1. What are the 70 weeks?
The 70 weeks are literally 70 sevens. 70 and 7 are both numbers of completeness in Scripture, when multiplied together the number is the ultimate completeness. An example is found in Mat. 18:22 on the number of times to forgive. This is not interpreted literally 490 times. The time decreed is not literally 490 years but “70 times 7” to accomplish the God’s purpose. God will bring in the New Covenant to bring about a people who are holy and righteous, this will take more than a literal 490 years.
2. The purpose of the 70 weeks are 6-fold (v24) : 1) To finish the transgression 2) to put an end to sin 3) to atone for iniquity 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness 5) to seal both vision and prophet 6) to anoint a most holy place (literally anoint a most holy).
With the coming of Christ, the anointed one (Luk. 4:34), these have been accomplished “in principle”. Our sins are atoned for, our transgression is removed (and Israel’s (Jer. 25:8-12)), the words of the prophets are fulfilled and sealed, etc. They are all fully realized at the 2nd Coming. The New Covenant inaugurated (Jer 31:31) will be fully realized and consummated at the end.
3. The promise will come in three stages.
Stage 1. The first 7 sevens – from the issuing of the decree “to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” to the time of completion. This decree is manifested by Cyrus in 538 B.C. (2 Chron. 36:23) but began from the time of Daniel’s prayer. (Daniel 9:23) The “word” went out from heaven and was realized by Cyrus. This short time of 7 sevens indicates the rebuilding period will be short.
Stage 2 The Period of 62 sevens – This is a time of trouble not peace like promised in Jer. 33:16.
Stage 3 The Anointed One – After 62 sevens Messiah comes and brings in the 70th seven at his baptism where he is anointed.
4. 9:26a The Anointed One who is cut off – Jesus is the one who is killed while he has nothing. vv 26&27 are in parallelism. AB/AB structure where the subject is brought up again in v27.
5. 9:26b Jerusalem and the temple will be destroyed by the “people of the ruler who is to come”. Fulfilled in 70 A.D. by the Roman army of General Titus. Jerusalem is judged by God for killing prophets. (Mat 23:35)
5. 9:27a “He will make a strong covenant with many for one week” – The Anointed One (Jesus) from 9:26a makes the covenant. The 70 sevens will see the fulfilling of Jeremiah’s New Covenant. (Jer 31:31) The 70th is a final jubilee of 70 jubilees. “He will put an end to sacrifice and offering” – Based off of 9:27a understanding it follows that Messiah brings an end to sacrifice and offering. Messiah has arrived, been cut off, put an end to sacrifice and offering. The 70th seven has begun. The New Covenant of Jeremiah has begun though not fully (1 Cor 11:25).
6. 9:27b – In Matthew 24:15 Jesus understands the abomination of desolation as the one who destroyed the temple. (Dan 9:26b).