Seventy Weeks of Daniel (aka, The Pit of Despair)

Posted By on August 30, 2011

Remember the albino from The Princess Bride? The guy who was in charge of the pit of despair? That’s who I feel like when asked to talk about the seventy weeks of Daniel. It is a quagmire of ambiguity and obtuseness. And yet so many people hang so much on one particular interpretation of it.

The pit of despair was the topic of my third session on prophecy at my church. You can view the video here (the audio for week 2’s video never took, so that one won’t be posted).

If you want the slides and handout, they will eventually be posted here (but not up yet – keep checking).

One more week to go. Not completely sure what I’ll be doing. I’m trying to resist dumping on my favorite “no prayer of being right” prophecy ideas, or my own favorite things to think about (yes, I have those for prophecy, but the list is very short and even they aren’t interesting enough for me to care much about prophecy).† I’ll probably opt for something more useful.

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13 Responses to “Seventy Weeks of Daniel (aka, The Pit of Despair)”

  1. DT says:

    If you’re taking input, I’d love to hear both the “no prayer of being right” and your favorite things to think about. I completely understand your impulse to avoid them, but I’m sincerely hoping you ignore that impulse. A little “Heiser Uncensored” regarding prophecy would be extremely welcome.

    *goes to listen to vid*

    • MSH says:

      no prayer of being right examples: the Ezekiel 38-39 = Russia nonsense; Ezek 38-39’s Gog and Magog being different than the one in Rev 20.

      favorite things to think about: the signs in the heavens and “sign of the son of man” — will that be the same as for the first advent (Rev 12)?

      • Nobunaga says:

        If the signs are the same the first advent, then all we have to do is get the guy who done the “Star of Bethlehem” his cool software should tell us when the alignment will appear again, and he can end all this madness. Has anyone checked this….. seriously ?

        • MSH says:

          The guy (Larsen) who did the star of Bethlehem needs to first credit his source for that view — Ernest Martin (some 20 years ago). Kind of mugs me he didn’t do that; none of what he says is original (and his date for the crucifixion isn’t the best one, either). Okay, that’s off my chest.

  2. Steve says:

    Ok, I just watched your presentation have you ever considered how the events that will precede the second coming spoken by Jesus in Matthew 24 correlate perfectly with the opening of the seal judgments in Revelation 6 even right down to the sign in the sun, moon, and stars. Daniel 9:24 talks about what is accomplished when the entire prophecy is complete not just the crucifixion. Jesus takes us to the midpont of the 70th week (Matthew: 24:15) when discussing the second coming Paul takes us there also (2 Thess. 2: 3-5) I think the 70th week has to be yet future. Revelation uses 42 months, time, times, and half a time and 1260 days, the last half after the abomination of desolation to describe this time period.

    Loved the facade when is the sequel coming out.

    • MSH says:

      well, if they were perfect no one would have any other views. Revelation may not even be intended to be read chronologically (in linear fashion), but instead as repeating cycles (i.e., the seals, bowls and trumpets all express the ideas in similar, but not identical, ways). One’s willingness to accept this cyclic repetitive view (“recapitulation”) depends on being comfortable with “joining” them instead of “splitting” them.

      In other words, even if someone accepted your “alignment,” if they held a recapitulation view, they would still not believe in a seven year tribulation or rapture.

  3. Benjamin Smith says:

    Considering your view of God’s foreknowledge and predestination, and the fluid nature of prophecy fulfilment in scripture, do you think that the way these prophecies are being/ will be fulfilled actually changes over time, depending on what’s happened over the last two millenia? Yet more shifting sand beneath our feet!

  4. rode says:

    so, on Video 4, you mentioned you were going to look into the shofar..was it a transliteration or does it have any merits?

    • MSH says:

      it is *not* a transliteration, and so that led me to wonder if the Greek word (???????) was used *exclusively* in the LXX for Hebrew shofar when that word occurs in the OT. It isn’t (i.e., the word is used to translate other trumpet terms, not just shofar). Consequently, I don’t see an argument for the trumpet in Matt 24:31 being the shofar. It would have to be made on some other grounds, and I’m not sure what those would be.

  5. Kevin says:

    Mike…can you please solve the riddle of the two Gog and Magogs…one that is pre-1000 years and one that appears post-1000 years…could that be a scribal error???….Also how does rebellion start up in Jesus 1000 year reign if its supposedly perfect???…

    • MSH says:

      There is no riddle. Both references are to the same thing. The only problem is the eschatological system and its presuppositions you have brought to the passage. In other words (and I say this forthrightly, not sarcastically) if that doesn’t fit your system, why assume the text is wrong instead of your system being wrong?

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