The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9
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This essay deals with the seventy weeks of Daniel 9: 24-27. However, only verses 25 and 26 are discussed here. My purpose is not to try to interpret what Daniel was told, but to point out differences in the various versions. It would appear that either there are a number of misinterpretations or there have been changes made to the original text. If a reader uses one version only, he may consider that his version is right while the others are wrong. Thus, he may see no problem. Someone looking at several versions will see some differences and may chose one version to be better than the others. Following the translations of each of the versions, I shall make some comments on what appears.


Versions Compared

 

AAT An American Translation (Beck) MNT Moffatt New Translation
EBR The Emphasized Bible MRB Modern Reader's Bible
EVD English Version for the Deaf NAB New American Bible
GW God's Word NBV New Berkeley Version
HBRV Holy Bible, Revised Version NCV New Century Version
HSH Holy Scriptures (Harkavy) NIV New International Version
JBK Jerusalem Bible (Koren) NRS New Revised Standard Version
KJV King James Version NWT New World Translation
KTC Knox Translation SGAT An American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed)
LB Living Bible SISR The Scriptures (ISR)
LBP Lamsa Bible SSBE Sacred Scriptures, Bethel Edition
LXX The Septuagint TEV Today's English Version


Daniel 9: 25, 26
AAT Learn, then, and see that from the coming of the message to restore and rebuild Jerusalem till the anointed Prince will be seven weeks and 62 weeks; it will be built again with wide streets and moats, but in a time of trouble. But after 62 weeks the Anointed will be cut off and have nothing, and the troops of a prince who will come will destroy the city and the holy place which will be finally overwhelmed as a flood till the end of the war that is decreed with its destruction.
EBR Thou must know then and understand: From the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem -- unto the Anointed One the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, -- the broadway and the wall [shall again be built], even in the end of times.
And after sixty-two weeks shall the Anointed One be cut off and have nothing, -- and the city and the sanctuary will one destroy with the Prince, and so will his own end come with an overwhelming flood, howbeit up to the full end of the war are decreed astounding things.
EVD Learn these things, Daniel. Understand these things! From the time that the message went out to go back and build Jerusalem again until the time for the chosen king to come will be seven weeks. Then Jerusalem will be rebuilt again. There will again be places for people to meet together in Jerusalem. And there will be a ditch around the city to protect it. Jerusalem will be built for 62 weeks. But there will be many troubles during that time. After 62 weeks, the chosen person will be killed. He will be gone. Then the people of the future leader will destroy the city and the holy place. That end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end. God has ordered that place to be completely destroyed.
GW Learn, then, and understand that from the time the command is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed prince comes, seven sets of seven time periods and sixty-two sets of seven time periods will pass. Jerusalem will be restored and rebuilt with a city square and a moat during the troubles of those times. But after sixty-two sets of seven time periods, the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The city and the holy place will be destroyed with the prince who is to come. His end will come with a flood until the end of the destructive war that has been determined.
HBRV Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the appointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks: and threescore and two weeks, it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.
And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and his end shall be with a flood, even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.
HSH Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed the prince shall be seven weeks: and during threescore and two weeks it shall be built again, with street and trench, even in troublesome times. And after threescore and two weeks shall the anointed be cut off, and there shall be none to succeed him: 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.
JBK Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Yerushalayim until an appointed prince, shall be seven weeks: then for sixty two weeks it shall be built again, with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after sixty two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and none will be left to him; and the people of a prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and his end shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are decreed.
KJV 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.
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.
KTC Be assured of this, and mark it well; a period of seven weeks must go by, and another period of sixty-two weeks, between the order to rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the Christ to be your leader. Street and wall will be built again, though in times of distress; and then sixty-two weeks must pass before the Christ is done to death; the people will disown him and have none of him. Then the army of an invading leader will destroy both city and sanctuary, so that his taking away will mean utter destruction; only a ruin is to be left when the war is ended.
Footnote: The traditional account given in verses 24-27 is, that Daniel interprets the seventy years of Israel's captivity as seventy weeks of years, and that the periods called 'weeks' are periods of forty-nine years, four hundred and thirty-four years, and seven years respectively, four hundred and ninety in all. The order to rebuild Jerusalem is, quite naturally, identified with that given in Neh. 2, and dated 445 B.C. This would explain the preoccupation with prophecies about 'the End' which characterizes the outlook of our Lord's contemporaries; Daniel's prophecy was to fall due within the course of that century. It must be admitted, however, that widely different views have been held about the application of the prophecy in detail. Modern commentators, who understand the whole passage as a reference to Antiochus Epiphanes, and the profanation of the Temple in B.C. 167, are driven to very unconvincing explanations of the time-periods involved. Verse 27 is very obscure, and the text seems to have suffered in transmission.
LB Now listen! It will be forty-nine years plus 434 years from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem, until the Anointed One comes! Jerusalem's streets and walls will be rebuilt despite the perilous times.
After this period of 434 years, the Anointed One will be killed, his kingdom still unrealized ... and a king will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. They will be overwhelmed as with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end.
Footnote: These [seventy weeks] were not in uninterrupted sequence. This totals 483 years, instead of the 490 years mentioned in verse 24, leaving seven years unaccounted for at the time of Messiah's death. For their future fulfillment see verse 27 and the Revelation. Or, consider the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by Titus and the subsequent slaughter of 1,000,000 Jews during the following three and a half years as at least a partial fulfillment of this prophecy.
LBP Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the king shall be seven times seven weeks, and sixty-two times seven weeks; the people shall return and build Jerusalem, its streets, and its broad ways at the end of the appointed times.
After sixty-two times seven weeks, Messiah shall be slain, and the city shall be without a ruler; and the holy city shall be destroyed together with the coming king; and the end thereof shall be a mass exile, and at the end of the war, desolations are determined.
LXX And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks; and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted.
And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolation.
MNT Know then, understand, that between the issue of the prophetic command to re-people and rebuild Jerusalem and the consecrating of a supreme high priest, seven weeks of years shall elapse; in the course of sixty-two weeks of years, it shall be rebuilt, with its square and streets; finally after sixty-two weeks of years, the consecrated priest shall be cut off, leaving no successor; the city and the sanctuary shall be destroyed along with the consecrated priest, and then ruin shall pour in with a flood of warfare to the very end.
MRB Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks: and threescore and two weeks, and it shall be built again, with streets and moat, even in troublous times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and his end shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.
NAB Know and understand this:
From the utterance of the word
      that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt
Until one who is anointed and a leader,
      there shall be seven weeks.
During sixty-two weeks
      it shall be rebuilt,
With streets and trenches,
      in time of affliction.
After sixty-two weeks
      an anointed shall be cut down
      when he does not possess the city;
And the people of a leader who will come
      shall destroy the sanctuary.
Then the end shall come like a torrent;
      until the end there shall be war,
      the desolation that is decreed.
Footnote: From the utterance ... to be rebuilt: from the time of Jeremiah's prophecy. One ... anointed and a leader: either Cyrus, who was called the anointed of the Lord to end the exile (Is. 45: 1), or the high priest Joshua who presided over the rebuilding of the altar of sacrifice after the exile. (Ezr. 3: 2). Seven weeks: forty-nine years, an approximation of the time of the exile. During sixty-two weeks ... rebuilt: a period of 434 years, roughly approximately the interval between the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the exile and the beginning of the Seleucid persecution. An anointed: doubtless the high priest Orias III, murdered in 171 B.C., from which the author dates the beginning of the persecution. Orias was in exile when he was killed. A leader: IV.
NBV Know and understand, then, that from the going forth of the message to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of a Prince, a Messiah, there are seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; in the seven weeks it will be in process of restoring and rebuilding with squares and streets even in times of affliction; but after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be slain, although there is nothing against Him. The people of a prince, who comes, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; its end shall come overwhelmingly and till the end there shall be warfare; ruins that are determined.
Footnote: This seems to refer to the Romans and the destruction of city and Temple, 70 A.D.
NCV Learn and understand these things. A command will come to rebuild Jerusalem. The time from this command until the appointed leader comes will be forty-nine years and four hundred thirty-four years. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and a trench filled with water around it, but it will be built in times of trouble. After the four hundred thirty-four years the appointed leader will be killed; he will have nothing. The people of the leader who is to come will destroy the city and the holy place. The end of the city will come like a flood, and war will continue until the end. God has ordered that place to be completely destroyed.
NIV 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. After 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 unto the end, and desolations have been decreed.
NRS Know therefore and understand: from the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of an appointed prince, there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and moat, but in a troubled time. After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
NWT And you should know and have the insight [that] from the going forth of [the] word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until [Messiah] the Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks. She will return be actually rebuilt with a public square and moat, but in the straits of times.
And after sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off, with nothing for himself.
And the city and the holy place the people of a leader that is coming will bring to their ruin. And the end of it will be by the flood. And until [the] end there will be war; what is decided upon is desolations.
SGAT Learn, therefore, and understand:
      From the going forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem,
      Till there comes a prince, an anointed one, there will be seven weeks;
      Then for sixty-two weeks it shall stay rebuilt, with its squares and streets;
      And at the end of the times, after sixty-two weeks,
      The anointed one shall be cut off, leaving none to succeed him,
      The city and the sanctuary shall be destroyed along with the prince,
      And the end shall come in a flood, with war raging to the end; ... .
SISR "Know, then, and understand: from the going forth of the command to restore and build Yerushalayim until Messiah the Prince is seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It shall be built again, with streets and a trench, but in times of affliction.
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off and have naught. And people of a coming prince shall destroy the city and the set-apart place. And the end of it is with a flood. And wastes are decreed, and fighting until the end."
SSBE Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven sevens, and sixty-two sevens: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times. And after the sixty-two sevens shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and at the end of it shall be with a flood, and even to the end there shall be war; desolations are determined.
TEV Note this and understand it: From the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until God's chosen leader comes, seven times seven years will pass. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences , and will stand for seven times sixty-two years, but this will be a time of troubles. And at the end of that time God's chosen leader will be killed unjustly. The city and the Temple will be destroyed by the invading army of a powerful ruler. The end will come like a flood, bringing the war and destruction which God has prepared.
Footnote: Anointed One, Or "Messiah."


Commentary

 

There is little that is consistent in all the versions. It appears that the translators had difficulty with this passage. Some versions state specifically that this is a prophecy in regard to the coming and the death of the Messiah. Others are not clear on who the person is. Jewish versions do not accept that the Messiah is involved here. However, all state that someone, a prince or anointed one, is to come.

The time element is not clear. Why it is seven weeks and sixty-two weeks is not clear. The Jewish versions see a division of time while the Christian versions add the two time periods together.

The time is measured from the date that the order was given for Jerusalem to be rebuilt. Most set this with Nehemiah. However, one version sets it much earlier at the time of Jeremiah. If the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks are combined, the fulfillment date would come in the first half of the first century A.D. If only the seven weeks are considered, the time of fulfillment would be much earlier.

The time of the coming of conquerors who destroy Jerusalem is at the end of this period. History states that it was 70 A.D. when the Roman army destroyed the city. That leaves an unexplained interval of at least thirty years. There is a discrepancy of figures involved in the interpretation.

Some versions state that a wall was built around the city. Others state that it was a moat that was constructed. Which was it? The Book of Nehemiah states that a wall was built. Maps show a wall, but not a moat or trench. The Hebrew word used to describe what it was can mean wall or trench, or a number of other words. Some versions mention streets and a square as well.

Some versions imply a long period of rebuilding, while others state that the city will remain built for sixty-two weeks. Or does the period of sixty-two weeks apply solely to the time of the coming of the anointed one?

How long is the destruction to go on? Is it until the city has been destroyed, or will there be destruction beyond that of the city? Some versions are not clear on this.

Which version, if any, has translated this passage correctly? There seems to be differences of opinion on what Daniel has reported. To some readers, the answer may appear to be obvious. However, can one be really sure of what the actual meaning of the message is?