1. Not only was Daniel a great man of God, but he also received from God the outline of what would happen from his time to the end of the ages. In Chapters 2, 7 and 8 God said there would be 4 world empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. We live in the time of Rome, for the West, which dominates the world, is an extension of Rome (same basic government, measurement, finances, philosophy, culture, etc.). (SEE APPENDIX C)
2. As the 70 years in Babylon drew to a close, Daniel asked God what would happen next. God told him there would be 70 7-year periods left in Israel’s history, or 490 years (APPENDIX D) (‘Heptad,’ translated ‘seven,’ is used of a 7-year period in Genesis 29:17).
Dan 9:24-27 24 “Seventy `sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. 25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven `sevens,’ and sixty-two `sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two `sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one `seven.’ In the middle of the `seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
God told him that the 70 years of captivity would be followed by 70 “sevens” (Daniel 9:24 -27). The word for these “sevens,” ‘heptad,’ can be translated “7 year period” (Genesis 29:17). Thus God told Daniel that Israel ’s future would consist of 70 7-year periods, or 490 years (Daniel 9:24 -27). This period would start with “the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem ” (Daniel 9:24 ), which we see as happening March 14, 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-8). The first 69 of these 7 year ‘heptads,’ or 483 years, would end when “the anointed One will be cut off” (Daniel 9:26). We see this to have been fulfilled April 6, 32 AD . It was that day, called Palm Sunday, that Jesus publicly offered Himself as the Messiah-King and was turned down (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 19:28-40). The period between March 14, 445 BC and April 6, 32 AD was exactly 483 years, to the day! People then and there went by 360 day years, following the 12 month, 30 day lunar calendar (Esther 1:4; Revelation 12:6, in referring to the 70th ‘heptad,’ says the last 3 ½ years will be 1260 days long which equals 360 day years for these ‘heptads.’). Thus 483 years of 360 days each equals 173,880 days. Now, from 445 BC to 32 AD is 476 calendar years, times 365 days in a calendar year. This results in 173,740 days. Add to this 116 leap year days during that time and include 24 days from March 14 to April 6 and the grand total is 173,880 – the same as prophesied! If the first 69 ‘heptads’ were literally fulfilled, we believe the last will be, too. We believe this is still future. It will begin when the “ruler who will come” (Daniel 9:26 – we call him the ‘Antichrist’) will make a 7-year peace treaty with Israel , which he will break in the middle (Daniel 9:26 -27). He will be similar to Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 8:9-14) but much, much worse (Daniel 11:36 -45). He will “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26 ). We see these things as yet future.
Numbers, as well as colors and materials, often have symbolic significance in the Bible. The Tabernacle is a perfect picture of this. The number 7 is the most-used number in the Bible (600 times). It refers to perfection and completeness (Genesis 2:2-3; Lev. 13:5-6). Revelation is structured around 7 7’s (churches, seals, trumpets, bowls, etc.) (SEE APPENDIX O, page 2) Seven times 7 intensifies the significance of 7 (49 – Lev 23:15 ; 25:8) as does 7 times 10 (70 – Gen 50:3; Dan 9:2; Ps 90:10). 490 is the ultimate completeness (7 x 7 x 10). It is no surprise that God uses 490 years to show the completeness and perfection of His work with His people. Three is the number of God (Trinity), so three 490 year time periods is the ultimate in God’s sovereign outworking.
The Jews in Jesus’ day were looking for the Messiah, knowing it was time for Him to come: Matt 11:23 -When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (*also see Luke 7:19)
3. The reasons given for these 490 years are four-fold:
a. “Finish transgression & put an end to sin” (death for sin on the cross)
b. “Atone for wickedness” (Second coming to remove all sin)
c. “Bring in everlasting righteousness” (establish Millennial kingdom)
d. “Seal up vision and prophecy” (fulfill all prophecy)
e “Anoint the Most Holy” (Christ on Millennial throne forever)
4. This is the third 490-year period in Israel’s history (APPENDIX D).