Seventy Times Seven and Daniel’s 70 Weeks?

Jesus said we are to forgive up to seventy times seven times. Does this cryptic phrase actually refer to the 70 Weeks Prophecy? If so what does it mean?

Peter asked Jesus about how often one is to forgive.  He suggested that perhaps we are to forgive seven times. I have heard this passage taught a number of times from the pulpit. It is an iconic teaching of Jesus.  I think everyone gets the primary point correct – that we are to forgive and forgive and forgive – that there isn’t a point where we are to stop forgiving during this life.

However, I think there are nuances of understanding that almost everyone has missed about this passage – ones which dramatically affect our understanding of prophecy. The reason is that the numbers used by Peter and Jesus ( “7” and “70 Times 7“) are not random numbers, but are references to the Old Testament scriptures.

In fact, this phrase that Jesus used has become the title of my new book, 70 Times 7.

In addition to looking at this topic, the book also examines and challenges traditional thinking in multiple areas of our eschatological theories.

  • What if the Prince who is to come is NOT the Antichrist?
  • What if the Covenant with the Many is NOT an Antichrist peace treaty?
  • What if the people of the Prince who is to come are NOT Romans?
  • What if the solution to the 69 Week countdown to the Messiah was NOT Sir Robert Anderson’s 360-day years?
  • What if the phrase “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing” does NOT mean “but not for himself” as we’ve been taught?

From this small sample of topics, you can see why this book may be my most important book, and the may be the most controversial and revolutionary eschatology book in the last ten years.

So I am happy to announce the Publication of 70 Times 7: Daniel’s Mysterious Countdown and the Church’s Heroic Future

CLICK HERE to order your copy TODAY

Context of 70 Times 7

Let’s begin today’s blog by looking at the context of this teaching. It appears earlier that day, Jesus had explained what we now know as “church discipline” with the disciples. How a person first goes to the one who has offended privately. And how if they don’t repent, you are to then go with two persons and then as an  assembly of believers.

It was at this point that Peter asked Jesus a logical question, “How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?” Peter was asking in essence, “How many times do I have to go through this process?” And he offered Jesus a suggestion, “Up to seven times?”

Why did Peter choose this number? We don’t know. But in Israel in that day, debts were forgiven during the final year or sabbatical year of a seven-year-long “Week of Years” which they called a Shabua. On that final, seventh year, all financial debts were forgiven. Might Peter have been thinking along those terms? Was he thinking that sin debts would be forgiven as well as financial debts? We simply don’t know. But – and this is very important – we know Jesus was thinking of Shabuim (plural of Shabua) when he answered Peter.

Jesus said:

I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matt. 18:22)

This is a very, very unusual phrase, 70 Times 7. Nearly every pastor and teacher who has discussed this passage has assumed that Jesus simply meant “a very long time” – essentially forgive for the rest of your life. And this is the passage’s surface meaning.

However, in Daniel 9:24, the BIble uses an approximation of this identical phrase.  In the middle of the most famous and important prophecy in all of Scripture, the angel Gabriel had this to say to Daniel:

Seventy weeks (Heb: shabuim, meaning “sevens”) have been decreed for your people and your holy city. (Dan. 9:24)

Seventy “sevens” and seventy times seven are obviously the same thing (490).

Jesus then told the disciples the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.  In this familiar parable, the king (Jesus) forgives an enormous debt of 10,000 talents.  Most bible scholars equate this huge debt with our sin debt to God that Jesus paid for on the cross.

However, immediately after being forgiven his enormous debt, the unmerciful servant refused to forgive even a small amount another servant owed him. In this way, Jesus was explaining to Peter and the other disciples how God views us when we don’t forgive and the hypocrisy of unforgiveness.

What Everyone Has Missed

What nearly everyone has missed, however, is how this is related to Dan. 9:24-27 and the 70 Weeks Prophecy. Let’s look at Jesus’s statement one more time:

I do not say to you, up to seven times, but UP TO seventy times seven. (Matt. 18:22)

Notice, Jesus told his disciples (and us) that forgiveness is to be offered UP TO seventy times seven. He although we look at this phrase as “unlimited forgiveness,” it actually isn’t – it is the limit of forgiveness. The Greek word translated “up to” is heos which means “as far as” or “up until.” This means we are to forgive until the completion of the time period, seventy times seven, but not after.

If this truly is the time period in Daniel’s seventy sevens (weeks) prophecy, this makes sense. God has set a limit on man’s rebellion. There will come a day when God says “enough” and he will descend from heaven and bring his Wrath upon the inhabitants of the world who have not repented.

This has profound impact on the interpretation of prophecy. There are a very significant number of biblical scholars (historicists and preterists) who believe the 70 Weeks prophecy was fulfilled in the first century. The teaching in this article proves that their theory is absolutely impossible!

These scholars postulate that the 70th Week of Daniel depicted in Dan. 9:27 is not a future seven year period but was fulfilled in the first century.  But if forgiveness is to be offered UP UNTIL the end of the seventy sevens, and if we aren’t to forgive after the end of the 70 Weeks, then it can’t have ended in the first century as we are still to forgive right NOW. Forgiveness hasn’t ended yet!

This is so significant, it deserves to be restated:

If forgiveness of sins ends after “seventy times seven,’ then this can ONLY be upon the return of Jesus and the end of this age. Period. The 70th Week of Daniel must be in the future.

The argument between futurists (who believe the 70th Week of Daniel is future) and historicists has raged for centuries. Have we now uncovered a single, simple proof that proves the historicist and preterist positons impossible? I believe we have.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Seventy Times Seven and Daniel’s 70 Weeks?”

  1. Bonjour Nelson,

    Thanks again for your ministry and for your hard work!

    I have finished reading your new book…There are some very interesting insights and you bring new lights of understanding on some parts of the book of Daniel, but I’m still not fully convinced by your conclusion regarding the one who confirms the covenant with many for one week and who causes the sacrifice and the oblation to cease in Daniel 9.27.

    In your agrumentation to show that it is Yeshua, you fail to address the 3 other passages that describe the very same scene (Dan 8.11, Dan 11.31 & Dan 12.11) and attribute it to the antichrist.

    Had you addressed these passages to validate your points, it would have helped. The fact that you did not, makes it hard to come to the same conclusion as you.

    The passage in Daniel 12, leaves things open, but in Daniel 8.11 and Daniel 11.31, it is very clear that it is the AC acting.
    Daniel 9.27 tells the same story as Daniel 8.11 and 11.31, therefore, it stands to reason that it is also the AC who acts in Daniel 9.27 and not Yeshua as you conclude in your book.

    I’m sure you must have tackled these arguments and would be interested to hear what you have to say!

    Be blessed and encouraged in your ministry

    Shalom shalom,

    FX

    1. Francois,

      Thanks for picking up the book and reading it so carefully. There is zero question that the Antichrist is the one who physically stops the resumed Jewish sacrifices at the midpoint of the 70th Week of Daniel. This is consistent with the verses you mention and Dan. 9:27 in the Septuagint version which states,”In the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away.” So it is obvious that someone (in this case it is the Antichrist) takes away the sacrifices. The only question involves the Massoretic Text (Hebrew) version of Dan. 9:27. “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering.”

      Jesus, of course, can authorize the removal of sacrifices and use the Antichrist as his agent to do his bidding. In this same way, God used the Roman Legions to destroy the Temple and city in AD 70, as his agents. I’ll quote from page 131 of 70 Times 7:

      “Both can be true. Jesus can authorize or permit the Antichrist to take away the sacrificial system. The Antichrist can be Jesus’s agent to accomplish his will. As we discussed before, the sacrificial system is a crutch for the unsaved Jews, allowing them to believe that they are righteous when they aren’t. The removal of this system of animal sacrifices causes them to realize their sin and seek the only real solution: Jesus.”

      The misunderstanding of Yeshua’s agency in both issues, removal of the sacrifices and destruction of the city in AD 70 are the main reasons that clear reading of scripture is ignored in this passage (Dan. 9:26-27) and the main reason that most consider the Antichrist to the be “he” in Dan. 9:27 – despite the fact that the same verse presents him as only “coming” on the wings of abomination and lists him as a separate character – the “one who makes desolate.” The Antichrist can’t be both characters (“He” and the “one who makes desolate”) grammatically.

      Hopefully that explains it more fully for you.

      1. Merci Nelson for your feedback!

        Indeed when considering the Septuagint version of Daniel 9.27 versus the Massoretic Text, it makes sense.

        Have a blessed rest!

        FX

        1. The concept of “agency” is neglected in the study of Daniel’s 70 Weeks. Just as God sent the Babylonians to destroy the city in 586 BC, God can authorize a lot of other aspects as well. Yet up to this point it has never been looked at that way previously.

  2. Hi Nelson. I have been following you ministry for a few years and have been greatly blessed and challenged by your teaching. I find your work well researched and it is obvious to me that you have spent many hours seeking the Lords wisdom on the subjects you write about. I am certain that your work will yield great fruit especially as the time of Our Lords return draws near. I share your frustration that the church especially the American church is woefully unprepared for what may soon come and as a result many may abandon the faith out of disappointment and confusion. It is particularly difficult to get pastors to even look into these subjects and present this information to their congregations. I suspect that praying Daniel’s prayer in this area is vital!
    I just finished you book,”Seventy Times Seven “ and I intend to reread it to really absorb some of the things presented. My initial impression is very favorable as I ask God for greater understanding. I have a question about the verse in Isaiah 28:15 about the covenant with death and hell that Israel enters into. The context appears to be end times so how do you see this verse relating to Israel? Could this be some sort of deal that allows the reestablishment of animal sacrifices? I agree that it is not the sigh we should be looking for that signals the end of the age but so you think it is part of what brings Israel to the end of its power to prepare her to receive her Savior?
    God bless you and thank you for your wonderful books.
    Maria

    1. Thank you Maria.

      Maria, I also believe Isaiah 28:15 will have end time application as well and wrote about this in Revelation Deciphered. The passage is essentially about the covenant with death which is trusting in the blood of goats rather and the precious blood of Jesus. I think it has first century and end time application. It is almost assured that a treaty will be drawn up that divides the land and promises peace. It just isn’t THE sign of the 70th Week. 70 Times 7 mentions the probability we will see a peace treaty. However.the covenant in Dan. 9:27 is about something else.

  3. The arrival of ‘70 Times 7’ was eagerly awaited & Nelson Walters did not disappoint. Nelson is the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ of End-Times expositors. Not only does this book reveal mysteries ‘hidden in plain sight’ but it also is an encouragement to believers entering ‘the birth pains’ & ‘the great tribulation’, as we prepare for the Return of Jesus. The book focuses in on Dan. 9:24-27. Nelson believes there are nuances of understanding that almost everyone has missed about this passage – ones which dramatically affect our understanding of prophecy.
    Jesus said we are to forgive up to seventy times seven times. Does this cryptic phrase actually refer to the 70 Weeks Prophecy? Read the book to find out. I give it five stars..

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