Using the Hebrew calendar is there a way to determine the start and end of the seventy seven's. Will it end on a jubilee year, and how will that date translate to our current calendar, for example what year? Or will this require to much speculation and be outside the scope of this site?

  • This is quite involved but very important to Jehovah's witnesses I don't have the time or patience to put all of it into my own words with references on this tiny iPhone screen but you might like to take a look at the interpretation given here wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003915#h=1 – Kris Feb 12 '16 at 14:13

Further to your first question, “Is there a way to determine?” I will now attempt an answer to your second question, “Will it end on a jubilee year, and how will that date translate to our current calendar?”

There are about four Jubilee examples in the Bible and they all link together in a grid of 49’s. The best known ones include the case where Isaiah told King Hezekiah,

“This shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.” (2 Kings 19:29)

His example is significant, because, as a Jubilee Sabbath, it shows how the land lay fallow for two years in a row, and God expected his people to trust him for their sustenance until planting and reaping in the third year. A ‘seven’ is indicated by the fact that sowing and reaping were not permitted that year. (Leviticus 25:3-7) A ‘forty-nine’ is indicated by the fact that no sowing and reaping was permitted the next year either. (Leviticus 25:11-12) God promised the people there would be enough fruit growing wild to feed them for two. So the sign describes a 49th year Sabbath followed by a Jubilee.

The last identified case described in the Bible, occurred on the switch-point of Daniels 69th and 70th sevens and coincided with the manifestation of Messiah at his first coming. Daniels ‘weeks’ began on the 1st Nisan 457 BC, when the Persian Emperor, Artaxerxes, issued a decree. (Dan 9:25, Ezra 7:7-26)

Now, when we count forward 69 sevens (483 years) from 1 Nisan 457 BC, it comes out at 1 Nisan AD AD 27 - the time Jesus began his public ministry. Here is what he said about that year:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:16-21)

As we can see, it describes a Jubilee year, and it does in fact fit a series of 49-year spans from the anniversary of the Hebrew calendar on the year of the Exodus. (Exodus 12:2)

When one considers how Daniel first predicts the decree nearly a century before it happened, then proceeds to telescope another 69 weeks further, we find a supernatural fulfillment of the ‘times’ in Jesus of Nazareth. Add that to the unlikely chance of a decree occurring on the cusp of a grand Jubilee cycle, and it cannot be brushed aside. These ‘coincidences’ defy the odds and provide powerful testimony to the identity of the Christ.

So, in answer to your last question, no, the 70 sevens do not end on the Jubilee; it is the 69th seven that reaches the Jubilee. This raises a much debated theory as to whether the 70th week is disconnected from the others and projected into the future. I do not believe that it is. Here is a simple diagram of the 70 ‘weeks’, and below are my calendar dates for the key events in Daniel’s prophecy.

70-week timeline

  • 1st Nisan (26 March) 457 BC - 70 weeks cycle begin
  • October-November 26 AD - Jesus baptised
  • 1st Nisan (27 March) 27 AD - 70th week begins
  • 15th Nisan (7 April) 30 AD - Sacrifice abolished (Christs atonement)
  • 29th Adar (9 March) 34 AD - 70 weeks cycle end

The short answer is yes, it is theoretically possible. The long answer would probably take a book, so I will offer a summary.

First of all, it must be realised that the seventy ‘sevens’ (Daniel 9:24-27) were actually an integral part of the Sabbatical year system; it was not an independent count of seven. You seem to already be aware of that.

Secondly, the Sabbatic and Jubilee cycles used to be part of an ancient soli-lunar calendar, however, it was not the same as the modern Jewish one which is based on the Greek metonic system.

Third. In order to find the start of Daniel’s 70 ‘sevens’ in the way you have suggested, we must be able to trace the count of Sabbatical years from Moses to Christ. This requires a precise Exodus date when the calendar was put into motion. (Exodus 12:2)

Fourth. In order to be confidant of our Exodus date we must be familiar with the chronological synchronisms of the books of Judges and Kings. May I offer the following links: Chronology of the Judges of Israel and Chronology of the Hebrew Kings

Fifth. To follow the path of Daniel’s 70 ‘weeks’, using only the Hebrew calendar, requires a knowledge of Sabbatical years during the Inter-testament era. Jewish scholar, Benedict Zuckermann did useful work in this area, and another link on the subject may be found here: Chronology of the Inter-Testament Era

Sixth. Concerning the matter of Jubilees, several matters are worth mentioning. The cycle is 49 years long – not 50 years as often assumed. If a count of 49’s is made from the Exodus, it will locate the first Jubilee after the conquest of Canaan when the land was allotted to the tribes of Israel. By continuing that count in increments of 49, (assuming the Exodus date is right) you will reach the date that you are seeking.

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Thanks for offering some information relevant to the question. Does all of this information lead to any particular answer about when the seventy sevens start and end? – Lee Woofenden Feb 13 '16 at 0:25
  • Yes, the start of the 70 sevens was predicted by Daniel to begin when a ruler issued a decree. The Emperor, Artaxerxes 1, issued such an order on the 1st Nisan 457 BC which was the first day of the new Sabbatical cycle following the Sabbath of 458/7 BC. I don't want to open a controversy as to which was the correct decree, so I have simply answered the question, "Is there a way?". (However, the linked diagrams indicate Sabbatical years with a small red box) – Christian Gedge Feb 13 '16 at 4:34
  • @ChristianGedge You're not starting a controversy :) This is the place to actually make a case and offer an answer to the question, not simply offer suggestions. The OP is asking couple questions here and you've started to answer the "is there a way" and the "how" parts, but go ahead and finish with the "when". – Joshua Feb 14 '16 at 4:30

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