I have discovered many questions about the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. I particularly enjoyed the question and answers in this one >> Two rulers or one ruler in Daniel's 70 week prophecy?

Most of these were great answers but was wondering if there are literary clues in (say) a literary structure that helps to understand the daunting piece of Daniel's prophetic efforts?

Any help you great Bible minds can offer would be wonderful.

  • Welcome! Help in understanding is with @Dottard and myself below. Aug 25, 2020 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


OK - here is my attempt to outline the literary structure of Dan 9:24-27 based on the first few lines that appear to repeat throughout the passage. Note that the word structure is based on the Hebrew words, not English words although I have tried to some extent to reflect this in the way i have translated the passage.

70 weeks are determined for -

A: Your people [2 word phrase]

. B: Your Holy City [3 word phrase]

A: Finish the-transgression, end sin, expiate iniquity, [2 word phrases]

. B: Introduce eternal righteousness, seal vision & prophecy, anoint most holy [3 word phrase]

A: From the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem till Messiah – 7 weeks + 62 weeks

. B: Rebuilt in times of trouble

A: After 62 weeks Messiah cut off and will have nothing

. B: People of prince destroy city & sanctuary, end like a flood, war & desolations

A: He confirms covenant with many for 1 week, cut off mid-week & stops sacrifice & offering

. B: On the wing he will come abomination that makes desolate until the end

Note that the prophet Daniel has effectively melded two prophecies about simultaneous events into one narrative but still managed to keep them distinct. The two sets of events concern "your people" and Messiah, vs, "Your Holy City". From this we observe several things:

  • The time elements, 7 weeks, 62 weeks, being cut-off, etc, all apply to Messiah who confirms a covenant for 1 week, etc. It is Messaih being cut off that causes the sacrifice to cease
  • The Holy City is be rebuilt in times of trouble but there would be the people of the prince would destroy the city and depopulate it, etc.

Hope this helps.

  • Wow! I actually get to question your thinking, which you know I admire greatly (take notice of this "poster" Mr. New Cont' and you will get a wealth of understanding), outside of the "Trinity" issue that is. This being my "pet project" of the whole bible, I have had a lot to say about it; see my "thesis" of an answer to the Q: "Are the 70 weeks of Daniel & Jeremiah prophecies......?" Your explanation of the 2 sets of events is right on, except for one thing, in my opinion anyway. The "M" is cut off at the end of the 69 weeks (7 + 62), "M" confirms the "C", correct. BUT, he does not ...tbc... Aug 25, 2020 at 13:43
  • ....cause the "Sacrifice and Grain Offering" to cease. If "M" died at end of 69 (33 AD) and the end of the "S & GO" was to happen in the middle of the 70th week (whenever that was to be) the "M" cut off could not be that which causes the sacrifice to cease. Wade through my "thesis" guys. I cannot stress the importance of that, whether I am right or wrong. Yes, I know it's long (4000 words plus) and in depth but I promise you it will be worth your time. Aug 25, 2020 at 13:56
  • @OldeEnglish - can you provide a link to this thesis?
    – Dottard
    Aug 25, 2020 at 20:47
  • Here is the link hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/38249/… Aug 25, 2020 at 21:33
  • @Dottard-It's been almost 72 hours since I sent you the above link but I and the NC have heard nothing from you. I don't know what to surmise from that at this point. Aug 29, 2020 at 1:18

The prophecy has a poetic pattern that shifts the focus repeatedly back and forth between the two foci; Jerusalem and the Messiah: enter image description here

According to this pattern;

  • The first seven weeks relate to Jerusalem.
  • The "he" who will confirm the covenant (v27) is the Messiah.
  • The destruction in verse 27 is the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • Therefore, events are not listed in chronological sequence.
  • Rather, the sequence is cause-consequence: Jerusalem is rebuilt to receive the Messiah but it is destroyed again because Israel did not receive the Messiah.

The prophecy is also structured as a chiasm. In a chiasm, the first item corresponds to the last, the second to the second last, etc. In the chiasm in Daniel 9, the "one week" in verse 27 corresponds to the Messiah in 25b:

  •                Messiah cut off 26a
  •       Construction 25c ------ Destruction 26b
  •  Messiah the Prince 25b ----------- Covenant one week 27a
  •  Construction 25a ---------------------- Destruction 27c

For a further discussion, see Sequence of Events.

  • I cannot agree with your surmising here, nor your "Sequence of Events". You can see what I have to say about the "Seventy Weeks" prophecy above. See also my commentary to your other recent answer to the "Two rulers, or one Ruler ...." Q., where I also gave an answer. - 1. May 5 at 16:26
  • @OldeEnglish I scanned your article on Daniel 9. We might be the same age and we might have the same view of the Trinity doctrine, but our views on Daniel 9 vary. For my view, see Daniel 9. I hold to the view which dominated during the first 400 years of the church. See Fathers.
    – Andries
    May 6 at 14:41
  • "Scanned" being the operative word, it being 4000 words long, but thank you for doing that. I just finished "scanning" your own ref's to "Daniel 9" & "Fathers". Quite impressive, I must say. We agree on a lot. We differ on the correct decree and the timing of the 15th yr of Tiberius but most notably we differ on the year of Jesus' death. To my mind, the Spring of 33 AD is indisputable, crucial and central, as is the Spring of 444 BC for the starting point of the 69 Weeks. Once I had established these "book-ends" and that Prophetic years, not Literal, were in order, the math won... tbc.. May 6 at 23:04
  • ... continuing on... As the Roman general Titus had still to COME, after the 69 weeks had already ended with Jesus' death, NOT baptism, we DO have a Gap between the 69th week and the 70th, within which time we had the Great Commission, STARTING with Stephen's sermon/martyrdom (34 AD) and ending with the further martyrdom's of Peter & Paul, (66/67 AD), which then led into the 70th week, with the middle of the week being 70 AD, when Sacrifice and Grain Offering truly ended. The extended covenant with the circumcised (Many) then truly ended with the mass suicide at Masada...IMO. May 6 at 23:29
  • @OldeEnglish I scanned your article again. I classify interpretations of Daniel 9 into the following four major categories: - Eschatalogical-Messianic (Dispensational) - Historic-Critical - Consistent Symbolic - Historical-Messianic (the view that all of Daniel 9 was fulfilled before the book of Revelation was received). The fourth view was dominant before historic criticism and dispensationalism developed. Although we differ on details, both our views are historic-Messianic.
    – Andries
    May 7 at 8:55

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