The seven year theory of tribulation
Advocates of the seven year theory of tribulation claim that it is based on Daniel 9:27. But historically, the vast majority of the well-respected Bible scholars and commentators did not apply Daniel 9:27 to a seven year period of tribulation at all. Neither have they interpreted the “he” as referring to a future antichrist (as many believe today). Instead, they applied it to Jesus Christ.
Daniel 9 has no application to the tribulation
The following seven points provide logical evidence that Daniel 9’s famous 70th week has no application to any future seven year tribulation. Rather, this great prophetic period was definitely fulfilled nearly two thousand years ago.
1-The entire prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 covers a period of “seventy weeks,” or 490 years. The “seventy weeks” period refers to seventy straight sequential weeks that begins during the reign of Persia and continues to the time of the Messiah. It is not logical to place a 2,000-year period between the 69th and 70th week.
2-The focus of this prophecy is the Messiah, not the Antichrist. After the Messiah is “cut off” (referring to Christ’s death), the text says, “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” In the past, this has been consistently applied to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple by Roman armies led by Prince Titus in A.D. 70.
3-“He shall confirm the covenant.” Paul said “the covenant” was “confirmed before by God in Christ” (Galatians 3:17). Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Romans 15:8). In the King James Version, Daniel 9:27 doesn’t say “a covenant” or peace treaty, but “the covenant,” which applies to the New Covenant. Nowhere in the Bible does the Antichrist make, confirm, or break a covenant with anyone. The word “covenant” always applies to the Messiah, not the Antichrist.
4-“In the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” After exactly three and a half years of ministry, Jesus Christ died on the cross, “in the midst of the week [in the middle of the seven years].” At the exact moment of His death, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” (Matthew 27:51) which signified that all animal sacrifices at that moment ceased.
5-Daniel 9:27 says nothing about a seven-year period of “tribulation,” a “rebuilt” Jewish temple, or any “Antichrist.”
6-“For the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.” “The abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) was applied by Jesus to the time when His followers were to flee from Jerusalem before the destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70. In a parallel text to Matthew 24:15, Jesus told His disciples, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies [Roman armies led by Prince Titus], then know that its desolation is near ” (Luke 21:20, emphasis added).
The disciples did “see” those very events. Because of the “abominations” of the Pharisees, Jesus told them, “See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:38). Thus, Gabriel’s statement in Daniel 9:27 about Jerusalem becoming “desolate” was perfectly fulfilled in A.D. 70.
7-Gabriel said that the 70-week prophecy specifically applied to the Jewish people (Daniel 9:24). During the period of Christ’s public ministry of 3 ½ years, the Master’s focus was largely upon “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6). After His resurrection and then for another 3 ½ years, His disciples preached mostly to Jews (Acts 1-6). After that second 3 ½ year period, in 34 A.D., Stephen was stoned by the Jewish Sanhedrin (Acts 7). This act marked the then-ruling Jewish leaders’ final official rejection of the gospel. Then, the gospel went to the Gentiles.
In Acts 9, Saul became Paul, the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). In Acts 10, God gave Peter a vision revealing it was now time to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-28). Thus, 3 ½ years after the crucifixion— and at the end of the 70-week prophecy given for the Jewish people—the gospel shifted to the Gentiles exactly as predicted in Bible prophecy.
There is no text in the Bible which teaches a “seven-year tribulation.” For a study on the seventy weeks, check the following link:
In His service,