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The Messianic Time Table

Written by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

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  • Messiah would be present 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

  • Messiah would be legally executed.

  • Messiah’s death would result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple

  • Messiah’s birth and death, therefore, must both have happened prior to 70 C.E.

The Purpose of the Seventy Sevens – 9:24b


Next, Daniel was told by Gabriel that the Seventy Sevens are to accomplish six purposes. The first three are negative and undesirable elements which will be removed. The second three are positive and desirable elements to be effected.


The First Purpose is “to finish the transgression.” The Hebrew word translated “to finish” means “to restrain firmly,” “to restrain completely” or “to bring to completion.” The Hebrew word translated “transgression” is a very strong word for sin and more literally means “to rebel.” The Hebrew text uses this word with the definite article, so it is, literally, “the transgression,” or “the rebellion.” The point is that some specific act of rebellion or transgression is to come under complete control so that it will no longer flourish. Israel’s apostasy is now to be firmly restrained in keeping with a similar prediction in Isaiah 59:20. Specifically, this is the rejection of the Messiah as dealt with in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.


The Second Purpose of the Seventy Sevens is “to make an end of sin.” The Hebrew word translated “to make an end” literally means “to seal up” or “to shut up in prison.” It means “to be securely kept, locked up, not allowed to roam at random.” The Hebrew word translated as “sin” literally means “to miss the mark.” It refers to sins of daily life, rather than to any specific sin. Even these sins are to be put to an end and taken away. This, too, is quite in keeping with predictions by the Prophets who proclaim that in the Messianic Kingdom, sinning would cease form Israel (Isaiah 27:9; Ezekiel 36:25-27; 37:23; Jeremiah 31:31-34).


The Third Purpose is “to make atonement for iniquity.” The Hebrew word translated “to make atonement” Is kaphar, which has the same root meaning as the word kippur, as in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The third purpose, then, is to make atonement in some way for iniquity. In fact, it is by means of this atonement that the first two purposes will also be accomplished: that of finishing the transgression and making an end of sin. The word translated “iniquity” refers to inward sin. This has sometimes been referred to as the sin nature, or perhaps a more common term among Jewish people would be yetzer hara, “the evil inclination.”


The Fourth Purpose of the Seventy Sevens is “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” This could be more literally translated “to bring in an age of righteousness” since the Hebrew olam is better translated as “age” rather than as “everlasting.” This age of righteousness is to be the Messianic Kingdom spoken of in the Prophets (Isaiah 1:26; 11:2-5; 32:17 Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-18). It is this very age that Daniel had been expecting to see established after the 70 years of captivity, but now he is told that that will only be after the 490-year period of the Seventy Sevens.


The Fifth Purpose is “to seal up vision and prophecy.” Here, Daniel used a word which means “to shut up.” “To seal up” means to “cause a cessation” or “to completely fulfill.” Thus, vision and prophecy are to be completely fulfilled. “Vision” is a reference to oral prophecy, while “prophecy” refers to written prophecy. Both oral and written prophecy will cease with the final fulfillment of all revelations.


The Final Purpose of the Seventy Sevens is “to anoint the most holy place.” This is a reference to the Jewish Temple which is to be rebuilt when Messiah comes. It refers to the same Temple that Daniel’s contemporary Ezekiel , described in great detail (Ezekiel 40-48).

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