Seventy Weeks = One Unit

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    Seventy Weeks = 490 Years = One Unit of Time

    There. I made that the title of this piece because that is my main point. All the rest is proof and commentary. It goes against both common sense and Scriptural usage to imagine that there are one or two gaps within this period of 70 weeks. I hate to admit that, earlier on, I have taught both variants. It was because I valued the authority of men over the Word of God. It is against common sens...
    This article is updated from two years ago.
    70 Weeks = 490 Years = One Unit of Time


    There. I made that the title of this piece because that is my main point. All the rest is proof and commentary.

    It goes against both common sense and Scriptural usage to imagine that there are one or two gaps within this period of 70 weeks. I hate to admit that, earlier on, I have taught both variants. It was because I valued the authority of men over the Word of God.

    It is against common sense.
    It is ironic that we have to argue for common sense on this very point of imagined gaps in the 70 weeks, because those who hold for gaps, for the most part, also hold very strongly to Cooper’s dictum “If the plain sense makes sense seek no other sense”. Dispensationalists run that flag up everywhere in Scripture, almost … except here. Where in our lives would we have something like this? If we join the military for four years are we going to fear that there will be a gap somewhere in there? If a criminal is sentenced to twenty years is he released in nineteen and kept in suspense as to when his twentieth starts? No. This would be nonsense.

    It would be Scriptural nonsense as well.

    It is against Scriptural usage.
    Has there ever been a gap before in stated periods of time in the Old Testament? No.

    An interesting fact emerges in a study on the periods of forty units in the Bible:

    There are thirteen “forty year” passages: Deut 8:2; Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28; 13:1; 1 Sam. 4:18; 2 Sam 5:4; 1 Kings 11:42; 2 Chron. 24:1; Ezek. 29:11; Acts 7:23, 30; 13:21.

    There are also thirteen “forty day” passages: Gen. 7:4, 12; 50:3; Ex. 24:18; 34:28; Num. 13:25; Deut. 9:18, 25; 1 Sam. 17:16; 1 Kings 19:8; Ezek. 4:6; Matt. 4:2; Acts 1:3.

    In none of these twenty-six passages can there be found a gap.

    Then why would their be one even imagined in the seventy week passage before us? The answer is an historical one. It became the ancient expedient of those first-century Jews, having disowned their Messiah, to find some interpretation for those Messianic passages like Daniel 9:24 – 27. Still manifesting respect for their sacred writings, they took one of three routes.

    Some, like (Rabbi Jonathan) took the “only-God-knows” tack, even writing that it is a sin for the faithful are not to even look into these things. He wrote, “Let their bones rot who compute the time of the end”. These are the same ones – and for the same reason – who mark off Isaiah 53 as being unreadable. Many modern versions of the Torah do not have this chapter of Isaiah in their Haftaroth section, though they have almost every other chapter.

    There are others, just like their liberal counterparts in Christendom, who either reduce the prophecy into vague or undefined metaphor or deny it altogether.

    The first group frees them selves from both the burden of proof and the evidence of history. The passage can mean anything then. And if it can mean anything, then it actually means nothing; all connection is lost. The second group, those who deny altogether, merely close their eyes to the problem; or point to the past as fulfillment. Belonging in this category is a Rabbi Hillel (not the famous earlier one) who blandly asserted, “A Messiah shall not be given unto Israel: for they enjoyed Him in the days of Hezekiah.”, slanting Isaiah 9:6-7 for this purpose. But some are too orthodox for this, at the least. They cherish a residue of respect for the sacred writings of the past. They have enough faith to believe what God did in the past, but not enough to believe that God came in the flesh in their time. Or, having met Christ or His message, they couldn’t accept a God in such a humiliating form. But they still believe in Messiah-to-come. But what to do? The timetable has run out (according to Daniel 9) and Messiah hasn’t arrived. Aha! There must have been a gap. And, strangely enough, this same expedient – though for different reasons – has been taken up by some 19th century Christians.

    The Seventy week prophetical period is based on the earlier seventy years of Jewish Captivity, Dan. 9:2, 24. Was there a gap in the captivity? If not, then why should there be one in the period based on it? We Christians merely assumed there is a gap because those whom we trusted kept telling us that there was one! It’s that simple. When we make the determined transition from “my preacher says” to “the Bible says” then we can really start to grow in understanding, paying much closer attention to what God’s Spirit has put in His Book.


    Why is this Important?

    Because Christ is all-important. More important than the Jews. More important than Antichrist. Without repeating everything I wrote in the other article (Six Promises of Christ to His People) I will just say that it takes away from the Christ-emphasis. The Seventy weeks passage is a prophecy for the people of God (first believing Jews, now believing Jews and Gentiles), It is not a prediction of some future events that will take down what Christ has done once for all. There will be no more sacrifices, no more priesthood, no more temple, no more holy places (John 4:24) – that has any importance in the eyes of God. That was all finished up in Christ. The true temple is the church of God, a spiritual temple. The true sacrifice, based on the Lamb’s once-for-all sacrifice, is Christ’s ministering to us as High Priest on our behalf, Heb. 8:1- 2; 10:21.
     
    #1 asterisktom, Dec 12, 2009
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  2. Winman

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    I don't agree with you. The scriptures themselves show the 70 weeks divided into three seperate divisions, 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week.

    Dan 9:24 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 prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
    25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to 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.
    26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.


    It doesn't matter if other times were divided or not, the scriptures clearly show the 70 weeks divided into three distinct periods.
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Thanks Tom. The above paragraph is well said. I thank God that I was spared contact with the Scofield Bible and it's false doctrine when I was first saved.
     
  4. asterisktom

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    Yes, of course, three different periods. The division into 7, 62 and 1 weeks is there for a reason. Each period has distinct purpose. But that was not my point. My point was that the whole period is also one unit - 70 weeks. Indivisible. And there is a purpose in that too.
     
  5. asterisktom

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    Thanks! I am glad you were spared that too. Come to think of it, I was too. The first study bible I latched on to was the Thompson Chain Reference, not totally correct in some of the notes, but clearly superior to SB, I would say.

    Later I did come across a SB that I did use some times, but I never quite took to it, praise God.
     
  6. Winman

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    Jesus himself showed that the final week was future.

    Matt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

    Jesus's disciples asked of his second coming and when the end of the world would be, and Jesus spoke of the abomination of desolation shown in Daniel when he answered them.

    Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
    15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand: )
    16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
    17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
    18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
    19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
    20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
    21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.


    Jesus clearly showed the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel is future.
     
  7. asterisktom

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    Yes He did show that. He showed in AD 30 that it was future. But it happened in that generation. At any rate, this abomination of desolation was not stated as being part of the 70 weeks, but afterwards. Please read the passage in Daniel again.

    Also, concerning your first comment, the disciples asked about the end of the AIWN ("age", not "world"). This happened, likewise, in the first century. Paul (1 Cor. 10:11) speaks of Christians as those "[o]n whom the ends of the ages [same word] are come". The Jewish disciples were concerned about the end of the Jewish age, Paul was speaking in the plural because he was writing to both Jews and Gentiles: Both those ages were swallowed up in the church age.
     
  8. Winman

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    Gotta disagree with you there. Yes, I am sure the destruction of Jerusalem was a terrible time, but I hardly think it could be considered the greatest tribulation since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be as Jesus spoke.

    Matt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

    More Jews were killed in WWII than in the destruction of Jerusalem, and even that will not compare the the great tribulation to come.

    In Daniel 9 he speaks of a flood. I believe this to mean an army, that will come against Jerusalem. This is also shown in Revelations.

    Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
    16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
    17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


    By the way, when John wrote this, Jerusalem had already been destroyed earlier.
     
    #8 Winman, Dec 12, 2009
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  9. Robert Snow

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    You have no proof of this. Revelation could well have been written during the reign of Nero during the AD 60's.
     
  10. kyredneck

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    Hello Winman. I encourage you to explore the preterist view some, 'think outside of the box', and consider 'other than popular' input in the area of eschatology.

    Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown concerning the place and time of writing of Revelations (take note of the possible allusions to the book of Revelations in other books of the NT):

    “........The following arguments favor an earlier date, namely, under Nero: (1) Eusebius [Demonstration of the Gospel] unites in the same sentence John's banishment with the stoning of James and the beheading of Paul, which were under Nero. (2) Clement of Alexandria's'S story of the robber reclaimed by John, after he had pursued, and with difficulty overtaken him, accords better with John then being a younger man than under Domitian, when he was one hundred years old. Arethas, in the sixth century, applies the sixth seal to the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), adding that the Apocalypse was written before that event. So the Syriac version states he was banished by Nero the Cæsar. Laodicea was overthrown by an earthquake (A.D. 60) but was immediately rebuilt, so that its being called "rich and increased with goods" is not incompatible with this book having been written under the Neronian persecution (A.D. 64). But the possible allusions to it in Heb 10:37; compare Re 1:4, 8; 4:8; 22:12; Heb 11:10; compare Re 21:14; Heb 12:22, 23; compare Re 14:1; Heb 8:1, 2; compare Re 11:19; 15:5; 21:3; Heb 4:12; compare Re 1:16; 2:12, 16; 19:13, 15; Heb 4:9; compare Re 20:1-15; also 1Pe 1:7, 13; 4:13, with Re 1:1; 1Pe 2:9 with Re 5:10; 2Ti 4:8, with Re 2:26, 27; 3:21; 11:18; Eph 6:12, with Re 12:7-12; Php 4:3, with Re 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; Col 1:18, with Re 1:5; 1Co 15:52, with Re 10:7; 11:15-18, make a date before the destruction of Laodicea possible. Cerinthus is stated to have died before John; as then he borrowed much in his Pseudo-Apocalypse from John's, it is likely the latter was at an earlier date than Domitian's reign. See Tilloch's Introduction to Apocalypse. But the Pauline benediction (Re 1:4) implies it was written after Paul's death under Nero……..”
     
    #10 kyredneck, Dec 13, 2009
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  11. asterisktom

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    I'm going to have to stick a fork in this one and call it "done". I just don't have time to get into all these details - though there are answers for all of them. What is being lost sight of I the original points I made:

    1. The 70 weeks are one unit - no gaps in time. Scripture never gives us an example of this. The Talmudic scholars of the 1st century AD resorted to this Scripture-wrenching expedient of introducing a gap when they couldn't face the inexorable math that led them to their unacknowledged, rejected, and hated Messiah - Christ. Modern Dispensationalists followed in their footsteps (as far as the gap-adding was concerned),

    2. The overflooding and abomination (Daniel 9, Matt. 24, Rev.) was after the 70 weeks. It was a consequence of it - but it was not part of the 70 weeks.

    To overlook these things and chase off into lesser details is to needlessly complicate the straightforward and - what is worse - to take away from the work of Christ and the graciousness of our New Covenant.
     
  12. kyredneck

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    For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah; but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor`s hand, and into the hand of his king; and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. Zech 11:6

    then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation. Mt 12:45


    Winman, you and others really, really, need to read Josephus. It's a good read, not boring at all, and you'll learn sooooooo much......... What I've posted here is just 'the tip of the iceburg'. What an 'eye opener' Josephus is. :)

    Concerning Matt 24:21: 'For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.'

    Excerpts from Josephus, 'Wars of the Jews':

    “.....I Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].....”

    “WHEREAS the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; ..........” Preface; sec.1

    “.....Yet shall I suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentations upon the miseries undergone by my own country. For that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple, Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, during the entire war, pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authors have opportunity for repentance. But if any one makes an unjust accusation against us, when we speak so passionately about the tyrants, or the robbers, or sorely bewail the misfortunes of our country, let him indulge my affections herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history; because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly, it appears to me that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews are not so considerable as they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners neither. This makes it impossible for me to contain my lamentations. But if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations to the writer himself only.....” Preface, sec. 4

    “....I saw the things done, or suffered in them. For I shall not conceal any of the calamities I myself endured, since I shall relate them to such as know the truth of them....” Preface, sec. 8

    “....the affairs of the Jews became very tumultuous; as also how the tyrants rose up against them, and fell into dissensions among themselves.” Preface, sec. 9

    “....the barbarity of the tyrants towards the people of their own nation, as well as the indulgence of the Romans in sparing foreigners; and how often Titus, out of his desire to preserve the city and the temple, invited the seditious to come to terms of accommodation....the sufferings of the people, and their calamities; how far they were afflicted by the sedition, and how far by the famine, and at length were taken. Nor shall I omit to mention the misfortunes of the deserters, nor the punishments inflicted on the captives; as also how the temple was burnt, against the consent of Caesar; and how many sacred things that had been laid up in the temple were snatched out of the fire; the destruction also of the entire city, with the signs and wonders that went before it; and the taking the tyrants captives, and the multitude of those that were made slaves, and into what different misfortunes they were every one distributed.” Preface, sec. 11

    “...I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and have left no occasion for complaint or accusation to such as have been acquainted with this war; and I have written it down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those that please themselves [with fictitious relations]. Preface, sec. 12

    “It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: - That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world.....” Book 5, ch 10, sec. 5

    “....the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Accordingly, the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world; for, to speak only of what was publicly known, the Romans slew some of them, some they carried captives, and others they made a search for under ground, and when they found where they were, they broke up the ground and slew all they met with.....” Book 6, ch. 9. sec. 4

    Concerning Luke 21:22; 'For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.'

    “....and I cannot but think that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge his sanctuary by fire, that he cut off these their great defenders and well-wishers, while those that a little before had worn the sacred garments, and had presided over the public worship; and had been esteemed venerable by those that dwelt on the whole habitable earth when they came into our city, were cast out naked, and seen to be the food of dogs and wild beasts. And I cannot but imagine that virtue itself groaned at these men's case, and lamented that she was here so terribly conquered by wickedness.....” Book 4, ch. 5, sec. 2

    “....Wherefore I cannot but suppose that God is fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the side of those against whom you fight....” Book 5, ch. 9, sec. 4

    “...But in reality it was God who condemned the whole nation, and turned every course that was taken for their preservation to their destruction.....” Book 5, ch. 13, sec. 5

    “.. I suppose, that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, that the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom (20) perished by, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed....” Book 5, ch. 13, sec. 6

    “.... For they [the prophets] foretold that this city should be then taken when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own countrymen. And are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God, therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, (8) and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions." Book 6, ch.2, sec. 1

    “.... it was fate that decreed it so to be, which is inevitable, both as to living creatures, and as to works and places also. However, one cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were now observed, as I said before, wherein the holy house was burnt formerly by the Babylonians.....” Book 6, ch. 4, sec. 8

    “ Now when Titus was come into this [upper] city, he admired not only some other places of strength in it, but particularly those strong towers which the tyrants in their mad conduct had relinquished; for when he saw their solid altitude, and the largeness of their several stones, and the exactness of their joints, as also how great was their breadth, and how extensive their length, he expressed himself after the manner following: "We have certainly had God for our assistant in this war, and it was no other than God who ejected the Jews out of these fortifications; for what could the hands of men or any machines do towards overthrowing these towers?........" Book 6, ch. 9, sec. 1
     
    #12 kyredneck, Dec 13, 2009
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