Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ Part VI: Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and New Testament Chronology -- By: Harold W. Hoehner

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 132:525 (Jan 1975)
Article: Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ Part VI: Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and New Testament Chronology
Author: Harold W. Hoehner


Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ
Part VI:
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and New Testament Chronology

Harold W. Hoehner

While Daniel was in the Babylonian captivity (605–538/37 B.C.), he was given the prophecy of the seventy weeks (Dan 9:24–27), which has become the subject of many discussions and interpretations. The purpose of this article is to determine how this prophecy relates to the chronology of Christ’s life discussed in the previous articles in this series.

The Context Of The Seventy Weeks

In the first year of Darius, 538-37 B.C. (Dan 9:1; 2 Chron 36:21–23; Ezra 1; 6:3–5), Daniel observed that the seventy-year captivity prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer 25:11–12; 29:10) was nearing its completion. The reason for Israel’s captivity was their refusal to obey the Word of the Lord from the prophets (Jer 29:17–19) and to give their land sabbatical rests (2 Chron 36:21). God had stated that Israel, because of her disobedience, would be removed from her land and scattered among the Gentiles until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths (Lev 26:33–35).

According to 2 Chronicles 36:21 the land would be desolate for seventy years. One may therefore conclude that in the eight hundred year’s history of Israel in the land, seventy sabbatical years were not kept. Now Daniel, seeing that the seventy years of captivity were nearing their completion, realized that before the exiles could return to their homeland they needed to confess and repent of their sin of disobedience before God (Lev 26:40–46). Hence, Daniel confessed on behalf of his people the disobedient course they had followed and pleaded that God’s anger would be

turned away so that Israel may return to her land. While Daniel was making his petition, the angel Gabriel came to give him understanding of the prophetic message of the seventy weeks. Daniel had asked about Israel’s imminent return to their land, but instead God gave him the revelation of the seventy weeks which was to assure Daniel that God will fulfill His covenant promises to the nation. Gabriel informed Daniel that God would bring Israel back into their land...

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