There are a couple of things I'd add that I think clarify what's going on. First, the opening caveat “about your people and your holy city” provides a pretty narrow focus for the subsequent six point list. I don't think it's saying that all sin for all people for all time will end, but just that the sin related to the foundation for God's judgment against the nation will be accomplished. Likewise, since New Testament prophecy is essentially a series of interpretations of Old Testament prophecy (so, there is no really new prophecy in the New Testament) the sealing up of vision and prophecy only needs to say that what has been written about the destiny of the Jews will now happen as decreed. It should not be at all surprising, then, to find that the martrydom of Stephen happens according to many commentators at the precise point of the end of the 70 weeks in 34AD. One of the elements of that story that they key on is the fact that Christ is seen as standing next to the throne in heaven, which is supposed to indicate that a significant judgment has been made. If those observations are true, then it helps make sense of the order of events described in the rest of the passage. Everyone seems to agree for the most part on the interpretation of the first 69, but the last seven are a bit trickier:
Dan 9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
One of the reasons that a gap theory is required in most interpretations is that they see the destruction, or “desolations” of the city as happening during the 70th week. But, all that's really required by the text is that this destruction happen after the 62nd (really 69th if we take them sequentially) week. In other words, it doesn't have to actually happen in the 70th Week, it just has to happen after the 69th Week. As you can see below, certain things seem to happen in the 70th Week that set matters in motion (or, once these things have happened the end is inevitable), but nowhere does it explicitly say that the desolations themselves will happen within the 70th Week.
Dan 9:27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."
Though I think there are some other interesting arguments for why the end of the 70th Week must be “the end” (which requires a gap of some kind for both Preston's and Stevens' version of Full Preterism as well as Dispensationslism), I think it's more likely that this is a continuous period. Below is my paraphrase of the passage:
There are seventy weeks (490 years) left for your people to determine their destiny. In that time the six important things are going to happen. Jerusalem will be rebuilt in a time of trouble and the Anointed, a prince, one will come 483 years after the rebuilding begins. After the 483 years the anointed one will be cut off. Also, the people of a coming prince will use war to destroy the city like a flood. One of these princes will make a strong covenant for with the people for one week. In the middle of it he will put and end to sacrifice and offerings. Abominations will be part of the prince who makes desolate and that prince will meet his end.
So, there are two princes in view: One good guy and one bad guy. Actions that happen at some point in the 70 weeks will result in a decreed end, or, at that point, the unavoidable national destiny. This is seen in the drama surrounding Stephen's martyrdom, where Christ is seen by Stephen (and the Sanhedrin?) standing next to the throne of God. No where does it say that the decreed end will happen within the 70 weeks. The six point list is associated with the 70 weeks, but not necessarily the war that becomes the city's destiny. Likewise, Jesus makes a strong promise towards the beginning of his ministry to the Apostles that he will lose none of them. He later says in the Upper Room Discourse that he has fulfilled his promise by not losing any of them up to that point, other than the one who was specifically caveated. In the middle of the 70th Week he is cut off. At the end of the 70the Week the church has its first martyr. The passage implies that the strong one week promise expires at the end of the week. During that last week the elements of the six point plan are fulfilled.
I've been thinking quite a bit about the 70 Weeks since I wrote this (and possibly because I wrote this) and have changed my mind a bit about it. I'm going to leave this post here because I don't want to go around scrubbing evidence of changes that I make to my understanding. However, I don't think I was correct here.
Last edited by dwilkins
on Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.