70 Weeks of Years - THE Misconception!



There is biblical food that is like milk: simple, sweet, goes down well. Then there is biblical wholefood. And then there's biblical nut-cracking.

This definitely includes trying to understand the "70 weeks of years" from the Bible book of Daniel. Would you like to join us in cracking this biblical "nut"?

Put yourself in the sixth century before Christ.

While studying the scriptures, the prophet Daniel realizes that the "70 years of desolation" of Jerusalem must soon be over. In an intense prayer, after a heart-touching confession of sin for his people, he asks God for forgiveness and the restoration of Jerusalem.

The angel Gabriel rushes over and gives him an answer that far surpasses his question:


Seventy sevens* 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 one*.“

(Daniel‬ ‭9‬:‭24‬ ‭ESV‬‬)


So much content in a single sentence!

"Seventy sevens" are usually interpreted as 70 weeks of years = 70 x 7 years = 490 years.

"To finish the transgression" — the transgression of the people of Israel, of all mankind, or also the rebellion in heaven ...?

"Put an end to sin"— sin is the poisonous sting of death (1 Corinthians 15:56), so someone must die to break the power of sin.

"Atone for iniquity" through Yahusha ha-Mashiach (Jesus Christ), who took upon himself the original sin of Adam and all his descendants and atoned for it with his blood and death.

"Everlasting righteousness" is brought in through God's kingdom, "new heavens, a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13). Any other righteousness is not eternal.

"Both sealing vision and prophet" will be when not a single prophecy remains open. When even the very first prophecy in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15) and the very last one in Revelation have been fulfilled. When Yahusha has crushed Satan's head: after the 1000 years, after the final test (Revelation 20:2-3, 7-10)

"the Most Holy One anointed" — this can refer to the Christ (which means "anointed one" in Greek), or to the temple, which in the end consists of "living stones", the faithful people, with Christ as the precious cornerstone of the temple. (1 Peter 2:4-6)

small question, huge answer!!

The angel's answer is extremely wide-ranging! Daniel not only receives information about the return to Jerusalem after the 70 years, but also how things will continue with Jerusalem according to God's plan until the distant future. This extends to the end of our time! Our heavenly Father must have really loved him enormously. He called Daniel "you highly esteemed man" (Daniel 10:11,19)

So how can the 70 weeks of the year be correctly inserted into the calendar?
First, let's clarify the division. To do this, read through the whole of chapter 9.
Now you have an initial overview. There are 7 + 62 + 1 weeks of years.

7 + 62 + 1 Jahrwoche

The First 7 Weeks of Years


"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 ‭9‬:‭25‬ a ESV‬‬)

So at the beginning there is a command, then 7 x 7 = 49 years, and at the end an anointed one.

Didn't the Persian king Cyrus issue the command to rebuild?


„But in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon the same king Cyrus made a decree to build this house of God.“

(‭‭Esra‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

This was around the year 539 BC - the year in which the city of Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians.
This is historically established. Our first fixed point.

Pushpin als Fixpunkt

And "anointed one" surely refers to Jesus Christ, right?
Far from it! This is where the first pitfall lurks. Jesus only appeared centuries later, not 49 years after the command to rebuild. Another "anointed one" must be meant.

A person is "anointed" when God has chosen him for a special mission. And indeed, this same Cyrus was also called "my anointed one" by God. He was even announced with his name more than 150 years in advance:


„who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”

(Isaiah‬ ‭44‬:‭28‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

"Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: “I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, [...] For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me."

(Isaiah‬ ‭45‬:‭1‬-‭2‬, ‭4‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

We could not find another anointed one in the period in question.
This means that the anointed Cyrus is at the END of the 1st week of years, not at the beginning.

If the first week of the year ENDS with the anointed Cyrus,
i.e. around the year 539 BC,

then logically it must BEGIN 7 x 7 = 49 years earlier,
i.e. around the year 588 BC.
(In the years before Christ, the numbers become larger if we go backwards in time).

What happened in the year 588 BC?
God's prophet Jeremiah received the following message:


"Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be."

(‭‭Jeremia‬h 30‬:‭18‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Aha! The "the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem" at the beginning of the first week of years came from Almighty God himself — neither from Cyrus who freed the Israelites from Babylon, nor from the Persian king Artaxerxes who released Nehemiah around the year 444 BC and gave him building materials and passage permits. Cyrus and Artaxerxes certainly helped to create the conditions for the rebuilding, but it was the Almighty himself who gave the go-ahead for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and thus for the first week of years!

Timeline 588 to 539 BC: the first week of years

62 Weeks of Years


"Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

And after threescore and two [62] weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

(Daniel‬ ‭9‬:‭25‬b, 26 ‭ESV, KJV‬‬)

"An anointed one shall be cut off" clearly refers to Christ (Greek Christos = "anointed one"), the Messiah (Hebrew Maschiach = "anointed one"). He suffered the death penalty, "but not for himself", because he was sinless and did not deserve it, but he took it upon himself for all of us!

That was around the year 33 AD. Our next historical fixed point.
Okay, let's just do the math, I thought.

Pushpin als Fixpunkt

62 weeks of years times 7 = 434 years.

Least time was 539 BC → plus 434 years → equals the year 105 BC. Huh?

Continuous timeline from 539 to 105 BC

Why would "an anointed one suffer the death penalty" in 105 BC? That's 138 years too early. That doesn't fit at all!

And as I looked closely at the next few sentences in the Bible, the enormous error in my thinking dawned on me ...

THE Misconception! The Gaps Are Missing!

At first I could only think of two possible sources of error:

A) Either the 62 weeks of years must start later to end exactly in 33 AD, the year of Christ's death

Timeline with gap on the left

or B) the death of the anointed one does not immediately follow the end of the 62 weeks of years, there is a gap in between.

Timeline with gap on the right

A gap! Of course!

Who says that the three time periods of Daniel's prophecy (7 weeks + 62 weeks + 1 week) have to follow each other seamlessly? We always assume that, but that's not what it says!

"After the 62 weeks of years" means afterwards, sometime after that, not necessarily the very next day. So my working hypothesis is that there may also be gaps in between.

The Courage to Leave a Gap

Of course I want to test my working hypothesis right away. Does it work with the next sentence of the prophecy? After the anointed one's death sentence in 33 AD, after the 62 weeks of years?


"And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, .."

(Daniel 9:26b ESV)

The Roman army under general Titus besieged and overran Jerusalem and also destroyed the Holy Temple. The gleaming metallic armors of the gigantic 60,000-man army could have resembled a flood. In Biblical context, "flood" can figuratively stand for rage, aggression or punishment. (Proverbs 27:4; Psalm 32:6) Both would fit the historical situation at the time.

When did this happen? Finally in 70 AD, which is our third historical fixed point.

Pushpin als Fixpunkt

We calculate backwards: 70 AD minus 33 AD (Yahusha's death) = 37.

"And" here therefore comprises a time gap of 37 years.


"and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed."

(Daniel 9:26c ESV)

"And Tobi the end" of WHAT? The end of the Jewish system cannot be referred to, because that had just happened earlier in the prophecy. No, let's just look at what the prophet Daniel means by "the end" in other passages of his scriptures:


"But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.

(Daniel 12:13 ESV)

The first "end" here is the end of Daniel's life. "At the end of the days" refers to the time when Daniel will be resurrected. The time of the resurrection is still ahead of us.

So in Daniel's 70-week prophecy, "to the end" seems to refer to a very long period of time, namely from the year 70 AD to our present and future. Many hundreds of years.

Has this bleak prediction of centuries of "wars and devastation" against Jerusalem been fulfilled? Just take a look at the history of Jerusalem in Wikipedia ...! War and devastation have indeed hit Jerusalem again and again, especially lately.

If we take a closer look at the gaps between the three year-week periods, the following picture emerges:

What happened in the gaps between the weeks of years

The Last Week of Years

Since the previous sentence says: "And to the end ...", it can be assumed that the last week of the year takes place THEREafter, i.e. in the time of the end.


He [the prince] will confirm a covenant with many for one “seven”.

In the middle of the “seven” he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.

And at the temple [or wing] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation,

until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

(Daniel‬ ‭9‬:‭27‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Again, a lot of content:

— This strong covenant will last seven years.

After three and a half years, there is a severe break: the sacrificial service is ended and an abomination is set up in the Holy of Holies.

— Finally, this "prince" is destroyed and the judgment of God is carried out on him.

... and many questions:

Who is "the prince"? Why is the covenant "strong"? Who are "the many"? Which sacrificial service is meant? Animal sacrifice? or "sacrifice of praise"? What is meant by "sanctuary"? What could be the "abomination" mentioned twice by Daniel and once by Yahusha (Jesus)? What question have we forgotten?

As the last week of the year is set in our time and future, we want to take a closer look at it in a following article.

Conclusion - What has this "nut-cracking" taught us?

We have seen how easily we misinterpret prophecies when we don't read what it says, but read what we think it says!

We also see how reliable God's prophecies are. He has always told his people what is coming, and he continues to do so:


„Surely the Sovereign YHWH does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.“

(Amos‬ ‭3‬:‭7‬‬‬)

We see with relief that everything is going according to God's good plan, as it has been for many centuries!

Yahuwah God has all the strings in His hand, and He has placed them in the hands of His Son Yahusha, who loves us exceedingly. That's very reassuring in wild times, isn't it?

Reading tip

The follow-up article "The last week of years" ... is in progress.