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How does Daniel's 70th week correspond to Revelation?
A Series on Daniel's Prophecy of Seventy Sevens: Part 5

A Series on Daniel's Prophecy
of Seventy Sevens

Because of their figurative speech, prophetic literature poses great difficulty in interpreting the observed text. Eschatology is particular well known for this, and attempting to apply an objective and rigorous hermeneutic methodology could be an exercise in futility. Nonetheless this article will make an attempt to contribute to the public discourse and debate into the interpretation of God's judgment at the end of human history.

Daniel's 70th week prophecy is the only biblical passage that provides the sense of a schedule in God's plan:

24) "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25) So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26) Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27) And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate." (Dan 9:24-27)

For an in depth look into the above passage, see the articles: Of Sevens and Weeks, Seven and Sixty Two Weeks, and Seventy Weeks.

From Daniel's 70th week prophecy, the following can be summarized:

1. A total of 70 weeks was allotted God's people and Jerusalem to a) to finish the transgression, b) to make an end of sin, c) to make atonement for iniquity, d) to bring in everlasting righteousness, e) to seal up vision and prophecy, and f) to anoint the most holy place.

2. Restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem will take the first 7 weeks.

3. Messiah the Prince will come but will be "cut off and have nothing" after 62 weeks.

4. While the 7 weeks period appears continuous with the following 62 weeks, the 70th week is not identified and appears to be discontinuous with the previous 69 weeks (7+62=69 weeks). Furthermore, there is no historical evidence that the complete cessation of transgression, sin, and iniquity has occurred since Jesus Christ's resurrection and ascension.

5. While Daniel's account does not identify the "one who makes desolate," Jesus Christ identifies him as the "abomination of desolation" who stands in the holy place (Matt 24:15-16; Mark 13:14). The apostle Paul describes him as, "the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God" (2 Thes 2:3-4).

With a careful and objective approach, it may be possible to read Revelation as a chronological narrative as the apostle John witnessed the events sequentially unfold. However, after John eats the "little scroll" (Rev 10:1-11), the second and third interludes are the only sections in Revelation that appear discontinuous.

In the second interlude, the Two Witnesses (Rev 11:1-12) are introduced after the sixth seal with John giving a historical view of their past activities that apparently took place before the sixth seal (presuming that the Two Witnesses were murdered by the fallen angel king of the abyss (Rev 11:7), who was released in the fifth seal).

To learn more about the second interlude, see the article: The Strong Angel's Little Scroll.

In the third interlude, where several personal beings and events are revealed (Rev 12:113:18), John sees the birth of "a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron" (Rev 12:5). Symbolically representing the birth of Jesus Christ, this narrative's event occurs significantly before the breaking of the first seal.

To learn more about the third interlude, see the article: The Beasts.


I. When does Daniel's 70th week, the seven years period of the end times, begin within the context of Revelation?

1. Because of its record of time, the third interlude is a good place to start to possibly determine how Revelation correlates with Daniel's 70th week.

Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." (Rev 11:2-3)

In John's account, the following observations can be made: a) Gentiles are in the outer court of the Temple and in Jerusalem for the same amount of time as the Two Witnesses, b) while in Herod's Temple, the second temple, the outer court is for the Gentiles,"tread under foot" is to "treat with insult and contempt," c) in this environment, the Two Witnesses are authorized to speak forth God's word, and d) the Temple has not been desecrated.

Do the Two Witnesses serve God in Jerusalem? This appears to be the implication as they are murdered in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified (Rev 11:7-8).

2. Daniel's account indicates that the 70th week begins with the Antichrist making a covenant of some type; but, after 3-1/2 years, he will desecrate the Temple (which Jesus Christ is more explicit):

And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate. (Dan 9:27)

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. (Matt 24:15-16)

But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14)

When examining what Jesus states as the unholy act of the Antichrist, is it possible that the Antichrist's covenant was to preserve the Temple for worship?

3. When the apostle Paul prepares the church of the Thessalonians for the second coming of Jesus Christ, he mentions that "apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed" (2 Thes 2:3-4).

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thes 2:3-4)

4. When His disciples asked when the Temple will be completely destroyed, Jesus' answer was a prelude to His second coming. And because Jesus' answer was in the context of His second coming, He was not referring to the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. that occurred shortly later.

When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately." Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luke 21:9-27)

Jesus' prophesy appears to correspond to the events of the first four seals (Rev 6:1-8): Seal 1) People and nations go out to conquer each other, Seal 2) Killing, murder and death, Seal 3) Famine and food inflation, and Seal 4) 25% of the world's population dies by murder, starvation, disease and wild animals. In addition to this prelude, apostasy is implied with the warning of tribulation – persecution of a Believer's faith.

In light of the above data, there is a good possibility that Daniel's 70th week begins with Jesus' breaking of the first seal (Rev 6:1).


II. When is the midpoint of Daniel's 70th week, 3-1/2 years into the end times, within the context of Revelation?

1. The midpoint appears to be around the fifth seal when John sees "the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained" (Rev 6:9-11). There are two primary pieces of evidence that indicate this:

a) Jesus points out that the Great Tribulation begins when the "abomination of desolation standing in the holy place."

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matt 24:15-21)

b) After the sixth seal is broken and while the 144,000 bond servants of God are being sealed, John sees the saints who died during the Great Tribulation; the Great Tribulation was occurring by this time.

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:13-14)

2. Both Daniel and John indicate that the Antichrist was given the "authority to act" for 3-1/2 years to stop worship in the Temple, make war with the saints and overcome them. It is worthwhile to note that Satan gave the Antichrist his power, throne and great authority (Rev 13:2); nowhere else in the Bible is Satan portrayed as the one who gives "power (including supernatural – Rev 13:3-4), a throne, and great authority!"

And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate." (Dan 9:27)

There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Rev 13:5-8)

3. When John sees the multitude of Great Tribulation saints, it does appear to mean that the Great Tribulation was over. The 144,000 sealed bond servants have just started their ministry, and the Two Witnesses are still alive.

When the Two Witnesses arrive, they appear to have supernatural abilities to: a) defend themselves with fire, b) prevent rain from occurring, c) turn water into blood, and d) afflict the world with disease.

And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. (Rev 11:5-6)

Possessing formidable supernatural abilities, the Two Witnesses appear to have been murdered by a supernatural being. The only "beast" mentioned in Revelation that comes out of the abyss is the fallen evil angel king Abaddon who was released by the angel of the fifth trumpet (Rev 9:1-11).

When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (Rev 11:7-10)

If true, then the 3-1/2 service of the Two Witnesses ended after the 5th trumpet.

4. Another piece of evidence that supports the view that the Two Witnesses died after the 5th trumpet is that when the 6th trumpet sounds, four bound angels are released to kill 1/3 of mankind, and "the rest of mankind remaining on earth were unrepentant" (Rev 9:13-21).

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Rev 9:20-21).

5. Lastly, while the ministry of the Two Witnesses and the reign of the Antichrist are both 3-1/2 years, they do not appear to run consecutively to equal Daniel’s 70th week of 7 years. The data indicates that the Antichrist started his reign around the fifth seal and the Two Witnesses were murdered after the 5th trumpet. This overlap implies that the Two Witnesses started their ministry after the start of Daniel’s 70th week.


III. When is the end of Daniel's 70th week within the context of Revelation?

Well after His resurrection, the meaning behind Jesus' words, "all judgment has been given to the Son" (John 5:22) becomes clearer at His Second Coming (Rev 19:11-16), after the last bowl of God's wrath has been poured and prior to the Millennial Kingdom (Rev 20:1-3). Jesus Christ's role in judgment is significant; the beast and false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire, and this is the first time that He is recorded as carrying out a judgment of death upon human beings who are physically alive.

And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Rev 19:20-21)

Because there is no description of the battle of Armageddon, John implies that the battle is quick and complete. So decisive was the military victory that the Antichrist and False Prophet were seized without having any time to escape and were justly destroyed.

In view of God's wrath being final (Rev 15:1) and the angel standing in the sun calling upon the birds to feed upon "the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great" (Rev 19:21), it appears that all of humanity left on earth is destroyed.

This would conclude Daniel's 70th week that was decreed for God's people and Jerusalem (Dan 9:24).

"If all who believe in Christ will read the Scriptures in prayerful meditation and incorporate its teaching into their lives, they will not only be drawn closer to Christ, but to one another."

Augustin Bea (1963)



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Series: Daniel's Prophecy of Seventy Sevens
Part 1: What Year Is This?

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Series: Daniel's Prophecy of Seventy Sevens
Part 4: Seventy Weeks


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Topical Index: Eschatology: The End Times and End of Human History>Apocalyptic Prophecies


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