Is the Seventieth Week of Daniel Future? -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 101:401 (Jan 1944)
Article: Is the Seventieth Week of Daniel Future?
Author: John F. Walvoord


Is the Seventieth Week of Daniel Future?

John F. Walvoord

The interpretation of the revelation given to Daniel concerning the seventy weeks (Daniel 9:24–27) constitutes one of the determining factors in the whole system of prophecy. The attention given to it by all schools of interpretation, and the attacks upon the authenticity of the book itself combine to focus the white light of investigation upon it. The interpretation of this passage inevitably colors all other prophetic views, and a proper understanding of it is the sine qua non of any student of prophecy.

I. The Importance of the Revelation.

The importance of the revelation of Daniel nine lies first of all in the chronology which it establishes. Properly understood, we have here the major outline of the period from Daniel to Christ and from the rapture of the Church to the second coming of Christ in glory. Certainly, no other Old Testament passage does as much for ordering events future from Daniel’s point of view as does the passage under consideration.

Properly interpreted, the prophecy of Daniel furnishes an excellent example of the principle that prophecy is subject to literal interpretation. Practically all expositors, however opposed to prophecy per se, agree that at least part of the seventy weeks of Daniel is to be interpreted literally. In fact, such is the force of the literal interpretation that those who deny the possibility of accurate prophecy are compelled to move the date of the writing of Daniel until after the events which they believe fulfilled it. From the standpoint of this article, if the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel were subject to literal fulfillment, it is a powerful argument that the final seventieth week will have a similar fulfillment.

Another important aspect of the passage is frequently overlooked by expositors. The seventy weeks of Daniel,

properly interpreted, demonstrate the distinct place of the Christian church and Israel in the purposes of God. The seventy weeks of Daniel are totally in reference to Israel and her relation to Gentile powers and the rejection of Israel’s Messiah. The peculiar purpose of God in calling out a people from every nation to form the church and the program of the present age are nowhere in view in this prophecy.

II. The Historic Fulfillment of the Sixty-Nine Weeks.

The interpretation of the seventy weeks of Daniel is divided into two main problems, the fulfillment of the sixty-nine weeks, and the fulfillment of the seventieth week. Our present study is primarily concerned with the latter problem. However, in order to have a ba...

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