“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and thy holy city…”
Firstly the weeks are not intended literally. Here we have a prophecy, which however has a great bearing upon our understanding of the book of revelation. Eschatology of the end times is to prepare us and not for guesswork as to the identities of the Beast or Babylon. . In order to understand the book it we would do well to learn how the Spirit leads us to the truth. It is not by fixing dates; nor by following the tracks of the four beasts nor by the kings who should arise from these (Dan.8:19-20). These belong to history and we can only assume the Spirit was supplying clues of the immediate future. Narrative structure of the Spirit consistently adopt ‘two in one’ format where the future events are written lengthwise and across and folded many times into a small book such as we find in the Chapter 5 of the book of Revelation. It is similar as the flying roll (Zech. 5:1-3). It is however the curse and judgment that is ongoing. From this we are told specific judgement are written across or lengthwise.vs.3 ”
“…A book written within and on the back side, sealed…(Re.5:1)” from these we may gather only what is on the backside can be read and not the passages folded over. Since the opening of seals have corresponding consequences we can be certain what is concealed are mysteries that shall be opened only when the appropriate time for revelation arrives. This is exactly what we read here, “…In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished… ” This being the case who shall make it known despite the divine injunction? “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” It is significant to note that as with the human aspect of the Son of man he would not want to intrude into what was privy only to God the Father.
Having said this as a preface let us familiarize with the narrative form often adopted by the Spirit. For example we see the Creation chronicle of God beginning from the first chapter till the third verse of the following chapter. It runs for six days and on the seventh he rested. As with days so are the weeks.
With the opening chapter in the book of Genesis the Spirit in one sentence encapsulates Creative Will of the Lord God. It is past perfect. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Thereafter the Spirit provides the creative calendar wherein each day covers piecemeal what the first sentence entailed. Piecemeal in the sense creative will operates through many agencies and in presenting the creation of creatures it is evident that the supportive system of vegetation the land the sea are all flowing into one another. Thus with passing of each ‘day’ of creation, the background events are absorbing and responding to the power and wisdom of the creative Mind. With great economy of words we are only told of major creative events. Similarly while presenting the future of Israel,- it is certainly set against the history of gentile nations, we see it doubling for the church as well. Messiah the Prince has opposite number the anti-Christ. From whichever position you take you shall have your candidate except that God does not validate it. Candidacy of Antiochus Epiphanes perhaps helps those who want to make a case for the Maccabean revolt of 167-164 BC; For us Christians we would place death on the cross in the midst of the seventieth week. Subsequent desolation we can place in AD 70 when Titus Vespasianus destroyed Jerusalem. Such exercise is not to our profit as being found diligent and looking for the new earth and new heavens where the righteousness dwells.
Let us enumerate the various events that ought to happen before the Most Holy One is anointed.(Dan.9:24)”.
- “…to finish the transgression…”
- “…and to make up the end of sins…”
- “… and to make reconciliation for iniquity,…”
- “…and to bring in everlasting righteousness…”
- “…and to seal up the vision and prophecy, …”
The last event informs us that the vision and prophecy are events that extend to the period of of seventy weeks.
(This is an excerpt from the current work in progress- benny)