“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).
Although the Lord had promised deliverance to His people at the time appointed, Daniel knew of the conditional nature of many of God’s promises (Jer. 18:7–10). He may have feared that the evil of his people might postpone the fulfillment of the promise. So he prayed for the forgiveness of his people. The Lord had suffered long with the Israelites. He had given them many opportunities, but they continually disappointed Him
Despite Israel’s backsliding and rebellion, Daniel remained confident that the Lord, because of His great mercy, was ever ready to forgive those who should come to Him with a contrite heart. In this confidence Daniel pleaded with God for the people of Israel. He sets forth in bold relief the compassion of God, in contrast with the sinfulness of the people.
And God answered, ‘I’m going to give them seventy times seven years’, which is 490 years of mercy as a probationary period for repentance. The 490 years were especially assigned to the Jews with respect to their role as God’s chosen people.
When Jesus answered Peter’s question of how many times we should forgive our brothers? He answered, seventy times seven. Jesus was comparing the great patience and mercy that God had with Israel with what He would have us do as individuals with those that ask for forgiveness.
Sadly the religious Jewish leaders instead of repenting rejected the Messiah and crucified Him which led to their rejection as a nation (Matthew 8:10-12) and God’s covenant was transformed instead to all those that accept Christ – Jews and gentiles (Galatians 3:29).
In His service,
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