INSIGHT INTO BIBLE PROPHECY #126
Pinpointing Daniel's Seventy Weeks
by David Vaughn Elliott
Can you imagine predicting the arrival of a world leader several centuries before his actual arrival? Imagine predicting not only his arrival, but also the exact year of his arrival!
Daniel's famous seventy-weeks prophecy (9:24-27) foretold the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the arrival of the Messiah, followed by a second destruction of Jerusalem. If this were the total prophecy, it would be sufficient to build one's faith. However, the prophecy is even more precise. When we consider the detailed chronological elements of this prophecy, our souls are overcome with wonder!
At the outset, it must be noted that the possibility of a literal seventy weeks (less than one and one-half years) must be discarded. If one insists on a literal interpretation, the prophecy simply fails. That is why all Bible believers accept some type of figurative interpretation.
To discover how to interpret time prophecies, serious Bible students will first search the Scriptures for clues. In this case, the clue comes from Ezekiel. God told Ezekiel to lie on his left side for 390 days and on his right side for 40 days. Why? "For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days . . . I have laid on you a day for each year" (Ezek. 4:5-6).
Therefore, "a day for each year" is a solid Bible precedent for the figurative interpretation of time prophecies. This does not mean that we should apply this key to every prophecy. Rather, it is a divinely given key that we should take into consideration every time the literal meaning of a prophecy does not make sense.
One week is 7 days; 7 days multiplied by 70 weeks equals 490 days. According to the key, one day equals one year. Therefore, 490 prophetic days become 490 calendar years. This interpretation offers real possibilities.
NOTE: Thus begins Chapter 6 of Nobody Left Behind, and the chapter proceeds to examine the precise historical dates which fulfill this marvelous seventy-weeks prophecy. The prediction was bold; the fulfillment was the high point of human history.
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