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Seventy Times Seven
The New Testament says, “Then Peter came to Him (Christ) and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).
The Old Testament says, “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). For more check, Can you explain the seventh weeks in Daniel 7?
In the Old Testament, although the Lord had promised deliverance to Israel from the Babylonians captivity at the time appointed, Daniel knew of the conditional nature of many of God’s promises (Jeremiah 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. In doing so, he sets forth the compassion of God, in contrast with the sinfulness of the people. And God answered Daniel and promised, ‘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.
In the New Testament, when Jesus answered Peter’s question of how many times we should forgive our brothers that sin against us? 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 our forgiveness. Sadly, the religious Jewish leaders instead of repenting of their sins, they rejected the Messiah and crucified Him (Luke 23:1-25).
This led to the rejection of the literal nation of Israel by God (Matthew 8:10-12). Then the Lord’s covenant was transformed to spiritual Israel or all those that accept Christ – Jews and gentiles. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
In His service,