Introduction: Last week, after studying Daniel’s prayer that his
people to be returned to their home and their sanctuary rebuilt, we
learned that Gabriel came immediately to give Daniel an answer. An
answer straight from the throne of God! We could not help it – we
“peeked” ahead a few verses to see what Gabriel had to tell Daniel.
This week we will revisit those same verses and then try to
understand what they mean. Let’s dive in!

  1. Interpreting the Vision

    1. Read Daniel 9:24. “Seventy `sevens'” is an odd term. What
      do you think a “seven” means? (“Seven” would logically
      refer to a week. A week has seven days. Thus, Gabriel is
      speaking about 70 weeks.)

      1. How long is seventy weeks? (Seventy weeks would be
        about a year and a third (1 1/3).

    2. Read Daniel 9:25. Who do you think is the “Anointed One?”
      (See Acts 10:37-38. This refers to the Messiah – Jesus.)

      1. Considering that the general time frame is from the
        time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, to the time
        of Jesus, could we be talking about a little over one
        year? (No. Just as in Daniel 8, these 70 weeks are
        clearly symbolic(1 day = 1 year). Thus, 70 times 7
        (490 days)most likely means 490 years. This
        strengthens our prior conclusion that the 2,300 days
        of Daniel 8:14 symbolizes 2,300 years.)

    3. Consider again Daniel 9:24-25. What happens during this
      490 years? (Time is given to the Jewish people and
      Jerusalem to “finish transgression, put an end to sin, to
      atone for wickedness and to bring in everlasting

      1. How could the Jewish people put an end to sin and
        bring in everlasting righteousness? (They could not.
        This provides further evidence that the “Anointed
        One” is Jesus. Jesus guaranteed the end of sin and
        eternal life for the righteous.)

      2. Daniel 9:24, according to Strong’s, uses the Hebrew
        word “chathak” which means “to cut off.” The NIV
        translates this “decreed” and the KJV translates it
        “determined.” Does that make any sense to you?
        (Consider this modern application: The boss “cuts
        off” further discussion when he decides (determines
        or decrees) what to do. Look a little deeper at this
        because there is another angle. Since Gabriel is
        explaining to Daniel what the 2,300 day ( Daniel 8:14)
        prophecy of Daniel 8 means, we can reasonably
        understand the “70 weeks” prophecy to be a part of
        (“cut off”) the 2,300 day prophecy.)

    4. Read Daniel 9:26. What does it mean for the Anointed One
      to be “cut off?” (Sounds like death. Compare Genesis 9:11
      and the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 53:8.)

    5. Let’s look more closely at the numbers that we see in
      Daniel 9:24-27. How many time periods do you see? (Three.
      The total, 490 years (70×7) is found in verse 24. The
      first division of this is 49 years (“seven sevens”) and is
      found in verse 25. The second division is 434 years
      (62×7) is found in verses 25-26. The last division is
      seven years (“one ‘seven'”) and is found in verse 27.
      Together these add up to 490 years or seventy “sevens”.)

      1. What happens during the 49 years? (It appears this
        refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.)

      2. What happens at the end of the 483 years (49+434)?
        (The Anointed One comes ( Daniel 9:25). While there
        were three decrees to rebuild Jerusalem, the various
        commentaries have relatively small differences in the
        starting dates. The SDA Bible Commentary pegs the
        decree to rebuild at 458/457 B.C. (Artaxerxes decree.
        See Ezra 7:1-26.) Starting with 457 B.C., the 483
        years brings us to 27 A.D. – the year of Jesus’
        baptism and the beginning of His public ministry.)

      3. What happens during the seven years? ( Daniel 9:26
        tells us that after the 483 years the Anointed One
        will be “cut off” and Daniel 9:27 tells us that the
        Anointed One will put an end to sacrifice and
        offering in the middle of the “seven.” Continuing
        with our time-line from 457 B.C. to 27 A.D., an
        additional 3-4 years (middle of the seven) brings us
        to 31 A.D. – the year of Jesus’ crucifixion.
        Gabriel’s description makes sense because Jesus’
        crucifixion ended the need for the animal sacrifices
        in the rebuilt sanctuary in Jerusalem.)

        1. How do you understand ( Daniel 9:27)the
          “confirm[ing]” of the covenant for the rest of
          the “seven?” (In Matthew 21:43-45 Jesus predicts
          that the kingdom of God will be taken away from
          the Jewish officials who rejected Him and given
          to others – which, as we see in Acts, included
          Gentiles. The SDA Bible Commentary notes that 34
          A.D. (7 years after 27 A.D.) marked the stoning
          of Stephen and the beginning of sharing the
          gospel with Gentiles. See Acts 7&8.)

        2. How do you understand the Daniel 9:26 reference
          to destroying the “city and the sanctuary?”
          (Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the rebuilt
          sanctuary in 70 A.D. This fits the description
          of the “ruler who will come.” Psalms 79:1
          predicts that the temple will be “defiled” by
          those who reduce Jerusalem to rubble – thus
          fitting the “abomination that causes

    6. How would you feel if you were Daniel hearing this message
      from Gabriel? (Just as I hear good news, I then hear
      terrible news. The sanctuary will be rebuilt and then
      destroyed again! Worse, the Messiah will be “cut off and
      will have nothing!” Argghh!)

  2. Building the Reality

    1. Read Ezra 7:1 and Ezra 7:6-7. What do we learn about
      Ezra? (He is a Bible scholar and teacher.)

      1. What was his relationship to the King Artaxerxes? (He
        had the king’s favor because the king gave him
        everything he asked.)

      2. What was his relationship to God? (He also enjoyed
        the favor of God.)

    2. Read Ezra 7:8 What you think that Ezra had asked of King
      Artaxerxes? (To go back to Jerusalem and rebuild.)

    3. Read Ezra 7:11-19. What do you think is being referred to
      in verse 19 when it says “all the articles entrusted to
      you for worship in the temple?” (I think these are the
      articles for worship in the temple that had been taken by
      the Babylonians when they destroyed the temple. The
      temple furnishings are being returned.)

    4. Read Ezra 7:20-23. Do these verses actually say that they
      are rebuilding the temple? (Not exactly. Verse 23
      authorizes them to do “with diligence for the temple of
      the God of Heaven,” “whatever the God of Heaven has
      prescribed.” One commentary (A Commentary, Critical and
      Explanatory, on the Old and New Testament) commented that
      “the commission related exclusively to the rebuilding of
      the temple and not the walls” of the city.)

    5. Read Ezra 4:6-8 and Ezra 4:11-12. What is the complaint?
      (The Jews are rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.)

    6. Read Ezra 4:13-16. What is the argument that Rehum is
      making? (That if the Jews rebuild the walls of the city of
      Jerusalem, they will rebel, defend the place and not pay

    7. How does this tend to show that Artaxerxes issued a decree
      to rebuild the temple, rather than the walls of Jerusalem?
      (It shows that the Jews had authority to come and rebuild.
      Further, it reinforces the idea that their authority was
      to rebuild the temple, God’s sanctuary, and not rebuild
      the walls of the city. That is ostensibly why Rehum is
      complaining to the authorities about what is going on in
      the rebuilding.)

      1. What does this show us about the accuracy of Daniel’s
        vision? (This shows that the first phase of what
        Daniel saw in vision is being fulfilled.)

    8. Read Ezra 4:17-21. Does Rehum win?

      1. What, exactly, is the result? (Read Ezra 4:24. The
        building is stopped. By the way, according to
        Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament,
        the Darius referred to in Ezra 4:24 is NOT the Darius
        the Mede of Daniel 5, 6 and 9.)

      2. Notice what actually was stopped. Was Rehum telling
        the truth? ( Ezra 4:24 says they stopped work on the
        temple. Thus, it appears that Rehum might have been
        saying that they were unlawfully rebuilding the walls
        of the city in order to get the rebuilding of the
        temple stopped.)

        1. When you have been doing God’s work, have you
          ever had people lie about you?

    9. How do you feel, thousands of years later, to read
      Gabriel’s interpretation of the vision? (It gives me
      additional proof that: a) God is in charge of history; b)
      Jesus was the predicted Messiah; and, since Jesus came the
      first time just as prophesied, c) That God will keep His
      word for Jesus’ Second Coming!)

    10. The dates that I have given are subject to debate. Do you
      think this makes any difference? (Assume that the precise
      dates of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, Jesus’ public
      ministry and His crucifixion are subject to debate. Moving
      these dates around a little bit does not change the
      incredible accuracy of Daniel’s vision. Instead of being
      caught up in a debate over precise years, we can take
      confidence in the big picture of the amazing timing and
      accuracy of this 70 Week prophecy.)

    11. Friend, there is a God who knows the future and who knows
      your future. Will you serve Him with confidence?

  3. Next week: 1844 Made Simple.