Home > Daniel's 70 Weeks, Heavenly Jerusalem, Preterism > Preterism and Daniel’s 70th week

Preterism and Daniel’s 70th week

April 2, 2012

In his article on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, preterist Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. refers to the statement in Daniel 9:27, “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.”

In his article, Gentry refers to confirming the covenant as if it was an event that was to occur in that week, rather than what is accomplished throughout that 70th week. Gentry wrote:

The confirming of covenant (v. 27) refers to the prophesied covenantal actions of verse 24, which come about as the result of the Perfect Covenantal Jubilee (Seventy Weeks), and is mentioned as a result of Daniel’s covenantal prayer (cf. v. 4). The covenant mentioned, then, is the divine covenant of God’s redemptive grace. Messiah came to confirm the covenantal promises: “to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant” (Luke 1:72). He confirmed the covenant by His death on the cross: “by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant” (Heb. 7:22b).

Gentry stated in the above paragraph how he interprets the statement “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” in Daniel 9:27. He thought this referred to Christ’s death on the cross. But that did not span an entire week. Gentry wrote:

Daniel’s prayer was particularly for Israel (Dan. 9:3ff) and it was uttered in recognition that God promises mercy upon those who love Him (v. 4). Therefore, the prophecy holds that the covenant will be confirmed with many for one week. The reference to the “many” speaks of the faithful in Israel.

Below, Gentry paraphrased Daniel’s prophecy in a manner that supported his interpretation; however, his approach seems unsound. Gentry wrote:

This confirmation of God’s covenant promises to the “many” of Israel will occur in the middle of the seventieth week (v. 27), …

The Scripture does not say that confirmation of the covenant was to be an isolated event in the midst of the 70th week; rather, as most translations show, Christ would confirm his covenant throughout the entire 70th week. The three and a half years of his earthly ministry was the first half-week, which ended at the crucifixion. It was followed by the resurrection, and after appearing to his disciples, Jesus ascended to heaven, which commenced the last half-week. But when Jesus ascended, Jerusalem was also raised up. This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 2:2; it was when the mountain of the Lord’s house was established in the tops of the mountains, and exulted above the hills. Paul said the saints are raised up, and they sit together in heavenly places. [Ephesians 2:6] This continues today, for those who reign with Christ; it is included in the last half-week. It is part of confirming the covenant.

Because the last half-week of the 70th week applies to the heavenly city, rather than the earthly one, and that city is spiritual, the units that apply to it are not earth days or earth months or earth years, but the time is figurative or spiritual. Therefore, the final three and a half years may be taken as symbolic of the entire church age. The 70th week did not expire in the first century as Gentry and other preterists have claimed. If that were so, the apostles would have reported it.

There is no gap between the 69th and 70th weeks as claimed by dispensationalism, and neither has the 70 weeks prophecy been completely fulfilled, as preterism claims. Rather, the 70th week spans the present age; for the final half-week, the units of time change. The present age is the “time times and a half” of Daniel 7:25 and 12:7. It is a symbolic period, rather than a literal three and a half years because the last portion of the 70 weeks prophecy applies to the spiritual temple, built without hands, which is the church, the heavenly Jerusalem, and the bride of the Lamb. The heavenly city cannot be measured in terms of literal, earthly units, and the duration of her preparation is known to God alone.

 

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  1. Tracy
    April 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    The end of the 70 weeks was the stoning of Steven, three and a half years after the crucifixion, the final rejection of Jesus by the Jews, and then the message went to the gentiles, so the end of the 70 weeks WAS fulfilled in the first century.

  2. April 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Tracy :

    The end of the 70 weeks was the stoning of Steven, three and a half years after the crucifixion, the final rejection of Jesus by the Jews, and then the message went to the gentiles, so the end of the 70 weeks WAS fulfilled in the first century.

    Hi Tracy,

    The idea that the stoning of Steven occurred three and a half years after the crucifixion has little support in the New Testament. IMO it is mere ‘noise’ generated by preterists. But if you have some arguments to support your claim I would be quite interested.

    As I see it, the information about chronology provided in the book of Acts and in Galatians, about events in the life of Paul, seems to show that Stephen could not have been stoned three and a half years after Jesus ascended to heaven.

    Stephen must have been stoned some time after the crucifixion, but before Paul was converted on his way to Damascus. Acts 9:26 mentions the first visit of Paul to Jerusalem after he was converted. It is the one mentioned in Galatians 1:17, which was three years after he was converted. Acts 11:27-30 describes Paul’s second visit to Jerusalem. It is mentioned in Galatians 2:1-2, where he says “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.”

    The account of this second visit to Jerusalem is as follows: “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.” [Acts 11:27-30]

    Paul said in Galatians 2:2 that he went up to Jerusalem “by revelation” because the prophet Agabus had foretold the famine, and possibly other things as well. While Paul and Barnabas remained in Jerusalem Herod Agrippa died. [Acts 12:23] After that, Paul returned from Jerusalem. [Acts 12:25] The death of Herod Agrippa occurred in 44 AD. Paul’s visit to Jerusalem was said to have occurred 14 years after he was converted. It is likely that the counting was inclusive, in which case Paul was converted in the year 31 AD. Before that, he persecuted the church. And Stephen’s death occurred before Paul’s conversion. [Acts 7:58] So clearly, the death of Stephen was not the end of the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy, as Stephen must have died in 31 AD.

    Thus, the claim by preterists that Stephen was killed three and a half years after the crucifixion cannot be supported from the New Testament. And it has nothing to do with the 70 weeks prophecy or the end of the 70th weeks. The apostles did not believe or teach that the 70 weeks prophecy had been fulfilled in the apostolic age. That is simply a modern preterist delusion.

    IMO preterism utterly fails to explain the 70th week, because Daniel said the end of sacrifices and oblations would be “in the midst” of the final week. The destruction of the city, a flood, and the desolation of the temple all occur in the final week. The preterists are divided in their interpretations; some invoke a gap, like the dispensationalists, although a much smaller one. Others who say the 70th week ended in obscurity, unnoticed by the apostles, have to deny the events said to be in the midst of the last week are included in it. Their view is opposed to true meaning of the prophecy. To say the 70th week has ended implies Christ no longer confirms his covenant with his church. But this is a promise of a future marriage. The preterist interpretation is thus opposed to the Gospel of Christ, and the New Covenant that Jesus brought in. The final week is when he “confirms his covenant with many,” which is the message of the Gospel. Jesus still confirms this covenant with the saints; the final week includes his earthly ministry, and all the time since. The last half-week is a symbolic three and a half years, the time, times and a half of Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14.

  3. April 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    A closer examination of New Testament chronology shows the middle of the week to be April AD30, Stephens death AD32, and the conversion of Cornelius late AD33. There are good reasons to link Cornelius with the completion of the covenant ‘week.’

    Here is a related diagram that relates to this: http://5loaves2fishes.net/image/book-acts

  4. joshua adams
    November 19, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    These views take the assumption that God was finished with Israel in His overall plan. I would hope people watching would realize this is not so. Peter speaking of these times and the scoffers saying where is this coming….. Tells us to look at what the prophets beforehand, and the apostles had written. I key clue he emphasizes, is do not forget this one fact a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day. Einstein proved the word of God. a look at his quotes should show this, and as a scientist, it is so. if you miss the first book of Genesis and do not believe it, you might as well throw the whole word out, because if we will finagle it, then we can finagle it all. the whole plan is in Chapter 1 of Genesis and in chapter 3 we have what has happened, and why there are so many interpretations. The 70th week has not been fulfilled, and the prophecies given Daniel, were for His PEOPLE, Israel. 1947-1948, was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekial, but from Adam to Abram was 1947 years and it was 75 years more he went to the place god had for him, 2022 years. from Abraham, the name given him 25 years later, and the birth of Isaac, to coming out of Egypt was 430 years. Judah was in Babylon 70 years but 3-4 years earlier some left when Cyrus 2 came in, and Darius began to reign in Babylon, Zechariah, haggai and Malachi are post exilic prophets. In 1492, a sign in the heavens was over jerusalem in the first and last feast months. 25 years later 1517, was the time the ottoman empire ruled Jerusalem, for 400 years until 1917. 1517 was also the time when Martin Luther hung his 95 theses, and all the denominations increased and a jesuit, in response to historicist views promoted a preterist position, though it was not the beginning of it, as it began when teachers first taught God was through with Israel. 30 years later 1947, two years after the UN was formed, Israel was declared a nation and the next year they became a nation in a day. Rev. is the 66th book of the bible and in Isaiah 66 the Lord asks can a nation be born in a day? Israel wars of 1948, 1956 1967, are exactly like the exiles from Jerusalem year one year 8, year 19. 19 years is a metonic cycle , when the times of the gentiles and the Hebrew calendar line up. in 586BC the temple was destroyed, in a six day war in 1967, Israel got control over Jerusalem, and in 48-49, their was a tetrad of eclipses over Jerusalem . In 67-68, another one occurred, 19 years later, and both on the first and the last feasts . 48 years later, in 2014-2015, there is another one, and the four eclipses are separated by 15 days. In the latter half of the 7 year period that marked the destruction of the temple, and the going after and destroying the Jewish rulers who fled to Masada, from the spring of 67, to the spring of 74, there was a tetrad over Rome, that was separated by 15 days. Before the spring of 67, were two comets, and the second one was shaped as a sword. We have just had two comets and the second one will be visible later this month. PANSTARRS was the first one, and ISON is the second. There is a great delusion that is coming, and it will deceive those who did not believe the truth, and that is just ahead. next year the pope will likely meet with Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres to broker peace, but as a religious leader. In september 2014 just before Rosh Hashanah, the 69th assembly of the UN meets. 153 fish have a meaning, as do all the numbers in the bible. It is a triangular number, etc etc. God is not a historicist, nor a preterist, His word was not by private interpretation, but men wrote exactly what the holy Spirit told them to. And in the words of Einstein; God is not concerned with our mathematical difficulties, He integrates everything empirically. he has declared all things from the beginning to the end and has done nothing without first revealing it to his prophets. You wont have long to wait to see all this, but because of the teachings of the nicholaitans, many are deceived., It would be good to open your eyes and your ears, in this ninth month. Remember Elizabeth was in her 6th month, when John the baptist leapt in her womb. 2000 years to Abraham , 2000 years to Christ, and the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day, and the number of man is 6. It has been 2000 years since Christ. Psalms 90, the last recorded words of Moses, 2 peter 3, the last recorded words of Peter. God Bless.

  5. November 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

    joshua adams :

    These views take the assumption that God was finished with Israel in His overall plan.

    Nonsense. The true Israel is central to the gospel and to God’s plan to bless all nations through Abraham’s seed. Christ’s reign over his saints is forever, on the throne of David, in the heavenly Jerusalem and mount Zion. [Heb. 12:11-24]

    The 70th week has not been fulfilled, and the prophecies given Daniel, were for His PEOPLE, Israel. 1947-1948, was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekial, …

    Daniel’s people are those whose names are “written in the book.” He wrote, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” [Dan. 12:1]

    In Dan. 7:21, Daniel’s people are called the “saints.” In Dan. 12:3, they are “the wise.” This is not referring to Israel after the flesh, or to ethnic Jews living in the Middle East, but those who are of faith. [Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-7; Phil. 3:3] The New Testament shows that the true Israel of God includes believers of all nations, and excludes all unbelievers.

    Seven verses in the Apocalypse confirm that those whose names are in the book of life are Christians, not unbelieving Jews. [Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19]

    In fact, the apostle Peter said those of Israel after the flesh who deny that Jesus is Christ have been “destroyed from among the people.” [Acts 3:23] They are no longer Jews, or Israel. Paul said they are branches broken off from their olive tree. [Rom. 11:17] A similar warning was preached by John the Baptist, who said, “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” [Luke 3:9]

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