(Read Part 5)

Daniel prophesied the distinctly dispensational truth that there would be a Jewish temple in the city of Jerusalem during the future eschatological seven-year tribulation period (Dan. 9:27). Daniel recorded the prophecy approximately 2,600 years ago, while King Nebuchadnezzar held him captive in Babylon. The tribulation period is synonymous with the yet future 70th week of Daniel’s 70-week prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27).

The numbers and the use of the word “week” may seem confusing at first glance. However, when the basics of the 70-week prophecy are understood, using the all-important historical, contextual, grammatical and literal hermeneutic, which is the specific dispensational methodology used to interpret Scripture, the prophecy comes alive in awesome, accurate and authoritative detail.

Daniel was born toward the end of the First Temple period in approximately 620 B.C. In 605 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar took the 15-year-old Daniel as one of many captives from Jerusalem to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem in 597 B.C. and took additional Jewish people captive to Babylon.  The king returned for his final and most devastating invasion in 586 B.C., when he and his soldiers destroyed the first temple and plundered the city of Jerusalem.

Daniel, while living in captivity in Babylon, and approximately 81 years old,[1] read from the prophet Jeremiah that the captivity would last a literal 70 years (Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10; Dan. 9:2). Daniel then prayed and confessed his sins and the sins of his people the Jews with extremely penitent and moving words (Dan. 9:3-19). As soon as Daniel began his prayer, God answered with the immediate dispatch of the angel Gabriel to meet with Daniel (Dan. 9:20-23). Gabriel relayed to Daniel one of the most detailed prophetic passages in Scripture that included the prophecy mandating the existence of the future eschatological tribulation temple (Dan. 9:24-27).

70 Weeks with Abomination Added

Daniel’s prophecy consists of three separate sections, each containing sets of heptads, or sets of sevens. Every week in Daniel’s 70-week prophecy refers to a literal seven-year period, which equates to 70 prophetic weeks multiplied times seven years—a total of 490 literal years.[2]

One prophetic week = Seven literal years

70 prophetic weeks = Seven literal years x 70 prophetic weeks = 490 literal years

The first section in Daniel’s 70-week prophecy lasted seven prophetic weeks, or 49 literal years. The prophecy began in 445 B.C. when Artaxerxes I decreed that the Jews held in captivity return to Israel to restore the plundered Jerusalem. The second set of heptads started in 396 B.C., and consisted of 62 prophetic weeks, or 434 literal years, and continued until the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem in A.D. 32/33 (Dan. 9:25). Daniel then prophesied that “after” the 69th week, Messiah would “be cut off,” referring to the crucifixion of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple, which was fulfilled in A.D. 70 (Dan 9:26). The final prophetic week, or seven-year period, begins with the Antichrist confirming a covenant or treaty with Israel and ends at the second advent of Jesus Christ (Dan. 9:27).[3]

Seven weeks: 49 literal years – 445 B.C. to 396 B.C. (Dan. 9:25)

62 weeks: 434 literal years – 396 B.C. to A.D. 32/33 (Dan. 9:25)
(Gap = The present church age which ends with the rapture [1 Thess. 4:13-18].)

One week: Seven literal years – Future: (Dan. 9:27)

Daniel then prophesied regarding the then future destruction of the second temple and Jerusalem, which came to fulfillment in A.D. 70. The current church age began after the completion of the 69th week and extends through the present day, forming a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel’s prophecy, which to date has lasted more than 1,980 years (cf. Eph. 3:1-7; Col. 1:24-29). The mystery church, the body of Christ, must physically be removed from the earth prior to the reinstatement of Daniel’s prophetic timeline (cf. 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; Dan. 9:27). Shortly after the church’s removal, the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years of the prophecy, begin with the appearance of the Antichrist and his confirmation of a covenant with the Jewish people (Dan. 9:27).

Daniel 9:27:

Then he (Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant (peace treaty) with many (Israel) for one week (seven years);
But in the middle of the week (after three-and-a-half years)
He (Antichrist) shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering (the Tribulation Temple sacrifices and offerings).
And on the wing of abominations (abomination of desolation) shall be one who makes desolate (Antichrist),
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate (desolator[4]/Antichrist).

The Jewish people who have not believed on Jesus Christ as their Messiah, specifically the orthodox Jews, earnestly desire and currently pray daily for the building of the third temple in Jerusalem. The future Antichrist will provide the opportunity for the Jewish people to construct the long-awaited third temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when he confirms a covenant with them. The sacrifices and offerings that Daniel prophesied would take place during the tribulation period mandate the existence of the tribulation temple (Dan. 9:27). Daniel’s distinctly dispensational prophecy will be fulfilled exactly as stated.

Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.

(To be continued)

Dr. Richard Schmidt is the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.

Copyright © 2016 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[1] Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, vol. 19 in The American Commentary (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1992), p. 240.

[2] Gleason L. Archer Jr., Daniel, in vol. 7 of The Expositors Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), p. 112.

[3] Sir Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince (Grand Rapids: Kregel Classics, 1957), p. 128.

[4] Miller, pp. 272-273.