TIME IS AT HAND
FIRST ADVENT OF CHRIST
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel's Prophecy--Events Foretold to Transpire
Within that Time--The Time of Messiah's Advent Indicated, and
a Principle Established by the Manner in which It is Indicated--A
Key to Other Time Prophecies--The Time of Messiah's Crucifixion
Indicated --The Special Favor to Israel as a Nation Cut Short
in Righteousness, but Continued Individually--Anointing the
Most Holy-- Trouble Poured upon the Desolate One.
the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined
upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression,
and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the
vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore
and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to
restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall
be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks [7 and 60 and 2 =
69 weeks]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even
in troublous times.
after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not
for himself. (And the people of the prince that shall come [the
Roman prince--Titus' army] 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.) And he [Messiah] shall confirm
the covenant with many for one week [the seventieth, or last week
of the covenant of favor]. And in the midst of the week he shall
<PAGE 64> cause the sacrifice and the oblation
to cease, and for [or because of] the overspreading of abominations,
he [Messiah] shall make it desolate--even until the consummation
[or completion] and that [which is] determined [in God's plan]
shall be poured upon the desolate" [people--represented by
Jerusalem]. `Dan. 9:23-27`
this prophecy marks the beginning of the "harvest" of
the Jewish age and our Lord's presence there as the chief reaper,
there are several prophecies which much more clearly mark the
beginning of the "harvest" of the Gospel age, in which
also our Lord is, at his second advent, to be the chief reaper.
The fulfilment of this prophecy illustrates prophetic fulfilments
in general, as well as establishes a point marked in another prophecy,
yet to be shown.
many prophecies combine to fix and confirm the date of the second
coming of Christ, this one alone marked the date of the first
advent. If its fulfilment is clearly established, it will aid
us in calculating and judging of those relating to the second
advent. For this reason we here give place to this fulfilled prophecy,
as well as because some of the dates established in this will
be needful to be understood in connection with prophecies relating
to the second advent, considered farther along.
had been shown many visions, as recorded in
`chapters 2,4,7 and 8` of this prophecy, all of which showed
great prosperity and exaltation to heathen or gentile kingdoms;
but his special interest was in Israel, and he had not been informed
concerning Israel's future. He knew, however, from Jeremiah's
prophecy (`Jer. 29:10`;
`2 Chron. 36:20-23`), that the desolation of Judea would
continue seventy years; and knowing that period to be nearly complete
(`Dan. 9:2`), he prayed earnestly
for the return of God's favor to Israel (`verses
17-19`), and the foregoing was God's answer to him through
marked off ("cut off," or "determined")
period of Israel's history here shown is "seventy weeks"
from a given starting point--viz., from the going forth of a decree
"to restore and to build Jerusalem." (Mark! not the
Temple.) During the period great things were to be accomplished:
The city would be rebuilt under unfavorable circumstances (`Neh.
4`), in troublous times; sin would be finished by a reconciliation
being made for iniquity; and righteousness (justification) would
be established--not like that accomplished year by year with the
blood of bulls and goats, but the true and "everlasting righteousness,"
brought about by the sacrifice of Christ. Daniel was also informed
that he who would introduce the better sacrifice would thereby
cause the typical sacrifices and oblations of the Law to cease.
this period, Messiah, the long-looked-for Savior of Israel, would
come, and seven weeks and threescore and two weeks, or sixty-nine
weeks, are stated as the measure of the time to Messiah's presence.
And after that he would be cut off, but not for himself. There
would therefore remain, after Messiah's coming, one week, the
last, the seventieth of this promised favor; and in the midst
or middle of that week it was foretold that he would cause the
typical sacrifices to cease, by making "his soul an offering
for sin." `Isa. 53:10-12`
seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represented four
hundred and ninety years, each symbolic day representing a year.
And being so fulfilled in this, the only time prophecy
directly relating to the first advent, it furnishes a key to some
other prophecies which will hereafter be shown to have been thus
hidden in symbolic numbers --a day for a year--until their
due time had come for solution. This prophecy was so worded that
Daniel and other Jews might, if they chose, think it incredible,
and in time forget it; or it might be remembered by those who
"waited for the consolation of Israel," and who
<PAGE 66> the time to be symbolic, as in the
case of `Ezekiel. (Chap. 4:6)` Certain
it is that faithful ones knew to expect Messiah; and it is even
written that all men were in expectation of him (`Luke
3:15`), even if they were not all able to receive him in
the way he came.
should be noticed that the sixty-nine symbolic weeks, or four
hundred and eighty-three years, reach unto Messiah the
Prince, and not to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The Hebrew
word Messiah, corresponding to the Greek word Christ,
signifies The Anointed, and is a title rather than a name.
Jesus was not the Anointed, the Messiah, the Christ, until after
his baptism. Compare `Acts 10:37,38` and
`Matt. 3:16`. He was anointed with the holy Spirit immediately
on coming out of the water. This was when he had attained manhood's
estate, which was at thirty years according to the Law, under
which he was born, and to which he and every Jew was subject until
he ended its dominion by fulfilling its conditions--"nailing
it to his cross." Therefore the sixty-nine weeks of this
prophecy reach to the time of his baptism and anointing, from
which time, and not before, he was the Messiah, the Christ, the
Anointed. Hence the sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three
years, ended in the autumn of A.D. 29. And there that portion
of the prophecy was fulfilled which says: "From the going
forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (`Dan.
9:25`), unto Messiah [the Anointed] the Prince, shall be
seven weeks and three-score and two [sixty-nine] weeks."
Beginning there, we find the seventieth week fulfilled like the
rest--a year for a day.
writers on this subject have commenced to count this period from
the seventh year of Artaxerxes, when a commission was given to
Ezra (`Ezra 7:7-14`), supposed to
be the enforcement of the decree of Cyrus. (`Ezra
1:3; 5:13; 6:1-12`)
<PAGE 67> It should be noted, however, that
Cyrus' order was to build the house of the Lord--the Temple and
its court wall. But there was another decree granted to Nehemiah
in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of
Jerusalem, which at that time were still unrepaired. (`Neh.
2:3-8; 6:15; 7:1`) And it is from this decree "to
restore and to build Jerusalem" that this prophecy of Daniel
should be dated. The entire account harmonizes with this, there
being but one seeming objection, in a prophecy concerning it by
Isaiah, which had said of Cyrus, not only, "He shall let
go my captives," but also, "He shall build my city."
(`Isa. 45:13`) This apparent objection
we answer thus: The word here translated city is ir,
and signifies a walled place. We understand the court walls of
the Temple to be referred to here; and with this the facts above
referred to agree. The same word ir is rendered court
in `2 Kings 20:4`.
date of Nehemiah's commission is ordinarily stated to be B.C.
445. But Dr. Hale's work on chronology (pages 449 and 531) and
Dr. Priestlie's treatise on the "Harmony of the Evangelists"
(pages 24-38) show this common view to be nine years short, which
would give B.C. 454 as the true date of Nehemiah's commission;
and with this date Daniel's prediction (`Chapter
9:25`), concerning the decree to restore and to build Jerusalem,
sixty-nine weeks (7 and 62), or four hundred and eighty-three
years, reach unto Messiah (the Anointed) the Prince, therefore
from this period of sixty-nine symbolic weeks, or four hundred
and eighty-three (483) years, we deduct four hundred and fifty-four
(454) years B.C. as the true date of the decree to restore and
to build Jerusalem; and the remainder--29 A.D.--should be the
year in which the Anointed (Messiah) would be manifested. This
is in exact accord with what we have already shown, viz.: that
<PAGE 68> Jesus was baptized by John and received
the anointing of the Spirit A.D. 29, about October 3rd, at which
time he was thirty years of age, according to the true date of
his birth as shown in the preceding chapter.
Lord's ministry covered three and a half years, ending
with his crucifixion, at the time of the Passover, in the spring
of A.D. 33. In this he exactly fulfilled the prophecy concerning
the remaining or last week (seven years) of promised favor, which
says: "After (7 and 62) sixty-nine weeks shall Messiah
be cut off [Douay translation, "be slain"] but
not for himself"* "in the midst of the week [remaining--
the 70th] he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease."
sacrifices which were offered according to the Law there ceased;
not that animals, incense, etc., were not offered thereafter by
the priests, for they continued to be offered year by year, but
that they were not accepted by Jehovah, and were in no sense sacrifices
for sin. The true sacrifice having come, our Lord Jesus having
"put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (`Heb.
9:26`), Jehovah could no longer recognize other offerings
as sacrifices, nor any necessity for them.
at the cross, Messiah, who had been sacrificing himself for three
and a half years, finished the work (`John
19:30`) and thus "made an end of sin," made full
and complete reconciliation toward God for the iniquity of men,
thus bringing to all mankind an everlasting justification
from sin, instead of the typical yearly justification, accomplished
by the types for the typical people, Israel. The death of Messiah
was also the "seal"--the guarantee of the fulfilment
--of all the visions and prophecies of coming blessings, and "times
of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken ----------
*This expression, "but not for himself," is variously
rendered in other translations, several of which are before us;
but in our opinion this, of our common version, is the clearest
and best rendering.
<PAGE 69> by the mouth of all his holy prophets
since the world began." (`Acts 3:21`)
Those promises, both the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant,
were secured, made sure, with "his own precious blood"
`1 Cor. 11:25`), which speaketh better things for us than
the blood of bulls and goats--even everlasting justification and
putting away of sin, to all those who receive him. And in the
remainder or latter half of this seventieth or last week of Jewish
favor-- the three and a half years, beginning with Pentecost--his
followers, "the most holy" of that nation, were anointed
with the holy Spirit of God, as Messiah had been at the close
of the sixty-ninth week.
were fulfilled the statements of `verse
24` of this prophecy: "Seventy weeks are determined
[set apart] upon THY PEOPLE and upon thy holy city--(a)
to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to
make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness-- (b) and to seal up the vision and prophecy--(c)
and to anoint the most holy." The prophecy did not show that
this entire work would be deferred until the last "week,"
when Messiah would be present; and doubtless they understood it
to imply great moral reform on their part which would prepare
them for Messiah, and the anointing under him of their nation
as the "most holy" people, to bless the world in general.
They had not learned by centuries of experience that they
were powerless to put away sin and make reconciliation for iniquity,
and that it would require a perfect ransom-sacrifice to accomplish
this great work of blotting out sin and justifying the condemned.
the other hand, Daniel's prophecy, while showing that Messiah
would be cut off [die] in the midst of the last week, did not
show that the mass of his people would be unholy and therefore
cast off, as they were, in the midst of that week. (`Matt.
23:38`) Another prophet had said, "He shall
<PAGE 70> finish the work and cut it short
in righteousness [justly]"; and all was finished in the half-week
(three and a half years) of Jesus' ministry, except the anointing
of the most holy.
what of the balance of the seventieth week, the three and a half
years of it which extended beyond the cross? Did Jehovah promise
to set aside seventy weeks of favor upon Israel, and really give
them but sixty-nine and a half? At first glance it has this appearance,
especially when we recall that it was just five days before his
death "in the midst of the week" that Jesus wept over
their city and gave them up, saying, "Your house is left
unto you desolate." But not so: Jehovah knew the end from
the beginning; and when he promised seventy weeks, he meant it.
Hence we must look for favor upon that people for three and a
half years after the crucifixion, notwithstanding they were then
left desolate nationally.
the Israelites as a nation were not fit to be the recipients of
the chief or spiritual favor (nor of the earthly favor either)
was demonstrated by their rejection of Messiah, as God had foreseen
and foretold; hence it was profitless to them to continue their
national testing beyond the midst of their seventieth week, and
it was cut short there, when they were left "desolate"--rejected
from favor. During the remaining portion (three and a half years)
of their period, the favor was increased, though confined
to the "remnant," the most holy, the purest or fittest,
whom alone it could benefit. (`Isa. 10:22,23`.
Compare `Rom. 9:28`.) The
increase of favor consisted in the fact that it gave to that remnant
three and a half years of exclusive attention and ministration,
under the increased advantages of the spirit dispensation, which,
beginning with the disciples at Pentecost, reached probably all
the ripe wheat of that nation, during that period of special favor.
See `Acts 2:41 and 4:4` for the results
of the first few days.
was for this reason that, though Jesus had tasted death for all,
and the Gospel was to be proclaimed to all, yet his instructions
to his disciples were, that they begin at Jerusalem. Nor
were they to leave that special work, or offer the favor of the
new dispensation to any others, until the three and a half years
of promised favor to Israel were fulfilled--until God specially
sent it to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. `Acts 10`
exact date of the conversion of Cornelius, chronologers can only
guess at; and hence it is variously estimated as having occurred
from A.D. 37 to 40; but in view of this marked prophecy which
we are now considering, we doubt not that it was in the autumn
of A.D. 36; for there the seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety
years, of favor upon Israel ended. Since their exclusive favor
ended there, most appropriately should it be marked by sending
the gospel to the Gentiles. Israelites were not deprived of the
gospel after that, but were treated the same as the Gentiles,
though prejudice no doubt placed the remainder in a less favorable
position. The "most holy" being already chosen out,
the gospel was no longer confined to them exclusively, but was
open to every creature having an ear to hear.
the seventy weeks came the distress and trouble mentioned in the
latter clauses of `verses 26 and 27`. The
Roman prince came, and did destroy the city and the Temple, and,
like a flood, he left behind him terrible waste and destruction.
And Messiah, whom they rejected, has permitted various evils to
befall that people since, and will continue to permit them "until
the consummation," until they shall have had enough, until
he shall say, "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry
unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, that her iniquity
is pardoned." (`Isa. 40:2`)
Meantime that that is determined shall be poured upon that
desolate one (or cast off people) till her cup be full of sorrow
<PAGE 72> --until that day when they shall
say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
That day of Israel's deliverance is now dawning, thank God; and
though their desolation and distress are not yet at an end, each
hour hastens the time when their prejudice-blinded minds shall
see out of obscurity him whom they have pierced, and when they
shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.
many, in reading the passage here examined, have fallen into great
confusion and error through a failure to understand rightly the
arrangement of the Prophet's words, confounding Messiah the Prince
with the Roman prince, etc., we suggest a careful study of the
passage as arranged at the beginning of this chapter, noting the
parenthesis and the explanatory remarks in brackets.
TIME IS AT HAND