Term Paper: Daniel's Vision of 70 Weeks

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Daniel's Vision Of 70 Weeks

This report aims to discuss the Prophet Daniel's vision of 70 Weeks through interpretations, theories, views, and fulfillments including the references to Christ and the tribulations that were experienced. Religious scholars and other historians feel that the infamous seventy weeks prophesized by Daniel may be one of the most important parts of all Bible prophecy mainly because it authenticates other's prophecies. Therefore, it makes sense to interpret Daniel's works correctly. Daniel suggests several things that had to be accomplished throughout the seventy weeks like: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy." (Sentex, 2004)

These and other events were spelled out by Daniel. "Daniel's remaining years produced more detailed prophecies, including the "four beasts" (Daniel 7:1-28), the "ram and goat" (Daniel 8:1-27), the "seventy sevens" (Daniel 9:20-27), and the "kings of the north and south" (Daniel 11:1-45). He died in his late eighties or nineties, a faithful and obedient servant of God, and one of the greatest prophets that have ever lived." (KeyWay, 2004)

With all of these critical prophecies credited to him, this report will also attempt to provide insights into who Daniels was and why he felt he needed to share his wisdom. The concern for historians regarding Daniel's work revolves around the fact that there are numerous problems confirming or even explaining some of the prophetical meanings of his passages.

Daniel's prophecy seems to be an underlying concern for Israel and Jerusalem I the times of war and being uprooted. Daniel wanted to know what would happen to his people in the future as he received drams that they would be delivered. Jewish heritage overwhelmingly had Daniel praying for the restoration of the 'Holy City.'

Daniel

The name Daniel in Hebrew means God is my Judge. Daniel was one of the most important of the prophets from the Old Testament. But his prophecies also carried over into the New Testament since much of the prophecy done by Daniel correspond with the apostle John and his wok in the Book of Revelation. Daniel's acclaim and importance to the ancient Christian movement can be demonstrated by the fact that Jesus specifically referred to events from the Book of Daniel that were expected to happen prior to His return.

Modern day religious scholars believe that Daniel was born a noble and maybe even an actual member of the royal family of Judah. "Daniel thereafter held a very high position in the government for about 70 years, the actual ruler of what is modern-day Iraq, right until his famous "handwriting on the wall" interpretation on the night before the fall of the Babylonian kingdom to Darius the Mede (Daniel 5:1-29)." (KeyWay, 2004)

Historians are sure that when he was a youth he was forcibly migrated to Babylon around the fourth year B.C. 606 but was still taught in the philosophy of the Chaldeans. Scholars also have discovered and confirmed that Daniel held political offices in both the Babylonian and Persian empires but was persecuted for his strong religious beliefs. Throughout his persecution, he managed to survive and eventually lived well into his senior years. Although not officially confirmable, it is thought that he may have had his last visions just before death at the age of ninety four.

Old Testament

Daniel's Old Testament work seems to be an account from a historical perspective about life and the circumstances bestowed on the Jews in Babylon. "Despite being a prisoner-exile, Daniel's living conditions in Babylon were likely at least as good as they had been back home. He was selected, along with a number of others, to be trained for service in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:3-7). There, he distinguished himself with wisdom and ability (Daniel 1:19)." (KeyWay, 2004) When not historical, his works seem prophetic.

One of Daniel's original accomplishments in the Old Testament, Daniel 2:1-23, was in the form of a test where he was required to interpret a meaning for king Nebuchadnezzar's dreams without being told what the king's dreams were. Through Gods intervention Daniel was able to successfully interpret those unnamed dreams which were about future empires like the Babylonian, the Persians, the Greeks and Roman Empire.

And those events were also eventually to lead to the Return of Jesus. "The Babylonian king's response to Daniel's God-given abilities was to actually bow down to his prisoner: "Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon." (Bible Gateway, 2004)

He was credited with having detailed visions and prophecies that were said to be able to tell of future events that were expected to occur in the four empires of the time, the expected coming and death of the Messiah, the restoration of the Jews to power and the eventual conversions made by Gentiles. Daniel prophesized the return of Christ. "9 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. 11 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. 13 "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance." (Bible Gateway, 2004)

Seventy Weeks

It seems common knowledge that Daniel's famous prophecy of "Seventy Weeks" is fulfilled by the events of the life of Jesus, yet how Daniel accounts for time has yet to be determined and therefore leads to a great deal of debate by religious factions and basic historians. The term seven was used approximately twenty times in the Old Testament and indicated a definite period of seven.

The major problems with Daniels time and occurrences relate to the basics of the time management methods he used in conjunction with an official beginning and ending date and time. Another concern biblical historians have pondered are the holes in Daniel's prophecies and interpretations. For example, readers and scholars have been literally forced to make certain assumptions on Daniel's passages in order to make them plausible.

Historians have reviewed some Daniel's works to attempt to calculate a time of Israel's captivity -- seventy years. For example, when trying to interpret his details one can not clearly identify the 'when' needed for accuracy. "Seventy sevens are determined upon your people and upon your holy city to bring transgression to an end, and to seal up sin, and to make atonement for guilt, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies. (25) So know and have (this) insight, (that) from the issuing of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince, (shall be) seven sevens. And (for) sixty-two sevens the street and moat shall… [END OF PREVIEW]

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