“Seventy weeks 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 place.”Daniel 9:24
The prophecy of 70 weeks revealed to Daniel is one of the most intriguing yet intimidating in all of Scripture. Like most prophetic passages, there is enough ambiguity to create room for interpretive diversity and yet enough clarity to bring some level of continuity. Over the next several posts, I will do my best to unpack and hopefully shed some light on this fascinating prophecy.
After Daniel humbled himself in prayer, confessed sin, and pleaded to God for mercy, the angelic messenger Gabriel was sent to give insight and understanding concerning the vision and prophecy. One of the first keys to understanding the meaning of the 70 weeks is found in Daniel’s own words. Let’s take a closer look.
“While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.”Daniel 9:20-21
To my detriment, I have read past this critical detail so many times. Daniel’s plea and prayer specifically was “for the holy hill of my God,” which means that the historical context and future fulfillment of the 70 weeks pertains to God’s holy hill.
So what exactly is God’s holy hill?
Zion –The Holy Mountain of God
Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.Psalm 48:1-2
Daniel is speaking, of course, of ZION — God’s holy hill — His holy mountain and desired dwelling place for all time.
The Bible is comprehensive in it’s distinction of Zion as the holy mountain of the LORD our God. Yahweh has chosen one unique plot of real estate on earth to be His dwelling place forever [see also Psalm 132:13-14]. Israel is the epicenter of the earth. Jerusalem is the epicenter of Israel. Zion is the epicenter of Jerusalem. And the universal throne of Jesus Christ is the epicenter of Zion.
Zion is connected to the most significant events in human history. Let’s recall how important this mountain in Jerusalem truly is.
- Zion is where Abraham offered his beloved son, Isaac, in faith before the LORD intervened and provided a substitute. [Genesis 22]
- Zion is the mountain that David captured and claimed for Yahweh as the capital city of Israel and the royal throne of the king of Israel. [2 Samuel 5]
- Zion is the site of the threshing floor that David purchased from the Jebusite Ornan to stop the plague sent by the Angel of the LORD. [1 Chronicles 21]
- Zion is where Solomon built the Temple of Yahweh. [1 Kings 8]
- Zion is where our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified as the perfect sacrifice for sin.
- Zion is where the Lord Jesus was buried and on the third day was raised from the dead.
- Zion will be ground zero on the Day of the LORD when Christ comes to judge His enemies and take His place on His throne to rule forever as King of kings.
As you can see, Zion has been set apart by the LORD for His eternal purposes, and Daniel of all people understood this.
With that in mind, everything that pertains to the vision of 70 weeks revolves around God’s holy mountain — the city of our God! Gabriel revealed six purposes that will be fulfilled within these 70 weeks of years [70 x 7 years] = 490 total years.
1. to finish the transgression
2. to make an end of sin
3. to make atonement for iniquity
4. to bring in everlasting righteousness 5. to seal up vision and prophecy
6. to anoint the most holy place
These were fulfilled in part at the first coming of Jesus, but they will not be ultimately fulfilled until Christ returns to strike down His enemies, crush Satan, save His people and establish His kingdom.
Next time we will take these in order to gain a better understanding of the 70 weeks of Daniel’s vision.