that causes desolation is set up in the middle of the 70th Week.  Each year, the beginning of Hanukkah is 75 days following Yom Kippur; so 1,260 days + 75 days = 1,335 days (or 1,290 days + 45 days = 1,335 days), fulfilling Daniel 12:12.  Since the ancient Second Temple was rededicated and consecrated during Hanukkah, it is reasonable to suppose that this also will be the case for the millenial Temple.

Now, God will be opposed to the 7-year accord, involving Israel, because His chosen people (the Israelites) will have entered into the agreement without having consulted Him and without having gained His approval.  This is shown in the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 28:15-19, 57:8,9).  The Israelites will be relying on a man to protect them from their enemies, rather than looking to God  to guard and defend them.

Most Christians believe that, at some point during the 70th Week, The Rapture of believers will take place (see also Pre-Wrath Rapture).  I feel that there also may be secondary rapture events.  The timing of the momentous catching-up event(s) is a topic of considerable debate (see Views and Debates and Rapture Questions & Responses).

Many embrace the erroneous belief that they will be removed from the earth prior to the onset of the entire 70th Week (via a Pre-Tribulation Rapture).  Initially, they will not recognize that the final seven-year period of this age has begun, since they still will be present on the earth and anticipating the Rapture to take place.  As a result, once it has become unmistakably clear that the 70th Week already has commenced, many may believe that they have been “deceived” by their Christian leaders, and/or “abandoned” by Jesus, resulting in a great apostasy of believers.

A detailed, sequential description of the Book of Revelation can be found in my three-part commentary, The Chronology of Revelation.  The main battles to take place, near the end of the 70th Week, are described in my commentary, The Final Battles.

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