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A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The 70 Sevens/Weeks Of Daniel"

Kuruvilla Thomas
Bangalore
Published on 2 Sep 2023 *




70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 Timeline
Fig. 1


Introduction

This study treats Daniel 9:24-27 as a cryptochiasmus in order to arrive at a coherent reconfiguration of the text ( see definition of cryptochiasmus in [1] ). If you wish to skip the technicalities of a chiastic parse, you may read starting from Section 4 of the Discussion section, which has the reconfigured text.

The "70 Sevens/Weeks of Daniel", which is the foundation of many eschatological positions, is one of the most difficult and most diversely interpreted passages of the Bible. We believe that, because of its prophetic nature, the passage has been scrambled by divine purpose to obfuscate its meaning. Also, because of a lack of proper context, some critical words in the passage have been misleadingly translated. This study will retranslate the text, chiastically unscramble it in a logically defensible manner, and comment on the rearranged text. A chiastic reading will explain the reason for the two contiguous time periods in the passage - seven "sevens", sixty-two "sevens". This study also has a commentary on the prologue to this prophecy in Dan. 9:1-23.

For this prophecy, we take the timespans to be specified in years (based on the "70 years" of Dan. 9:2), and we take 'sevens' (or 'weeks' in some translations) to mean "multiplied by seven" (based on Lev. 26:18).


Note:
We will use the term "Judahite" to refer to the Israelites - primarily those of the tribe of Judah and their descendants - that remained after the Assyrian exile of the Northern Tribes; we will try to avoid the term "Jew" to avoid the confusion it introduces.


Summary of Conclusions

The 70 sevens or 490 years ("sevens" means "multiplied by 7") are not contiguous years but the sum of sections of time "cut out" from an overarching time period extending from 444BC to the coming Messiah's anointing in 2017AD. The sections of time in chronological sequence are:


Discussion

1. Retranslation of Daniel 9:24-27

We will use the NIV translation of Daniel 9 for this study. We have retranslated some of the phrases and divided the verses into several units to facilitate a chiastic reconstruction.

We color-code the chiastic units of the text below for easy visual identification using yellow for the central pivot phrase, blue for the 7 year Period, red for the 434 year Period, green for the 49 year Period and purple for text outside the chiasmus.



24a Seventy sevens [490 years] are decreed for your people and your holy city:

24b to finish the rebellion[a], and[b] to put an end to sin-offerings[c],
24c to atone for wickedness, and[d] to bring in everlasting righteousness,
24d to seal up vision and prophecy, [e] to anoint the most Holy One.[f]

25a Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler, comes, there will be:

25b seven sevens [49 years],

25c sixty-two sevens [434 years][g]. It [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26a After the sixty-two sevens [434 years], the Anointed One will be put to death but not for himself[h].


26b The people of the ruler who will come will raid[i] the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27a He [the ruler] will confirm a covenant with the Great one[j] for one 'seven'.[7 years]
27b In the middle of the 'seven' he [the ruler] will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the borders[k] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolate[l].



Footnotes on the retranslation:
a. "the rebellion" instead of "transgression" in verse 24b.
b. inserted "and" in verse 24b.
c. "sin-offerings" instead of "sin" in verse 24b.
d. inserted "and" in verse 24c.
e. "," instead of "and" in verse 24d.
f. "Holy One" instead of "holy place" in verse 24d.
g. "sixty-two sevens" instead of "and sixty-two sevens" in verse 25c (removed the "and").
h. "but not for himself" instead of "and will have nothing" in verse 26a (from the KJV).
i. "raid" instead of "destroy" in verse 26b.
i. "the Great one" instead of "many" in verse 27a.
k. "borders" instead of "temple" (or "wing" in other translations) in verse 27b.
l. "the desolate" instead of "him" in verse 27b.



2. Parsing the chiasmus

The guiding principle behind the parsing of this particular chiasm is that each pair of objectives in verse 24 (24b, 24c, 24d) correspond to one of the Periods of the seventy sevens (seven, sixty-two and one sevens), and verse 25a is the pivot point.


We arrive at the chiastic structure below by applying this principle:

24a Seventy sevens are are decreed for your people and your holy city.
(Verse 24a is outside the chiasmus but retained here because it is the start of the prophecy.)

A1   24b to finish the rebellion, and to put an end to sin-offerings,
  B1   24c to atone for wickedness, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
    C1   24d to seal up vision and prophecy, to anoint the most Holy One.
      X   25a From the time the word goes out to restore...Jerusalem...till the anointed one comes...
    C2   25b seven sevens [49 years],
  B2   25c-26a sixty-two sevens [434 years]...Jerusalem rebuilt...Anointed One put to death
A2   26b-27b The people of the ruler will raid the city...one 'seven' [7 years]...desolation...

We believe we are on the right track with this parse based on the 'elegance' of the parse and 'semantic correctness' of the resulting text: the match between events and the objectives of each Period are appropriate; and the centre or pivot point of the chiasmus, 'X', works well as an introductory overarching sentence. We contend that this is not an arbitrary rearrangement of words, which would amount to a rewriting of scripture, but a logical, principled process that results in a coherent text.


Notes on the parsing:
  • We surmise that 26b belongs with 27 to make up the one "seven" because they appear to describe similar events.
  • Immediately after the "seven sevens" text, the verse continues on to the "sixty-two sevens" text. This is the cause of a lot of confusion when the passage is read non-chiastically, resulting in a number of interpretations that treat the two sevens as one contiguous time-span of sixty-nine sevens.


3. Building the reconfigured text

We now reconstruct the phrases in the right order based on the chiastic structure we arrived at previously and based on the ordering rules of a cryptochiasmus [1].

We lead with central pivot point 'X' because it appears to be an introductory phrase. The corresponding subunits (For ex., subunit A1 corresponds to A2) are placed contiguously to form units (For ex., A1,A2 is a unit) so that we get a list of such units.


The sequence selected for rearrangement is:

24a  X  [A1,A2]  [B1,B2]  [C1,C2]       (1)
(Verse 24a is outside the chiasmus but retained here because it is the start of the prophecy.)

Translating this sequence into verse numbers, we get:

24a  25a  [24b, 26b-27b]  [24c, 25c-26a]  [24d, 25b]       (2)

We arrive at the reconfigured passage in the next section by rearranging the verses so they are in sequence (2).


4. Daniel 9:24-27 Reconfigured

Introductory overarching statements
24a Seventy sevens [490 years] are decreed for your people and your holy city:
25a Know and understand this:
From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler, comes, there will be:


The First Jewish-Roman War (66AD–73AD)
24b to finish the rebellion, and to put an end to sin-offerings, 26b The people of the ruler who will come will raid the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27a He [the ruler] will confirm a covenant with the Great one for one 'seven'. [7 years]
27b In the middle of the 'seven' he [the ruler] will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the borders he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolate.

The Second Temple Period of Tribulation (444BC-10BC)
24c to atone for wickedness, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, 25c sixty-two sevens [434 years].
It [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26a After the sixty-two sevens [434 years], the Anointed One will be put to death but not for himself.

The Messiah is Anointed Before the Start of the Millennial Reign (1968/69AD-2017AD)
24d to seal up vision and prophecy,
to anoint the most Holy One.
25b seven sevens [49 years],



5. A Commentary on the Reconfigured Text

5.0 Prologue to the Prophecy (Dan 9:1-23)

This first part of Daniel 9 lies outside the chiasmus, but we comment on it here, because it introduces the prophecy.


1 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

When Cyrus the Great of Persia defeated the Babylonians in Oct 539BC, he appointed Darius the Mede as ruler over Babylon; Daniel received this prophecy in Darius' first year, 539/38BC. At that time, the Judahites had been in exile in Babylon for almost 70 years, starting from 605BC. Daniel realized that the Judahites' period of punishment for their sins, as predicted by Jeremiah (see Jer. 29:10, Jer. 25:4-11), was coming to an end, and so he earnestly beseeched God for their deliverance.



Daniel's Prayer

4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.

Daniel confesses the sins of all the Israelites before God, for they have disobeyed His Laws and prophets, and he acknowledges (in vs 11-12) that the Israelites' punishment according to the Law has been just (see Deut. 28:15-68).



13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

But Daniel is aware that, even in exile, the Judahites have not exhibited adequate remorse for their sins (vs 13-14), so he is concerned that their punishment may be extended beyond the original 70 years to 70 times 7 years, according to the formula in Leviticus 26:18 (the "Law of Moses"). Daniel throws himself and his people at God's mercy, basing his appeal for forgiveness on the fact that Jerusalem is God's city and the Judahites are God's own people - they are God's representatives on earth (the prophecy below is primarily regarding the Judahites and Jerusalem - see vs 24).



Gabriel responds to Daniel's Prayer

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

Gabriel arrives immediately in response to Daniel's prayers at the time of the evening sacrifice, around 3pm (the time of Christ's death - Matt. 27:46), to give Daniel the important prophecy in vs 24-27. Though the Judahites of the time were soon delivered from bondage, we see from the prophecy below that their descendants will nevertheless face another 490 years (70 sevens as in Lev. 26:18) of tribulation. These 490 years will be cut up into 3 periods and spread out over millennia, extending to the anointing of the coming Messiah in 2017AD, around 2555 years later.




5.1 Introductory overarching statements of the Prophecy (24a, 25a)

"24a Seventy sevens [490 years] are decreed"

The 490 years are not contiguous years but the sum of sections of time carved out out of a much longer period of 2460 years (444BC-2017AD ) (the word "decreed" here is a figurative translation of a Hebrew word that literally means "cut off", which bolsters our stance that there are gaps between the Periods). These 70 sevens are required to accomplish all the six objectives listed in verse 24.



"for your people and your holy city:"

This prophecy is primarily pertinent to the people of Daniel (mainly the Israelite tribe of Judah) and to the holy city (Jerusalem). However, the 2 'objectives' of the first Period (the 'objectives' of the First Coming of Christ) and the 2 'objectives' of the 49 year Period of the coming Messiah apply to all mankind.



"25a Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler, comes, there will be: "

The events that mark the beginning and end of the overarching time-span, out of which 70 sevens are "cut out", are specified here:

This opening statement introduces a list of three Periods of 7, 62 and 1 "sevens". For each Period, the list specifies 2 objectives, the length of the Period and, except for the last Period, a short description of the Period.




5.2 One 'seven': The First Jewish–Roman War (66AD–73AD) (24b, 26b-27b)

We propose that this one 'seven' (7 years), the most detailed of the prophecy, is a summary of the First Jewish-Roman war (66–73 AD) [2]. To establish this, we must reasonably match events mentioned in the passage to historical events during the war. Before we get into a commentary on the passage, we have below: a short history of the war as relevant to this passage; and a discussion on the 'covenant'.


5.2.1 A Brief History of The First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 AD) condensed from [2]

The war began in the fall of 66AD after the Judahites stopped prayers and sacrifices for Caesar in order to protest the desecration of a Jewish synagogue in Caesarea - this cessation was considered a major act of rebellion. The Roman governor, Gessius Florus, launched a raid on the city, arrested and crucified numerous Judahite leaders, and plundered the Jewish Temple. The city was eventually retaken by the rebels, who established a Judahite government in Jerusalem.

The Roman General Vespasian and his son Titus began the campaign to crush this revolt by attacking the Judahite centres surrounding Jerusalem in 67AD. A large number of Judahites in these towns fled Roman punishment to take refuge in the fortified city of Jerusalem.

With Vespasian called away to Rome to be appointed emperor in 69, Titus moved to besiege the centre of rebel resistance in Jerusalem in the spring of 70AD with 4 legions. Unable to breach the city's defences, the Roman armies established a permanent camp just outside the city, digging a trench around the circumference of its walls and building a wall as high as the city walls themselves around Jerusalem. Anyone caught in the trench while attempting to flee the city, would be captured, crucified, and placed in lines on top of the dirt wall facing into Jerusalem. During some infighting inside the city walls, a stockpiled supply of dry food was intentionally burned by the Zealots to induce the defenders to fight against the siege instead of negotiating peace; as a result, many city dwellers and soldiers died of starvation during the siege.

By the summer of 70, the Romans had breached the walls of Jerusalem, ransacking and burning nearly the entire city. The Second Temple (the renovated Herod's Temple), one of the last fortified bastions of the rebellion, was destroyed in Jul./Aug. 70AD, and the conquest of the city was completed by Sep. 70AD. According to Josephus, in a city of 1.1 million, 1 million Judahites were killed and 100,000 taken captive; it was almost the entire population of the Judahites in the area.

During the spring of 71, Titus returned to Rome and a new governor was assigned the "mopping-up" operations in Judea. Lucilius Bassus used Legion X Fretensis to besiege and capture the few remaining fortresses that still resisted. Towards the end, Flavius Silva moved against the last Judean stronghold, Masada, with an army of around 10,000 troops. When the Romans eventually broke through the walls of this citadel in April of 73, they discovered that 960 of the 967 defenders had committed suicide. This concluded major operations of the war, but a few Sicarii zealots continued to trouble the Romans as the war petered out.



5.2.2 The covenant

We take a rather startling position on the covenant of verse 27, but hope to show here that this is a valid position using the passage itself and using some historical evidence.

We contend that the covenant is an agreement between God and Titus, to completely eliminate the Judahite people and destroy the city of Jerusalem within 7 years. During those 7 years, all divine protection for the Israelites would be suspended (Michael will stand by - Dan. 12:1). Protection would be reinstated over the "elect" at the end of that time - over those who believed in Jesus and fled, as he instructed them in the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:22) [7].


Consider the evidence:



5.2.3 Commentary on the verses related to the one "seven"

The passage of this Period (24b, 26b-27b) is structured as a regular chiasmus. The pivot [27a] is regarding the 7-year covenant. The subunits, [24b, 26b] and [27b] are summaries of the war: verse 26b is a summary of the entire war with a focus on the beginning and end; and verse 27b is a summary of the destruction of Jerusalem in the middle of the war. ( Unlike a cryptochiasmus, a regular chiasmus has subunits of approximately the same size, and no reconfiguration is required.)


"24b to finish the rebellion, and to put an end to sin-offerings, 26b The people of the ruler who will come will raid the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27a He [the ruler] will confirm a covenant with the Great one for one 'seven'. [7 years]
27b In the middle of the 'seven' he [the ruler] will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the borders he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolate."



"24b to finish the rebellion,"

The First Jewish-Roman war began as a Roman effort to quell a Jewish revolt. Those who ignored Jesus' instruction to flee and instead stayed to fight in support of the rebellion were killed. So, in this case, those who rebelled against the Romans also rebelled against God and Christ.



" and to put an end to sin-offerings,"

With the destruction of the temple in the middle of the war in 70AD, sacrifices and offerings were ended. This was significant as it marked the complete end of the Old Covenant; under the New Covenant, Christ's death on the cross was a "sin-offering" for all mankind (Hebrews 9).



"26b The people of the ruler who will come will raid the city and the sanctuary."

If we designate Titus as the ruler mentioned in this passage, then the Roman governor, Gessius Florus, and his force would qualify as "the people of the ruler who will come" (see history section above), and this passage may refer to his attack on Jerusalem at the beginning of the war in 66AD. The Roman governor plundered the Jewish Temple, launched a raid on the city, and arrested and crucified numerous Judahite leaders. This prompted a wider rebellion that demanded the attention of the Roman General Vespasian. His son Titus arrived in 67AD, a few months after making the covenant, to destroy the Judahites.



"The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed."

The "flood" seems to refer to the large Roman army sent to finish off the Judahite resistance. We know that war did go on to the end of the 7 year Period, and, as discussed in a previous section, the desolation of the Judahites was divinely ordained.



"27a He [the ruler] will confirm a covenant with the Great one for one 'seven'. [7 years]"

As we discuss in a previous section, the covenant between God and Titus was that God will suspend His protection of the Judahites for 7 years (Michael, their protector, will stand aside, Daniel 12:1), during which, Titus will have free rein on the utter destruction of the Judahites.

Although this sentence appears in the middle of the section about the war, because of the chiastic structure of the section, we can treat this line, the pivot, as an opening sentence. That is, this agreement or covenant was made before the war and not in the middle of it.



"27b In the middle of the 'seven' he [the ruler] will put an end to sacrifice and offering."

When Titus encircled Jerusalem in the spring of 70, he effectively put an end to sacrifices at the temple.

We believe that the covenant period started at the beginning of the war around Sep. of 66AD, the midpoint of the covenant period of 7 years was the spring (around Mar.) of 70AD, and the end of the covenant period was around Sep. 73AD. God's protection of the Christian Judahites was reinstated after this period. For a more detailed analysis of these time periods, see appendix below.



"And at the borders he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolate."

Titus set up the "abomination that causes desolation", which is the Roman army (see Luke 21:20 [8]), "at the border" of Jerusalem for a siege of the city that lasted around five months. This ultimately resulted in the death of nearly the entire Judahite population within the city through battle, execution or famine, and the destruction of the city - complete and utter "desolation" as divinely decreed (Luke 19:41-44). Jesus refers to this passage (among others, see Dan. 11:31, 12:11), when he warns his followers to flee and to not enter the city when they saw the "abomination" (Roman army) prepare for a siege of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15,16 [7], Luke 21:20-21 [8]).

The Judahites of the time were given every reason to believe in Jesus and escape this massacre: they were the first people Jesus and his followers preached to; and they witnessed first-hand a large number of miracles (Matthew 10:5-7, Romans 1:16). But, not only did some of these non-believers (primarily Pharisees and their ilk) kill Jesus, they persecuted and killed his prophets, teachers and followers. For this, Jesus condemned them to pay for all the righteous blood that has been shed from the time of Abel (Matt. 23:33-38, Luke 21:22).




5.3 Sixty-two sevens (434 years): Preparation for the First Coming of Jesus (444BC-10BC) (24c, 25c, 26a)

The passage of this Period (24c,25c,25d,26a) is structured as a regular chiasmus. The pivot [25d] predicts the reconstruction of Jerusalem. The subunits, [24c, 25c] and [26a] are regarding the goals of this Period that will be achieved through Christ's death on the cross.


"24c to atone for wickedness, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, 25c sixty-two sevens [434 years].
25d It [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26a After the sixty-two sevens [434 years], the Anointed One will be put to death but not for himself."



"24c to atone for wickedness, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, 25c sixty-two sevens [434 years]. "

This Period was one of preparation of the Judahites and Jerusalem for the coming of Jesus, who arrived shortly after the Period around 5BC. Christ achieved both the objectives of this Period: through his ministry, he taught the Gospel of the New Covenant - the everlasting truth from God (Rev. 14:6, Matt. 24:35) that enables righteous living; through his crucifixion, he atoned for the wickedness of mankind. Although these two objectives were not achieved during the Period, they were "brought in" through the Period (see vs 24c).



"25d It [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble."

The text, "It [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt...", anchors the start of this Period to the beginning of the overarching time-span (vs 25a) when the order to rebuild Jerusalem went out, around 444BC. The rebuilding was undertaken in spite of some opposition (Neh. 4 & 6, Daniel 11). The word "streets" (or "plaza" in some translations) seems to represent the interior of the city, and "trench" (or "wall" in the KJV) seems to refer to the exterior, the walls or fortification: that is, Jerusalem is rebuilt completely, inside and out. This Period ends 434 years later around 10BC, but no terminating event is specified.

Earlier in this chapter (Dan. 9:16-19), Daniel prayed for the restoration of the city of Jerusalem, which had been made desolate because of the Judahites' wickedness; this section of the prophecy appears to be partly in answer to Daniel's request. During this Period (444-10BC), a series of Gentile rulers took control of Jerusalem; the temple and city were both built up and defiled in this time of trouble (see Daniel 11 [9]). This cycle ended when Herod, an adherent of Judaism, having captured the city around 37 BC, started rebuilding the temple in 20BC (see John 2:20) and completed major works on the magnificent temple complex around 10 years later (finishing works apparently continued indefinitely).

Considering that this Period started with the order to rebuild Jerusalem, and, considering the primacy of the temple to Jerusalem, we can reasonably treat this completion of the temple reconstruction, around 10BC, as the terminating event of the Period.

The people and the city had been made ready for the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus, who was born shortly afterwards, around 5BC.



"26a After the sixty-two sevens [434 years], the Anointed One will be put to death but not for himself."

Some time "after the sixty-two sevens", the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, after teaching the Gospel from 26AD for around 3 1/2 years, was put to death in 30AD to atone for the sins of man. This event lies outside the Period but is presumably mentioned here because this is the time at which the objectives of the Period were accomplished.

Although the events of this Period were primarily relevant to the Judahites and Jerusalem, the objectives of this Period, as achieved through Christ, are for all mankind.



5.4 Seven sevens (49 years): Preparation for the Messiah's anointing (1968/69AD-2017AD) (24d, 25b)

This Period (24d,24e,25b) is structured as a chiasmus. The pivot [24e] predicts the coming of the Messiah of the Millennial Reign. The subunits, [24d] and [25a] are regarding his first significant act, that of opening the seals of prophetic passages.


24d to seal up vision and prophecy,
24e to anoint the most Holy One.
"25b seven sevens [49 years]"



"24d To seal up vision and prophesy"

God will put his stamp or seal on prophecies; that is, He will begin to reveal the meaning of all Biblical prophecies, showing them to be true (in this context, "seal up" effectively means "unseal"). Prophecy will be explained by the coming Messiah: he is the Comforter/Advocate and Spirit of Truth who will "teach you all things" (see John 14:16,17,26, John 16:13, see also 2 Peter 1:19). The coming Messiah will especially unseal and reveal the prophecies that correspond to the seals on the scroll (in Rev 5:5) that release the 4 horsemen and the tribulations.



24 e "to anoint the most Holy One."

This passage, the pivot of this section, predicts the anointing of the ruler who is mentioned at the end of the overarching statement (vs. 25a), thereby anchoring this Period to the end of the overarching timespan. The coming Messiah, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah", triumphs so that the seals on the scroll may be opened (Rev. 5:5), and, at this triumph, he is figuratively anointed (Christ is also deemed worthy at this time - Rev 5:9-12). We believe the coming Messiah, called "the most Holy One" in this passage, will be the Archangel Michael incarnate [6], the chief of the Angels (Dan. 10:13), the Holy Spirit (the word 'holy' in this context means consecrated).



"25b seven sevens [49 years]"

This Period of 49 years begins at the birth of the Messiah, a human representative Christ, in 1968/69AD (see our parse of Daniel 8 [6]) and ends in 2017AD (see our parse of Revelation 12 [10]). These 49 years appear to primarily be a time of preparation of the Messiah; the anointing of the Messiah and the beginning of "sealing up" (revelation) of prophecy occur at the end of this Period. After this anointing, Christ's reign will begin following a short period of tribulation.

The objectives of this Period will affect all mankind, but note that there is no accompanying text that specifies how the Judahites or Jerusalem will be affected during the Period. This is presumably because, at this time, there is no temple in Jerusalem, and the people of the tribe of Judah [5], who are now Christian, are scattered. However, this Period is about one particular Judahite, the coming Messiah, who will, like Jesus, be of the royal line of David as prophesied in many Biblical passages (Isa. 9:6-7, Jer. 33, Psa. 132 ...).




Conclusion

With this chiastic reconstruction of the text, we have shown that it contains three interwoven prophetic passages, allowing for a far more coherent interpretation of this otherwise confusing passage. Because of its basic, "ideal" cryptochiastic structure, this passage can be seen as a key to deciphering other passages in the Bible that are structured as more complex cryptochiasmi.

The common theme that connects the first and last Periods seems to be one of preparation for the Messiah (the Period of the First Jewish-Roman war is common to all chiastic reconstructions); the 62-sevens Period is a time of preparation for the first coming of Jesus (Christ was born 5-6 years after the Period), and the 7-sevens Period is a time of preparation of the Messiah some time before the start of Christ's Millennial Reign (the coming Messiah will appear a few years after the Period).


There are several implications of this interpretation that are relevant today:



Appendix

Details on the timeline of the First Jewish–Roman War (the 1 seven)

The One 'Seven': The covenant period of 1 'seven' (Dan. 9:27) seems to follow the Hebrew 'fall to fall' civil calendar. That is, the Period starts on the 1st of Tishrei (the first day of the civil calendar, Rosh Hashanah) in Sep. 66AD and ends by the 1st of Tishrei in Sep. 73. So the 'middle' of the covenant period (Dan. 9:27) would be the 1st of Nisan around Mar. 70AD, when the Judahite sacrifices were stopped and the "abomination that causes desolation" was set up (Dan. 9:27). The time between the start of the covenant period (1 Tishrei 66) and the 'middle' of the period (1 Nisan 70) was around 1300 days, and the time from the 'middle' to the end (1 Tishrei 73) was around 1270 days. (We used a Hebrew molad calculator to get approximate dates of the start of the Hebrew months.)

1290 days: In the first half of the 7 year period (1300 days), the cessation of sacrifices for Caesar probably took place around 10 days (maybe on Yom Kippur, a special time for sacrifices) after the start of the Hebrew year in Sep. 66, so that the time between this cessation and the "abomination that causes desolation" in 70AD was 1290 days (Dan 12:11).

1260 days: In the second half of the 7 year period (1270 days), the time from the "abomination that causes desolation" in 70AD (when the Judahites fled to the mountains) to the end of the covenant period in 73AD was 3 1/2 Hebrew years (Rev. 12:14) or 1270 days, but since the journey of the Judahite Christians to their refuge took around 10 days, the time at the mountains was 1260 days (Revelation 12:6).

The first 'half' (1290+ days), is longer than the second 'half' (1260+ days) by about 30 days, because there are 2 intercalary months (leap months) in the Sep. 66 - Mar. 70 period, and only one in the Apr. 70 - Sep. 73 period. ( While we take the 62 and 7 "sevens" to be accurate to the year, we treat this 1 "seven" as accurate to the day for several reasons, primarily because there was a 7-year covenant.)




References

[1] A Definition of Cryptochiasmus
[2] First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) - by Wikipedia.
[3] Titus - by Wikipedia
[4] Flight to Pella - by Wikipedia
[5] Jewish Christian - by Wikipedia
[6] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 8
[7] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The Olivet Discourse" in Matthew 24
[8] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The Olivet Discourse" in Luke 21
[9] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 10-12. Part 2: Daniel 11
[10] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Revelation 12





* First Version published on 23 September 2017