Adventures in Eschatology: Daniel’s 70th Week Pt.2

with one comment

jewish-templeDispensational Side

This Daniel: Harold Paisley

I began my study with some commentaries from the dispensational camp. My first reading was from a man by the name of Harold Paisley entitled “This Daniel”. Mr. Paisley is an able commentator who’se commentary on Daniel is very easy to follow. Harold Paisley’s “This Daniel” was the second book I ever bought since ironically I was into prophecy during the first days of my conversion but for some reason I had lost interest. Let’s take a look at some of the points Mr. Paisley brought out in his small volume.

He begins this section by mentionning that Darius was the same man who threw Daniel into the lion’s den. The first year of Darius marked the end of the 70 weeks of captivity. Paisley sees much like most commentators that this is speaking of the nearing of the restoration in their own land. Mr. Paisley also sees this as a finishing of the prophecy of Jeremiahs 25 & 29


Mr. Paisley’s argument is that vs. 24-27 are about the unfolding of the future of Israel hence for the most part these events are all future. He stresses the importance of these passages to the point where he states that “any leader who has a wrong conception of these verses will be astray in his ministry of eschatology”. As you can see, dispensational pre-millennialism banks much on this particular passage. Paisley sees in these passages (vs.24-27) seven personages; mainly:

  • Artexerxes: Who gave the commandment to restore & rebuild (Nehemiah 2:1)
  • Messiah the prince: The Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 21:15)
  • Titus the Roman: he who destroyed the city in AD 70
  • The coming prince: the little horn of chapter 7, head of the Roman Empire.
  • The false prophet: He is the one who is in cahoots with the coming prince and confirms the covenant to protect Israel in the future. He is teh ruler over the land of the antichrist. (John 5:43; Rev. 13:11-12)
  • The Desolator (JND): The last king of the north in chapter 8
  • The King of Kings: Christ in His glorious return.

Mr. Paisley continues by arguing that all the “events” of v.24 are accomplished during the 70 weeks in the future for Israel. He states that these events or “blessings” are at the end of the 70 weeks when Israel will truly repent and receive the blessings of the sacrifice of Christ. The phrase “bringing everlasting righteousness” (NASB) is a reference to the one thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. The last two “events” are accredited to give substance to the vision and Daniel as a prophet. The “anointing of the holy place” is the anointing of the holy of holies in the millennial temple, literally rebuilt in Jerusalem.

Mr. Paisley sees an importance in dividing the “weeks” properly to which we would agree in its significance.  70 weeks would refer to “seventy heptads” or “sevens” He would argue that the seventy sevens refers to 490 years followed by 434 years (62 weeks) and one week of seven years. His main argument is that 69 weeks have already occurred and the 70th week is still in the future.

The command to rebuild, argues Mr. Paisley, took place in 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1) by Artaxerxes. This is quite a different position than the partial-preterist takes. He sees the 434 years pointing to the presentation of the Messiah to Israel and their rejecting Him in the first coming. He then states that following the death of the Messiah, the city & sanctuary  are destroyed during the Roman siege in A.D. 70 which is the 69th week. He sees a very large gap between the 69th and 70th week. This is generally where the preterist critiques the dispenstationalists consistency in arguing for a literal interpretation since it is stated that the text doesn’t allow for a gap. This “time” is when the Jews would be scattered and troubled.

Mr. Paisley would argue that “the prince” is the head of the revived Roman army. He comes to power in the middle of the week (argues from Daniel 7) The covenant in v.27 is between “the prince” and “Israel” but not with all Jews (the many). These are made up of 10 Kingdom confederacy in his opinion. The covenant itself is for the protection from the king of the north & south hence it is not the New Covenant in question here. The one who comes , the “desolator”, invades Israel and He is the last king of the north, mainly the Assyrian.

I felt that this was a good presentation of the dispensational position and coincided with most commentators except for maybe a few points.  As could be seen, for the most part, the events of Daniel 9 are still future and will be accomplished in the rise of the beast, a covenant between Israel and the anti-Christ, the rebuilding of the temple and God’s final dealings with ethnic Isreal.


ironsideH.A. Ironside

I decided to offer a second commentary from the dispensational side simply to solidify what was already said by Mr. Paisley. Mr. Ironside (further known as HAI) was a well known and respected dispensationalist hence I feel is a good witness in interpretating this side of the debate. HAI, much like Mr. Paisley, sees the importance of the prophecy of the 70th week. He states “if the seventy weeks are misunderstood, then an effort must be made to bend all the other prophetic scriptures into accord with that misrepresentation. (P.111) There is no question in his mind and most dispensationalist that this text is key.

He argues that seventy weeks = seventy years to which all these things are linked to Israel. He states that heptad is a generic term such as dozen. HAI argues that the seventy weeks are only running on while there is a remnant acknowledged by God (p.116). He argues that the cycle of seventy weeks is divided into three parts:

  • Seven sevens (49 years): The time when the walls and city were rebuilt
  • Sixty-two sevens (434 years): This is the time before the Messiah is cut-off
  • Seven Sevens (49 years): yet to be fulfilled and will only be when there is a remnant in Judah.

Much like Mr. Paisley, he sees that a time was nearing its end since the 490 years had come to a close in the Babylonian Captivity. HAI sees the events of v.24 as not yet been accomplished. In other words, the 2nd 49 years has not been accomplished. He argues that the command to restore and build is in Nehemiah 2:1 hence it happened in 445 B.C. and denies the command was given in Ezra 1 in the days of Cyrus because it was only the rebuilding of the house of God at Jerusalem, the temple of Zerubbabel. He states that this has to be Artaxerxes. Once again, this is a main point of contention in the debate.

HAI argues that there is not really a chronological order in the 490 years but simply three series. The 62 weeks follow the completion of the seven weeks. Chronologically, it should follow as:

7 weeks →62 weeks →1 week = 70 weeks

Time, times and half times is what we see in Daniel 7:25 & 12:7he states which is found in the book of Revelation. HAI sees this in comparing the seven times when Nebuchadnezzar was driven out which is basically represented by 3 ½ years. He sees that at the end of the 69th week, the Messiah was cut-off. He argues that everything was “ticking out the years one after another in fulfillment”. In other words everything was playing out consecutively and consistently until that time. After the death of the Lord, the clock stopped and has not began again since that day.

HAI sees the prince in v.26 as “that dreadful character yet to arrive on the scene..he is emphatically the beast of revelation ch.13:1 and 17:3” (P118) The beast or the prince is the one who makes a covenant with the many. HAI sees the 70th week beginning when the Jews are restored to their land and city hence in the future. The prince, in the middle of the week (3 ½ years) will violate the covenant and the sacrifice &offerings will cease. He and Paisley disagree on this point since Paisley didn’t really see the beast breaking his covenant. After this, the great tribulation will begin for 1260 days.

HAI states that the interpretation that the prince who shall come who confirms the covenant is the Lord Jesus as something that is peculiar. They argue that the Lord Jesus never confirmed a covenant for 7 years. He argues that even though the blood of Christ is called “the blood of the everlasting covenant”, it still is not a covenant for one week of years.

Also, In the Q & A section at the end of the book, it is argues that the great tribulation is at the last half of the final week.

Now, let’s move on to the partial-preterist side of the tibor to see the differences in interpretation.


Written by shawnkjmcgrath

September 5, 2009 at 8:26 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Nice article!!!

    I remember a professor at a church college many years ago made a statement: that to keep doctrine straight – one must START with the most complete revelation of any subject. Build the main points of doctrine there, and then fill in missing points with the minor scriptures on that subject. I think this is wisdom. For the end times, the MAJOR scripture would of course be the book of Revelation. If one starts there and builds doctrine there first, (of course it must be understood!!) the 70th week is clearly laid out: with the 7th seal offically starting both the day of the Lord and the 70th week, the 7th trumpet clearly marking the exact midpoint, and the 7th vial marked the end of the 70th week. (The Day of the Lord continues on.)

    It is interesting that John is not introduced to the beast, and does not introduce us to the beast, until the 13th chapter. If one truly understands John’s chronology, John is very near the exact midpoint from chapter 11 right on to chapter 14. Almost all things John covers in these chapters are midpoint events. (Kind of blows prewrath theory.) For example, two verses in chapter 12 mention the woman fleeing into the wilderness. Why? Because Jesus told them to flee as soon as they see the abomination!!

    I suspect that most of the world will just not recognize the beast AS the beast, until the midpoint of the week. But it is only a guess. Those that understand John’s chronology will know how the week is progressing, since the trumpets are in the first half of the week. I am not sure that the confirmation of the covenant will be widely known. In fact, it may be secret!!

    Just my thoughts!!


    Lyle E Cooper

    September 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: