The Last Half of
Daniel's Seventieth Week
By Duncan McKenzie, Ph.D.
"The symbolic use of the period of three and a half refers to the forty year
period between the cutting off of Messiah in AD 30 and the desolation of
Israel in AD 70. "
Duncan McKenzie Study Archive |
The Covenant Judgments of Revelation
The Antichrist Chronicles: vol. II
J.S. Russell's Position on the Millennium, the Neglected
Third Way of Preterism |
New Preterist Perspective |
Was All The Prophecy in the Bible Fulfilled by A.D.70?
Revelation: The Book of Fulfillment of the Covenant Curses
of Leviticus and Deuteronomy |
Babylon in Not Jerusalem
Premillennial Preterism |
The Serious Error of the Literal Hermeneutic in the
Interpretation of the Book of Revelation |
A Preterist Book on the Antichrist is Coming
Revelation Chapter 12
Here is another excerpt from my upcoming book The Antichrist and the Second
Coming. The book is done but I am still refining it. So far there has been
no interest from any publishers (preterist or otherwise). As most preterist
authors end up doing, I may have to publish the book myself.
The time period of three and a half appears in various forms in both Daniel
and Revelation. This is a reference to the last half of Daniel’s 70th week.
It represents a time of trial for physical Israel as well as God’s new
covenant people right before the coming of God and the full establishment of
His kingdom (cf. Dan. 7:21-22, 25). It consists of the following variations:
The last half (3 ½) of Daniel’s seventieth week: Daniel 9:27.
A time (and) times and half a time (a time-period of three and a half):
Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:14.
Forty-two months (three and a half years): Revelation 11:2; 13:5.
1260 days (forty-two months of 30-day months): Revelation 11:3; 12:6.
Three and a half days: Revelation 11:9, 11.
What these scriptures all have in common is that they refer to a time period
of three and a half that was to be a time of trial and testing for God’s
people just prior to the full establishment of God’s kingdom. While a single
chronological sequence of all these references is not possible (and will not
be attempted), these scriptures for the most part do fit into two related
time periods, one literal, the other more symbolic. All of the references to
the period of three and a half end with the full establishment of God’s
kingdom at the Second Coming in AD 70.
The Literal Use of the Time of Three and a Half
The first way the time period of three and a half is used is in a literal
sense, as the period of three and a half years or forty two months
(March/April of AD 67- August/September of AD 70) that Titus waged war
against the Jews. This was the time of the great tribulation and is the most
common way that the period of three and a half is used. It is used this way
in Daniel 7:25; 9:27; 12:7 and Revelation 11:2 and 13:5.
He [the little eleventh horn] shall speak pompous words against the Most
High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and intend to change
times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and
times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take
away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and
dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be
given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom, and all dominions hall serve and obey Him. Daniel
Then he [the Messiah of v. 26] shall confirm a covenant with many for one
week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and
offering. And [in the last half of the 70th week] on the wing of
abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation,
which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. Daniel 9:27
At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over
the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never
was since there was a nation…And one said to the man clothed in linen, who
was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these
wonders be?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters
of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven and
swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half
a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered,
all these things shall be finished. Daniel 12:1, 6-7
Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying,
‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.
But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it,
for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city
underfoot for forty-two months. Revelation 11:1-2
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they
worshiped the beast, saying, ‘who is like the beast? Who is able to make war
with him? And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies,
and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Revelation
The literal period of three and a half was the three and a half years that
the little eleventh horn/ individual beast made war against God’s people. It
refers to the coming of the prince who would destroy Jerusalem and the
Temple (Dan. 9:26; cf. Rev. 11:2). Titus’ three and a half year campaign
against Israel would be the last half of Daniel’s 70th week and would end
with the desolation and destruction of the Jewish nation (Dan. 9:27; 12:7).
The Symbolic Use of the Time of Three and a Half
The second way the time period of three and a half is used is in a symbolic
sense. It is used this way in Revelation 12, where it is symbolic of the
time between the cross (AD 30) and the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70).
Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by
God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty
days. Revelation 12:6
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted
the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two
wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place
where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the
presence of the serpent. Rev. 12:13-14; cf. Dan. 12:7
The symbolic use of the period of three and a half refers to the forty year
period between the cutting off of Messiah in AD 30 and the desolation of
Israel in AD 70. This is shown in Revelation 12 where the new, or heavenly,
Jerusalem is pictured in the form of a mother (see Is. 66:7-13). She is the
new covenant mother of all believers (cf. Gal 4:21-31). Jesus is shown as
the first born of this mother (Rev. 12:5); He was the first born of many
brethren (Rev. 12:17; cf. Rom. 8:29). The “birth” of the male Child is not
talking about Jesus physical birth but His spiritual birth as the first born
from the dead (cf. Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:18). Thus the male Child after being
born immediately ascends to the throne of God, the AD 30 ascension.
Revelation 12 shows Satan being cast out of heaven at the ascension of Jesus
(Rev. 12:1-10; cf. John 12:31-32). The kingdom of God was established in
heaven at this time but not yet on earth (Rev. 12:10-12). The new covenant
mother and her children (Rev. 12:17) would need protection from Satan until
the end of “a time and times and half a time” (Rev. 12:14). This would be
until the AD 70 shattering of the Jewish nation (cf. Dan. 12:7). This was
the time of the full establishment of the kingdom of God and was analogous
to the children of Israel entering the Promised Land. Thus the period of
three and a half in Revelation 12:6, 14 is symbolic of the spiritual exodus
that believers were participating in in the time between AD 30 and AD 70
(cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-12; Heb. 3:7-4:11). Notice that, like the literal use of
three and a half, the symbolic use of this time period also brings one to
the AD 70 full establishment of God’s kingdom.
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks
The primary source for the meaning of the time of trial of three and a half
is the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24-27. The context of the seventy weeks (or
seventy sevens) has to do with the Jews and Jerusalem (“seventy weeks are
determined for your people and for your holy city” Dan 9:24). The time
period of three and a half would be the last half of the seventieth week.
While this tribulation period would come upon the whole world, it would
focus on the Jews, those who dwelled on the Land (cf. Rev. 3:10). In Daniel
9:26-27 Daniel’s seventieth week is given as the time during which God would
establish and confirm His covenant; it is divided into two parts (3 ½ and 3
½) in verse 27.
26. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for
Himself; 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, and till the end of
the war desolations are determined.
27. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the
middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on
the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the
consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.
Daniel 9:26 and 27 parallel each other; that is, they each address the same
two topics. The first part of each verse contains a reference to the killing
of Messiah and the resulting end of the legitimacy of the sacrificial system
26. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off,…
27. …in the middle of the week He shall bring and end to sacrifice and
The death of Jesus brought an end to the legitimacy of the sacrificial
system (cf. Matt. 27:50-51; Heb. 10:11-18); it happened after seven and
sixty-two weeks, Dan. 9:25 (i.e. it happened during the seventieth week).
The ultimate sacrifice of Messiah happened during the seventieth week/seven,
at the end of its first half.
The second part of verses 26 and 27 contain a reference to the coming of the
one who would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple; this would be the last half
of Daniel’s seventieth week/seven. It was the time of the coming of the one
who would make the Jewish nation desolate:
26. …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, and till the end of the
war desolations are determined.
27….And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even
until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.
It is this last half of Daniel’s seventieth week that the time period of
three and a half is referencing.
Daniel 9:27 makes the division of v. 26 explicit, dividing the two events of
v. 26 (the death of the Messiah and then the coming of the destroyer of the
Temple) into two halves of a week or more literally a “seven.” Here is
Edward J. Young’s translation of Daniel 9:27.
And he [i.e. Messiah] shall cause to prevail a covenant for the many one
seven, and in the midst of the seven he shall cause sacrifice and oblation
to cease, and upon the wing of abominations (is) one making desolate, and
until end and that determined shall pour upon the desolate. brackets in
During the 70th week (in the middle of it) the Messiah would cause the
covenant (the new covenant, which was for many, cf. Matt 26:28), to prevail.
At this time, after the first half of the seventieth week, God would bring
an end to the legitimacy of sacrifice. This happened in AD 30 when, after
the three and a half year ministry of Jesus, God put an end to the
legitimacy of the sacrificial system by the sacrifice of His Son. The Jews
would offer sacrifices for another 40 years but after the sacrifice of the
Lamb of God the sacrificial system of the Temple would be invalid in God’s
eyes.(2) In the second half of Daniel’s 70th week would come the one who
would make Israel desolate. This would confirm the new covenant, as the old
covenant Temple system would totally disappear.
Was there to be a Seven Year Covenant Made by the Antichrist?
It should be noted that the idea promoted by dispensationalists that the
Antichrist makes a seven year covenant with Israel has no scriptural
support. This teaching is based on a mistaken understanding of Daniel 9:27:
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle
of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing
of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the
consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.
The “he” in v. 27 is the Messiah (of v. 26). He would be confirming the
covenant during a seven year period. This is not referring to the Antichrist
establishing a seven year covenant with Israel. All subsequent scriptural
references to the Antichrist that mention a time period do so in the context
of a period of three and a half years, never seven (e.g. Dan. 7:25; Rev.
13:5). Other than a mistaken interpretation of Daniel 9:27, there is
absolutely no scriptural support for the Antichrist making a seven year
covenant with Israel.
The covenant that would be confirmed (or would prevail) during the 70th week
was the new covenant. The new covenant was established in the first half of
the seventieth week with Jesus’ three and a half year ministry; this
culminated with His once and for all sacrifice. The kingdom of God prevailed
in heaven at this time but not yet on earth (cf. Rev. 12:5-12).
The new covenant was confirmed in the second half of the seventieth week
with Titus’ three and a half year “ministry;” this culminated with the
destruction of the Temple. This made the observance of the old covenant
impossible. The kingdom of God prevailed on earth at this time (cf. Dan.
7:19-27; Luke 19:11-27). This is an important point: The kingdom of God was
fully established in heaven at the AD 30 ascension of Jesus. It was fully
established on earth at his AD 70 Parousia. It was at this time that God’s
kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to God’s new covenant people at AD
70 (Mat 21:33-43).
Is there A Gap in the Seventy Weeks?
Notice that with the literal use of the time of three and a half there is a
gap between the first half and second half of the seventieth week; this gap
is some 37 years (AD 30-67). While a gap does exist, it is not the thousands
of years (between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week) that
dispensationalists claim. Some preterists, in reaction to the huge gap
proposed by dispensationalists, argue that there is no indication in the
text of a gap between the first half and second half of Daniel’s week. With
the aid of historical hindsight and the rest of Scripture, however, it seems
clear that the first half of the seventieth week ended when Jesus was cut
off in AD 30 and the second half ended when Titus made the Jewish nation
desolate in AD 70. God was establishing and confirming the new covenant
during this time. During the first half of the seventieth week He
established the new covenant through the death of Jesus; during the second
half He confirmed the new covenant by abolishing the old covenant Temple
What is essentially the same unseen gap between the first and second half of
Daniel’s 70th week occurs in Isaiah 61:2.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to
preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those
who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [fulfilled in
Jesus’ ministry], and the day of vengeance of our God [fulfilled in Titus’
ministry]. Is. 61:1-2 brackets mine
On the surface there is no gap in Isaiah 61:1-2; looking at Jesus’ teaching,
however, He alludes to a gap here. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus quotes this section
of Isaiah up to the last half of vs. 2. He stopped His reading at that point
and left out the part that referred to “the day of vengeance of our God.”
The first half of Isaiah 61:2, “the acceptable year of the Lord” was being
fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry. The last half, “the day of vengeance” would be
fulfilled some forty years later in Titus’ AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem
and the scattering of the Jews into the nations. Luke wrote the following on
this: “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are
written may be fulfilled…and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be
led away captive into all nations.” (Luke 21:22, 24). Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah
61:2 are referring to the same two time periods, the acceptable year of the
Lord (the three and a half year ministry of the Christ) and the day of
vengeance (the three and a half year “ministry” of the Antichrist).
That the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week is separated from the first
half is also shown by the fact that the last half of the seventieth week
keeps showing up in Scripture as the time period of three and a half right
before the AD 70 Second Coming (cf. Dan. 7:21-25). This would be the time of
the great tribulation; it would end with the resurrection at the time of the
destruction of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:1-7). This hardly fits AD 33,
which would be the end of the seventy weeks if there was no gap between
Messiah being cut off and the coming of the one who would make the Jewish
In addition to the above points, the purpose of the seventy weeks was
related to the Jews and Jerusalem; “Seventy weeks are determined for your
people and for your holy city.” It was AD 70 (not AD 33) that accomplished
the destruction of Jerusalem and the shattering of the power of Daniel’s
people (Dan. 12:7). Furthermore, the events that the seventy weeks were to
complete (“To finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make
reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal
up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.” Dan. 9:24) were
fulfilled at the Second Coming in AD 70 not in AD 33. In short, there is a
small gap here; deal with it!
The time period of three and a half that is found in Daniel and Revelation
is derived from the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week. It describes the
time when, after the Christ had been cut off, that the one who would make
Israel desolate would come (Dan. 9:26-27). This time period was to be a time
of trial just prior to the full establishment of God’s kingdom in AD 70; it
would come upon the whole world but would focus on the Jews (cf. Rev. 3:10).
This is made clear in the introduction to Daniel’s seventy weeks: “Seventy
weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city…” Dan. 9:24.
That the Jews would be the focus of the seventy weeks is also seen in the
fact that this time period would end with the shattering of the Jewish
nation (Dan. 12:1-7).
There are two ways one can view the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week.
The first way is more literal, as a three and a half year bookend (of
March/April of AD 67 to August/September of A.D. 70) at the end of the
seventieth week. The initial bookend of Daniel’s 70th week was Jesus’ three
and a half year ministry (c. AD 27-30) which came at the beginning. This
makes the two halves of the seventieth week into two bookends, AD 27-30 and
AD 67-70, with a gap in between. This more literal use of the time of three
and a half is found in Daniel 7:25 (“a time and times and half a time”);
12:7 (“a time, times and half a time”); Revelation 11:2 (“forty-two
months”); and 13:5 (“forty-two months”).
The other way the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week can be seen is more
symbolic, as the 40 year time period from when Messiah was cut off in AD 30
to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Dan. 9:26). Notice that in this
symbolic use there is no gap; the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week is
the time between the crucifixion and the desolation of Israel (Dan. 9:27).
This symbolic use of the time of three and a half is found in Revelation
12:6 (“one thousand two hundred and sixty days”) and 12:14 (“a time and
times and half a time”); this wilderness time (v. 14) symbolizes the
spiritual exodus of believers in the transition period of AD 30-70 (cf. 1
Cor. 10:1-12; Heb. 3:7-4:11). Again, both the literal and symbolic uses of
the time period of three and a half bring one to the same point in time, the
full establishment of God’s kingdom at AD 70.
1. Edward Young, A Commentary on Daniel, (Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner
of Truth Trust, 1972), 208.
2. After the sacrifice of Jesus, the Jewish Temple was left desolate (Matt.
23:37-38; 27:50-51). Jesus “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb.
9:26); after that there was “no longer an offering for sin” (see Heb.
10:5-18). Interestingly there is a Jewish tradition that gives support to
the idea that the Jewish sacrificial system was invalid after the death of
Jesus. Every year on the Day of Atonement a scapegoat (which symbolically
carried Israel’s sin) would be driven into the wilderness. When the
scapegoat had reached the wilderness (indicating that Israel’s sin was
forgiven) a crimson wool thread tied to the temple would turn white.
According to Jewish sources this thread never turned white during this last
forty years of the second Temple. Zev Vilnay, Legends of Jerusalem, The
sacred Land: vol. 1 (Philadelphia: The Jewish publication Society of
America, 1973), 115-116. This story supports the idea that from the time of
the death of Jesus in AD 30 to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70
Israel’s sin ceased to be atoned for by the sacrifices and offerings of the
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Date: 04 Oct 2006
Thanks for presenting the pro's and con's on subject matters. This is a
great site. Christ is to be greatly exalted!
David; Pensacola, Florida