In the 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) he was told when the long-awaited Messiah would appear, be anointed, and offer a new covenant.
But he was also told that his people (the Jews) and Jerusalem would be desolated, because they would deliver the Messiah up to be killed.
This caused Daniel such great distress, that he mourned for three weeks.
The fresh communication from heaven in Chapters 10, 11 and 12, was for the express purpose of enabling Daniel to understand matters concerning his people, which had not been disclosed by the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
The 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy has nothing to do with the end times, as it was fulfilled during the 490 years from 457 B.C. to 34 A.D.
Daniel 10 and 11 describe what would take place during that time, and Daniel 12 gives more information about the desolation of the Jews in 70 A.D.
Most false teachings on prophecy are a result of the teacher not understanding how the prophecy has already been fulfilled, so they speculate that it must be future.
Daniel 10 records his sorrow and the purpose of the angel’s message.
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2-3
So the angel returned to Daniel to help him understand the 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy.
“Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel 10:14
“My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.” Daniel 10:16
During their 70 year captivity in Babylon, Jerusalem and the temple laid in ruins, so they had no home.
The “former days” of Israel’s national existence occurred before their Babylonian captivity.
The “latter days” of Israel’s national existence began when they were released by Cyrus in 457 B.C. to go rebuild Jerusalem and the temple; and they ended in 70 A.D., when the Roman army destroyed the city, temple and people.
Note: If a prophecy teacher applies the term “latter days” to the end times, you now know that their teaching is out of context.
Daniel 11 gives the continuous historical narrative of events that would take place during the latter days.
This time frame spanned 490 years, so there are detailed accounts of its fulfillment by historians. Here’s a list of key figures who fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 11:
God used Cyrus, leader of Medes-Persia, to set the Jews free from Babylonian captivity, and to empower them to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple.
Alexander the Great of Greece rose up and ruled with great dominion.
The Seleucids (kings of Syria, “the north”) and the Ptolemies (kings of Egypt, “the south”) had incessant wars.
Antiochus Epiphanes, the vile person, surrounded Jerusalem with his armies (the abomination of desolation) and killed 10’s of thousands of Jews. They defiled the sanctuary and caused the daily sacrifice to be taken away for 2,300 days (Daniel 8:14). His persecution of the Jews began in 171 B.C. and the temple was cleansed on December 25, 165 B.C., which is 2,300 days.
The Maccabean uprisings delivered the Jews in the reign of Antiochus, and faithfully served their people as rulers and priests for 130 years.
King Herod exalted himself above all gods (leaders). To protect his kingdom, he decreed for the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem, in an attempt to kill baby Jesus.
Caesar Augustus conquered many countries such as Egypt, and took power of their treasures.
Many prophecy teachers incorrectly apply Daniel 11 verses to an end-times Antichrist, but the context clearly shows that they are not, and that history has confirmed their fulfillment.
The Millerites applied the day-for-a-year concept to the 2,300 days, making it 2,300 years from 457 A.D. to 1844 A.D, which they said was the year that Messiah would return.
Obviously He didn’t return, but instead of correcting the mistake about it pointing to 2,300 years; the Seventh Day Adventists proclaim that Messiah entered a period of Investigative Judgment in 1844 A.D., which would mean that Messiah has been in that process for 174 years. But you can clearly see that it was 2,300 days, not years.
Daniel 12 records the details he was given regarding the desolation of his people.
“And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.”
This lines up perfectly with Jesus words in Matthew 24:21, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Note: The 70th week of Daniel was fulfilled by Jesus, so His Olivet Discourse and some of His parables warned about this time. His Olivet Discourse is not about the end times, it’s about the great tribulation that would come upon the Jews from 66-70 A.D.
As you will see in the timeline below, the desolation of the Jews was horrific, but all of the Christians (spiritual Jews) escaped Jerusalem, and none were lost.
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
This isn’t about Jesus second coming, rather it’s about waking up people who are spiritually dead.
Referring to the beginning of Jesus ministry, Matthew 4:14-16 says, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death, Light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25
Paul affirmed this, “Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14
Jesus, the Light of the World, shined on them during His 3.5 year ministry, which occurred during the 70th week of Daniel. Some accepted Him as their Messiah and were saved to everlasting life; some rejected Him and were condemned.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18
When Paul preached the gospel to the Jews in Antioch, they rejected his message.
Paul responded with “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.” Acts 13:46
This fulfills Jesus parable of the Wedding Feast, that when the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah and they persecuted and killed His servants, He responded with,
“But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.”
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.'”
“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
Jesus disciples shined the light of the gospel and many were saved.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
This is not talking about the end of time, but the time of the end of the latter days of Israel.
These words bring the prophecy to an end; and it is not difficult to see the resemblance they bear to the final words of Matthew 28:19-20,
“Go therefore (run to and fro) and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching (increase knowledge) them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The day spring of true knowledge from on high waited upon the footsteps of the apostles of Christ, as they traversed the Gentile world, dispelling darkness, and doubt and fear, and diffusing light, and confidence and joy over every condition of human life.
Colossians 1:26-27 verifies the unveiling of knowledge, “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Daniel asked for more information about the desolation of Jerusalem and the Jews.
“How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?“
The angel answered, “it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.“
The time, times, and half a time is 1260 days or 3.5 years, which occurred from Dec.. 66 A.D. to July 70 A.D.
The holy people are the Jews, who were scattered by the Roman army.
“If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:42-44
Note: This is not about the end times where there is great tribulation in the whole world, rather it is about the Jews in Judea being scattered because of their rejection of the Messiah.
“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
He was asking how the “time of trouble” (which was spoken of in verse 1) would end.
It is the same period as that to which Jesus was referring when He said in Luke 21:22, “these be the days of vengeance that all things that are written may be fulfilled.”
“And he (the angel) said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
Again, it doesn’t say “the end of time” as in the last days; but “the time of the end” of the prophecy regarding the Jewish national existence.
Jesus book of Revelation (written in 95 A.D.) describes the fulfillment of many of the prophecies of Daniel, so knowledge of their fulfillment increased after the time of the end, after the latter days of the Jews national existence ended in 70 A.D.
“Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
The precious shed blood of the Lamb of God made many pure, white and refined.
‘And He(Jesus) said to them, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28
But the wicked did not understand the time of Jesus coming.
“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
And they rejected their promised Messiah.
“Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” Matthew 23:32-36
And the wicked Jewish leaders delivered Him up to be crucified.
“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits (i.e., survives, or endures), and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”
This tells us that the interval of time between when the abomination of desolation occurred and when the daily sacrifice was taken away, was 1,290 days.
So let’s see how Daniel 12 was fulfilled on the timeline.
Day 1 – Nov. 66 A.D.
The first approach of the Roman army under Cestius surrounded the city, which was the “abomination of desolation” that Jesus warned the disciples about.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ ; spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Matthew 24:15-16
This is confirmed in the corollary passage of Luke 21:20-21, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
Note: The abomination of desolation had to be something that the disciples could see. An idol placed in the temple would not be seen except by the priests. For more information, read the Abomination Of Desolation Deception
The Jewish historian Josephus records that Cestius made such rapid progress that the city was on the point of being captured.
The seditious element fled in large numbers, and the peaceable inhabitants were about to throw open the gates to the Romans, when a remarkable thing took place, so unaccountable from any natural standpoint that it can only be attributed to the direct intervention of God, and for the fulfillment of the word of Christ.
Josephus tells how the people were about to admit Cestius as their benefactor, when he suddenly recalled his soldiers and retired from the city without any reason in the world.
Had he not withdrawn when he did, the city and the sanctuary would, of course, have been spared; and Josephus says it was, I suppose, owing to the aversion God already had towards the city and the sanctuary that he (Cestius) was hindered from putting an end to the war that very day (II 19:6).
This happened because Jesus promised His disciples a way of escape, that ‘when they should see the abomination of desolation’ (the idolatrous Roman armies, with the images of their idols in their ensigns) ready to lay Jerusalem desolate, ‘stand where it ought not,’ ‘in the holy place‘ of Jerusalem; they should then ‘flee to the mountains‘.
They escaped and Josephus did not record one death of a Christian at the hands of the Romans.
Roman Commander Titus and his army division was then sent to Judea, where they killed Jews in outlying cities, and then surrounded Jerusalem.
During this time, Nero, the Emperor of Rome died, so the Roman army stayed camped around the city of Jerusalem, awaiting further orders.
They tried to get the Jews to surrender, but the Jews were emboldened because they saw God cause the first division of the Roman army leave for no reason, so the Jews warred against the Romans.
When Vespasian was declared Emperor in 69 A.D., Titus (Vespasian’s son) was commanded to end the Jewish rebellion. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day.
The 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy foretold the people of the prince coming to desolate the city and the temple.
“And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood. ” Daniel 9:26
“And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate.” Daniel 9:27
Of this period of great tribulation Josephus says, in the introduction of his ‘Wars of the Jews‘ historical documentary.
“It had come to pass that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly it appears to me that the misfortunes of all men from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to those of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were.”
The sufferings of the Jews had this peculiar characteristic, namely, that they were mostly inflicted upon themselves by the warring factions within the city, concerning whom Joseph says in another place:–
“It is impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men’s iniquity. I shall, therefore, speak my mind here at once briefly: That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world” (Wars V. 10:5).
Because the Romans had surrounded the walled city, the food supply was cut off and the Jews were trapped inside.
As a result, 100′s of thousands of Jews died:
From infighting, as different factions warred against each other.
From starvation and disease.
From being crucified by the Romans when the Jews tried to find food outside of the city walls. Hundreds of people a night were caught and crucified outside the city walls, so many in fact, that trees had multiple bodies hung on them.
Josephus recorded that one man, by consent from his family, killed his parents, his wife, his children, and then himself, in order to escape a much worse fate at the hands of the wicked people in the city.
“but the wicked shall do wickedly..” Daniel 12:10
Day 1290 – July 70 A.D.
The Roman army breached the walls of Jerusalem and the daily sacrifice was taken away.
Josephus has recorded the very date on which it occurred, saying:
“And now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and make a ready passage for his army to come up, while he himself had Josephus brought to him; for he had been informed that, on that very day, which was the seventeenth day of Panemus, the sacrifice called ‘the daily sacrifice’ had failed, and had not been offered to God for want of men to offer it; and that the people were grievously troubled at it” (Wars, VI. 2.1.).
1,290 days had passed from when the the abomination of desolation (the Roman army under Cestius) appeared; until “the daily sacrifice was taken away.
Jesus had warned about the bloodshed that would come on this generation.
“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Luke 21:24
This fulfilled Matthew 24:29, as the High Priest (Sun), the High Council (moon) and the Jewish religious leaders (stars) were removed from power, their leadership darkened forever.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
This fulfilled the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers” where the wicked tenants killed the son of the vineyard owner.
“But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” Luke 20:14-15
This fulfilled Jesus words of Woe to the scribes and the Pharisees.
“Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” Matthew 23:34-36
Recall what the Jewish leaders said when they handed Jesus over to be crucified:
“And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Matthew 27:25
As so it was as the Roman army flooded into the city and killed 100’s of thousands of Jews by the sword. And those who were captured were sold into slavery.
Titus wanted to save the temple, but the Roman soldiers were so enraged at the wicked Jews, that they tore it down brick by brick, to be able to capture all of the gold.
This fulfilled Jesus words in Matthew 24:1-2, “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Day 1335 – Sept 70 A.D.
In correspondence with this is the recorded fact that a month and a half after the daily sacrifice failed, the siege was ended by Titus’ getting sudden and unexpected possession of the upper city, the last stronghold of the besieged.
This last action took place, according to Josephus, the seventh day of the Hebrew month Elul, answering to our September; so that the further duration of the siege after the failure of the daily sacrifice was approximately one month and a half (Wars, VI 8, 4, 5).
“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:22
That those days were “shortened” by some Divine interference, is indicated by the abrupt and unexpected manner in which the last stronghold fell. Josephus tells how the “tyrants” (the dominant faction in the city) surrendered.
“Did now wholly deprive themselves of the security they had in their own power, and came down from those very towers of their own accord, wherein they could never have been taken by force. …They left those towers of themselves; or rather they were ejected out of them by God Himself. …The Romans, when they had gotten on the last wall without any bloodshed, could hardly believe what they found to be true” (ibid).
In regard to the promised blessing of Daniel 12:12 (Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.), it may be observed that Titus immediately extended clemency to the survivors and he set free those who had been bound by the tyrants (Wars, VI, 9, 1).
Recalling the words of our Lord when, referring to the same period of unequaled distress, He said in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
So the followers of Jesus who had been taken captive by some Jews, were set free by Titus, fulfilling Jesus promise to those who endure during that time of great tribulation.
Note: 1,290 days + 45 days = 1335 days, so the 1,260, the 1,290 and the 1,335 day prophecies have been fulfilled. If you heard a Pastor teaching that they apply to the future, you now know that their teaching is false.
As you can see, the prophecies in Daniel 12 describe the desolation of the Jews and Jerusalem in 70 A.D., not a future tribulation period that affects the whole world.
Here’s the scene of the “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.”
100’s of thousands of Jews died inside the walled city of Jerusalem even before the Roman army entered the city. Nobody buried anyone for fear of being killed. All of those bodies were just heaped up in the streets and around the temple.
Many thousands of Jews were crucified outside the walled city, so that all the trees were full of dead bodies.
100’s of thousands of Jews were killed by the Roman sword.
97,000 Jews were captured and sold as slaves.
But everyone who was found written in the book of life, Jesus Church, were delivered.
This was the time of Jacob’s Trouble, not some end-times scenario.
And the “the power of the holy people had been completely shattered, and all these things were finished.” Daniel 12:7
So when you hear a prophecy teacher quoting verses from Daniel 9, 10, 11 and 12, to apply them to an end-times Antichrist, you now know that they are a False Prophet.
They may just be misguided, they may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, either way their prophecy teachings are false, and they will be held accountable before the Lord.
If your pastor is teachable (many aren’t), please share this study with them, for surely God’s true ministers want to know the truth. Amen!
If you wonder how it’s possible that so many Pastors don’t understand the fulfillment of prophecy, click on End Times Antichrist Deception