Book Daniel's 70 weeks

Appendix 1: The two Dispensational Interpretations compared

The (dispensational) interpretation of Daniel’s 70 Weeks proposed in this book (which derive from the insights of Sir Edward Denney), differs from the better known calculation done by Sir Robert Anderson, which is the basis for most dispensational writings on the 70 Weeks. It is unfortunate that Denney’s work has been ignored, in favour of Anderson-Hoehner’s work, when Denney’s solution is in fact far superior.

First of all, it actually ‘works’ to the very day, unlike the Anderson solution which fails to work, despite claims to the contrary (as we conclusively demonstrate in Appendix 2). Secondly, it does not have the weaknesses and flaws that are inherent in the Anderson solution, which discredit it in the eyes of non-dispensationalists. These flaws are brushed aside by dispensationalists, because it seems to provide a literal interpretation, with an impressive fulfilment to the very day of Christ’s Triumphal Entry, and because they assume there can be no other literal (dispensational) solution and so they are necessarily committed to the Anderson-Hoehner solution.

Therefore, dispensational writers generally just repeat what Anderson claimed (or Hoehner’s variation), without even checking the calculation (being somewhat blinded by the numbers!). However, when you do this, you find it does not work, as both variations contain errors, which I demonstrate in Appendix 2. Therefore, its main attraction of providing an exact fulfilment is just an illusion. Anderson not only confused the Julian and Gregorian Calendars in his calculation, but also made a major blunder in trying to make AD 32 the year of the Cross. Although Hoehner corrected this to AD 33, he maintained the Julian/Gregorian confusion and introduced another error, making the start of the year impossibly early. Moreover, in order to make it ‘almost’ work, the calculation had to be based on an ancient 360-day year (called ‘a Time’), which was not the year used by Israel at that time or ever since.

Thus as well as actually working, the Denney solution revealed in this book has many other advantages over the Anderson-Hoehner solution. It is time for it to be known!

 

 

*Anderson took 445 BC (the royal release to Nehemiah in the 20th year of Artaxerxes), as the starting point and uses years of 360 days. He viewed the 69 Weeks as ending at Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem in 32 AD, and the 70th Week as postponed because of Israel’s rejection of Christ. Therefore the 70th Week has not run yet, and is separated from the 69th Week by about 2000 years (despite v24, which says that the 490 years form a single unit of time). The effective differences with the (Denney) interpretation that I propose are subtle, but important.

*Denney (see the Chart on the next page) took the earlier Ezra Decree in 458 BC in the 7th year of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7) as the starting point. He naturally used the standard Jewish luni-solar years. He viewed the 70 Weeks as a single unit of time (according to v24) running until Christ’s Death and Resurrection in AD 33.

 

 

But what about v27 which describes a yet future 70th Week? Since Israel rejected Jesus as her Messiah, God chronologically cancelled the 70th Week of Messianic Ministry (AD 26-33), in order to RERUN it as the 7-year Tribulation, after the Church-Age, thus giving Israel a second chance to repent and believe. Thus in one sense the 70th Week has happened already, and in other way it is yet to be fulfilled. As with Anderson’s interpretation, Israel’s clock (which measures the progress of the 70 Weeks) has been stopped during the Church-Age, causing the future 70th Week

(Tribulation) to be postponed until then. Whereas Anderson saw that God had stopped Israel’s clock and postponed the 70th Week until after the Church Age, this revelation by itself did not resolve all the issues of the Prophecy. It is this revelation of unreckoned time combined with Denney’s revelation that God did not just stop Israel’s Clock, but also rewound it after the 70 Weeks had run, so that the 70th Week could run again, which fully opens up the Prophecy, revealing its perfect accuracy, and solving its paradoxes. Only when this second revelation is also applied are certain other messy inconsistencies removed. Although the differences between these 2 dispensational interpretations are subtle, I believe important revelation is concealed to those holding onto the inferior ‘Anderson-Hoehner’ solution.

Part 2

 

Some advantages of Denney’s Interpretation over Anderson-Hoehner’s:

(1) It is generally accepted that the Cross was in AD 33 (or perhaps AD 30), but it was certainly not in AD 32, as Anderson had it. For this reason, H.Hoehner changed Anderson’s dates by a year, so that while Anderson took 445 BC as the starting point, Hoehner made it 444 BC. This meant that while Anderson’s 69 Weeks ended in AD 32, Hoehner’s ended in AD 33. Although in this way, Hoehner corrected the most obvious flaw in Anderson’s work, other problems remained.

(2) The Year-Length in use by Israel at that time was the luni-solar year, which approximates to our solar year in average length. When Daniel spoke of 490 years, it must be assumed this referred to the standard year used by Israel, NOT the Gentile (Babylonian) TIME of 360 days. Israel’s clock does not run according to ‘Times’. Had God intended to measure the 490 years in ‘Times’, He would have said so, as He did for the 7 ‘Times’ in Daniel 4, as well as in Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14.

This is confirmed by the context of the Prophecy at the close of the 70 years in Babylon (Daniel 9:1-3), a measurement based on the number of sabbatical years that Israel had failed to rest the Land (2Chronicles 36:20,21) - hence the reference to

‘Weeks’ (Sevens of Years) in the Prophecy. These years were clearly Jewish luni-solar Years, not Times. God was saying: “The 70 years are about to end and now. I am measuring out 70 ‘Sevens’ of years for Israel leading up to your full Restoration through the Messiah.” The assumption has to be that the kind of years that God used in this Prophecy to measure Israel’s future history leading up to the Messiah were the same kind of years that God Himself had given to Israel to use as the basis of their Calendar and the Feasts of the Lord, namely lunar-solar years, which they still use to this day. If God intended to use a different kind of year (such as the 360-day ‘Time’), He would have made that clear, as He does in other situations when the ‘Time’ is being used.

Thus, Anderson’s (and Hoehner’s) use of this unusual year length of 360 days is unjustified and is a great weakness of his interpretation. It is true that there are special situations in the Bible when God clearly does use the 360 day ‘Time’, as in the year of the Flood and in the Tribulation (in Daniel and Revelation) - both of which are times of world-wide Judgement. However to call it a ‘prophetic year’ (as if it was the year generally used in Prophecy) is misleading.

(3) The Death and Resurrection of Christ must happen on a Jubilee on God’s Timetable, since it is the supreme fulfilment of Jubilee. It is surely the Jubilee of Jubilees. If it was at the end of 69 Weeks (483 Years), then this would not be true (it would be 7 years before the Jubilee), but if it was at the end of 70 Weeks (490 years), then it actually happened at the end of a Great Jubilee Cycle (10 x 49 years).

(4) In the Denney interpretation, the Cross and Resurrection of Christ are not only within the time-span of the 70 Weeks, as required by v24, but also fittingly at their climax. However, according to Anderson-Hoehner, these central and climactic events in God’s Plan of Redemption are not even included within the 70 Weeks! The 69th Week ends 4 days before the Cross, and the 70th Week has not happened yet!


(5) The essential Unity of the 70 Weeks. According to Daniel 9:24, the 70 Weeks are to be viewed as a single unit of time that has been determined or ‘cut’ out by God. The word ‘cut’ is used for a length of wood that has been measured out and ‘cut’ accordingly. This truth of the fundamental unity of the 70 Weeks must be kept in mind when we read v25-27, which describe the 70 Weeks in more detail. Although for the purposes of description, the 70 Weeks are broken into 7+62+1 Weeks, v25-27 do not reuse this word ‘cut’, as if some portions of these 70 Weeks are actually separated from each other. In particular, the Prophecy does not say that God has ‘cut’ or divided the 70th Week off from the other 69 Weeks. Therefore, from v24, we should expect the 70th Week to run immediatetely after the 69th Week has ended. However, according to Anderson-Hoehner the 70 Weeks are not essentially one unit of time, but are cut into two pieces (the 69 Weeks and the 70th Week), making the 70th separate from the first 69 Weeks, in contradiction to v24. The Denney solutions maintains the integrity of the 70 Weeks as a unit, whilst also explaining how there will be a future fulfilment of the 70th Week (according to v27).

(6) The Bible affirms both God’s Sovereignty and man’s free-will, and the correct understanding of Daniel’s 70 Weeks should reflect this. Dispensationalists hold that a literal reading of Scripture indicates that God offered the Messianic Kingdom to Israel at Christ’s First Coming, but because they rejected the King, the Kingdom was postponed and God inserted the Church-Age, which had been a Mystery hidden in God. This postponement was foreshadowed in the 40 years Israel spent in the wilderness. They could have possessed the Promised Land (a Type of the Kingdom) soon after the death of the Passover Lamb and the Exodus from Egypt, but because of unbelief they failed to possess it and instead it was postponed for a future generation. Likewise, since Israel rejected Christ, she wandered in the wilderness of the nations, but God will give her a second chance to possess her kingdom (Acts 1:6). In His Omniscience, God knows the choices we will make, and in His Sovereignty He overrules to work His purposes out. However, He respects our free-will and does not override it, so that we still have a genuine choice. Likewise, God knew that Israel would initially reject Christ, but His offer of the Kingdom to Israel was nevertheless genuine. Although He knew the Church-Age would happen instead of the Kingdom, He kept this a secret until it was clear that Israel were rejecting Him (the Church is not directly revealed in the Old Testament, only in Type and Shadow). This is why the Messianic Prophecies flow from the First Coming to the Second Coming, jumping over the Church-Age as if it were not there. Had God clearly revealed the Church-Age beforehand, rather than holding it as a Mystery, then He would have usurped Israel’s free-will.

Now the 70 Weeks certainly reveals God’s Sovereignty, but it must also be consistent with the fact that God gave Israel a free choice to accept the Kingdom. According to Anderson-Hoehner, God structured the 70 Weeks so that the Kingdom could not have been established at Christ’s First Coming (immediately after His Death and Resurrection), because that was timed to be after 69 Weeks, whereas the Kingdom was to come later (after the 70th Week). Thus God’s predetermination of the outworking of the 70 Weeks effectively eliminated Israel’s free-will.

However, according to Denney, God structured the 70 Weeks to not only reveal God’s sovereignty, but also to respect Israel’s free-will. Christ’s Death and Resurrection happened at the end of the 70th Week in AD 33 (as v24 indicates), and therefore, had Israel accepted Christ, God could and would have established the Kingdom at that time, fulfilling the 70 Weeks Prophecy on time, according to v24. In this way, their failure was not predetermined by God. When Israel failed to receive, then God sovereignly cancelled the 70th Week in order to rerun it as the Tribulation, thus giving Israel a 2nd chance. Thus the Prophecy will still be fulfilled by the establishment of the Kingdom at the end of 70 Weeks of time given to Israel.

Thus if God truly offered the Messianic Kingdom to Israel in AD 33 (as dispensationalists believe) and they were given a genuine choice to accept or reject, then this requires the 70 Weeks to end in AD 33. Thus AD 33 must be at the end of the 70th Week (not the 69th Week).

(7) Exact Confirmations. The Denney Interpretation provides a perfect fulfilment of the 70 Weeks, the last day of the 490 years from Nisan 1st 458 BC (April 3rd) being Sunday April 3rd 33 AD, the very day of the Resurrection of Christ, when He was ready to establish the Kingdom!

Moreover, now that we know the Tribulation is the rerun of the historical 7 years of the Messianic Ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, we can deduce the exact length of the Tribulation and discover its chronology in such a way that agrees perfectly with all the Biblical data (see chapters 4-6).

When we calculate the number of days from the opening of Nisan 1st AD 26 (the start of the 70th Week) to Nisan 16th AD 33 (the end of the 70th Week, the day of Christ’s Resurrection) we find that it is exactly 7 SOLAR YEARS, followed by a 40 day Epilogue. This must also be the length of the future 70th Week, since it is the Rerun. When we add the detailed information given in Daniel and Revelation, we discover a perfect solution for the chronology of the Tribulation. Moreover, we discover a high degree of parallel patterning between the 2 sets of 7 years, which confirm that one is the chronological Rerun of the other. These similarities are seen in the way both are divided into 2 halves, in the way their final days are of the nature of a glorious climax: “The Great Day of the Lord’s Manifestation” (the Resurrection and 2nd Coming), and in its 40 day Epilogue (Preparation Time for the coming new Age).

Further confirmations of this ‘Tribulation Chronology’ come from typological connections with the historical ‘Times of the Gentiles’ (see my book: “The 7 Times of the Gentiles”), which follow a parallel structure to the 7 Times of the Tribulation.

Summary of the advantages of the ‘Denney’ Solution to the 70 Weeks:


* It works perfectly, giving an accurate, easily understood and easily verifiable solution, providing amazing proof of the Messiahship of Jesus, that is most effective for witnessing. It is based upon the starting point of Nisan 1st, 458 BC, from Ezra 7 (April 3rd on our calendar), and an ending point of April 3rd, AD 33 (the well-established date for the day and year of Christ’s Resurrection). Thus the Prophecy points to the true climactic final day, rather than a lesser day like the Triumphal Entry.

* It works perfectly (unlike the Anderson-Hoehner calculation, which is a few days short, despite claims to the contrary, as we prove in Appendix 2), providing an exact fulfilment, with the 490 years ending on the very day of the Resurrection! Moreover, no special fiddling has to be invoked, unlike the Anderson-Hoehner Calculation, which has to change the normal year-length, and make the Jewish year-start too early.

* It does not not have to appeal to a year (a ‘Time’ of 360 days) to measure Israel’s time, that has never been used by Israel (the Jews used and use a luni-solar year).

* The 490th year (which is a Great Jubilee) closes with the Death and Resurrection of Christ. It is not appropiate that these climactic events, that are the ultimate fulfilment of the Jubilee, happen after only 483 years (7 years short of the Jubilee Year).

* It gives a genuine dispensational interpretation with a future 70th Week fulfilment without cutting up the 490 years into separate pieces, but keeps them as an essential UNIT (which is the natural reading of v24). Hence it is not true that a satisfactory literal solution cannot be found in which all 490 years run their course consequetively.

* It demonstrates and affirms both the Sovereignty of God and the free-will of man.

* Understanding the Tribulation as the Rerun of the original 70th Week provides essential insights into its nature and chronology. This ‘Rerun concept’ is confirmed by many clear parallels that arise between the ‘70th Weeks’ when we take this approach.

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