The 490 years Prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel
This prophecy (Dan. 9:22-27), was given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, sent by God (Dan. 9:20-27); and had special relevance for the near future of Daniel, and the still future at the date of this writing (March 2016 & 2018).
Before considering what the book of Daniel in the Bible says regarding the prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel; a few facts are worthy of consideration regarding the man Daniel, and his relationship with Jehovah God.
As a careful and prayerful reading of Daniel shows, Daniel was a particularly beloved man of Israel by God, due to his steadfast love of, and faith in his God Jehovah (9:23; 10:11 & 10:19). His faith in God, and his fidelity to Him is indeed a beautiful example of what God had required of Israel when He made them a Nation; and which Israel had promised and vowed they would be (2Kings 17:13-15 etc.)!
Daniel at the time the prophecies were given to him, was in captivity in Babylon starting in the year BC. 497; and Israel was in that state of captivity and dispersion in Babylon and Assyria, due to their gross sin of rebellion against their God Jehovah, in almost all their history since they were saved from slavery in Egypt!
When they were saved from Egypt, God clearly stated why He was treating them so favourably (Ex. 2:24; Gen. 50:24; Ex. 3:8; 4:22 & 19:5-6). They however quickly became unfaithful and wanton; see Deut. 32!
Daniel, (see: Daniel in the Lion's Den), like Joseph earlier, stood out as an example of what God required of His “Chosen People” (Deut. 14:2), and which He sought of all Israel, to form His “Kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6; 1Peter 2:9 & Rev.1:6); the Ideal Israel (“Jeshurun”).
Jeshurun means “upright”, which quality God had required of Israel after the Exodus, by their own free will! The will of Israel, freely given in righteousness, was what God wanted, for them to become the “wife” of Isaiah 54:5-6!
However; as is always the case despite Israel’s sin, God’s Plans cannot be thwarted in His battle with Satan (see: Satan's Origins; and Satan's Motivation: ) and in His revealing’s to Daniel regarding the future of Israel (and the world); He is about to give details which partly have been fulfilled; but critically at this date (March 2016) have yet to be completed.
Note: at this date, the Middle East is in turmoil with many of the Countries involved listed in the Bible. Revelation 13 (Rev Chapter 13) describes such turmoil, as does much of Revelation!
As regards Daniel’s position with the then King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar, he had gained respect and favour with him when he successfully interpreted a dream which had troubled Nebuchadnezzar. Not only did he give its meaning; but Daniel also gave the dream, (which the King had not revealed); which proved to the King that Daniel’s God was the Author of not only his dream; but also of all Creation (Dan. 2:47). Daniel had told the King that he would pray to God for all of the dream and meaning to be given to him for the King, (Dan. 2:16), and in doing so witnessed to the One True God! The dream itself concerned Nebuchadnezzar’s time on Earth; but also reached far into the future, even beyond the current date (March 2016); (Dan. 2).
Daniel’s faith in God was severely tested in Dan. 6; as Nebuchadnezzar foolishly allowed himself to be tricked by his own servants, and his own Kingly pride (Dan. 6:7-9); which put Daniel in the position of having to choose to obey the King, or Jehovah God! (See: Fear God OR Fear Man?). Daniel ignored the legal decree; and prayed as usual to his God; (Dan. 6:10). He was then thrown into the Lion’s Den, but an angel of God protected him (6:22), much to the relief of Nebuchadnezzar, as he had a close relationship with Daniel (Dan. 6:18-20). Daniel’s enemies and their families were then given to the Lions, and they were devoured completely!
As can be seen from the above, and reading the book of Daniel in the Bible, he was an exceptional person in his fidelity to God; who was entrusted with great prophecy for his people, and the world! This is reinforced by Jesus Himself in His comments to His disciples in Matt. 24:15 when He directly refers to Daniel, as He spoke in answer to their questions regarding the “end of the Age” (Matt. 24:3); showing the critical point which was to be reached in their future Tribulation (“Jacob’s Trouble” Jer. 30:7). Here is shown the last trauma that the human Jacob is yet to experience; those surviving will be the “True Israel”; the Jeshurun of prophecy, (Isa. 44:2)!
As has been stated, Daniel was a very devout man of God. He had by his free will proved his love and fidelity to his Jehovah. He knew his and Israel’s sinfulness, and always threw himself, and vicariously Israel on God’s mercy, at the beginning of his prayers and supplications; (a good example to follow, as it shows real knowledge of self and humankind, which can only lead to humility in truth before God, which He will always respect, Psm. 51:17). The opposite is God’s distain and action against unbridled lust for power and self-aggrandisement, (Dan. 4:30-37)! It is also interesting to note that in Daniel’s case, he frequently spoke of God’s love for Israel, Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem was/is called after His Holy Name, in his prayers (Dan. 9:15-19)!
In Daniel Chapters 1 to 7, the original language used in the manuscripts is Chaldee (the Gentile language) and Dr. Bullinger's notes: “because it is a continuation of Dan. 2:44, and shows what will take place in the days of those kings” (Rev. 17:12-18), before the stone strikes the image. "It brings us to the end of the Gentile domination over Israel”. From Chapter 8 to the end of the book, the language is Hebrew, and Dr. Bullinger notes: “because its purpose is to show how Gentile dominion of (Chapter 2) especially concerns and affects Israel”.
In the early Chapters, Daniel by dreams and direct revelation, received from God information regarding his people, and future events, which greatly disturbed him, (Dan. 7:15). There is much detail in the Chapters, and many “Christian” commentators have given their opinions and interpretations in their writings as to the meanings; which can only be speculation, as the detail is specifically commented on as relevant to “the End Times” (Dan. 7:26; 8:17-19; 11:40; 12:4, 9 & 13,); and, also specifically stated as “Sealed” (Dan. 12:4 and 9) until that time has arrived. Also; as is clearly stated in Dan. 12:1, the events specifically concern “his people” (i.e. Daniel’s people, the Jews). These facts need to be realised by Gentile readers and teachers, as to try to see detail in the text of “End Time Events”, clearly goes against the specific instruction of the book! What is totally permissible is to be aware of changes in events, especially in the “Prophetic Area”, and in the Countries listed in Scripture which in prophecy relate to Israel and the Middle East; and particularly the Countries represented in the “image” of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Dan. 2.
Turning now to the specific prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel, (Dan. 9:21-27), and regarding the timing of events that had been shown to him. What is notable is the degree of certainty related in v.24, as to the objectives of Almighty God in all the prophecies given to Daniel; and in this list of priorities, which show the eventual triumph of God’s Plan of Salvation for mankind, and His rescue of aberrant Israel, (Zech. 12:10).
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 the prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy.
Here, great care is needed not to undervalue each of the elements of the above statement! It must be kept in mind that Almighty God is revealing His innermost motivation in His Plan to cleans the world (and all Creation) of the effect of Satan’s rebellion (see: Satan's Origins;) and although we are given in Scripture some knowledge as to the depths of Satan’s actions and their effects on human kind, and Heavenly Creation, we can only know a little of the task that God has undertaken in the Form of Christ Jesus! Also; as is shown in the 5th element, the vision and prophecy are “Sealed”; as stated to Daniel!
The comment has been made to the writers that God’s Plan seems to take too long to become effective. When it is understood that though God’s Plan and actions seem to us to be protracted here on Earth; it is a Plan of “Ultimate Love”, as opposed to quick and powerful annihilation of evil and Satan, (see: Ultimate Love). Also; as humans on Earth, we are subject to “time”, as we understand it which is a concept we cannot understand in the sense of The Godhead (Psm. 90:4 & 2Peter 3:8)! However; no matter how it is seen to humans, the outcome is as God’s Plan of vanquishing Satan and his evil! For us, it is a matter of faith in Him, as per the example of Daniel!
The statement by Gabriel to Daniel: “Seventy weeks (70 x 7 = 490 years) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city”; are clear statements; and are clearly linked to the Jews and to Jerusalem! That they are years and not days is clearly confirmed in Dan. 7:25 & Rev. 11:2-3! (These statements are also firm rebuttals to those people that teach that Israel has been cast away forever, (see: Replacement Theology (Spiritual Israel)?
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times”. (7weeks + 62weeks = 69 weeks [69 x 7 = 483 years]). This clearly leaves a remainder of 7 years.
The Companion Bible shows the 7 weeks (49 years), to be the duration of the rebuilding of the Temple (454 BC to 405 BC).
The 62 weeks (434 years), begun in 405 BC and ending in 29 AD, giving a total of 483 years; at the death of Messiah! (Dan. 9:26: “And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself:”
The 7 year remainder is emphasised above, because some recent teaching is that “more time is needed to accomplish the prophecies given”, especially in Chapter 11, up to v.20. Dr. Bullinger in the Companion Bible gives fulfilment to each of the prophecies from history, in each of the verses up to v.20; but from v.21 onwards ascribes to the yet future (at that time of his writing, AD 1912) and to the time of Antichrist and “the latter days” (Dan. 10:14); therefore the last “7” years of the 490 prophecy!
Critics of the Bible have tried to discredit the book of Daniel in the last 200 years “as written in part after the facts”, as the events of Chapter 11:1-20 have been so accurately fulfilled! However, they have dropped away, and the current attempt at “explanation” is as above!
It is the opinion of the writers that insufficient attention is given to the firm comments of the Holy Spirit in Daniel regarding the “Sealing, the latter days, the times of the end”, Dan. 12:4 etc. (see refs. above); which imply that only then will detailed clarity be possible regarding the events and timing; with the certain knowledge that the duration will be 7 years in total! This is confirmed in many parts of Scripture, and clearly in Dan. 9:27: “And he (the anti-Christ) shall confirm the Covenant (a Covenant) with many for one week” (7 years)!
Note 2016 & 2018:
It is considered by some sincere Christians, that “The Day of The Lord” (or the Lord’s Day); is not enacted on Earth until the start of the “Millennial” (Kingdom of God on Earth; as per the Lord’s Prayer). However; the writers opinion is that Rev. 1:10 (which refers to this event starting), is just prior to the exhortation to the “Churches” (Ekklesia); and importantly, Satan’s seat is already at Pergamum! Also; it is our opinion that the duration is probably 3½ years, not 7; as the first 3½ years of Daniel’s last seven will have already elapsed, in which Israel will have enjoyed “peace and security” (1Thess. 5:3; & Dan. 9:27), under the “man of sin”, from the signing of the peace accord of Daniel 9:27!
A further clue is that God’s Power for resisting Satan is again apparent, (as per the Acts period); which as Chapter one shows is via. Christ Jesus to those Jews (and perhaps Gentiles), who by faith actively call on His Name for empowerment!
The Charismatic Churches will object “that the Power has never stopped”. This is complete fallacy, and from Satan in our firm opinion! (See: Events of Pentecost; What is the Truth? (Discussion Document). and Charismatics; Rev. Chp. 1:11(a) and Charismatic Teachings:
The last seven years are discussed in www.revelationsmessage.co.uk, in many parts, but particularly in Revelation Chapters 12, 13 and 17. We make clear in the Front Page that those writings are meant as a study aid, not as absolute definition; and are meant to encourage personal study of Revelation/Scripture.
For the Christian (Christ-one), the example given by Daniel and his fidelity and faith in Jehovah God, are an inspiration. Daniel was so open and honest in the knowledge of his own human failings, and in the failure of Israel; which is sadly lacking in people today on Earth. However; any person on Earth today can be perfect in God’s sight seen through Christ Jesus because of the death Sacrifice of Christ Jesus Messiah; they only have to see their need of Him; and take Him on His Word; that person is then “saved” for all eternity; and immediately “sealed” (Eph. 1:13) in Heaven until the time of the completion of the Salvation Work of Christ Jesus; (John 3:16 & 6:37-40).
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