Gabriel’s 70 Weeks: Why 70 Weeks? Part 1

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city

Why were 70 sets of 7 or 70 weeks set aside for Israel and Jerusalem? On the surface, this seems rather arbitrary. Don’t kid yourself, God has a purpose and a reason. And He sent the angel Gabriel to tell Daniel.

The issue is Israel’s response to God’s Law. Moses recorded the following.

Leviticus 25:1-5 Then the LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. For six years you may sow your field and prune your vineyard and gather its crops. But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You are not to sow your field or prune your vineyard. You are not to reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your untended vines. The land must have a year of complete rest.

The concept is straight forward. The land can be worked and farmed for six consecutive years. But, the land is to rest on the seventh year. That means no tilling, sowing, working, planting or pruning. Let the land rest.

This pattern of rest was initiated in God’s creation week. On the seventh day, God Himself rested.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God is beyond fair and an effective communicator. He gives the good news first. If Israel followed His directions, there would be significant benefit for the nation. God’s blessings for obedience are written in Leviticus 26:1-13. These national blessings have yet to be realized by Israel but will come to fruition during the Millennial Kingdom and into eternity under the leadership of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

On the flip side, there are negative consequences for disobedience. Israel’s prophetic rebellious history is laid out with God’s response in Leviticus 26:14-39.

Multiple times God warns of the consequences of the nation’s disobedience.

Leviticus 26:14-16a But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, I, in turn, will do this to you: 

Look at the verbs in the initial statement by God in reference to Israel’s conditional attitude and actions.

  1. Do not obey
  2. do not carry out
  3. reject
  4. abhors
  5. not carry out
  6. break

Leviticus 26:18 ‘If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

Leviticus 26:21 If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.

Leviticus 26:23-24 And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.

Leviticus 26:27-28 Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins.

Above are 10 different examples of prophetic disobedience in the text.

10 X 7 for your sins = 70.

God is telling Israel, if you disobey and act with hostility… not only is this your consequence, this is your course of history.

To be continued…

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