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What Are the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?


By David Sheldon

Last Updated: April 23, 2024

In Daniel, we find a passage of Scripture that speaks of Israel, the time of the Messiah, the Antichrist, and the end times. It also speaks of a period called “seventy weeks.” This passage, found in Daniel 9:24-27, may be one of the most disputed passages of Scripture.

Is the 70 weeks a literal time or only symbolic? Is it only regarding the nation of Israel? Or is it for all believers? Are the seventy weeks consecutive or is there some separation?

To accurately interpret its meaning, we must answer some key questions. Refer to the chart as we navigate through each of the following questions.

Also, check out The Chronology of Daniel and The Main Message of Daniel.

Seventy Weeks of Daniel

What Should We Make of the Word “weeks”?

Hebrew scholars tell us the word weeks is “shabuim” and it means “sevens.” So, we have “seventy-sevens” (Daniel 9:24a). Sevens of what? It could be seven days, seven weeks, or seven years. We don’t know, and the context doesn’t tell us. If we translate “sevens” as days or weeks, the timing is probably not long enough for all the events that need to occur. If we translate it as years, or “seventy-sevens” of years, that would be 70×7 = 490 years, which is a reasonable amount of time for the events to occur. Side note: When we say 490 years, it is not according to a 365¼ day solar year. In Scripture, one year is 360 days. We know this because the timeframe “time, times, and half a time” found in Daniel 7:24-25, Daniel 12:7, and Revelation 12:14 all indicate 3½ years; and this same timeframe is said to be 1,260 days in Revelation 11:1-3 and Revelation 12:6. So, 1,260 days divided by 3½ years equals 360 days. Therefore, the actual number of days of the 70 weeks is 70 x (7×360) = 176,400 days.

What Events Occur in the 70 Weeks? (vs 24)

According to verse 24, six things occur during the 70 weeks.

    1. Finish (or restrain) the transgression.
    2. Make an end (or seal up) of sins.
    3. Cover (atone) for iniquity.
    4. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
    5. Seal up vision (revelation) and prophecy.
    6. Anoint a holy of holies.

The first three are things to be “rid of,” and were accomplished by Jesus Christ. Point 3 – cover (atone) for iniquity – has been once-for-all accomplished in the work of Jesus Christ. He gave Himself at Calvary as a ransom for sin. His resurrection is the proof of the complete sufficiency and finality of His work on the cross! Because of this one great work, the first four points have been fulfilled in principle with His first coming. Points 5-6 will be fulfilled at His second coming. (For further study: See A Commentary on Daniel by Leon Wood) 

The timeframe of these events is divided into three sections (vs. 25, 27): 7 weeks + 62 weeks + 1 week. Scholars believe that the city and walls of Jerusalem were completed after the 7 weeks (49 years) which may explain why Daniel divides the time. But to more fully understand these divisions, we look at prophecies. There was a prophecy that started the first 7 weeks and one that ended the 62 weeks. But the text separates the 7 weeks and 62 weeks from the last week. So we should look at the first two sections – 69 weeks – together.

When Did the 69 Weeks Begin and End? (vs 25)

The 69 weeks started with the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). This decree came to pass and is recorded for us in Nehemiah 2:1-8. According to the Jewish calendar, this decree was issued Nissan 1, 444 B.C. corresponding to our date March 5, 444 B.C. If you add 69 weeks (69x(7×360)=173,880 days), you come to Nisan 10, 33 A.D. corresponding to our date March 30, 33 A.D.

So, the 69 weeks started March 5, 444 B.C., and ended March 30, 33 A.D.

And what happens on the final day of the 69 weeks? It says “until Messiah the Prince.” March 30, 33 A.D. would have been the day Jesus was presented to His people as the Messiah as He rode into Jerusalem!!! (See Zechariah 9:9 & Matthew 21:1-10)

For further information on these start/end dates and the calculations please visit An Examination of the Chronological Difficulties of Dr. Harold Hoehner’s & Dr. Thomas Ice’s work By Bob Pickle.

What Happens in Between the 69th Week and the 70th Week? (vs 26)

We are left with an interlude between the 69th week and the beginning of the 70th week in verse 26. It began with the Messiah being “cut off” and having nothing (literally “no one”). As the Lamb of God, Jesus’ death was a once for all sacrificial death for sin. That was followed by the “people of the prince who is to come” (Antichrist) ransacking Jerusalem & destroying the temple (70 A.D. General Titus and the Roman armies). Now that interlude has been almost 2,000 years, and we are still waiting for the 70th week to begin.

What Will Happen During the 70th week (vs 27)?

The 70th week is the final seven-year period (7 x 360 days=2,520 days) known as the tribulation. It will be composed of a few specific items according to Daniel 9:27:

    1. At its inception, the Antichrist makes a covenant with the many.
    2. In the middle, the Antichrist puts an end to sacrifice and grain offering and the abomination of desolation occurs (see also Matthew 24:15)
    3. At the end, the Antichrist comes to his end at the Second Coming of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (see also Revelation 19:11-19)

    As we have seen in this article, the 70 weeks of Daniel is a specified period that God has ordained for His people, to bring to pass His promises surrounding the Messiah’s first and second comings. The first coming of the Messiah, and His death/atonement for sin, was fulfilled according to God’s promise. And because God is faithful to His Word, we can count upon all the other promises in Daniel 9 coming to pass at the end of the 70th week when Christ returns. We can also count on the 70th week occurring as God says it will for the nation of Israel (Daniel 9:24). The events will affect the whole church in that they will see that God keeps His promises. Thus, all of God’s saints should look forward with anticipation to Christ’s Second Coming. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

This article was originally published on 3-19-2023.

For More on the Book of Daniel

The Chronology of Daniel – By David Sheldon
The Main Message of Daniel – By David Sheldon
Prophecies Concerning the Final World Kingdom – By David Sheldon

What Did the Early Church Believe About Eschatology? (Part 2)

Christians today have various views on eschatology. The early church held ONE main view. What did they think about the rapture, Second Coming, & millennium?

What Did the Early Church Believe About Eschatology? (Part 1)

Christians today have various views on eschatology. The early church held ONE main view. What did they think about the Antichrist, False Prophet, & 666?

Todd Friel on the Israel-Hamas War

Watch this video by Todd Friel of Wretched regarding what Christians should know regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

Who Are Gog and Magog?

Gog and Magog are found in an Old Testament prophecy of a war against Israel in Ezekiel 38-39. The following breakdown gives insight into the meanings of these names.

Is The War of Ezekiel 38-39 The Same War As The Battle of Armageddon?

A look at the wars prophesied about in Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 16 & 19.

War On Israel – Ezekiel 38-39

With the tremendous turmoil currently taking place in the world, we should consider an Old Testament prophecy some Bible scholars think is yet to be fulfilled. Ezekiel 38 & 39 speaks of a war against Israel in the last days.

Are You Prepared? The Coming Global System

As we approach the final days as described in Daniel and Revelation, it is important that pastors speak up and sound the warnings of what to expect and look for!

End Time Events: A Brief Overview

The Bible describes many end time events that occur before the Second Coming of Christ. In this article, we discuss two: 1) the Final Apostasy of the church, and 2) a worldwide rebellion of fallen mankind.

The Church’s New Agenda

Have you noticed the stumbling block of the gospel has taken a back seat to other things in many churches? The visible church’s overarching goal has become “to connect.”

Will Christians Know Who The Antichrist Will Be?

Ever consider what Scripture says about the Antichrist? Outlined here, certain end-time events clue Christians into the kind of person it will be.

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