Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

The 69th Week

on 28 March 2010

“Seventy weeks have been declared for your people and your holy city” the Lord tells Daniel the prophet. This message comes during a time of captivity, a time where Daniel’s people (the Jews) are out of the Promised Land and in the control of the Medo-Persian empire. Yet, even in these dark times, as Daniel prays and repents God gives him detailed information for what is to come: a time “to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.” (Dan. 9:24).

Okay, big deal, right? We all dream of a day to come when good things will overtake the evil in this world. However, God’s word doesn’t stop there: “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks…” (v. 25).

Wait! Did you catch that? This goes quickly, so allow me to explain. In prophetic terms, these weeks refer to 7 year time periods. God first tells Daniel that there are 70 weeks, seventy periods of 7 years, that are important to the Jews. Now, I’ll let you in on a secret- that last week, the 70th week, is still to come. Many of the events I wrote about a few days ago are contained in that last week (wars, famines, etc).

But those first 69 weeks are gone. Those 483 years have passed, but what does this mean? Why is it important to start counting out 483 years after the Jews are allowed to return home? What good can this possibly do?

Here’s where the Bible goes from amazing to awesomely cool. Daniel’s people were only in the Babylonian captivity for 70 years. After 70 years, Cyrus sends out a decree allowing them to return to their land and rebuild Jerusalem (the city had been destroyed when Nebuchadnezzar took them into captivity). Had the Jews of the time heeded the prophecy given to Daniel, and had they started keeping track of the next 483 years, they would have know to the day when Jesus would enter Jerusalem on a donkey and start the Passion week. To the day. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is!

They could have known beyond any doubt just from this that Jesus was Who He said He was- the Messiah, the Promised One, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.

So, today I take up the song and the cry of those crowds long ago, those few who recognized Jesus for Who He truly was, and I declare: “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (Jn. 12:13).

Hosanna in the highest!

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