“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, 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. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Seventy weeks have been determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out the iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy.
And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks; and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted.
And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolations.
And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.
“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city until the measure of transgression is filled and that of sin complete, until iniquity is expiated, and eternal righteousness ushered in; and prophetic vision ratified, and the Holy of Holies anointed.
You must know and understand: From the issuance of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the [time of the] anointed leader is seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square and moat, but in a time of distress.
And after those sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will disappear and vanish. The army of a leader who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but its end will come through a flood. Desolation is decreed until the end of war.
During one week he will make a firm covenant with many. For half a week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the meal offering. At the corner [of the altar] will be an appalling abomination until the decreed destruction will be poured down upon the appalling thing.”
In this prophecy
We are told that there will be 70 sevens of time between the time the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem, and the end times. Both the Jewish Tanakh and the Old Testament agree that these 70 sevens are years, so this means that 490 (7 X 70) years will be involved in this prophecy. Furthermore, the prophecy is split into 3 time frames: 49 years (7 X 7), 434 years (62 X 7), and 7 years (1 X 7). We are told that the Anointed One will be cut off after the 7 and 62 year periods, which would mean that he will be cut-off (killed) 483 years after the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem. According to the Tanakh, this decree was given in late 445 or early 444 B.C. (Nehemiah 2) by Artaxerxes I.
According to this verse
The word to begin rebuilding the city was given, “In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes”. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Artaxerxes ruled Persia from 464 B.C. to 425 B.C., which means that the 20th year of his reign would have been late in 445 or early in 444 B.C.
You may have noticed that if you say that the decree to build the city was given in 444 B.C. and 483 are to pass before the Messiah is to be killed, that according to our calendar, the Messiah should have been killed in 39 A.D…. Considerably later than Jesus’ crucifixion. You need to understand however, that the Hebrew year is a lunar year, which means that it has 360 days instead of our 365.25 days. In order to convert the years from Hebrew years to the years that we use, we must first convert the Hebrew years into days, and then divide that number of days by the number of days in our year. I have provided the following calculation:
483 years * 360 days (Hebrew year) = 173,880 days.
173,880 days divided by 365.25 days (Our year) = 476.06 years (.05 years is about 22 days).
This means that by our calendar, the messiah was supposed to be killed just over 476 years from 444 B.C. If you add 476 years to 444 B.C. (444 B.C. is a negative number for this equation), you would arrive at 31 or 32 A.D., but there is one more thing to bear in mind. When the calendar went from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D., there was no year zero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_zero). From 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. was only one year, not two, so we need to add one year back into the equation. This means that the Messiah should have been cut-off in 32 or 33 A.D.
-444 + 476 = 32
32 + 1 (For the extra year we counted between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D) = 33 A.D.
This is the time at which Jesus was killed. I have only one problem with this prophecy as it is given here… We are told that Jesus was, “about thirty years old when he began his ministry.” (Luke 3:23) This means that if he was born in the year 1 B.C. or 1 A.D, he would have been 30 years old in the year 30, and since he was crucified after three years of ministry, this works out perfectly.
According to the latest research however
Jesus was born somewhere between 4-6 B.C., which means that he was thirty in around 26 A.D., and should have therefore been crucified in around 29 A.D., which is too early according to this prophecy. There are a few reasons that I have thought of for this issue. First, Luke 3:23 states that Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his ministry, not that he was exactly 30 years old. The phrase, “around thirty” means that he could have easily been a few years older or younger than thirty, which by itself could have made him the correct age to die in 33 A.D.
The second reason is that the calendar that we use today was not in use back in the days of Jesus. This calendar was not invented until 1582, and the dates are not always the same. This could also have caused a slight difference in the dates. Either way, we know that Jesus was alive at the correct time, and died within a few years of the correct time. The fact that he fulfilled a large number of other prophecy makes it sure that he fulfilled this one as well.
I have heard two interpretations of the 70th week.
Some scholars believe that this week refers to the time in which the Jewish Temple was destroyed (70 A.D.), and others believe that it refers to the end times. The Book of Revelations in the New Testament tells about the end times, and states that they will continue for seven years. I personally agree with those who say that this last week refers to the end-times.