Adam Clarke and Daniel 9

The prophecy of 70 weeks

                         DANIEL'S 70 WEEK PROPHECY


Verse 24. Seventy weeks are determined:

     This is the most important prophecy, and has given rise to a

variety of opinions relative to the proper mode of explanation;

but the chief difficulty, if not the only one, is to find out the

TIME from which these seventy weeks should be dated. What is here

said by the angel is not a direct answer to Daniel's prayer. He

pryed to know when the seventy weeks of the captivity are to end.

Gabriel shows him that a seventy weeks determined relative to a

redemption from another sort of captivity, which shall commence

with the going forth of an edict to restore and rebuild Jerusalem,

and shall terminate with the death of Messiah and the total

abolition of the Jewish sacrifices. In the four following verses

he enters into the particular of this most important

determination, and  leaves them with Daniel for his comfort, who

has left them to the Church of God for the confirmation of its

faith, and a testimony to the truth of Divine revelation. They

contain the fullest confirmation of Christianity, and a complete

refutation of the Jewish cavils and blasphemies on this subject.

     Of all the writers I have consulted on this most noble

prophecy, Dean Prideaux appears to me the most clear and

satisfactory. I shall therefore follow his method in my

explanation, and often borrow his words.

Seventy weeks are determined:

     The Jews have "sabbatic" years, Lev. xxv. 8, by which their

years were divided into weeks of years, as in this important

prophecy, each week containing seven years. The seventy weeks

therefore here spoken of amount to four hundred and ninety


     In verse 24 there are six events mentioned which should be

the consequences of the incarnation of our Lord:

I. To finish (lechalle, to restrain,) the transgression, which was

effected by the preaching of the Gospel, and pouring

out of the Holy ghost among men.

II. To make an end of sins; rather (ulehathem chataoh), "to make

an end of sin-offerings;" which our Lord did when he offered his

spotless soul and body on the cross once for all.

III  To make reconciliation (ulechapper), "to make atonement or

expiation" for iniquity; which be did by the once offering up of


IV To bring in everlasting righteousness, (tsedek olamim), that

is, "the righteousness, or righteous ONE, of ages;" that person

who had been the object of the faith of mankind, and the subject

of the predictions of the prophets through all the ages of the


V  To seal up (velachtom, "to finish or complete") the vision and

prophecy; that is, to put an end to the necessity of any farther

revelations, by completing the canon of Scripture, and fulfilling

the prophecies which related to his person, sacrifice, and the

glory that should follow.

VI  And to anoint the Most Holy (kodesh kodashim, "the Holy of

holies.") (mashach), to anoint, (from which comes "mashiach," the

Messiah, the anointed one,) signifies in general, to consecrate

or appoint to some special office. Here it means the consecration

or appointment of our blessed Lord, the Holy One of Israel, to be

the Prophet, Priest, and King of mankind.

Verse 25. From the going forth of the commandment to restore and

to build Jerusalem. The foregoing events being all accomplished

by Jesus Christ, they of course determine the prophecy to him.

And if we reckon back four hundred and ninety years, we shall

find the time of the going forth of this command.


     Most learned men agree that the death of Christ happened at

the Passover in the month Nisan, in the four thousand seven

hundred and forty-sixth year of the Julian period. Four hundred

and ninety years, reckoned back from the above year, leads us

directly to the month Nisan in the four thousand two hundred and

fifty-sixth year of the same period; the very month and year in

which Ezra had his commission from Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of

Persia, (see Ezra vii. 9,) to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. See

the commission in Ezra, chap. vii. 11-26, and Prideaux's

Connexions, vol. ii. p.380.

(A full in-depth study of when Christ was born and so when His

ministry began can be found on this Website - "Jesus was

born - 5 B.C." Hence Jesus died on the cross in 30 A.D. 40 years

later in 70 A.D. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Titus

and the Roman armies - Keith Hunt)

     The above seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety years,

are divided, in verse 25, into three distinct periods, to  each

of which particular events are assigned. The three periods are.

Seven weeks, that is, forty-nine years. Sixty-two weeks, that is,

four hundred thirty-four years. One week, that is, seven years.

     To the first period of seven weeks the restoration and

repairing of Jerusalem are referred; and so long were Ezra and

Nehemiah employed in restoring the sacred constitutions and civil

establishments of the Jews, for this work lasted forty-nine years

after the commission was given by Artaxerxes.

     From the above seven weeks the second period of sixty-two

weeks, or four hundred and thirty-four years more, commences, at

the end of which the prophecy says, Messiah the Prince should

come, that is, seven weeks, or forty-nine years, should be

allowed for the restoration of the Jewish state; from which time

till the public entrance of the Messiah on the work of the

ministry should be sixty-two weeks, or four hundred and

thirty-four years, in all four hundred and eighty-three years.

From the coming of our Lord, the third period is to be dated,

viz., "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week,"

that is, one of the covenant must take in the ministry of John the

Baptist with that of our Lord, comprehending the term of seven

years, during the whole of which he might be well said to confirm

or ratify the new covenant with mankind. 

     Our Lord says, "The law was UNTIL John" but from his first

public preaching the KINGDOM OF GOD, or Gospel dispensation,


     These SEVEN YEARS, added to the FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-THREE, completes the FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY years, or SEVENTY prophetic weeks; so that the whole of this prophecy, from the times and corresponding events, HAS BEEN FULFILLED TO THE VERY LETTER!

     Some imagine that the half of the last seven years is to be

referred to the total destruction of the Jews by Titus, when the

daily sacrifice ever ceased to be offered; and that the

intermediate space of thirty-seven years, 

(actually it would be 40 years - from our Lord's death in 30 A.D. to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. is 40 years - Keith Hunt)

from our Lord's death till the destruction of the city, is passed

over as being of no account in relation to the prophecy, and that

it was on this account that the last seven years are divided. But

Dean Prideaux thinks that the whole refers to our Lord's

preaching connected with that of the Baptist.  "vachatsi," says

he, signifies in the half part of the week; that is, in the

latter three years and a half in which he exercised himself in

the public ministry, he caused, by the sacrifice of himself, all

other sacrifices and oblations to cease, which were instituted to

signify his.

(The prophecy is indeed unbroken and the new covenant was

ratified by John the baptist and Jesus' ministry, a seven year

period. Some say it could be 3 and 1/2 years of Jesus bringing in the New Covenant, and the New Testament “church” towards the Jews, ratifying it for another 3 and 1/2 years before it went to the Gentiles. Either way the New Covenant was preached to the Jews for 7 years.  - Keith Hunt)


     In the latter parts of verse 26 and 27 we find the THIRD

PART of this great prophecy, which refers to what should be done

after the completion of these seventy weeks.

Verse 26. 

     And the people of the prince that shall destroy the city and

the sanctuary. By the "prince" Titus, the son of Vespasian, is

plainly intended; and "the people of that prince" are no other

than the Romans, who, according to the prophecy, destroyed the

sanctuary,  "hakkodesh," the holy place or temple, and, as a

flood, swept away all, till the total destruction of that

obstinate people finished the war.

(The phrase "the prince" could also be referring to the One

previously mentioned - the Messiah. The work of Titus and his

army being the work or intention of God the Messiah, to take

place as Jesus had alluded to in His Gospel ministry. He knew

what was to happen to the city of Jerusalem and its Temple,

hence He allowed it, for it was so to be. Not all was wiped away

like as a flood can do, for today we still have part of the

Temple outer wall remaining, it is today often called "the

Wailing Wall." An overflowing  flood will invariably leaving

Some things standing though all around has been washed 

away - Keith Hunt)

Verse 27. 

     And for the overspreading of abominations shall make it


     This clause is remarkably obscure. "kenaph shikkutsim

meshomem," "And upon the wing of abominations causing amazement."

This is a literal translation of the place; but still there is no

determinate sense. A Hebrew MS., written in the thirteenth

century, has preserved a very remarkable reading here, which

frees the place from all embarrassment. Instead of the above

reading, this valuable MS. has "ubeheychal yihyey shikkuts; that

is, "And in the temple (of the Lord) there shall be abomination."

     That the above reading gives the true sense, there can be

little doubt, because it is countenanced by the most eminent

ancient versions.

The Vulgate reads, "Et erit in templo abomination" "And in the

temple there shall be abomination."

Septuagint (LXX) (Clarke then gives the Greek - Keith Hunt) "And

upon the temple there shall be abomination of desolation."

The Arabic, "And upon the sanctuary there shall be the

abomination of ruin."





Keith Hunt

Entered on this Website March 2009