Since reading the “Coming Prince” by Sir Robert Anderson I have become a student of the Book of Daniel in particular. I have used his 70 weeks prophecy to silence many a skeptic who would say,” How do you know the Bible is in fact the Word of God and true”. My question is:
How is it that the Angel Gabriel, John the Baptist, Jesus, the Apostles, Paul and all the writers of the New Testament never broached the issue of the 69 weeks? It appears that only the Persians were keeping track of the countdown, yet there must have been honest God fearing Scribes and Pharisees that knew the time was up. No mention of it until 1885AD or so and then by Scotland Yard. I can see how Jesus may have hidden the truth for the religious leaders of His time, but He certainly must have expounded this truth to His followers that Nisan 10, 32AD was exactly 69 weeks of seven from the proclamation by Artaxerxes Longimanus. It seems that after His resurrection someone would have written of this fulfillment of prophecy.
We can tell Jesus expected the Jewish leadership to understand Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy because He held them accountable for knowing the exact day of His official arrival in Jerusalem, and only the 70 weeks prophecy could have told them. Luke 19:41-44 records His indictment of the people on that first Palm Sunday. He began by saying, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace,” and ended with a prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction “because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
But from my studies, I’m convinced that His offer of the Kingdom remained open until at least 40 days after the resurrection, and if Israel had accepted Him as their Messiah at that time, the 70th week would have begun and there would have been no Church Age. So even though God knew what their response would be, it was really their decision to make, and that’s why Jesus didn’t talk about the gap between the 69th and 70th Weeks, not even to the disciples. (For a more compete explanation of this, click here)
Even after Jesus returned to Heaven, they didn’t really understand the pause between the 69th and 70th Weeks until James explained it to them at the Council of Jerusalem 20 years later (Acts 15:13-18).
When Jerusalem was destroyed and the people dispersed, some scholars believed the 70th Week had been fulfilled, while others adopted an allegorical view of prophecy. It wasn’t until the Great Awakening of the 1800’s that a literal interpretation of prophecy was restored, and through the efforts of Sir Robert Anderson and the London Royal Observation the secret of Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy was finally revealed.