What is the "beginning (year) of the 70 weeks" of Daniel 9:24-27?

C McC Mc Posts: 3,626
edited August 2018 in Biblical Studies

Daniel 9:24-27, speaks of 70 weeks" "the Messiah, the Prince" shall be cut off. What is the "beginning (year) for this prophecy? A triumphal entry is in view here. To be clear, what event does the prophecy give for the beginning of the 70 weeks?

Most Futurist-Dispensationalists, while recognizing that the cutting off of the "Messiah" comes "after" the termination of the sixty-two weeks (69 weeks from the beginning of the 70 Weeks), usually put within the same literal week the
appearance of the "the Messiah, the Prince" (Dan 9:25), who is the same as "the Messiah" who is cut off (Dan 9:26). [See source].

The Jubilee occurred at the beginning of the exile (604-603 B.C.), the return from the exile/beginning of the 70 weeks of years prophecy (457-456 B.C.) and the end of that same prophecy in (33-34 A.D.).

What do the preterists [time in the past] and futurists [yet to come] teach about the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27?

  • Preterists— They want to date Bible prophecies to some time prior to the rise of the papacy. They say the 70 weeks extends from the Neo-Babylonian period (the time of Nebuchadnezzar) to the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, in the first half of the second century B.C.
  • Historists—Both historists and futurists date this time span from the Persian period, down to the time of Rome in the first century A.D.

    • The dates are 457 B.C. for the beginning of the 70 weeks.
    • A.D. 27 for the beginning of the seventieth week.
    • A.D. 34 for the end of the seventieth week.
  • The futurist gap—Futurists follow one or another of several starting dates, and carry the 70 weeks down to the time of Christ. But then they jump an immense gap—and place the last week of the seventy at some future time when an antichrist is supposed to arise. In this way, they try to eliminate the papacy and 1844 from prophecy.

Do you agree? If not, why not? CM


These men hold to Futurist-Dispensationalists view:

  • Walvoord. John F. "Is the Seventieth Week of Daniel Future?" Bibliotheca Sacra 101 (1944): 179.
  • Culver, Robert Duncan. Daniel and the Latter Days. Chicago, IL: Moody Press. 1954. pp 153-55
  • Ironside. H. A. Lectures on Daniel the Prophet. New York: Loizeaux Bros., n.d. pg. 20. 21.
  • McClain, Alva J. Daniel's Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. Grand Rapids. MI: Zondervan. 1940. pg. 24.
  • Wilson. M. M. Prophetical Suggestions: Being an Expository of the Books of Revelation and Daniel. London: Digby. Long & Co.. 1909. pg 409
  • Hoehner, H. W. Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Grand Rapids. MI: Zondervan. 1977. pp 135-138.


  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    Count backwards from the date of Christ's crucifixion in the middle of the 70th week.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited August 2018

    I am not defending the Dispensationalist view, though I think the notion may be incomplete or even wrong on some points, the same as Covenentalism. But let's add a few names for your apparent evil heretic list:

    Charles Ryrie
    Charles Feinberg
    Dwight Pentecost
    Merill Unger
    John Davis
    Darrel Bock
    John Whitcomb
    Arnold Fruchtenbaum (however you spell it---Wolfgang help us out)
    Renald Showers
    Norman Geisler
    Lewis Chafer
    Robert L. Thomas
    Charles Feinberg
    Louis Goldberg
    David Stern
    Why not add Martin Luther (who distinguishes so incisively between Law and Grace).
    ...Tons more

    Of course we have others such as...

    Justin Martyr [100-165]
    Described “several different economies [his meaning was clearly dispensations] in the Old Testament..." Another place he says: “But if so great a power is shown to have followed and to be still following the dispensation of His suffering, how great shall that be which shall follow His glorious advent! For He shall come on the clouds as the Son of Man, so Daniel foretold, and His angels shall come with Him.” In this very important passage he lays out the Dispensational Premillennial view of the end times. He spoke of believing in a future 1000 year reign.

    Papias of Hierapolis [60-130]
    Associated with Polycarp and a disciple of the Apostle John. Writings are lost, but Eusebius tells us that he wrote clearly of the dispensational teaching of the literal millennial reign of Christ on earth and rebuilding the temple.

    Here is a quote from Eusebius: “In these he says there would be a certain millennium after the resurrection, and that there would be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very Earth; which things he appears to have imagined, as if they were authorized by the apostolic narrations, not understanding correctly those matters which they propounded mystically in their representations.”

    Irenaeus [200-ish]
    Described and defended many elements of Dispensationalism. His writing on this matter were to prove Gnostics (who were not futurists) to be heretics. He came up with the "Rule of Faith" -- 1) Jesus would come bodily to Earth. 2) The rule of faith affirms the bodily resurrection of believers, and 3) the rule of faith affirms a future judgment. Irenaeus was very specific about the ages /dispensations he saw in Scripture.

    He exposed the docetist (Thanks BK for your input on this) Mercion's heresy by laying out a clear 4 dispensations. At one point he said this: “if He has administered His dispensations, fulfilled His prophecies, promoted His laws, given reality to16 His promises, revived His mighty power, remoulded His determinations18 expressed His attributes, His properties. This law and this rule I earnestly request the reader to have ever in his mind, and so let him begin to investigate whether Christ be Marcion’s or the Creator’s.”

    Dispensationalism sort of died out at the hands of Catholics. By the time of the Reformation, there was enough freedom of thought for the idea (obviously not dead) to re-emerge in writing. We have people like Pierre Poiret in the 1600's speaking clearly of dispensationalism in his systematic theology: L’Economie Divine. Then the same by John Edwards (1600's) in A Compleat History, or Survey of All the Dispensations.
    Isaac Watts spoke of 6 dispensations.

    I could have mentioned Cyprian, Hippolytus, Commodian, Methodius, Melito, and Apollinaris--all of whom defended tenents of Dispensationalism. Good grief, even Augustin himself was wishy-washy on some points and seem to think there must be some "ages" in which God dealt with man differently from others. Of course the articulation of all theology has developed over time, including Dispensationalism.

    I am not in any way attempting to prove Dispensationalism is the best or only or even a good way to interpret Scripture. My goal is to point out the veracity that Dispensationalism is not a 19th-century innovation as the uninformed writers above keep spewing out in spectacular ignorance.

    P.S. The whole 69-70th week of Danial hiatus thing has mainly to do with figuring out the antecedent of a pronoun "he" in Dan 9:27. Argue forever on that one if you want. And some here even argue with themselves on the matter.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,626
    edited August 2018

    I wonder if it's possible for one to contribute to the thread without the sarcasm and the accusations. They are not necessary. Why the attitude? It puts a cloud over a potentially fruitful discussion going forward. I would feel so much better if we could have an assurance that this would cease and will not surface again in this thread or this topic. CM

    @GaoLu said:

    I am not in any way attempting to prove Dispensationalism is the best or only or even a good way to interpret Scripture. My goal is to point out the veracity that Dispensationalism is not a 19th-century innovation as the uninformed writers above keep spewing out in spectacular ignorance.

    Who said such? When did gathering information and following it back to its genesis become "spectacular ignorance"? Is it not people study to be informed? Shouldn't one be happy for such? Let's spread God's love and leave the spewing of sewage to waste-treatment workers in their specially designed facilities. CM

    Post edited by C Mc on
  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,626

    Part-1 Daniel 9:4-19-- The Prayer

    In looking at this prophecy, I am forced to ask several questions to make sense of the allotted time than just debunking the "gap" theory of dispensationalists. In reading the entire book and chapter 9, in particular, one is compelled to acknowledge a few points and provide answers to the following questions:

    1. Do you see Daniel 9, having two parts?
      • What are the 70 weeks of Daniel 9?
      • What decree or biblical passage(s) signal its start?
      • Is it a part of something bigger or larger time prophecy?
    2. At the beginning of Daniel 9, at the very beginning of the Medo-Persian period (1st year of Darius; v. 1), Daniel is studying the time element in Jeremiah regarding God's people (v. 2).
    3. Daniel is very upset in Dan 9, which he should not be unless he takes the 2,300 evening- morning of Dan 8 as a possible very long revision of the 70 years of Babylonian domination predicted by Jeremiah (notice that Daniel didn't believe that these were literal days = 6 and 1/3 literal years or he would not have been upset).
    4. Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9 is all about the fate of his people, Jerusalem, and the temple, which are affected by the vision of Dan 10.

    Daniel 9 is an example of where the “How long?” query before the restoration of Israel is answered precisely with the year and the date. Through what seems to be a revising of the prophecy of Jeremiah, vv. 21-27 elaborate a timetable in a “periodization of history based on sabbaths and jubilees.” -- Gabriel answers Daniel’s prayer by revealing that the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy is divided into separate periods of seven, sixty-two, and a seventieth in which desolation, war, and abomination prevail.

    Daniel 9 is written at the end of the captivity: "In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, by birth a Mede, who became king over the realm of the Chaldeans" (v. 1). with clear linkage to 2 Chron. 36:20-21; Jer 25:11.

    Daniel 9 is included in a temporal - literary structure that provides some hints for its interpretation.

    Truth found truth shared. CM

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