Home > Covenant Theology, Daniel's 70 Weeks, The 3 ½ years > Meredith G. Kline and the Seventieth Week

Meredith G. Kline and the Seventieth Week

August 2, 2011

Meredith G. Kline (1922-2007) was a Presbyterian minister who taught the Old Testament at several theological seminaries. He was professor emeritus at Westminster Seminary, California. He became an expert on ancient treaties, and their connections with the covenants found in the Bible.

Meredith G. Kline

Meredith G. Kline

Kline believed the last half of the 70th week in Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks spans the whole age of the church. In his article “The Covenant of the Seventieth Week,” he wrote: [1]

In the course of the climactic seventieth week, masiah nagid, the anointed priest-king, would make the covenant prevail both in renewal and in judgment. Cut off in death, Messiah would make priestly reconciliation for iniquity, so perfecting sacrifice forever and instituting the new covenant. Then exercising His royal heavenly rule over all the nations, Messiah in the midst of the seventieth week would send forces of destruction against the Jerusalem temple, so making the old ritual system cease and bringing the old covenant to its end.

When we survey the fulfillment of Gabriel’s prophecy from our vantage point, it appears that the last half of the seventieth week is the age of the community of the new covenant, disengaged from the old covenant order with whose closing days its own beginnings overlapped for a generation. In the imagery of the New Testament Apocalypse, the last half week is the age of the church in the wilderness of the nations for a time, and times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14). Since the seventy weeks are ten jubilee eras that issue in the last jubilee, the seventieth week closes with the angelic trumpeting of the earth’s redemption and the glorious liberty of the children of God. The acceptable year of the Lord which came with Christ will then have fully come. Then the new Jerusalem whose temple is the Lord and the Lamb will descend from heaven (Rev. 21:10,22) and the ark of the covenant will be seen (Rev. 11:19), the covenant the Lamb has made to prevail and the Lord has remembered.

Kline’s understanding of the 70th week was correct, in my opinion. It consists of the two periods, one that consists of the three and a half year ministry of Jesus, and the other being the whole age of the church, which is represented symbolically by the phrase “a time, times and a half.”

During this time, Daniel 7 depicts the saints at war with the little horn of the fourth beast, which has “eyes like the eyes of a man.” Its eyes represent the human viewpoint, which is opposed to the divine viewpoint. The period is also the time of the beast described in Revelation 13, who makes war with the saints.

During the same period, the saints flee to the wilderness; they are separate from the world. They are represented by the woman, described in Revelation 12. In the wilderness, she occupies a place prepared for her by God, where she is nourished, by the word of God, and the gospel. She is given two wings of a great eagle. These may be symbolic of an understanding of prophecy. Equipped with powerful wings of an eagle, she is able to soar high above the earth, and from there, she views things from above. The view from above represents a divine viewpoint, which contrasts with the human viewpoint.

A flood of water from the mouth of the serpent threatens the woman; the flood from the mouth of the serpent mimics the river of living waters from the temple of God, described by the prophets. It is a flood that includes all sorts of flawed interpretations of prophecy.

The two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11 minister during the same symbolic period of 1,260 days. That can be identified with the Word of God, and the Spirit. The doctrine of a gap in the 70th week, promoted by dispensationalism, and the preterist doctrine that the 70th week expired in the first century, oppose and obscure the truth that Christ confirms his covenant with his saints throughout the present age. They fulfill the prophecy about the beast ascending from the bottomless pit, which makes war against, and overcomes the two witnesses.

The serpent’s flood is eventually swallowed up, when the earth, or the land, opens its mouth. In the final “seven times” of Leviticus 26, God “remembers the land,” and the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the promise to Abraham, all nations are to be blessed. The land represents the spiritual inheritance of the saints. One of the things Jesus promised his disciples was that the Spirit would guide them into all truth. [John 16:13] Only when the church understands the truth, is the serpent’s flood of false interpretation swallowed up completely.

References

[1] Meredith G. Kline. The Covenant of the Seventieth Week. In: The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies in Honor of Oswald T. Allis. ed. by J.H. Skilton. [Nutley, NJ]: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974, pp. 452-469.

Advertisements