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Cyrus and the 70 Weeks

August 3, 2011

In the prophecies of Revelation, Babylon is a symbol of the worldly religious system. The city of Babylon is called a harlot, while the New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb.

In the prophecies of Daniel, the fall of Babylon is symbolic of the end of reign of the Gentile kingdoms. The kingdoms of man eventually are given to Christ and the saints. This is pictured in the prophecy of the image in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, the subject of Daniel chapter 2.

In the prophecy of Isaiah 44:24-45:4, Cyrus is seen as a type of Christ. Some of the parallels between Cyrus and Christ are listed in the table below.

Cyrus Christ
Cyrus was a liberator; his policies liberated Jews from the oppression of Babylon Christ liberates his followers from sin and death
Cyrus was anointed Christ is also anointed
Cyrus is called a shepherd Christ is called a shepherd
His reign ended the 70 years of exile for Jews Christ’s coming ends the 70 weeks, and the domination of the saints by the little horn
Cyrus (or Darius) was 62 years old when he began to reign in Babylon Christ’s ministry followed 7 times of 62 years
Cyrus was a king of the Gentiles as well as the Jews Christ is a king of the Gentiles as well as the Jews
Cyrus gave the word to build the temple Christ is the one who builds the true temple of God

Just as the end of the 70 years of exile was a positive event in the history of Israel, and heralded the return of many of the Jews to their ancestral land, the end of the time represented by the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 is a time of blesssings for the saints. It represents the time when the kingdoms of the world are given to the saints, and the end of the desolation of the holy city. The angel Gabriel said that the 70 weeks was to “finish the transgression” and “to bring in everlasting righteousness.” [Daniel 9:24]

The 70 weeks did not end in the first century, as the preterists claim. The end of sacrifices and the destruction of Jerusalem fell “in the midst of” the 70th week, not at the end of it, or several decades after it had expired. Throughout the 70th week, Jesus confirms his covenant with the saints. The last half-week, the time, times and a half, spans the whole age of the church. This covenant is limited to one week, because it represents a betrothal, as the church is the bride of the Lamb.

Like the 70 years of Jeremiah, the period of the 70 weeks was the duration of the desolations of Jerusalem. But they apply partly to the earthly city, and partly to the heavenly one. The first two sections of the seventy weeks apply to the earthly Jerusalem.

The ministry of Jesus, which was three years and a half, was the first half of the 70th week, leaving a half week yet to be fulfilled when he ascended to heaven, where he has inherited the throne of David. [Luke 1:31-33]

Jesus is king of the heavenly Jerusalem. Paul said that believers are “translated into his kingdom.”  [Colossians 1:13]

Because it is a heavenly city, built by God, the time units that apply to it are not earthly units of days and months and years, but they are figurative. This also applies to its dimensions, which were given Revelation 21. John says the units given for the dimensions of the wall were “according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” The cubits had an “angelic” or spiritual character. [Revelation 21:17] Who can tell what an angelic cubit is? If it were the same thing as an ordinary cubit, why would John mention that it was an angelic one? Similarly, the numbers mentioned in scripture, that represent the period when God is preparing the heavenly city, which is the age of the church, are not given in terms of natural days or months. No natural three years and a half is 1,335 days, or 1,290 days, or 1,260 days. In three and a half natural years, there are about 1,278 days, or about 1,240 days if the period is reckoned by lunar months, and 1,270 days if an embolismic month is included.