I have done a fair amount of reading and it seems that Daniel’s 70th week seems to get stretched to a period of at least 5 weeks of years taking it to 70 AD depending upon the point of view of the preterist author. The view seems to be split 50/50. I know that Daniel’s prophecy includes the destruction of Jerusalem in 9:26 as a “shall come” prediction but surely the 70th week does not represent the period of 40 years (30 – 70 AD). Where do you stand on this?
I do not use a precise mathematical calculation for the 70 Weeks. I believe that it is a symbolic period of time, marked out by the beginning point, and the termination point, with “markers” in between. I do this for several reasons.
1.) There is no mathematical calculation that I have ever seen that comes out precisely.
2.) Even the Jewish Rabbis who applied the seventy weeks to A.D. 70 give some of the most convoluted mathematical calculations you have ever seen! Wish they would have it down precisely, but they didn’t.
3.) Zechariah 14 says that day would be known only to the Lord, and this is echoed in Matthew 24:36. Yet, if the precise starting date was known, and the countdown was to be a precise mathematical calculation, would they not all have known the day and hour?
4.) I believe that the term “acceptable time” acceptable year of the Lord (Isaiah 61), also plays into it. Jesus said he came to proclaim that. It was not a literal year, but the Jubilee year, the time of fulfillment!
5.) Peter urged his audience to repent so that God would send “times of refreshing.” This is a notoriously difficult term in the Greek, but seems to indicate a time of respite, a time of “calm before the storm” if I can express it like that. So, it is possible that the “times of refreshing do indeed have to do with Peter’s “these days” that he says the OT prophets had foretold, that would bring in the Messiah. What I am suggesting is that the time period between Jesus’ death and the fall of Jerusalem, the end of the 70, was granted by God who was longsuffering (2 Peter 3:8f).
The bottom line is that the fall of Jerusalem is the terminus point of Daniel’s prophecy. That is simply unavoidable from the text. So, whether we arrive there through mathematical precision or through referent to Jubilee symbolism, or the times of refreshing, we must honor those parameters.
As I sometimes say, this is my A-T-and T position. That is, this is my position At This Time! I am always open to a more cogent, solid answer, but, to me, this is the best I have found.
My main point is that Christ was “cut off” after the 69th week. I believe this refers to His crucifixion. This being true it means He was crucified “sometime” within the 70th week. This last week must refer to a seven year period or we become just as guilty as the dispensationalists. The end of this 7 year period (1 week of years) would be 38 AD (give or take a year or two). It is this last week of years that seems to get stretched out to 70 AD for reasons I know not why.
Although Daniel 9 foretells of the “people of the prince that shall come”, I can’t believe that it has to occur within the original 70 week prophecy. I don’t even think that we need it to occur within the 70 weeks. We have plenty of Scriptures that refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and the coming of the Lord in 70 AD. I think we get into “dispensational trouble” by trying to stretch the last week of years by 30 plus years. We just don’t need it to. It is unnecessary and I think (there I go thinking again) we play into the liberals hands by changing the original timeframe intended, something that they love to see us do to match a predefined theology.
I am curious though. What are the exact reasons why the last week needs to be stretched all the way to 70 AD? Can not these same reasons be backed up with Scripture that has nothing to do with Daniel 9:24-27? Do we not become guilty of trying to add another proof text to support whatever these reasons may be, when it is just simply not needed?
And lastly, is there some vitally important point I am missing if the last week is not stretched out to AD 70 independent of ANY other Scripture?