How long will the tribulation last? Daniel 9
Question: how long will the Tribulation be?
The Tribulation will begin at a “confirming of a covenant” as it says in Daniel 9:27a Let’s pick apart this section of verse 27.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week…:
Who is the “he”? Look at the verse right before verse 27.
“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.”
“He” is talking about “the prince that shall come”. The prince that shall come is the antichrist or the false prophet. I think the text in Daniel 9:27 may be referring to the false prophet instead of the antichrist. Long explanation attached to this hypothesis and I will cover it soon and make this a link to the explanation at that time. At this point just know it may be either the antichrist OR the false prophet.
Confirming the covenant
So the “he” is going to confirm a covenant. We don’t know exactly what the “covenant” will be so be on the look out for any documents concerning Israel and peace that a prominent person wants to put in place.
This covenant is going to be confirmed for “one week“. Here in this text “one week” refers to one week of years or seven years. But, wait a minute you say…one week should be one week, right? Let me explain. Take a look at Daniel chapter 9:2
Explanation of how one week can be 7 years: In verse 24 the angel Gabriel tells Daniel that seventy weeks are determined for certain events to transpire. Gabriel explains the specific events in verse 25. If we do the math for the 70 weeks we come up with 490 years. These events talked about in verse 25 did transpire within a timeline of 483 years. This leaves 7 years left. Or one more week of years. This 7 year period of time will be the Tribulation. If you want more explanation you can read the below.
Daniel 9:1-2 “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
Daniel was studying a letter from Jeremiah that Jeremiah sent to all those in Babylon that Nebuchadnezzar had taken captive. We see this letter in chapter in Jeremiah chapter 29. Jeremiah told them that God wanted them to live life, take spouses, have children, build houses and bring peace to the place where they are held captive. Then Jeremiah says after 70 years God will allow them to return to Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 29:10 10 “For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.”
Daniel gets this letter in 536BC when he was approx. 84 years old. We know he is approx. 84 because it tells us in Daniel 9:1 that he got the letter when “first year of Darius son of Xerxes[a] (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian[b] kingdom— 2 in the first year of his reign,”
Daniel was taken into captivity in 605 BC when he was about 15 years old. If he is 84 at the time he read the letter from Jeremiah then he would have been in captivity for 69 years. In the letter Jeremiah says the captivity will only last 70 years which must have excited Daniel because in Daniel 9:3 it says he began to pray. Here is Daniel’s prayer for his people.
Daniel 9:3-19 “3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.14 Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.”
While Daniel is praying the angel Gabriel appears.
“21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
See the below verse 24, Gabriel, the angel tells Daniel that 70 weeks, or 70-“7’s are determined by God to accomplish the following things: (1) finish the transgression (2) to make an end to sins (3) to make reconciliation for iniquity and (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness and to (5) seal up the vision and prophecy and to (anoint the most Holy)
“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.
See verse 25 above, The seventy sevens begins with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem the commandment of Artaxerxes Longimanus given in 445BC (Neh2:5). Earlier, Cyrus had authorized the rebuilding of the temple in 538; 2 Chron 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4, the street and the wall. The public square and the moat were rebuilt by the time the first 7 weeks (49) years were completed.
Certain important events were to happen after the 62 weeks, plus the 7 weeks or a total of 69 weeks. (1) the crucifixion of Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans. The Romans are the people of the prince that shall come.
The day of Artaxerxes’ decree was the first day of the Hebrew month Nisan in 445 B.C. The first day of Nisan in 445 B.C. corresponds to the 14th day of March. These dates were confirmed through astronomical calculations at the British Royal Observatory and reported by Sir Robert Anderson (Robert Anderson, “The Coming Prince”, Kregel. Reprinted in 1984.).
The prophecy states that 69 weeks of years (173,880 days using the 360 day prophetic year) after the command goes forth to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem the Messiah will come. If we count forward 173,880 days from March 14th 445 B.C. we arrive at April 6th 32 A.D.
There is in fact, another way to check the accuracy of this date. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter three, it states that in the 15th year of the reign of Caesar Tiberius, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and began his ministry. It is well established that the reign of Caesar Tiberius (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990. Micropedia) began with his coronation on August 19th in the year A.D. 14. Most scholars believe Jesus was baptized in the fall season. It therefore follows that the ministry of Jesus started with his baptism in the Fall of A.D. 28, the 15th year of reign of Caesar Tiberius (The day that a Roman ruler ascends the throne begins his first year.). The ministry of Jesus spanned four Passovers or about three and one half years.
The first Passover of Jesus’ ministry would have been in the Spring of A.D. 29. The fourth Passover of His ministry was the day of his crucifixion and would have fallen in the year A.D. 32. The Passover in that year fell on April 10th (The Passover holiday always occurs on the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. This corresponds to the first full moon after the Spring equinox.). Remarkably, according to Robert Anderson and the British Royal Observatory, the Sunday before that Passover was April 6th-The very day that Jesus presents himself as King and exactly 173,880 days after the decree of Artaxerxes!!
The weeks of years come into play when the angel Gabriel tells Daniel in verse 24 that seventy weeks are determined to complete the steps to finally “anoint the most holy”. There is now only one week left that hasn’t been fulfilled. 69 weeks of years has already been accomplished. The final week (7 years) is talked about in Daniel 9:27.
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.
So now we know that the antichrist is going to sign a covenant with many for seven years then in the middle of the seven years he will cause the sacrifice to stop.