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The 70th Week of Daniel by Julius Africanus (254 A.D.)

    On the Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

1. This passage, therefore, as it stands thus, touches on many marvellous things. At present, however, I shall speak only of those things in it which bear upon chronology, and matters connected therewith. That the passage speaks then of the advent of Christ, who was to manifest Himself after seventy weeks, is evident. For in the Saviour’s time, or from Him, are transgressions abrogated, and sins brought to an end. And through remission, moreover, are iniquities, along with offences, blotted out by expiation; and an everlasting righteousness is preached, different from that which is by the law, and visions and prophecies (are) until John, and the Most Holy is anointed. For before the advent of the Saviour these things were not yet, and were therefore only looked for. And the beginning of the numbers, that is, of the seventy weeks which make up 490 years, the angel instructs us to take from the going forth of the commandment to answer and to build Jerusalem. And this happened in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia. For Nehemiah his cup-bearer besought him, and received the answer that Jerusalem should be built. And the word went forth commanding these things; for up to that time the city was desolate. For when Cyrus, after the seventy years’ captivity, gave free permission to all to return who desired it, some of them under the leadership of Jesus she high priest and Zorobabel, and others after these under the leadership of Esdra, returned, but were prevented at first from building the temple, and from surrounding the city with a wall, on the plea that that had not been commanded.

2. It remained in this position, accordingly, until Nehemiah and the reign of Artaxerxes, and the 115th year of the sovereignty of the Persians. And from the capture of Jerusalem that makes 185 years. And at that time King Artaxerxes gave order that the city should be built; and Nehemiah being despatched, superintended the work, and the street and the surrounding wall were built, as had been prophesied. And reckoning from that point, we make up seventy weeks to the time of Christ. For if we begin to reckon from any other point, and not from this, the periods will not correspond, and very many odd results will meet us. For if we begin the calculation of the seventy weeks from Cyrus and the first restoration, there will be upwards of one hundred years too many, and there will be a larger number if we begin from the day on which the angel gave the prophecy to Daniel, and a much larger number still if we begin from the commencement of the captivity. For we find the sovereignty of the Persians comprising a period of 230 years, and that of the Macedonians extending over 370 years, and froth that to the 16th37 year of Tiberius Caesar is a period of about 60 years.

3. It is by calculating from Artaxerxes, therefore, up to the time of Christ that the seventy weeks are made up, according to the numeration of the Jews. For from Nehemiah, who was despatched by Artaxerxes to build Jerusalem in the 115th year of the Persian empire, and the 4th year of the 83d Olympiad, and the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes himself, up to ibis date, which was the second year of the 202d Olympiad, and the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, there are reckoned 475 years, which make 490 according to the Hebrew numeration, as they measure the years by the course of the moon; so that, as is easy to show, their year consists of 354 days, while the solar year has 3651/4days. For the latter exceeds the period of twelve months, according to the moon’s course, by 111/4 days. Hence the Greeks and the Jews insert three intercalary months every 8 years. For 8 times 111/4 days makes up 3 months. Therefore 475 years make 59 periods of 8 years each, and 3 months besides. But since thus there are 3 intercalary months every 8 years, we get thus 15 years minus a few days; and these being added to the 475 years, make up in all the 70 weeks.

There has been many different views of Daniel’s 70th Week.Some of the Early Church fathers believed that it was fulfilled in Christ,others believed that it was fullfilled in the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. others believe that is has yet to be fullfilled.What is your view on Daniel’s 70th Week?Do you agree with this Early Christian Writer?I know that he was a disciple of the Early Christian writer Origen of Alexandria,who held some pretty strange views on the bible.He tended to over spiritualize the bible.

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2 Responses to “The 70th Week of Daniel by Julius Africanus (254 A.D.)”

  1. As a Baptist, I was taught the future fulfillment, but as a Catholic I now believe in the fulfillment in 70AD, but that there are applications to the future end times also.

  2. Dear Jackie,Here is part of an Expostion of John Gill a Baptist Preacher and scholar who held the Preterist view back in the late 18th or 19th century.I was shock to find that this was the prevailing view among Lutherans,Baptist,Catholics,Methodist,Episcopaleans and others.

    Daniel 9:26

    Ver. 26. And after threescore and two weeks,…. To be reckoned from the end of the seven weeks, or forty nine years, which, added to them, make four hundred and eighty three years:

    shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; by whom is designed the same with Messiah the Prince in Da 9:25, not Onias the high priest, as a late writer {g} would have it, an upright person, and of great holiness, taken off by an unjust death; since he was dead many years before the expiration of these weeks; nor Hyrcanus the high priest, slain by Herod, as Eusebius {h} thinks; in whom the succession of the ancient priests terminated, and with whom the priestly unction perished; which indeed bids fairer than the former; but he was not a person of so much note as to be pointed at in such a prophecy; besides, the priesthood continued much longer: nor is King Agrippa intended, as Jarchi and Abarbinel, who, they say, was the last king of the Jews, and was slain by Vespasian at the destruction of Jerusalem; which is not true; he was not properly king of the Jews, having only Galilee for his jurisdiction; was not slain by Vespasian; was a confederate of the Romans, lived some years after the destruction of the city, and at last died in peace; but Jesus the true Messiah is intended, with whom the character, dates, and death, and the manner of it, entirely agree: now to his death were to be four hundred and eighty three years; which years ended, as we have observed, in the thirty third year of the vulgar era of Christ, and the nineteenth of Tiberius; when Jesus the true Messiah was cut off in a judicial way; not for any sins of his own, but for the sins of his people, to make satisfaction for them, and to obtain their redemption and salvation; see Isa 53:8: or “he is not”, as Jarchi, no more in the land of the living, is dead; see
    Jer 31:15, or “there is”, or “will be, none for him”, or “with him” {i}, to help and assist him in his great work, Isa 63:5. The Vulgate Latin version is, “they shall not be his people”; the Jews rejecting him shall have a “loammi” upon them, and be no more the people of God. Gussetius {k} better renders it, “he hath not”; or he has nothing, so Cocceius; all things were wanted by him, that is, by Christ; he had neither riches, nor clothes, nor any to stand by him, or to accompany him:

    and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; that is, the people of the Romans, under Vespasian their prince, emperor, and general, should, in a little time after the cutting off of the Messiah, enter into the land of Judea, and destroy the city of Jerusalem, and the temple that stood in it; though some understand this of Messiah the Prince that should come in his power, and in a way of judgment upon the Jewish nation, and destroy them for their rejection of him; whose people the Romans would be, and under whose direction, and by whose orders, all these judgments should be brought upon the Jews; but many of the Jewish writers themselves interpret it of Vespasian, as Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Abarbinel, and Jacchiades:

    and the end thereof shall be with a flood: the end of the city and temple, and of the whole nation, should be by the Roman army, which, like a flood, would overspread the land, and carry all before it. It denotes the number, power, and irresistible force of the enemy, and the sad devastation made by them:

    and unto the end of the war desolations are determined; from the beginning of the war by the Romans with the Jews, to the end of it, there would be nothing but continual desolations; a dreadful havoc and ruin everywhere; and all this appointed and determined by the Lord, as a just punishment for their sins.

    {g} Scheme of literal Prophecy, &c. p. 183. {h} Demonstrat. Evangel. l. 8. p. 396, 397. {i} wl Nyaw “et non [erit] ei”, Pagninus; “et nullus [erit] pro co”, Vatablus. {k} Comment. Ebr. p. 33.

    Daniel 9:27

    Ver. 27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week,…. Sixty nine of the seventy weeks being accounted for, and the several events observed to be fulfilled in them; the angel proceeds to take notice of the remaining “one” week, or seven years, and what should be done within that space of time: a covenant should be confirmed with many; which is not to be understood of the Messiah’s confirming the covenant of grace with many, or on account of all his people, by fulfilling the conditions of it, and by his blood and sacrifice, through which all the blessings of it come to them; for this is not for one week only, but for ever; but this is to be interpreted of the Roman people, spoken of in the latter part of the preceding verse; who, in order to accomplish their design to destroy the city and temple of Jerusalem, made peace with many nations, entered into covenant and alliance with them, particularly the Medes, Parthians, and Armenians, for the space of one week, or seven years; as it appears they did at the beginning of this week {l}:

    and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; the daily sacrifice of the Jews, and all their other offerings; and which was literally fulfilled “in the half part” {m} of this week, as it may be rendered; towards the close of the latter half of it, when the city of Jerusalem, being closely besieged by Titus, what through the closeness of the siege, the divisions of the people, and the want both of time and men, and beasts to offer, the daily sacrifice ceased, as Josephus {n} says, to the great grief of the people; nor have the Jews, ever since the destruction of their city and temple, offered any sacrifice, esteeming it unlawful so to do in a strange land:

    and at the same time, in the same half part of the week,

    for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate; that is, the Roman people shall make the land of Judea desolate, for the overspreading of their abominations or idolatries in it. The words may be rendered, as by some, “upon the wing”, the battlements of the temple,

    shall be the abominations, or “idols of the desolator”, or “of him that makes desolate” {o}; so Bishop Lloyd; meaning either the ensigns of the Roman army, which had upon them the images of their gods or emperors; and being set up in the holy place, and sacrificed to, nothing could be a greater abomination to the Jews; or else the blood of the zealots slain on these battlements, by which the holy place was polluted; see
    Mt 24:15:

    even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate; that is, either these abominations shall continue in the place where they are set until the utter destruction of the city and temple; or the desolation made there should continue until the consummation of God’s wrath and vengeance upon them; until the whole he has determined is poured out on this desolate people; and which continues unto this day, and will till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, Lu 21:24. Some, as Bishop Lloyd, render it, “upon the desolator” {p}; meaning the Romans; and the sense they take to be is, that this vengeance shall continue upon the Jews until it is turned upon the head of those who have made them desolate: now this “one week”, according to the sense given, must begin in the sixty third year of the vulgar era of Christ, about thirty years after the expiration of the sixty nine weeks; since it ends in the seventieth year of the same era, in which was the destruction of Jerusalem, the grand event assigned to it in this famous prophecy; when it might have been expected it should have begun at the end of the sixty nine weeks, and run on in a direct line from them. The true reason of its being thus separated from them is the longsuffering and forbearance of God to the people of the Jews, who gave them, as to the old world, space to repent; but his grace and goodness being slighted, things began to work at the beginning of this week towards their final ruin, which, in the close of it, was fully accomplished: from the whole of this prophecy it clearly appears that the Messiah must be come many hundred years ago. The Jews are sensible of the force of this reasoning; so that, to terrify persons from considering this prophecy, they denounce the following curse, “let them burst, or their bones rot, that compute the times” {q}. R. Nehemiah, who lived about fifty years before the coming of Christ, declared the time of the Messiah, as signified by Daniel, could not be protracted longer than those fifty years {r}. The Jews also say the world is divided into six parts, and the last part is from Daniel to the Messiah {s}.


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