If Daniel’s 70th Week Was Fulfilled
Without a Gap,
Why is the Destruction of Jerusalem (40 years after the cross)
Inserted in the 70 Weeks?
Such a question is usually asked by folks who are not familiar with the
wording of Daniel 9:24-27. The destruction of Jerusalem is not said
to occur before the 70th Week of Daniel.
The reason people assume it is, is due to a misunderstanding of the following
Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be
cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with
a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Verse 26 mentions 62 weeks. It is understood by all familiar with
Daniel 9 that a previous 7 weeks, from verse 25, are already noted, and meant
to be considered as well, in reading about the time after the 62 weeks.
The coming of Messiah followed the 7 + 62 weeks, or after 69 weeks.
At any rate, this verse is thought to indicate that this is simply saying
that all the events listed in verse 26 must occur after the 69th week, and
before the 70th week. These events include the event when Messiah
would come and be cut off, or crucified, and Jerusalem would be destroyed.
The error in this reasoning is that Daniel did not say that all of this
would occur before the 70th Week. He simply said Messiah would come
after the 7 + 62 Weeks, and then added some incidental issues about the
Messiah, including His cutting off and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem.
We argue there is no gap whatsoever in the 70 weeks. But people mistakenly
reason that verse 26 demands that a Gap be inserted after Messiah comes.
They say the events of the Messiah’s cutting off, or crucifixion, and the
destruction of Jerusalem 40 years later, must necessarily be part of a Gap
period. If there are 40 years involved here (for that is the
time it took after the cross for Jerusalem to be destroyed by Rome), then
how else can such an amount of time be part of the 70 weeks of Daniel?
There is only 1 week of 7 years left at this point.
One might ask, “Why was Daniel told about the destruction of the city and
temple in this part of the speech, if it was to occur outside the 70 Week
This verse is not telling us that the cross and the destruction of Jerusalem
will occur before the 70th week. We are only told that after the 7
+ 62 weeks, Jesus will come. And then Daniel is told an incidental
set of events that occur because of Christ’s coming, that are not to be confused
as occurring before the 70th week. He would be cut off and Jerusalem
will later be destroyed. These words are incidental to the mention of the
Messiah coming at the end of 69 weeks.
The narrative speaks of Messiah coming, and note must be particularly made
that this Messiah would be cut off. What more significant event is
associated with His coming? And that crucifixion, in turn, would be
the reason that Jerusalem would be destroyed. But this is not saying
that cross and destruction of Jerusalem must occur before the 70th week.
As Daniel highlighted the destruction of Jerusalem due to their crucifixion
of Him, Jesus, Himself speaks in harmony. The stressed point of why destruction
would occur is thereby found in both accounts of Daniel and Matthew.
Matthew 23:32-38 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
(33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation
of hell? (34) Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and
wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some
of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city
to city: (35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood
shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias
son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (36)
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
(37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest
them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children
together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would
not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
He said they would fill the cup of their fathers in committing iniquity
of shedding innocent blood. They would do this by crucifying some of
the ones sent to them, most of all including Himself. Their house would
be left desolate because of this crucifixion and rejection.
Since this is the reason for their destruction, Daniel is told about this
detail while being told of the Messiah coming after the 69 weeks.
That Messiah who would come, would be cut off by the cross, and because
of that, the city and sanctuary would be destroyed. But the coming
of the Messiah is the only thing that would occur at the actual point of
the end of 69 weeks, which is the beginning of the 70th week.
Had Daniel been told that these events all would occur BEFORE the 70th
week, then there would have to be a gap there. But that is not what
Daniel was told. He was told that Messiah would come after 69 weeks.
And then would begin the 70th week. But while still thinking of Messiah
coming, Daniel is told, in a sort of “by-the-way” manner, that Jesus would
be crucified, and as a result, the city would be destroyed.
Verse 27 continues with the timeline at the point of the end of the 7 +
62 weeks. Jesus is the one who would confirm the covenant of remission
of sins by His blood, which would apply solely to Israel for 1 week, or
7 years. That does not mean the covenant would last only 1 week.
It was confirmed to Israel as the sole audience for 1 week. At that
point of 7 years, Israel was found to stone Stephen, and Paul came on the
scene to preach and turn to the gentiles. Israelite remnant believers
continued to come into the church. But as a whole, the Gospel departed
from Israel as its sole audience. For that reason, 70 weeks were said
to be determined upon Israel.
It was about 3.5 years after Jesus was cut off and made an end of sins
by Himself being the sacrifice once and for all, that the gospel went to
the Gentiles as well.
So Jesus confirms a covenant with Israel, noted first by Abraham, and 3.5
years later is crucified.
Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one
week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation
to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate,
even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the