Though I knew the biblical phrase “time, times and half a time”, I had only looked into it long enough to leave thoroughly confused. However, in response to my lesson on Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy, one fellow student of the Word wrote in the following:
“How do you explain the utilization of time, times and half a time (three and half years) by Daniel, James and John the Revelator?
“Revelation was written after the literal 70 weeks yet the author makes mention of that period (3½ yrs) as either happening or will happen. Is it allegorical or literal?
“Is it the latter part of the 70 weeks or a separate prophecy?”
By Sani’s questions, I realized folks might have been taught there was a connection to Daniel’s 70 Weeks and the “midst of the week” in verse 27. If you want to skip the rest of this lesson, I’ll simply tell you right now: I’ve now studied it out and I can safely say—while there’s no direct connection between Daniel’s 70 weeks and the three “time, times and half a times” we find in the Word—there is overlap! If you want to learn more about what “time, times and half a time” actually means, stay tuned.
Imagine being visited by an angel and receiving a promise foretelling a future king who would liberate your people and usher in an entirely new kingdom—a new way of life—free from the crushing burden of sin, shame and guilt. Amazing! But then this promise turns dark, tainted by war, desolation and the end of all you’ve ever known.
Oh, and did I mention this prophecy is wrapped in an exact timeframe so your people can know when all this is going to go down?
Welcome to Daniel’s 70-Week Prophecy.
TAKE-AWAYS FROM THIS LESSON
This prophecy gives a precise timeline
Announces the arrival of Israel’s Messiah
Predicts the Messiah’s death
Predicts the destruction of temple and Jerusalem by an army
Jesus reminds His first-century followers of this prophecy to warn them of the impending 70 AD judgment (Matthew 24:15)
John Alley’s message begins with an overview of Daniel Chapter 9:24-27, before focusing on verse 24 in particular. John observes that many people, preoccupied with their own view of end times, have unfortunately imported difficulty into these verses that was not intended by the Lord when speaking with the prophet Daniel. It was given to Daniel, the angel said, so that he would “understand.”
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and 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.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
John points out several items of great interest, including the amazing prophecies regarding Cyrus recorded centuries before he came to power as the world ruler and issued the decree to rebuild Jerusalem–which decree was the starting point for the 70 heptads (70 “sevens”), a period of 490 years. At the end of 69 heptads, the Messiah was to appear to Israel, and in the middle of the 70th week, he will be “cut off.” These events were fulfilled exactly–in the precise timeframe foretold–including the six things prophesied in verse 24 of Daniel 9. John presents both New and Old Testament Scripture to demonstrate all of these things have complete Gospel fulfilment.
John points out the judgements in the prophecy that were to come, and did come, upon Israel, who rejected and put to death their Messiah. One of these was the sealing up of vision and prophecy (as foretold by other prophets as well) so that from that time, no one in Judaism had any further access to seeing or hearing (for only in Christ is the veil taken away), but at the same time the Body of Christ became the newly anointed Most Holy Place (the temple of God), the anointing of which took place at Pentecost–again, precisely in the middle of the 70th heptad. John concludes with this devotional application: We believers in our Lord Jesus cannot take God, nor the grace we have, for granted. We must be humble before God, so that we will not by default suffer the same judgement as in this passage, but rather by the grace of God have ears that hear and eyes that see. This message is filled with Scriptural and historical truths and will bring light to the passage discussed.
This is the seventh in a series of end-times messages by Dr. Sproul on the last days. Prior to the New Testament days of Jesus, the Temple of God had been destroyed during the invasion of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. We know this because God told the prophet Jeremiah that it would come to pass as divine judgment on His people. In light of that, how should we interpret the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.? Was that an act of divine judgment? What did Daniel the prophet say to foretell that event? In this message entitled “The Destruction of Jerusalem,” Dr. Sproul introduces us to one of the best attested historical events in ancient history as it relates to redemptive history.