70 Weeks Prophecy (Part 12) - How 70 AD Fits Into the 70 Weeks


5. How can the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD be included in the 70 weeks when it happened about 37 years after the chronological end of the 70th week in approximately 33 AD? A. There is one chronological difficulty in the 70 weeks prophecy. i. The Messiah was cut off during the 70th week after the 69th week (v. 26). a. He was cut off in the midst of the 70th week (v. 27). b. Christ was crucified in approximately 30 AD (depending on the exact year of the birth of Christ) (see comments on v. 25, pp. 21-22). c. Therefore, the end of the 70th week was approximately 33 AD. ii. 70 weeks were determined upon Jerusalem (v. 24). a. In other words, Jerusalem would come to an end within the 70 weeks (490 years). b. Therefore, it would appear that the prophecy is saying that Jerusalem would come to an end by about 33 AD. iii. The abomination of desolation happened in the 70th week (v. 27). a. The abomination of desolation was identified by Jesus as the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem (Mat 24:15-16 c/w Luk 21:20-21). b. This happened in 66-70 AD. c. This was 33-37 years after the 70th week ended chronologically. iv. God allowed Jerusalem with its temple to exist for 40 years after Christ pronounced its doom in the Olivet discourse in 30 AD (Mat 24; Mar 13; Luk 21). v. As we have seen, the sacrifice and oblation ceased in the midst of the 70th week when Christ died on the cross in 30 AD (v. 27). a. Therefore, it was all over legally for the temple and its sacrificial system in the midst of the week. b. From the time of Christ’s death the temple system of worship was defunct in the eyes of God. c. Yet the sacrificial system and the temple did not end experientially until 40 years later. B. There are no contradictions in the Bible. i. God's word is true (Joh 17:17), right (Psa 19:8), and pure (Pro 30:5). ii. The scripture cannot be broken (Joh 10:35). iii. Therefore, there must be an explanation for this alleged error. C. The solution i. There was a legal or decreed end of the Jewish nation and it's capital city, and there was an experiential end of it. a. The legal end of the Jewish nation happened at the end of the 70th week 3.5 years after the crucifixion of Christ in 33 AD. b. The experiential end of the nation happened in 70 AD. ii. There is scriptural precedent for legal vs. experiential ends (or beginnings). a. King Saul (i) Saul had legally ceased to be the king of Israel when he sinned against God (1Sa 13:14; 1Sa 15:26-28). (ii) But Saul continued to reign for the remainder of his 40 year reign (Act 13:21) before he actually ceased to be king at his death. (iii) Therefore, there was a decreed end and an experiential end of Saul's reign. b. King David (i) David legally became king when he was anointed by Samuel (1Sa 16:1 c/w 1Sa 16:13). (ii) But he did not actually begin to reign until Saul died years later (2Sa 2:4). c. Abraham (i) God decreed that He had made Abraham a father of many nations before he had even begat Isaac (Gen 17:5 c/w Rom 4:17). (ii) It would be generations later before many nations had actually descended from his loins. d. The Canaanites (i) The iniquity of the Amorites (Canaanites) was full and they were ripe for judgment when Israel first approached the borders of Canaan (Gen 15:16; Deut 1:19-22). (ii) However, there was a stay of execution by the space of 40 years against the Canaanites while Israel wandered in the wilderness because of their unbelief (Num 14:26-34). (iii) Nevertheless, the Canaanites were a doomed race during that 40-year reprieve so that God spoke of their judgment as accomplished before it was executed (Lev 18:24-28). (iv) Therefore, there was a decreed end of Canaan and an experiential end. e. The Old Covenant (i) The Old Covenant (the law of Moses) was legally abolished by the death of Christ which put the New Covenant into effect (Col 2:14; Eph 2:15; 2Co 3:13). (ii) But the temple and the priesthood remained intact and was used by Jews (Act 21:26) for almost 40 years afterward before it was actually destroyed in 70 AD. (iii) Therefore, there was a legal end of the Old Covenant, priesthood, and temple service; and there was also an experiential end of it nearly 40 years later. f. It may be said that it was legally over for Jerusalem and the temple by the end of Christ’s earthly ministry thus sealing up Daniel’s vision and prophecy in the 70th chronological week, but the experiential end would not come for another 40 years. D. Why did God give Israel the extra years? i. Jesus asked that His murderers would be forgiven as He died on the cross (Luk 23:34). a. It appears that God extended the day of their destruction so that some of His forgiven children would have time to hear the gospel, repent, and heed Jesus' warning to leave Jerusalem when they saw it surrounded by armies so they wouldn't be destroyed. b. Philip Mauro put it well. c. "The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks is manifestly an account, given beforehand, of the second period of the national existence of the Jewish people. They were to last as a nation only long enough to fulfil the Scriptures, and to accomplish the supreme purpose of God, in bringing forth the Messiah, and putting Him to death. The time allotted for this was 490 years. This being accomplished, God had no further use for Israel. His dealings thenceforth were to be with another people, that "holy nation" (1Pe 2:9), composed of all who believe the gospel, and who "receive" the One Who was rejected by "His own" (John 1:11-13). "Yet the predicted judgment did not immediately follow; for Christ prayed for His murderers in His dying hour, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lu. 23:34). In answer to that prayer the full probationary period of forty years (A. D. 30 to A. D. 70) was added to their national existence, during which time repentance and remission of sins was preached to them in the Name of the crucified and risen One, and tens of thousands of Jews were saved." (Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and The Great Tribulation, p. 77) d. The prolonging of Daniel’s vision gave opportunity to the elect Jews to repent of their sin of crucifying Christ (Act 3:17-19). (i) If those Jews repented, they could save themselves from the horrible judgment determined on their people and city (Act 2:40; Act 13:38-41). (ii) God has been known to delay His judgments so that His people have space to repent (2Pe 3:9, 15). ii. The experiential fulfillment of this vision was prolonged, but not beyond the bounds of the generation that crucified the Messiah (Mat 24:34). Therefore, there is no indeterminate gap of time inserted into the 70 weeks. iii. The prolonging of Daniel’s vision accommodated the prophesied 40-year period of “marvellous things” (miracles) prophesied in Mic 7:15. a. At the beginning of His public ministry, Christ began that prophesied 40-year period of miracles (Joh 2:11). b. These “marvellous things” would be according to the days of Israel’s coming out of Egypt, which was a period of 40 years (Act 7:36). (i) Israel physically, geographically departed from Egypt when they crossed the Red Sea. (ii) But it was not until Israel crossed Jordan into Canaan that the reproach of Egypt was rolled away from them (Jos 5:9). c. From 26 A.D. when Christ began His public ministry unto 70 A.D. is a period of 44 years which allows for the 40-year period of miracles. d. As the beginning of Israel’s national history was marked by a 40-year period of miracles, so the ending of their national history was marked by a 40-year period of miracles. e. Just as the beginning of the church under the Old Testament was marked by a 40-year period of miracles under the ministry of the prophet Moses, so the beginning of the church under the New Testament was marked by a 40-year period of miracles under the ministry of Christ, that Prophet like unto Moses (Act 7:35-37). E. "NOTE: A straightforward, logical reading of DAN 9:24-27 leaves unbelieving Jews without excuse. The destruction of the city and sanctuary and the desolating war (vs. 26-27) are plainly a prophecy of the devastation wrought by the armies of Rome under Titus in the latter part of the 1st Century. This is even acknowledged amongst the Jews. But Messiah the Prince clearly comes before Jerusalem's fall in 70 A.D., so looking for some other Messiah subsequent to that is utterly vain and the product of unbelief." (Pastor Tim Boffey) F. "In fact, this vision leaves all men without excuse for not believing in God, His word, and His Son. I close this section of the study with these sobering words of PSA 2:10 “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." (Pastor Ben Mott)
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