Q. Does the “signing” of the covenant kick start the 70th week of Daniel or is it the day it goes into effect? Lets say, the Anti-Christ signs the treaty on 10-31-13, but it doesn’t go into effect until 12-31-13 which day actually starts the 70th week? Is it the day it is signed or the day it goes into effect?
A. The Hebrew word in Daniel 9:27 that activates the covenant is usually translated “strengthen” or “confirm”. Therefore scholars believe it won’t necessarily be the signing date that makes it effective, but the fact that the anti-Christ has begun to enforce it. For this reason the world may not know the time of the official beginning of the 70th week until after the fact.
This could be why the kings of the Earth will say, “The great day of their wrath has come and who can stand?” (Rev. 6:17). That question is in the past perfect tense, meaning the wrath has already begun. It might take until the great earthquake of the 6th seal that turns the sun black and the moon blood red occurs for them to realize the time of wrath has already begun.