The 70th week and the mount of Olives

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The prophet Ezekiel made several references to the mount of Olives, some explicit, and some implied. He said the glory of the Lord went from the midst of Jerusalem and stood upon the mount of Olives. [Ezekiel 11:23] Later, he said the glory of the Lord came by way of the east, and filled the house of the Lord. [Ezekiel 43:5] The river which flowed from out of the temple was only ankle deep, near the city of Jerusalem, but it became a river that was too deep to cross about a mile to the east, which is the site of the mount of Olives. [Ezekiel 47:5]

Zechariah described the mount of Olives becoming cleaved in the midst, and half of it moving towards the north, and half towards the south, forming a great valley between. He said the people will flee to the valley between the two mountains. [Zechariah 14:4-5]

Jesus often taught his disciples on the mount of Olives. He taught the people on other mountains, but the names of those mountains are not recorded in the gospel accounts. Only the mount of Olives is named. The Olivet Discourse, a prophecy about the future of the church, was given on the mount of Olives. After Jesus ate the Passover where he initiated the new covenant with his disciples, they went to the mount of Olives. [Mark 14:26] Before his arrest, Jesus went to pray on the mount of Olives. Jesus was crucified on the mount of Olives, as indicated by the fact that when he died, and the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, it was visible from the site. [Mark 15: 37-39] Jesus was probably buried on the mount of Olives. Jesus was raised up from the grave on the mount of Olives. Jesus ascended to heaven from the mount of Olives. In scripture, mountains represent revelations, and promises, and covenants. The Mosaic covenant was represented by Sinai, [Galatians 4:24] and the new covenant by the mount of Olives.

In Zechariah’s prophecy about the mount of Olives being cleaved and moving to the north and to the south, it seems clear that the mount of Olives is symbolic, and the events described in the New Testament that occurred upon the mount of Olives suggest that the mount of Olives represents the new covenant. Some consider the events described in Zechariah’s prophecy to be literal, but what benefit would there be in fleeing after a major earth movement? And why flee towards the site? That would make no sense!

Zechariah’s prophecy describes the ways that people have misinterpreted the covenant that Jesus confirms with his saints in the present age, referred to in the prophecy of Daniel 9:27; “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.”

The two theories, dispensationalism and preterism, displace the mount of Olives, representing the new covenant, to the north and south. Mountains that are moved from their positions represent prophecies, promises, and covenants that are misinterpreted, applied in the wrong time, and to the wrong people.

The mount of Olives represents the new covenant, and its promises, that Christ confirms with many in the present age. Many think that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy, healing, ceased after the age of apostles, a belief called Cessationism.

Preterism says the covenant that is confirmed for one week in Daniel 9:27 is entirely confined to the first century. Preterist interpretations may vary in detail, but they limit confirming the covenant to the first century. Three varieties of preterist interpretations of the 70 weeks prophecy are illustrated below.

A typical preterist view of the 70 weeks

Timeline 11

Preterist interpretation with the 70th week focused upon the fall of Jerusalem

Preterist interpretation with 70th week stretched to include the fall of Jerusalem

Viewed from Jerusalem, the sections of the mount of Olives moving to the north and to the south and forming a valley between would appear much like the preterist and dispensationalist interpretations of the covenant that Jesus confirms for one week, where the mount of Olives represents the new covenant. In preterism the mount of Olives and the time of confirming the covenant is removed towards the north, or towards the left in the illustrations above. In dispensationalism, the time of confirming the covenant is removed towards the south, or towards the right in the diagram below. The truth is that covenant in Daniel 9:27, which Christ confirms for one week, is the new covenant, which Jesus confirms during the whole age of the church.

Preterism limits the week of confirming the covenant to the first century, while in contrast, dispensationalim says the week is seven years at the end of the age, and they mistake Christ for antichrist! Their view figuratively removes part of the mount of Olives towards the south. Both preterism and dispensationalism deny that the covenant is one that Christ confirms for the whole age of the church. The dispensational view is illustrated below.

A dispensationalist interpretation of the 70 weeks

A typical dispensationalist interpretation of the 70 weeks

A better interpretation of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks is illustrated below. There are no gaps; the mount of Olives, representing the new covenant, is left intact. It is the new covenant that people should flee to. Jesus confirms his covenant with the church for one week, which includes his ministry as the first half week, and the whole age of the church is the final half of the 70th week. It is represented by the phrase a time, times and a half.

Timeline 3

The seventy weeks correspond to three of the four periods of seven times in Lev. 26

 

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