Daniels '70 weeks' prophecy made simple



Seventy weeks (70*7=490 yrs) are determined for your people and for your holy city …

Know therefore and understand,that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks … (69*7=483 yrs)

After the sixty-two weeks Messiah (Jesus) shall be cut off, but not for himself; and the people (Roman troops in ad 70) of the prince who is to come (Titus, a roman general and prince) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.

He (Messiah) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week (3½ yrs after his revealing) shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. (temple curtain torn) And on the wing of abominations (ongoing sacrifice an abomination) shall be one who makes desolate, (Titus destroys temple) even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. (judgement on Jerusalem)

Dan 9:24-27 (N.K.J.Version, bracketed notes added)


This is an interesting thread.


It created quite a bit of debate in the first few centuries. A number of the ‘Fathers’ wrote about it.

Do Catholics have much to say about Daniel’s prophecy these days?


I put this together for the Aquinas Study Bible. …



I like your commentary Copeland. I have a small issue with this tho.

The 62nd week marked the time period around when the high priests were being appointed illegally and the death of John Hyrcanus II around 31BC. The calculation does not start here exactly at the death of Hyrcanus, but in this time period, so an exact calculation would be around 22BC.

The 69th week brings us to the Baptism of Jesus around 27AD.

You put the “62 week” period in front of the “7 week” period, whereas the scripture places it the other way round? Is that how Theodoret of Cyrus places it?


Not so much about the prophesies, since it is considered apocalyptic rather than prophetic, but about the date of Daniel’s composition. It contains rather specific information about the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Seleucid king who oppressed Israel and banned Judaism under the penalty of death. He reigned from 173-164 BC. Thus, an increasing number - even a majority - of scholars now believe that Daniel was written about 165 BC, which discounts the alleged “Intertestamental period” and places Daniel squarely in the Deuterocanonical time frame. This will pose a growing problem for those who, for whatever reason, believe that God was mysteriously silent just before the Incarnation.

From the (disputed) Wiki (italics mine):

"Traditionally ascribed to Daniel himself, modern scholarly consensus considers the book pseudonymous, the stories of the first half legendary in origin, and the visions of the second the product of anonymous authors in the Maccabean period (2nd century BCE).[4] Its exclusion from the Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve) was probably because it appeared after the canon for those books had closed, and the dominant view among scholars is that Daniel is not in any case a prophetic book but an apocalypse.

Both Daniel and 2 Maccabees are the only Old Testament books that speak of a belief in the resurrection and eternal life. If Daniel was written at the time of the exile (587 BC), as formerly believed, would not the intervening prophets have had something to say on these two crucial subjects? As it is, the concepts of resurrection and eternal life appear shortly before Christ took flesh. This is not a coincidence.


Dan. ch.9 has a powerful atoning purpose and I am referring to verse Dan 9:24. It is the most comprehensive ‘atonement’ text in the Old Testament IMO. Basically it is saying that the Cross would achieve these six things:

*]First, it finished transgression for those who believe, so the demands of law do not have to be charged against them.
*] Second, it made an end of sins by removing the accumulated sin temporarily covered under the old covenant, as well as removing in advance sin committed under the new covenant.
*] Third, it reconciled us to God whose justice was satisfied by the propitiatory sacrifice of his Son.
*] Fourth, it enabled the righteousness of Christ to be credited to those that believe on him irrespective of the wrongs they may have done.
*] Fifth, it sealed the vision, authenticating Jesus as the One from God and his ministry as the fulfilment of the promise.
*] Sixth, it raised and anointed a new temple, the Church, holy to the Lord, not made by man’s hands.


Hi Copland. (Completely new to these forums!) Very interesting. Thanks. I wasn’t aware of that view of the seventy weeks.



Hi po18guy. (Nice quote re Bishop Fulton Sheen!)

I’m not sure it’s quite right to restrict resurrection beliefs to Daniel and Maccabees, is it? Job, Isaiah, and certain Psalmists also spring to mind–e.g.,

  • “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.” (cf. Job 19.25-26),

  • “Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.” (cf. Isa. 26.19),

  • “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” (cf. Psa. 17.15)

Maybe it’s true to say the resurrection plays a particularly role in Daniel though. I don’t know. Either way, I don’t personally buy into the 2nd century BC authorship claims which surround Daniel.



Sorry for any confusion I have caused. The only restriction I applied was to the specific use of the term “resurrection.” In the earlier writings (i.e. Job) it was described perhaps more nebulously (I find that prophecy is principle rather than precision), but the term “resurrection” narrows it down both conceptually and linguistically and is the term which Jesus “fleshed out”, so to speak.

But, as to the late date Daniel, do you not find it unusual that the author mentions the resurrection specifically, as does the author of 2 Maccabees - yet none of the minor prophets between them do? And, Daniel seems to have rather specific knowledge of the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes - which runs counter to typical prophecy.

I am not a big fan of “modern” biblical scholarship, as much of it seems to have run off the rails, in my opinion. However, the 70 weeks prophecy is not altered in its accuracy whether written early or late, as it supposes to be exilic in its time frame.


Hi there! Thanks for the reply.

Re the term “resurrection”, I’m not 100% sure what you mean. The Hebrew of 12.2 looks fairly standard to me. It simply says that “those who sleep” (using the standard verb for sleeping) will “awake” (using the standard verb for waking). That seems, if anything, less explicit than, say, Isa. 26.19 (“your dead shall live”).

As for the accuracy of Daniel’s visions of Antiochus, I agree that it’s unusual. But, when you think about it, there’s something unusual about most of the prophets. The accuracy of Isaiah’s prophecies of Christ’s suffering is unusual (cf. Isa. 53). Devoting eight chapters to a description of an unbuilt temple is unusual (cf. Ezek. 40-48). Being asked to marry a prostitute is unusual (cf. Hos. 1). Being swallowed by a whale is unusual (cf. Jon. 1-2). Seeing a vision of Satan is unusual (cf. Zech. 3). Every prophecy has his own unique features. At the end of the day, it seems easiest (to my mind at least) simply to accept at face value whatever revelations God has chosen to give us. If God can control the future, then revealing it to people isn’t so difficult. (If he can’t, then we’re in real trouble!)

I am not a big fan of “modern” biblical scholarship…

Glad to hear it! :slight_smile:

However, the 70 weeks prophecy is not altered in its accuracy whether written early or late…

No, I suppose not. I guess my concern is slightly different, namely, Can God’s word be trusted and understood by ‘normal people’ or not? The Book of Daniel looks, to all intents and purposes, to have been written by a 6th century Jewish exile named Daniel. And God’s people have taken precisely that view of it for well over 1,500 years. Did we really have to wait for critical scholarship to arise to find out the truth of the matter? And are we going to throw out everything which strikes us as unusual in Scripture in the end? Those are the issues which concern me, I think.

Thanks again for the reply,



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